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Travel Gripes! Gripe about cruises or getting to one.(airlines, taxis)

View Poll Results: What decides it for you, when buying a cruise?
I want on that Ship 7 14.89%
I want on that Line 12 25.53%
The ports visited 24 51.06%
Cost per person 17 36.17%
Distance travelled to meet the Ship 9 19.15%
Personal Budget for the experince 12 25.53%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 24th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Default So what makes up your mind

What makes up your mind when deciding to cruise
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Old November 24th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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I set this up and responded as the bottom four are my priorities when I decide how I am going to spend my money. Interested to see how others see it.

You can have multiple choice
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Old November 24th, 2009, 11:25 PM
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I ain't gotta lie it's the money honey. What is the price per person? Do I have to fly? Where is the ship going to? Which ship is it? In that order. Some website with a gnome allows you to search for cruises under $500. I like to start there and work out. I run all the possible cruises through an excel spreadsheet I designed. The spreadsheet accounts for all costs of cruises. Tips, pet sitting, transportation to port (air fare, shuttle, gas, parking), and hotel. Once I have the true cost of six different cruises the formula tell me the true per night figures. My hubby thinks I'm metal. But when we need to decide I have already run the numbers and done the research. So it's easy for him. Hey, I have to use the finance degree for something.
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Old November 25th, 2009, 10:24 AM
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It is the cruise line & the ports for me
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Old November 25th, 2009, 02:19 PM
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"My hubby thinks I'm metal." Really, respect to him. I am also married to an accountant so I share his pain. I want to buy something like a "boys toy", then its show me the business case first... I might wear the trousers but the cheque account lives elsewhere,,,grin,. But gotta agree the money available against choice determines the rest
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:08 PM
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Everything - mostly the pesos, man!
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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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I'd rather it be 1) the port and 2) the line. And it will be some day. But for now, it's the length of the cruise and how quickly we can get to the embarkation port because we have NO TIME !!!

Come on retirement!
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Old March 12th, 2010, 04:31 PM
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For us its:

1. The Cruise line
2. Length of cruise
2. The cost
3. The Ports

And last but not least: 4. Do we have to fly.

Besides hating to fly, flying has become such a hassle. But now with most cruise ships leaving the west coast and sailing out of the east to Europe, etc....I guess I'm just going to have to 'buck' up and deal with it!
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Old March 16th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Really interesting, and hey your all buds on a web board and I admit personally I don’t know you as folks and your financial circumstances. But with the few votes we have so far the ports visited and the cost per person are so far in the lead. That is really interesting, and why?

Well the world is a small place and the major ports will never change for the Carib and Europe etc. But the ships will on nearly a daily basis change, but the ports remain the same and the ships will keep getting bigger, so how is that going to work in some traditional places or ports?

Something has to change here; we are getting to the point of pouring a pint into a quart pot in some traditional stops, actually in reality from a traditional cruisers point of view we hit that at least 10 years ago.

My thought, the lines have to expand their thoughts and passenger expectation to the places visted and not just "bigger and better ships" and not just dump all of us year after year into the same old places that just happen to have a port that meets their "criteria". And if that means they have to invest in making other places accessible to their ships, so be it. Dig the channels, build the docking,,its a win for the local economy and a win for them

As an example, Amusement Parks spend millions every year on new attractions or rides to bring people in the next year, the cruise industry may do the same on new ship spend,,,,,,but its the same old ride they take you to in the end.


New ships are nice, but let’s have investment in new places to experience. Just my opinion as being on ship is not all I am looking for in the experience, but the lines seem now to think it is.

