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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 11th, 2007, 10:50 AM
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Default CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

My real world life has changed a bit over the last few months and the things I am looking for in a cruise are a bit different. With that said,

I am thinking about trying out a Holland America cruise as my next solo cruise vacation rather than my usual Carnival. I understand that HAL is a solo-friendly cruiseline. I will probably be sticking to the Caribbean simply because I like the Caribbean people, weather and beaches.

For those that have cruised both cruiselines (preferrably solo), what are some of the differences I will see between the two lines.

Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 11th, 2007, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
I am thinking about trying out a Holland America cruise as my next solo cruise vacation rather than my usual Carnival. I understand that HAL is a solo-friendly cruiseline. I will probably be sticking to the Caribbean simply because I like the Caribbean people, weather and beaches.

Thanks.
You haven't lived 'til you step outside the box and explore the world and all your senses. On that note, I don't know how many times you've cruised to the Caribbean, but aren't you tired of going to the same destinations?? :o

Have you visited Bermuda? 'Tis absolutely beautiful![/i]
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Old September 11th, 2007, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

IBC:
See my sig. Give me an idea of what you are looking for and need to know. I haven't done Carnival, but may consider using them in '08. Do know HAL well and the Caribbean is my pond.

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
My real world life has changed a bit over the last few months and the things I am looking for in a cruise are a bit different. With that said,

I am thinking about trying out a Holland America cruise as my next solo cruise vacation rather than my usual Carnival. I understand that HAL is a solo-friendly cruiseline. I will probably be sticking to the Caribbean simply because I like the Caribbean people, weather and beaches.

For those that have cruised both cruiselines (preferrably solo), what are some of the differences I will see between the two lines.

Thanks.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

Quote:
Originally Posted by xCalBear
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
I am thinking about trying out a Holland America cruise as my next solo cruise vacation rather than my usual Carnival. I understand that HAL is a solo-friendly cruiseline. I will probably be sticking to the Caribbean simply because I like the Caribbean people, weather and beaches.

Thanks.
You haven't lived 'til you step outside the box and explore the world and all your senses. On that note, I don't know how many times you've cruised to the Caribbean, but aren't you tired of going to the same destinations?? :o

Have you visited Bermuda? 'Tis absolutely beautiful![/i]
I have never done Bermuda. Could do that port.

I have never had any interest in visiting Europe.

Alaska might be pretty but it is too far and does not generate enough interest for me to go that far for that long.

Maybe South America but the language barrier would wear me out after a day or two as would the need for heighten caution because of the social/economic conditions.

Middle East -- I would love to visit Dubai and some of the other middle eastern vacation spots. After I hit Mega Million or Powerball lotteries, I guess.

I may eventually visit some of these regions but right now, I like the Caribbean Islands. They provide what I am looking for in a cruise vacation.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
IBC:
See my sig. Give me an idea of what you are looking for and need to know. I haven't done Carnival, but may consider using them in '08. Do know HAL well and the Caribbean is my pond.

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
My real world life has changed a bit over the last few months and the things I am looking for in a cruise are a bit different. With that said,

I am thinking about trying out a Holland America cruise as my next solo cruise vacation rather than my usual Carnival. I understand that HAL is a solo-friendly cruiseline. I will probably be sticking to the Caribbean simply because I like the Caribbean people, weather and beaches.

For those that have cruised both cruiselines (preferrably solo), what are some of the differences I will see between the two lines.

Thanks.
I am thinking about the 11 day itinerary out of NYC in Oct 08 on teh Noordam. Or maybe the 7 day on Zuiderdam.

What are your opins about these ships? You seem to have been on all of them.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old September 11th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

IBC:

Yes, have cruised on the entire line excepting the "new" Rotterdam. Have cruised from 1 - 11 days at a time. Normally prefer inside down near the water for stability, but have had staterooms across virtually all categories.

Regarding both ships: they are HAL ships - teak decks, more traditional, no rockwall innovations, etc. You take a cruise on a HAL ship, not a vacation. HAL is a lifestyle, not a party. The ships are predictable and repeaters feel as if they are at home. Think classic Mercedes, elegant but no bling. Conservative choice.

