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Old December 17th, 2002, 09:45 PM
New Yorker
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Default Cruise for Non-English Speaker

Hi Everyone,

My mother has never been on a cruise, and I would like to take her with me on one this coming year. My mother, however, does not speak English and I am concerned about her feeling ackward sitting with people she cannot communicate with at dinner. I understand Carnival now have alternative dining (cafeteria style) so that you don't have to sit at a pre-arranged table. However, would the quality of the food be the same. Can someone offer some advice on how to go about this situation. I would like for her to have a good time. I am on a budget and cannot consider an expensive cruise ship.

Thanks in advance,

Lady from New York
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 18th, 2002, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Cruise for Non-English Speaker

New Yorker,

There are cruise lines marketed primarily in Europe and in Asia, aboard which English is not the primary language. It usually takes some extra effort to locate these lines because they are not marketed very extensively in the United States, though they usually do accept bookings from American travel agents. Here are some examples.

>> Costa Crociere, a division of Carnival Corporation, markets several ships primarily in Italy, France, and Spain. On those cruises, the majority of passengers would speak Italian, French, and Spanish.

>> Aida Cruises/Seetours and A'Rosa, both divisions of P&O Princess Cruises Plc., market their cruises primarily in Germany. The language onboard is, of course, German.

>> Festival Cruises, AKA First European Cruises here in the States, markets cruises primarily in Greece. The primary language probalby would be Greek.

>> Star Cruises operates primarily in several Asian markets, so the majority of passengers would speak the respective Asian languages.

This is by no means an attempt to provide an exhaustive list, but I can't make a specific recommendation because you did not say which language(s) your mother does speak. I would recommend that you explore these options, though, as they would serve your mother's needs more effectively than any cruise line marketed primarily in North America.

The best source of information about such cruises probably would be an international cruising guidebook, such as the one published by Berlitz, which you can buy at any major bookstore.

That said, I should note that some cruise lines, including Princess Cruises, do provide dining menus, daily schedules, and other materials in the languages that are primary to a significant number of their passengers. If you are flexible and willing to work with the line, you probably can identify specific itineraries that would have significant contingents from a particular country or that would speak a particular language, and then book on one of those itineraries.

Of course, another option is to arrange a group cruise for a social, civic, or religious group to which your mother belongs. If you do so, they would form a social core who speak your mother's language during the cruise.

Norm.
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Old December 19th, 2002, 11:06 AM
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Default Re: Re: Cruise for Non-English Speaker



Norm,

Thank you very much for the information. I also received an e-mail with suggestion for a request for a table for two in the dining room (for me & mom)... and also the option to dine in Lido (casual).

Thanks again.
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Old December 21st, 2002, 09:45 PM
Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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Default Re: Re: Cruise for Non-English Speaker

Norm, thank you for responding to this. Your postings are always informative, helpful, and appreciated!

Happy Holidays!
Pat Hagan, Singles Editor
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