They give you a new ship, but they visit the same old places,,it does not work for me. That’s not why I started cruising, simple

Last edited by DayvidB; March 16th, 2010 at 04:59 PM.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:07 AM
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Person budget for the experience, i love how you worded this David! That is exactly how I book. I want the most bang for the buck, however, i want comfort, I.E. a balcony stateroom, Ports I've never visited, and a decent price!
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Old March 17th, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Hear is what I see with the ships getting bigger in a bad economy. Supply with outweigh demand and the prices will go down in order to fill the ship and increase demand. I have seen this in the Mexican Rivera cruise. Mariner of the seas and Carnival Splendor are the biggest ship ever to cruise the route. All of the sudden supply increased quite a bit. Demand decreased or stayed the same my cruise price went way down from the past cruises.

I agree with Dayvid a great way to increase demand is to offer more ports. For the Mexican Riveria there are a lot of Sea of Cortez ports the cruiselines could add instead of just doing Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, and Mazatlan.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 09:19 AM
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For us we look at the price, destination compared to other trips we might take. We normally plan out 2-3 vacations and then go through each one. Normally its the price that wins out.

Example, this year we wanted to go back to Japan for a week, total cost about 4K for the week, we then looked at our next cruise to the Mexican Riviera and decided that for the price of the cruise, we could do that, get some work done to the house and have a little money left over vs. spending it all on just a trip. So that cruise wins out.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Katlady do you know why only HAL does the Sea of Cortez? (I mean between the three, HAL RCCL and Celebrity)

HAL is a little pricey right now for our budget so we haven't done that itinerary yet, but IF next year 'all our ducks STAY in a row' we will.

This year we'll be cruising RCCL again. Why? Because the Price Is Right.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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We thoroughly enjoy trans-atlantic cruises in the fall and our first priority after that is the cruise line and the ports..Flights and hotel make a dent in our so called budget, not to mention we have to deal with pet sitting. One of the things we do love about the trans-atlantics are the days at sea.. A year ago we went on a cruise line because of it's itinerary.. which was great, the Amazon, but were not happy with the cruise line.. Then I switched from our favorite (Celebrity) to NCL because of the ports..which included Rome..it certainly was a less expensive cruise,but the ports were wonderful.We are back in October again with our favorite line because it includes Rome, Greece, Alexandria and Israel. I guess for us it's our favorite line and which ship does the best itinerary...
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Old March 18th, 2010, 06:30 PM
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Lets be honest, for all the names that they sail under the majority of the lines today are owned by Carnival.

If they were on land, its like they will build new hotels but then stick them in the same old piece of reality they own time after time.

The more crowded or unappealing that piece of estate gets to due to "people volumes" does not seem to concern them, as they have it in their head that the port is secondary and the ship is first.

As they cram more and more ships into small places with now 8 or 10 ships of their various "lines" docking at the same time, and knowing that this docking plan will increase that ports population per day by 1000% when in port, they are killing some places for experience.

They ignore the potential experience of the passenger going on shore to that place as it is secondary to them, it's only what happens on ship that counts to them, the ports just happen to be there for one reason or another in their heads.

For example in the late seventies there were some Carib ports and they are still the same size today that you would have been lucky to be docked on or off shore with one or maybe two other ships. Back then and between them they may have unloaded 1,200 - 1,600 passengers that day, it was an enjoyable experience that port.

Nearly forty years later, the same small place can now have up to 6 or 8 ships dumping at least 2,000 passengers each that day, do the maths and think why I question the on shore experience and the need for more ports of call.

Is it just me, how many ships have you seen sitting on or off shore dumping folks into places that were not built to take that influx of folks at any given time?