Regarding Carnival: a carnival is a party - lively, noisy, unpredictable. Fun and excitement. Latest and greatest. Flashy. Party hardy. Liberal choice.

The Noordam is very nice, conservative classy. On an 11 day you will have an older crowd, less kiddos, many repeaters. Many retiree couples. Heavily college educated, successful. Some families, generally upscale.

The Zuiderdam also very nice, conservative classy, a tad smaller. Will have more kiddos, younger average age crowd on the 7 day cruise. More couples, below retired age. Heavily college educated, successful.

Hope this helps. The lines are not opposites, more like different car brands, say Honda versus Nissan, Accura versus Ford.

JMHO, but suggest ordering a HAL video to give you the ability to detect the flavor of the line. HAL is a fine wine, Carnival is a Corona beer. Just all in your individual taste and preferences. 8)

Dave
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Old September 11th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
IBC:

Yes, have cruised on the entire line excepting the "new" Rotterdam. Have cruised from 1 - 11 days at a time. Normally prefer inside down near the water for stability, but have had staterooms across virtually all categories.

Regarding both ships: they are HAL ships - teak decks, more traditional, no rockwall innovations, etc. You take a cruise on a HAL ship, not a vacation. HAL is a lifestyle, not a party. The ships are predictable and repeaters feel as if they are at home. Think classic Mercedes, elegant but no bling. Conservative choice.

Regarding Carnival: a carnival is a party - lively, noisy, unpredictable. Fun and excitement. Latest and greatest. Flashy. Party hardy. Liberal choice.

The Noordam is very nice, conservative classy. On an 11 day you will have an older crowd, less kiddos, many repeaters. Many retiree couples. Heavily college educated, sucessful. Some families, generally upscale.

The Zuiderdam also very nice, conservative classy, a tad smaller. Will have more kiddos, younger average age crowd on the 7 day cruise. More couples, below retired age. Heavily college educated, sucessful.

Hope this helps. The lines are not opposites, more like different car brands, say Honda versus Nissan, Accura versus Ford.

JMHO, but suggest ordering a HAL video to give you the ability to detect the flavor of the line. HAL is a fine wine, Carnival is a Corona beer. Just all in your individual taste and preferences. 8)

Dave
Thanks for the excellent info. Great analogies. I understand perfectly. There is one cruise that looks like it is to die for. It is a 16 day journey that hits just about every Caribbean Island there is. I think the ship starts in NYC and ends in Montego Bay Jamaica. It is for October 08 and looks like it is already booked up.

I also had my eye on a 12 days out of NYC.

However, after reading the professional reviews on HAL, I am thinking that perhaps the leap from Carnival to HAL is a bit much on ones system at one time. I may need to take baby steps and try a Princess or Celebrity before I take the leap onto HAL.

I don't know. However that 16 day odessey is heaven to me.
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old September 11th, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: CARNIVAL VS. HOLLAND AMERICA

Princess and Celebrity are both in the "wine" catagory. These two plus HAL are in the same general tier. HAL and Cunard as a pair standout as the most everything ship shape - the pair are more traditional, more oceanliner than floating hotel, of all the cruise lines. Prior to Carnival, HAL with 3 ships was more like a private club of sorts or a Cheers Bar.

You would not do wrong quality-wise with any of the 3 lines and each has a flavor - Princess and Celebrity are white wines, HAL an aged Cabernet. As a veteran cruiser, you know how to have a fun time. Would say Cunard/P&O would be more of a shock than HAL.

Have fun whatever you decide and wherever you go. Any day not at sea is a day pretty much wasted. 8)

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
IBC:

Yes, have cruised on the entire line excepting the "new" Rotterdam. Have cruised from 1 - 11 days at a time. Normally prefer inside down near the water for stability, but have had staterooms across virtually all categories.

Regarding both ships: they are HAL ships - teak decks, more traditional, no rockwall innovations, etc. You take a cruise on a HAL ship, not a vacation. HAL is a lifestyle, not a party. The ships are predictable and repeaters feel as if they are at home. Think classic Mercedes, elegant but no bling. Conservative choice.

