On one of our three cruises in 2001 my wife and I were dismayed at some of the phyical shortcomings of the ship. The ship vibrated at all times, even in port while standing still, the dining room was severely lacking in sufficent air conditioning, our stateroom , in the top layer of accomodations, had little water pressure, stained carpets and broken tile in the shower. Upon investigation, when we got back home, we learned that the ship was the oldest in this lines fleet. W e have now vowed not to ever take another ship which is older than x years . It turns out, however, that this information is not easily available from all cruiselines. Could or would "Cruisemates" publish a list of ships and their ages or perhaps there is a website with this info that you could direct us to.
Just for the record, we did not and would not let things like this spoil what was other wise a great cruise and this particular line is still our favorite.
Virtually every brochure I have ever seen shows the year the ship was launched and the year it was last refurbished. In addition, you can always go to the ship review section of this and many other web sites and read current reviews. Your TA if knowledgeable about cruising should also be helpful in general information about a ship. What ship was it and is she still sailing? That information might be helpful to others?
Hi G Hunter,
What ship were you on? Yes, Bill is correct, every cruiseline brochure does tell when the ship came into service and where its registered, something you should check into before booking your next cruise.
I understand the problem with older ships. At the same time, we love many of the older ships and mourn their passing out of service. Many of these older ships have/had loyal followings, such as the Norway, the old Rotterdam, and the Royal Princess. The newer ships certainly have balcony cabins, showrooms, and every amenity under the sun, but they don't automatically inherit the charm of their older sisters.
Click on "Ship Reviews" on CruiseMates, to the left of the page in red. All of the mainstream cruise lines are listed there. Click on the cruise line you are interested in, and scroll to bottom for a list of all the ships in the fleet. Click on a particular ship to check the date the ship was launched.
In the fall of 2000 we spent 20 magical days on back-to-back Noordam Mediterranean cruises. Yes, she is old and lacking in the amenities of her newer sisters. Yes, she vibrates in spots - not everywhere. But: the food was excellent and the service above-normal for HAL; we also picked up our 100-day award on that trip.
Ever since, the boards have been harshly critical of this ship - although some continue to report good experiences. But what to do with older ships that are beyond their prime?
My thought is that when we get to that age and condition where the family wants us to go into a long-term care home, we should have an older ship to go live on instead. Just sign those pension and insurance checks over to HAL, leaving just enough spneding money for a drink before dinner and crew tips. The Noordam would do.
Great idea. Sign me up. We sailed on the Niew Amsterdam, the Noordam's sister, a few years ago and enjoyed our cruise. It certainly didn't have good sight lines in the show lounge but it was otherwise a smaller version of her bigger HAL running mates. It still had a Crow's Nest, an Explorers Lounge, an Ocean Bar, a movie theater, etc. We've done two crossings on small older ships and loved each one. They have a certain warmth, probably because you meet so many of the passengers, that I just don't feel on the huge newer ships.
You learn about cruising and ships by experience. Generally you get what you pay for. Now that I written this, there are a number of older ships that probably are superior to some people than the newer ships.
The first line of defense should be your travel agent. A good, experienced TA usually knows about the vessel being booked or has a source of information, such as "Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships."
You are on Cruisemates, why not ask a question about the age, even condition of vessel you plan to use. You may be inundated with information about.
With the older vessels there are two inherent problems, one of which would be very expensive to alter. That is, they do not have the attractiveness or amenities of the new vessels.
The other is they usually do not conform to SOLAS 74- Safety of Life At Seas. Their main impediment usually is the lack of automatic fire sprinkler protection throughout the entire vessel.
The older vessels are usually attractive because the fares tend to be low.
If you look on Expedia's web site for cruising they will give reviews of ships and I found the age of Carnival's ships there. The info doesn't stand right out but I agree with you. We'll never take an older ship again.