Give us more ports, and spread your lines / ships to suit
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Old March 18th, 2010, 06:49 PM
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Until last year we have been fortunate NOT to be at any ports where the mega ships are docked.. or more than two. Then we stopped in Nassau last April and Antigua...and it was wall to wall tourists with cameras and beach towels.. and the locals telling you that "their" store had the finest and best prices.. Okay, call me a snob, but I hated it..hated it, hated it.. In Bermuda cruise ships are limited to the number of guests and crew they can bring in...it;s certainly not perfect and they have added a new docking area, but oh Nassau turned my stomach.. there must of been more than five ships in port.. Sometimes I wonder why people cruise when I hear them asking the "shopping experts" on the ship who has the best prices for watches or cameras or black diamonds or whatever. One of things I do appreciate cruising t/a is fewer ships in port, one of these days we will cruise South America...we have already done land trips there in our younger days.. I can guarantee that there is one port on my next trip.. a country and port I've been to before as a visitor for the week.. that I just may stay on board rather than fight the mobs going bar hopping .. I'm proud to be a tourist and a cruiser.. Sorry for the rant, but tripping over thousands of day cruisers is not my idea of fun
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Old March 18th, 2010, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
Katlady do you know why only HAL does the Sea of Cortez? (I mean between the three, HAL RCCL and Celebrity)

HAL is a little pricey right now for our budget so we haven't done that itinerary yet, but IF next year 'all our ducks STAY in a row' we will.

This year we'll be cruising RCCL again. Why? Because the Price Is Right.
Could be the size of he ships. Sea of Cortez stops are not really made for large ships to dock at. We did a 6 day on Carnival that included Cabo San Lucas and La Paz so two Sea of Cortez stops. La Paz was really nice small. Looking at it Carnival does still do this cruise only it's a seven day on Carnival Spirit. April 4, 2010 quick bag your bags. Here are the ports:
Round trip from San Diego, California;
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico;
Mazatlan, Mexico;
Pichilingue (La Paz), Mexico;

HAL has much better choices for the area. They offer 11 day, 14 day, and 10 day cruises in the Sea of Cortez.

This 10 day from HAL looks good we have never cruised this cruise how are they? The Zaandam does this cruise in 2011 on Jan 2 ; Feb 6 ; Apr 10. This is a round trip from San Diego, California (I had a very easy embarkation in San Diego):
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico;
Loreto, Mexico;
Guayamas, Mexico;
Topolobampo, Mexico;
Mazatlan, Mexico;
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
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Old March 18th, 2010, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
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Lets be honest, for all the names that they sail under the majority of the lines today are owned by Carnival.

If they were on land, its like they will build new hotels but then stick them in the same old piece of reality they own time after time.
Okay here we disgree. If you are cruising out of California Carnival offers more choices then their main competition RCL does not offer. Also Carnival has quite a few lines, but not the majority. Carnival owns: Costa, Carnival, Princess, P&O, Ocean Village, Adia, Yachts of Seabourn, HAL, Cunard, and Ibero.

That may seem like Carnival has a lot of cruise lines. However, RCL owns Celebrity, Caribbean International, Pullmantur Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, and CDF Croisieres de France. Disney is owned by well Disney, NCL is privately owned. Then for course there is Crystal cruise lines and Regent seven days. Oh I almost forgot oceania cruiselines. This is just off the top of my head.

NCL has the advantage in Hawaii, because they are the only cruise line that can offer seven day cruises on the Hawaiian Islands. NCL has the Pride of America it is an all American ran ship so it doesn't have to hit an international port. No other cruise lines (including Carnival) has an all American ship. Since Hawaii is near nothing international ship have to sail to Mexico or Canada to hit an international port. So I would say NCL has a monopoly on seven day cruise to Hawaii.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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[QUOTE=katlady;1280895]
This 10 day from HAL looks good we have never cruised this cruise how are they?


We like HAL...they offer a quieter type of cruise...at least on the Oosterdam. Really beautiful beautiful ship. Absolutely spotlessly clean everywhere! Service was perfection.

But there can be a downside...after 10:00pm it's dead (I mean there's was no nightlife) It was very quiet. Now this works for my husband and I...but my, son on my recommendation cruise on HAL's the Amsterdam in the Caribbean and hated it. BUT I say it couldn't have been that bad 'cause he's booked HAL again for a cruise in the Mediterranean. HA!

The food is good...not great. You know compared to Celebrity who has wonderful food. So overall the food is not quiet up Celebrity level...but it's still good and there is a nice variety.

The cabins on HAL are bigger than Celebrity. That's a plus because HAL does longer type cruises.