Regarding Carnival: a carnival is a party - lively, noisy, unpredictable. Fun and excitement. Latest and greatest. Flashy. Party hardy. Liberal choice.

The Noordam is very nice, conservative classy. On an 11 day you will have an older crowd, less kiddos, many repeaters. Many retiree couples. Heavily college educated, sucessful. Some families, generally upscale.

The Zuiderdam also very nice, conservative classy, a tad smaller. Will have more kiddos, younger average age crowd on the 7 day cruise. More couples, below retired age. Heavily college educated, sucessful.

Hope this helps. The lines are not opposites, more like different car brands, say Honda versus Nissan, Accura versus Ford.

JMHO, but suggest ordering a HAL video to give you the ability to detect the flavor of the line. HAL is a fine wine, Carnival is a Corona beer. Just all in your individual taste and preferences. 8)

Dave
Thanks for the excellent info. Great analogies. I understand perfectly. There is one cruise that looks like it is to die for. It is a 16 day journey that hits just about every Caribbean Island there is. I think the ship starts in NYC and ends in Montego Bay Jamaica. It is for October 08 and looks like it is already booked up.

I also had my eye on a 12 days out of NYC.

However, after reading the professional reviews on HAL, I am thinking that perhaps the leap from Carnival to HAL is a bit much on ones system at one time. I may need to take baby steps and try a Princess or Celebrity before I take the leap onto HAL.

I don't know. However that 16 day odessey is heaven to me.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old September 12th, 2007, 07:54 PM
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I always think of Carnival as the party-hearty crowd, while HAL seems more reserved. By the way, I have never heard anything bad about HAL for singles.

I have received a lot of e-mails lately from singles more interested in itineraries and intellectual onboard activities than the usually wild organized singles cruises. Also, there is a lot of interest in organized singles cruises for the "more mature." Check the newly updated singles cruise calendar in Cruisemates single section, and you will see more age-related sailings.

Pat Hagan
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Old September 12th, 2007, 09:14 PM
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Yes, HAL is good for singles, some of which I recall use HAL ships like condos (although you do have to embark/disembark a bit). Recall one retired doctor who was doing back to back to back cruises one after another. There are actually some special programs that cater for these single livaboards.

The enrichment programs are a cool way to spend some time. Have earned Continuing Professional Education (CPE) on ships and was also a guest lecturer myself in the late '80's. Have talked with my dive folk about the possibility of doing Scuba Rangers on a ship - "daycare" for 8-12 year olds who want to experience SCUBA and snorkeling. Can also do Project AWARE, First Aid, CPR, and AED, 14 water related merit badges, BSA Snorkel, BSA Scuba and soon SeaSign. Would be a kick, although requiring a pair of pros to do it properly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Hagan Singles Editor
I always think of Carnival as the party-hearty crowd, while HAL seems more reserved. By the way, I have never heard anything bad about HAL for singles.

I have received a lot of e-mails lately from singles more interested in itineraries and intellectual onboard activities than the usually wild organized singles cruises. Also, there is a lot of interest in organized singles cruises for the "more mature." Check the newly updated singles cruise calendar in Cruisemates single section, and you will see more age-related sailings.

Pat Hagan
Cruisemates Singles Editor
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Old September 15th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
Yes, HAL is good for singles, some of which I recall use HAL ships like condos (although you do have to embark/disembark a bit). Recall one retired doctor who was doing back to back to back cruises one after another. There are actually some special programs that cater for these single livaboards.

The enrichment programs are a cool way to spend some time. Have earned Continuing Professional Education (CPE) on ships and was also a guest lecturer myself in the late '80's. Have talked with my dive folk about the possibility of doing Scuba Rangers on a ship - "daycare" for 8-12 year olds who want to experience SCUBA and snorkeling. Can also do Project AWARE, First Aid, CPR, and AED, 14 water related merit badges, BSA Snorkel, BSA Scuba and soon SeaSign. Would be a kick, although requiring a pair of pros to do it properly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Hagan Singles Editor
I always think of Carnival as the party-hearty crowd, while HAL seems more reserved. By the way, I have never heard anything bad about HAL for singles.

