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Old December 6th, 2006, 10:53 PM
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Default For first time cruise short or longer cruise???

I feel I have deceded on HAL or NCL, but probably towards HAL. I want to know if it is better to take those 7 day cruises to Alaska or should I take my time and choose a longer cruise to really enjoy the cruise experience??? I have traveled many thousands of miles on Amtrak and Via rail in my own compartment so I am used to being in one place for long hours, but I know I can walk around the ship and do many of the things the ship has to offer. I am 56, married but caregiver for wife who will be home with her nurses, so I am not looking for Mrs. Robinson.
Your opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Bill
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Old December 7th, 2006, 02:19 AM
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Cruising is wonderful...often you’re still on the ship when you begin planning your next cruise adventure!

That said...I suggest starting your cruise experience with a short cruise...a seven-day is perfect.

Not all cruise lines are alike or offer the same cruising experience. Each cruise line has it's own passenger appeal and so the ‘mean’ passenger age will vary from cruise line to cruise line.

Also, not all ships are alike even in the same cruise line! Each ship is unique with it's own staff and crew personality. The food for example on Celebrity can be great...but it also varies from ship to ship.

So...starting with a short cruise will give you ample opportunity to experience cruising, get to know a little about one specific cruise line, their ships and type of hired staff without a long commitment. (10days can be very long in 'cruising' time if you are not happy with the service, food or staff)

There are some great cruise line choices out there...you might find it to your advantage to sample several before taking the 'plunge' of a longer cruise.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: For first time cruise short or longer cruise???

7 Day Roundtrip Inside Passage unless your goal is up to the Alaska Railroad?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BillVas
I feel I have deceded on HAL or NCL, but probably towards HAL. I want to know if it is better to take those 7 day cruises to Alaska or should I take my time and choose a longer cruise to really enjoy the cruise experience??? I have traveled many thousands of miles on Amtrak and Via rail in my own compartment so I am used to being in one place for long hours, but I know I can walk around the ship and do many of the things the ship has to offer. I am 56, married but caregiver for wife who will be home with her nurses, so I am not looking for Mrs. Robinson.
Your opinions will be greatly appreciated.

Bill
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Old December 12th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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i would do the 7 day before trying anything longer; as for which ship; depending on your energy level and age you may want to think twice about HAL. We just did a 10 day Panama Canal cruise, it was wonderful in many ways and HAL is truely the class of the mass marketed lines, but the energy level in very low, the cruisers mostly older, not only in years but attentudes and there are fewer activities than on other lines. Would we cruise HAL again? yes and we will, but these are concerns we had. NMNita :o
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Old December 12th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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When we did HAL, yes the crowd was older than on RCCI...and only slightly older than Celebrity...BUT...the energy level was very high! Lots going on...

You may be right regarding the sailing you were on...so I think like ALL cruises the make-up of the passenger base at the time of the cruise will determine a lot.

Now to be honest, at night...things did tend to close down a little early for us...around 10pm.

Would be cruise HAL again...YES!...why? The staff and service were above and beyond...excellent! Our cabin large (compared to Celebrity's which tend to be on the 'tiny' size)
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Old December 12th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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Excellent advice in the prior postings and I particularly concur with Fieldmouse's astute observations. (I cannot help with a comparison of NCL and HAL as I have not been on NCL for over ten years.)

The short cruise is an excellent idea for a first cruise with any cruise line. Aside from being less expensive (usually), the shorter cruise will give you the chance to see whether you actually like the particular ship and line, its atmosphere, activities, food preparation and service, personnel, etc. No one cruise line or ship is right for everyone and no long cruise should be in order until you know that the ship/line is right for you. Nothing worse than being "stuck" on a ship that you find you do not like. I agree that a one-week cruise is usually a good place to start.

But, be aware that a shorter cruise has its drawbacks as compared to cruises of 14 days or more and a short cruise will not always give an accurate flavor of a longer cruise for at least a couple of reasons.

First, short cruises (e.g., ALaska) are usually more port-intensive. There are relatively fewer port days per week on a longer cruise. Thus, a short cruise may not give a full flavor of the activities, etc., that are on board on sea days. Before taking any longer cruise, therefore, be very careful to review the activities and amenities offered by the line to see if they are to your liking - including lecturers, musical programs, lounges, dining venues, entertainers, etc. An obvious example, if the line offers only big band music and more traditional ballroom stlyle dancing (foxtrot, waltz, etc.) and you do not like like either, you are out of luck. Another obvious example, try to find out about the food, food prepation, dining room service, and alternative dining venues (and their additional costs, if any) before you go to make sure that they are to your taste - disappointment with dining-related matters seems to be one of the biggest sources of complaints. A good travel agent is absolutely critical to this; do not rely on the promotional literature from the cruise line. The more specific information you can get, the better.

Second, the passenger profile on is different on cruises of longer than a week. Passengers are generally younger on the shorter cruises and older on the longer cruises. Also, different itineraries tend to attract different clientele - just compare the young singles who prefer the Caribbean cruises with the families that tend to prefer the Alaska cruises. Also, on shorter cruises, especially holiday times and the summer, there is a dramatic increase in the number of children, more so I believe on NCL than HA.

Third, on a short cruise, there is less chance for the crew to get to know you and your individual preferences and to accommodate your individual preferences and desires. This usually is a big plus on longer cruises.

Be sure to select cabin category and location based on what will be comfortable for you. If there is any tendency to seasickness, for example, stay in the mid-ships area. If you are planning to spend a lot of time in your cabin, larger size will be important. If you are travelling on a coastal cruise such as Alaska, get a cabin on the land-ward side, not the sea-ward side, to take advantage of the views.

In any event, a shorter cruise is usually the best way to get the flavor of a cruise line and ship and to decide whether you want to return.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fieldmouse
When we did HAL, yes the crowd was older than on RCCI...and only slightly older than Celebrity...BUT...the energy level was very high! Lots going on...

You may be right regarding the sailing you were on...so I think like ALL cruises the make-up of the passenger base at the time of the cruise will determine a lot.

Now to be honest, at night...things did tend to close down a little early for us...around 10pm.

Would be cruise HAL again...YES!...why? The staff and service were above and beyond...excellent! Our cabin large (compared to Celebrity's which tend to be on the 'tiny' size)
It certainly depends on the itinerary and the particular ship. The size of the cabins were much larger on HAL, that was one of the positive points we experienced as well as our cabin steward service. As soon as he saw we had brought a large amount of wine on board he proviced wine glasses without us even asking. As for the rest of the serice it was very hit or miss; some outstanding, especially in the Lido cafe, but other times it lacked what I would consider really good. Example, sometimes I would go to the casino after breakfast and there were still dirty ash trays and glasses from the night before. Our dining room wait staff was ok, but certainly nothing like we had expected. None of our complaints would keep us from sailing HAL again, there were just a few little details that kept the ship from being rated number one to us. There is no getting around it, the food was outstanding most of the time. I still think anyone thinking of sailing HAL or any line for the first time they need to really do their homework. Sometimes the best way is to, not only watch these boards but talk with a travel agency that specializes in cruises. Again, each line has good and bad points and each ship within a line offeres something different. I have clients that hated their first NCL cruise and loved the second one. They are in their 70s and have no desire to cruise HAL but they would cruise Celebrity 10 times a year if they could afford it. We prefered HAL to Celebrity. NMNita.
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