Thanks for the information on Sea of Cortez. We haven't tried Carnival yet. But we've heard they vastly improved over the years, and we do want to cruise the Sea of Cortez!
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Old March 19th, 2010, 09:12 PM
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I need the night life. That was my problem with my Celebrity cruise to Alaska to quiet at night. Maybe we had a bad week, because Celebrity Infinity dining room was some of the worst food I have had on a cruise. Probably HAL isn't the cruise line for me and the hubby. I'm not a relaxer on a cruise I'm more go and do something type. Trivia, line dancing, mid night comedy show we normally go to bed around 2-3AM. I wish Carnival or Royal would do a true Sea of Cortez cruise like what HAL does. So this goes back to Dayvid's original question HAL has the ports I want, but Carnival has the activities and night life I want. So what wins out?
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Old March 20th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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I need the night life. That was my problem with my Celebrity cruise to Alaska to quiet at night. Maybe we had a bad week, because Celebrity Infinity dining room was some of the worst food I have had on a cruise.
You know my son loves Carnival...but not for what I would think (nightlife) but he says the food is really good. Surprise! But he does like the dancing and 24 hour type stuff going on too.

When we cruise to Alaska on the Infinity...we never ate in the dining room...not once. On the first night it was so confused, the dining tables were just packed in so tight you could hardly pass from the dining entrance to the middle of the room. We just walked out and never came back. Sooo don't know how the food was in there. We did the buffet and the alternative restaurants and found them surprisingly good.

If you think Celebrity's night life was bad...then HAL is NOT for you...hahaha The Oosterdam was really really really quite...I mean even WE noticed how quite it was. Now it might have been just the passenger censes that was sailing (older more sedate)...so you can double check before booking HAL. But to be honest...I don't think HAL is known for it's nightlife.
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Last edited by Fieldmouse; March 20th, 2010 at 11:17 AM.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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For me it used to be price and itinerary, but after a simply horrible experience for all passengers on a so-called "bargain" priced cruise on a well known cruise line, I now look for ship reliability and the reputation of the company for reliability and good customer service when making my decision.

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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
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gotta agree the money available against choice determines the rest
Except for a select few, I think that is true of almost all- that it comes down to cost. I wish it didn't, but we, like most people, don't have endless amounts of money.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:51 PM
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I need the night life. That was my problem with my Celebrity cruise to Alaska to quiet at night. Maybe we had a bad week, because Celebrity Infinity dining room was some of the worst food I have had on a cruise. Probably HAL isn't the cruise line for me and the hubby. I'm not a relaxer on a cruise I'm more go and do something type. Trivia, line dancing, mid night comedy show we normally go to bed around 2-3AM. I wish Carnival or Royal would do a true Sea of Cortez cruise like what HAL does. So this goes back to Dayvid's original question HAL has the ports I want, but Carnival has the activities and night life I want. So what wins out?
Kat lady, I felt the same way when I first started cruising. But, as I have aged, I find it does not take as much to keep me entertained, and I now prefer lines that I would not be caught dead on, 10 years ago.

One thing, I hear Alaska cruises tend to attract an older crowd, no matter the line, and are not as "hopping." The food though, that does surprise me. On my two Celebrity cruises, there was great food. I even felt the main dinngroom food was as good if not better than some of the specialty restaurants I have eaten at, on other lines.

Maybe it was an "off" cruise? I know I have cruised Carnival 4 times. Three times the food was great, but once it was the worst food I have had in 16 cruises. If that had been the only Carnival cruise I had taken, I would say canrival has horrible food.
This is how I rate food on the 7 lines I have cruised, in order of best food to worst in the main dinning room:
HAL, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, NCL, Disney, and RCI. However, the last 3 have great pay extra specialty restaurants. HAL and Celebrity though, you may as well save your money and eat in the main dinngroom.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
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What makes up your mind when deciding to cruise
The important things about cruising have changed over the years in our lives. The ports used to be more important to us than they are now. The price used to be less important (we're retired now ).