I have received a lot of e-mails lately from singles more interested in itineraries and intellectual onboard activities than the usually wild organized singles cruises. Also, there is a lot of interest in organized singles cruises for the "more mature." Check the newly updated singles cruise calendar in Cruisemates single section, and you will see more age-related sailings.

Pat Hagan
Cruisemates Singles Editor
Thanks for the good info. Based on what you guys have written and what I have read from the professional reviews, I think I am not yet ready for HAL. I may opt for a Royal Caribbean in 2008. The thing that has always kept me on Carnival is my experiences are both Royal Caribbean in 2003 and on Norwegian America in 2005. Both ships were completely void of solo passengers and I could have counted the single people onboard. In 2003 I was with my then-husband on RCCL so it did not affect me but I would have to guess that over 98% of the ship were couples or small families. There was one woman alone with her two kids, one young man of 21 onboard with his mom and one group of single 30ish women (5-6). Otherwise, everywhere I looked there were just couples and families. The ship was asleep every night by midnight.

On Norwegian America I was probably the only solo cruiser on board. It is a line that attracts more senior cruisers than anything (as does Hawaii). I had a good time but I probably will not do a repeat cruise.

HAL sounds like it may be just a bit sedate for my taste. There will be singles/solos onboard but those of a more calm demeanor.

If anyone knows of a Princess, RCCL, Century itinerary that attracts a good blend, I would love to hear about it. So far the only line that is pretty consistently well-blended is Carnival.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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You're going to find the same type of passenger on Princess and Celebrity as you will on HAL. I usually sail Carnival and HAL. I shop at Target and Nordstrom. Same difference. I have different expectations when I board each ship. I don't expect Carnival to be HAL and I don't expect HAL to be Carnival.

You're never "ready" for HAL or any other line. You either like or you don't. Personally, I can't hack RCI's punative single supplements.

Shelby
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Old September 15th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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I agree that RCCL or Princess would be a good middle choice between Carnival and HAL. I really like both of them with each having it's plus's and minus's.

Best of luck
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Old September 15th, 2007, 05:43 PM
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More sedate, but main advantage is more predictable. Since I have cruised with kiddo since he was 1, I'm just not into finding cruisers diving into nets, drunk in the hall, diving of the side, fighting, killing each other or etc., nor am I into crew who cannot be relied on in an emergency. Guess it is an auditor thing? You will find I'm also the type of cruiser who will check out ports before taking kiddo. Must be doing something right as every cruise he comes back with the same number of fingers and toes despite running around on subs, ferrys, trains, boats and pyramids; deep diving with whales, sharks, rays, dolphins and manatees; and etc.

I'm trying to see if I can get a younger band of adventurers on HAL or Royal for a quality cruise to Europe. Not the drink til you drop folks, but folks like divers, trekkers, climbers, pilots, etc.

As to past cruises IBC, many solos I have met "ghost" the cruises - you never see them until the last day. Met one, for example, who holed up in her cabin to finish a book. Suspect there may have been more solos aboard on your cruises than you thought. Sometimes you can scan the ship's photographer dinner photos to find solos, but like as not they pass on the shoots. Years ago you could pick them off the published passenger lists, but now we value anonymity.

Guess I'm a sedate cruiser and calm cruiser - not a bad thing to be when you are a diver - bold divers tend to have short careers (recall the Aussie and the ray?). 8)

[quote="IBCRUZIN'HAL sounds like it may be just a bit sedate for my taste. There will be singles/solos onboard but those of a more calm demeanor. [/quote]
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Old September 15th, 2007, 07:49 PM
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[quote=Divemaster]More sedate, but main advantage is more predictable. Since I have cruised with kiddo since he was 1, I'm just not into finding cruisers diving into nets, drunk in the hall, diving of the side, fighting, killing each other or etc., nor am I into crew who cannot be relied on in an emergency. Guess it is an auditor thing? You will find I'm also the type of cruiser who will check out ports before taking kiddo. Must be doing something right as every cruise he comes back with the same number of fingers and toes despite running around on subs, ferrys, trains, boats and pyramids; deep diving with whales, sharks, rays, dolphins and manatees; and etc.

I'm trying to see if I can get a younger band of adventurers on HAL or Royal for a quality cruise to Europe. Not the drink til you drop folks, but folks like divers, trekkers, climbers, pilots, etc.

As to past cruises IBC, many solos I have met "ghost" the cruises - you never see them until the last day. Met one, for example, who holed up in her cabin to finish a book. Suspect there may have been more solos aboard on your cruises than you thought. Sometimes you can scan the ship's photographer dinner photos to find solos, but like as not they pass on the shoots. Years ago you could pick them off the published passenger lists, but now we value anonymity.

Guess I'm a sedate cruiser and calm cruiser - not a bad thing to be when you are a diver - bold divers tend to have short careers (recall the Aussie and the ray?). 8)

Yeah, you are right but solo/singles who are invisible are not what I am looking for. I only make references to the cruisers I saw out and about. I cruise solo. Not to be alone for an entire vacation but to keep my options open. Therefore, anyone who is purposely being a ghost is a ghost to me also. Oh well. I am looking to broaden my horizon because some of the other cruiselines have interesting itineraries but, like NCL America, I don't want to be the odd man out for 7 days.

Perhaps when I am ready for my South American cruise I will go HAL or Princess. It is during this cruise that I will be less about the activities on the ship and more about the port stops that we make.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old September 15th, 2007, 08:30 PM
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IBC:

Most large SA cities are places for caution, especially if going solo. Really do not advise going solo in the cities. Ditch any flashy jewelery. Otherwise, lots of cool history and culture. 8)

Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
Perhaps when I am ready for my South American cruise I will go HAL or Princess. It is during this cruise that I will be less about the activities on the ship and more about the port stops that we make.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
IBC:

Most large SA cities are places for caution, especially if going solo. Really do not advise going solo in the cities. Ditch any flashy jewelery. Otherwise, lots of cool history and culture. 8)

Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by IBCRUZIN'
Perhaps when I am ready for my South American cruise I will go HAL or Princess. It is during this cruise that I will be less about the activities on the ship and more about the port stops that we make.
SA cities are generally too third world and economically depressed to wander around alone. That would be suicidal. For SA, I would most definitely do ship excursions.

I may get on the ship solo but I am rarely alone much after that. The most I may do is wander around the shopping districts near the ship terminal solo usually by choice.

I live in NYC and am very aware of personal safety whether in a group or alone. Flashy jewelry is never a good idea when out in public, the trick is to blend as much as possible and don't look lost, like a tourist or victim .

This is one reason why I am like the Caribbean. It offers me the warm weather I like, the beaches I love with none of the language barrier issues that would exist in other regions. Also the Caribbean islands are generally less financially depressed. Therefore, crimes of desparation are less likely. My family is originally from Barbados. Therefore, I blend in well with the locals on most of the islands. I don't look like an easy mark. To be honest, there are people on the ship that I could probably rob or mug if I was of that caliber (without a weapon). So when looking for a victim among the passengers leaving a ship, criminals would pass over me and lay their sights on some of the more "green" passengers.

I am in the demographic that is less likely to be hassled. If domestic violence doesn't get us, we are generally good to go. I am very unlikely to be stopped or bothered by the police for any reason. I never fit the description. Thugs in the street (across racial lines) will see me and a lot of them see their moms in me. I can watch them straighten up their backs just a bit and tighten up their language if they catch me eyeballing them. Sometimes when I am on the subway and there is a group of young folks being a bit noisy or vulgar, I will give them the "look" and usually they will straighten it up, sometimes even apologizing to me. Hahahahaha!!!!!

None of the above applies to cities like Belize, Rio, or Tiajuana, which is why I have not yet vacationed there.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old September 16th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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IBC:

You have the right savy. I have also cruised with folks who would be easy marks and once rode shotgun with a pair that decided to do Cartagena on their own. Have never been to Barbados yet, but have met several from there and all were good folk. Barbados also has some pretty active Sea Scouts my scout kiddo wouldn't mind visiting with. 8)

Have fun cruising.