Sailing out of Galveston costs us less than sailing from the east or west coast.

We now cruise as much (or more) for the ship experience as the ports.

Food is so objective!

We've never had "bad" food on any cruise, but the MDR food on NCL wasn't the best . We liked the buffet better.

We liked the MDR and the Buffet on Princess. We've only done a "pay" restaurant once and it was very good, but we didn't feel it was worth the extra $$.

JMHO,
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Old March 21st, 2010, 10:28 PM
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Default Mdr food

On our recent NCL have to admit that the MDR food was mediocre (see my review of the Gem) even at breakfast in either dining room, Although enjoyed the upstairs buffet so much better...Celebrity MDR is wonderful and we have eaten at their specialty restaurants not more than once a cruise and it was a dining "experience" and to celebrate a special anniversary..On our one and only Princess the MDR in the a.m. for breakfast was...will we really get what we ordered as many guests complained and the upstairs buffet left so much to be desired except for their Reuben sandwiches. We did go to their italan restaurant where after so many appetizers being brought you were full before the main meal..We too are retired.. and don' want to have to pay extra, but the price on the NCL was so much less than Celebrity we had a few discretionary $$ to try Le bistro twice and Cagneys once. Cagneys was as good as any over priced steak house on land if not a better value. If we do NCL again we will definetely plan on doing a few of the specialty restaurants ad as for Celebrity..breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room is Parrot Pops plan..oh. I've put aside extra for one night in Murano.lol
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 09:55 AM
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I think my problems with Celebrity are due to the ship. Whenever I had heard complaints about Celebrity it's normally Infinity the person was sailing on. My cruise on Infinity was back in 2006 so maybe the cruise line has worked out the issues on this ship. Celebrity is still a little to laid back for me and my hubby. We want to be doing and seeing on vacation, not relaxing by the pool.

Another thing about us is we don't like to much service. I know that sounds strange, but I want to carry my own plate and find my own table at the buffet. It makes me uncomfortable to be followed around the buffet area with a staff member holding my plate. I'm also the one to self park instead of use the valet at hotels. So for my hubby and I service is less important then good food and lots of activites. That is why Carnival works well for us. I also liked Princess a lot.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by katlady View Post
I think my problems with Celebrity are due to the ship. Whenever I had heard complaints about Celebrity it's normally Infinity the person was sailing on. My cruise on Infinity was back in 2006 so maybe the cruise line has worked out the issues on this ship. Celebrity is still a little to laid back for me and my hubby. We want to be doing and seeing on vacation, not relaxing by the pool.

Another thing about us is we don't like to much service. I know that sounds strange, but I want to carry my own plate and find my own table at the buffet. It makes me uncomfortable to be followed around the buffet area with a staff member holding my plate. I'm also the one to self park instead of use the valet at hotels. So for my hubby and I service is less important then good food and lots of activites. That is why Carnival works well for us. I also liked Princess a lot.
Kat Lady I just politely decline their offer to carry my plate to the table. Only HAL and Celebrity do that, of the lines I have cruised, and as there are usually plenty of people much older than me on those lines, that do need help, I think it is nice they do that.
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 01:59 PM
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Katlady, My husband thought there was something wrong with me for doing a speadsheet for our cruises to see what was the better value. At least now I know I'm in good company....
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Old March 23rd, 2010, 02:39 PM
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Katlady, My husband thought there was something wrong with me for doing a speadsheet for our cruises to see what was the better value. At least now I know I'm in good company....
Hey there are two of us. I knew I wasn't the only one. Some cruises we can drive to port the others we fly. The speadsheet is a great way to include parking the car, gas, and wear and tear on the car for driving vs flight and getting a shuttle to port. At it's largest I compared 12 different cruises. Then I narrowed down to 3 cruises before showing it to my hubby. Who said which one is the cheapest and didn't look at the speadsheet at all.
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