Dave
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Yeah, you are right but solo/singles who are invisible are not what I am looking for. I only make references to the cruisers I saw out and about. I cruise solo. Not to be alone for an entire vacation but to keep my options open. Therefore, anyone who is purposely being a ghost is a ghost to me also. Oh well. I am looking to broaden my horizon because some of the other cruiselines have interesting itineraries but, like NCL America, I don't want to be the odd man out for 7 days.

Perhaps when I am ready for my South American cruise I will go HAL or Princess. It is during this cruise that I will be less about the activities on the ship and more about the port stops that we make.[/quote]

Be careful in SA. I was just in Brazil for a week and had no problems because I was with locals and only spent 2 days in Sao Paulo. It was for work, so touring time was limited - went to a shopping mall in SP and had no problem. Went to a smaller city (about 100,000) and had no problems at dinner, but once again we were with a bunch of local folks.

That being said, some colleagues were in Rio last week where one of our sites was being investigated by the FDA. The FDA inspector and another person were walking to the hotel after dinner and got mugged at knifepoint - as in held up to the throat. Just have to be careful - in SP they're not that organized and are tending to kidnap any person who looks like they have a few bucks. in Rio, they target the truly rich folks, since kidnapping is punishable by death.

Some things I've been reading about HAL and solo cuisers - they will match you with other singles at dinner if you request, they have lots of activities that don't require a partner, and I believe they host a singles get together on the first night because they do offer the Single Share program. I'm looking at this because my weekends at the Jersey shore are more like a Carnival cruise exeprience - well, as far as there being water nearby and lots of drinking and carrying on. lol
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:22 AM
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MM: Thanks for posting the heads up on Brazil.

HAL does have a get together at the beginning of the cruise. While I usually sit with other veteran Mariners at dinner (to swap our "war" stories ), singles can get together at a table as we did on the Statendam a few cruises back. Let me know if you need any further info on HAL.

Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by msmarvel
Yeah, you are right but solo/singles who are invisible are not what I am looking for. I only make references to the cruisers I saw out and about. I cruise solo. Not to be alone for an entire vacation but to keep my options open. Therefore, anyone who is purposely being a ghost is a ghost to me also. Oh well. I am looking to broaden my horizon because some of the other cruiselines have interesting itineraries but, like NCL America, I don't want to be the odd man out for 7 days.

Perhaps when I am ready for my South American cruise I will go HAL or Princess. It is during this cruise that I will be less about the activities on the ship and more about the port stops that we make.
Be careful in SA. I was just in Brazil for a week and had no problems because I was with locals and only spent 2 days in Sao Paulo. It was for work, so touring time was limited - went to a shopping mall in SP and had no problem. Went to a smaller city (about 100,000) and had no problems at dinner, but once again we were with a bunch of local folks.

That being said, some colleagues were in Rio last week where one of our sites was being investigated by the FDA. The FDA inspector and another person were walking to the hotel after dinner and got mugged at knifepoint - as in held up to the throat. Just have to be careful - in SP they're not that organized and are tending to kidnap any person who looks like they have a few bucks. in Rio, they target the truly rich folks, since kidnapping is punishable by death.

Some things I've been reading about HAL and solo cuisers - they will match you with other singles at dinner if you request, they have lots of activities that don't require a partner, and I believe they host a singles get together on the first night because they do offer the Single Share program. I'm looking at this because my weekends at the Jersey shore are more like a Carnival cruise exeprience - well, as far as there being water nearby and lots of drinking and carrying on. lol[/quote]
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Thanks DM,

I may have just found another solo woman who has a certificate for HAL
Zuidedam caribbean cruise in November. I pretty much had my mind made up to take HAL, just hadn't committed. First time cruising, but kind
of beyond the whole party boat scene (flashing back to weekends at the Ocean Drive bar in Sea Isle city - bunch of drunk, sweaty 20 somethings crammed into a bar. ha ha) but I'm sure there are some folks who will hang out after dinner for a few drinks or whatever.

May ask you advice on excursions - don't dive even though I swore I'd get certified this winter - but I do snorkel and have my own gear. Would it be worth bringing it along?

Have a great day!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
MM: Thanks for posting the heads up on Brazil.

HAL does have a get together at the beginning of the cruise. While I usually sit with other veteran Mariners at dinner (to swap our "war" stories ), singles can get together at a table as we did on the Statendam a few cruises back. Let me know if you need any further info on HAL.

Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by msmarvel
Yeah, you are right but solo/singles who are invisible are not what I am looking for. I only make references to the cruisers I saw out and about. I cruise solo. Not to be alone for an entire vacation but to keep my options open. Therefore, anyone who is purposely being a ghost is a ghost to me also. Oh well. I am looking to broaden my horizon because some of the other cruiselines have interesting itineraries but, like NCL America, I don't want to be the odd man out for 7 days.

Perhaps when I am ready for my South American cruise I will go HAL or Princess. It is during this cruise that I will be less about the activities on the ship and more about the port stops that we make.
Be careful in SA. I was just in Brazil for a week and had no problems because I was with locals and only spent 2 days in Sao Paulo. It was for work, so touring time was limited - went to a shopping mall in SP and had no problem. Went to a smaller city (about 100,000) and had no problems at dinner, but once again we were with a bunch of local folks.

That being said, some colleagues were in Rio last week where one of our sites was being investigated by the FDA. The FDA inspector and another person were walking to the hotel after dinner and got mugged at knifepoint - as in held up to the throat. Just have to be careful - in SP they're not that organized and are tending to kidnap any person who looks like they have a few bucks. in Rio, they target the truly rich folks, since kidnapping is punishable by death.

Some things I've been reading about HAL and solo cuisers - they will match you with other singles at dinner if you request, they have lots of activities that don't require a partner, and I believe they host a singles get together on the first night because they do offer the Single Share program. I'm looking at this because my weekends at the Jersey shore are more like a Carnival cruise exeprience - well, as far as there being water nearby and lots of drinking and carrying on. lol
[/quote]
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Hi MM:

Yes, bring your gear. Mask, snorkel and vest at least. Fins, if room. When are you considering going? I may drag my son on the Zuiderdam over Turkey Day to dive Grand Turk as I checked the logistics for him last December when I was there on the Prinsendam. We may drive from SA to FLL as I need to check travel logistics for a possible possible scouting Florida SeaBase trip.

Scoot if you want to certify. You could do worse than dive with a Lifeguard/Divemaster/Divecon/CPR Instructor with actual rescue experience or a kiddo whose diving experience far exceeds most adult divers.

BTW, you will want to snorkel the reefballs at Halfmoon Cay and the area in front of Margaritaville at Grand Turk, among other places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmarvel
Thanks DM,

I may have just found another solo woman who has a certificate for HAL
Zuidedam caribbean cruise in November. I pretty much had my mind made up to take HAL, just hadn't committed. First time cruising, but kind
of beyond the whole party boat scene (flashing back to weekends at the Ocean Drive bar in Sea Isle city - bunch of drunk, sweaty 20 somethings crammed into a bar. ha ha) but I'm sure there are some folks who will hang out after dinner for a few drinks or whatever.

May ask you advice on excursions - don't dive even though I swore I'd get certified this winter - but I do snorkel and have my own gear. Would it be worth bringing it along?

Have a great day!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
MM: Thanks for posting the heads up on Brazil.

HAL does have a get together at the beginning of the cruise. While I usually sit with other veteran Mariners at dinner (to swap our "war" stories ), singles can get together at a table as we did on the Statendam a few cruises back. Let me know if you need any further info on HAL.

Dave


Quote:
Originally Posted by msmarvel
Yeah, you are right but solo/singles who are invisible are not what I am looking for. I only make references to the cruisers I saw out and about. I cruise solo. Not to be alone for an entire vacation but to keep my options open. Therefore, anyone who is purposely being a ghost is a ghost to me also. Oh well. I am looking to broaden my horizon because some of the other cruiselines have interesting itineraries but, like NCL America, I don't want to be the odd man out for 7 days.

Perhaps when I am ready for my South American cruise I will go HAL or Princess. It is during this cruise that I will be less about the activities on the ship and more about the port stops that we make.
Be careful in SA. I was just in Brazil for a week and had no problems because I was with locals and only spent 2 days in Sao Paulo. It was for work, so touring time was limited - went to a shopping mall in SP and had no problem. Went to a smaller city (about 100,000) and had no problems at dinner, but once again we were with a bunch of local folks.

That being said, some colleagues were in Rio last week where one of our sites was being investigated by the FDA. The FDA inspector and another person were walking to the hotel after dinner and got mugged at knifepoint - as in held up to the throat. Just have to be careful - in SP they're not that organized and are tending to kidnap any person who looks like they have a few bucks. in Rio, they target the truly rich folks, since kidnapping is punishable by death.

Some things I've been reading about HAL and solo cuisers - they will match you with other singles at dinner if you request, they have lots of activities that don't require a partner, and I believe they host a singles get together on the first night because they do offer the Single Share program. I'm looking at this because my weekends at the Jersey shore are more like a Carnival cruise exeprience - well, as far as there being water nearby and lots of drinking and carrying on. lol
[/quote]
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2007, 09:05 PM
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Yeah, I'm not too keen on using someone else's snorkel. lol The trips leave on the 3rd or 10th of November. For some reason, the flights are $100 cheaper for the later cruise.

Thanks for the advice - I'm sure I'd like to snorkel everywhere, but I want to do some other stuff at port too.

[quote="Divemaster"]Hi MM:

Yes, bring your gear. Mask, snorkel and vest at least. Fins, if room. When are you considering going? I may drag my son on the Zuiderdam over Turkey Day to dive Grand Turk as I checked the logistics for him last December when I was there on the Prinsendam. We may drive from SA to FLL as I need to check travel logistics for a possible possible scouting Florida SeaBase trip.

Scoot if you want to certify. You could do worse than dive with a Lifeguard/Divemaster/Divecon/CPR Instructor with actual rescue experience or a kiddo whose diving experience far exceeds most adult divers.

BTW, you will want to snorkel the reefballs at Halfmoon Cay and the area in front of Margaritaville at Grand Turk, among other places.

[quote="msmarvel"]
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:49 AM
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MM:

The Baths at Virgin Gorda are cool as is the Atlantis sub and Coral World on St. Thomas. That said, there is some nice snorkeling across from Saint Thomas on Saint John. Have fun! And, if you ever have time while in Florida, try to snorkel with the manatees over at Crystal River at Three Sisters Spring. 8)

[quote="msmarvel"]Yeah, I'm not too keen on using someone else's snorkel. lol The trips leave on the 3rd or 10th of November. For some reason, the flights are $100 cheaper for the later cruise.

Thanks for the advice - I'm sure I'd like to snorkel everywhere, but I want to do some other stuff at port too.

[quote="Divemaster"]Hi MM:

Yes, bring your gear. Mask, snorkel and vest at least. Fins, if room. When are you considering going? I may drag my son on the Zuiderdam over Turkey Day to dive Grand Turk as I checked the logistics for him last December when I was there on the Prinsendam. We may drive from SA to FLL as I need to check travel logistics for a possible possible scouting Florida SeaBase trip.

Scoot if you want to certify. You could do worse than dive with a Lifeguard/Divemaster/Divecon/CPR Instructor with actual rescue experience or a kiddo whose diving experience far exceeds most adult divers.

BTW, you will want to snorkel the reefballs at Halfmoon Cay and the area in front of Margaritaville at Grand Turk, among other places.

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Old September 22nd, 2007, 02:59 PM
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I really enjoyed my HAL Oosterdam experience however many of the denizens were in fact 70+ years old. It caters to the more sedate passenger whereas Carnival is much more geared to the party atmosphere.

I'm comfortable in either and enjoyed both the Carnival cruise experience as well as HAL.
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