Monthly Archives: March 2013

Deflating the 10 Reasons to Never Cruise Part 2

In a previous post, Deflating the 10 Reasons to Never Cruise Part 1, I went through the first 5 reasons a blogger gave for never cruising again. I pointed out that with an open mind and careful planning you can minimize some of these reasons. Today I am going to continue with this for reasons six through ten.

6) There’s always someone in your way.

I don’t really even know what to say to this point that was brought up. Everywhere I go there are always people in my way. It is part of life. From the grocery store, to county or state fairs or any vacation destinations you go to (once again unless you go someplace really remote).

WARNING! Meant to be Funny, Please Don't Try This.

WARNING! Meant to be Funny, Please Don’t Try This.

7) The boat will make you sick, literally.

This is a concern with a lot of people. The newer ships do have stabilizers on them, however they don’t prevent all people from getting sick. There are many options to combat the motion sickness ranging from medicine like the patch behind the ear to Meclizine. There is also loads of information in cruise forums on natural ways to combat motion sickness.

sick

8) You’re never in one place long enough to get to know it.

Here once again is where doing your homework comes in. Some cruise lines spend more time in certain ports. Some even overnight in a port and you can spend more than on day there. For example the Royal Princess on its 2014 European season will spend 2 full days in St. Petersburg.

Rendering of the Royal Princess at Night

Rendering of the Royal Princess at Night

Even if you don’t spend as much time there; if you want to get to know a place, skip the tourist shops and stuff like that and go out to get to know the place.

9) It all adds up.

I haven’t been on any vacation where the cost didn’t add up. On a road trip across the US gas, snacks, hotels, and tolls can add up.  If you go camping, you have to buy all the gear to do that. Going to a resort you have to pay for meals and resort fees. Pictured here is a screenshot of the gas cost estimator from AAA predicting my cost to drive to Orlando. This doesn’t include anything but gas, and believe me there would be a hotel night. I am not driving straight through with 2 small children.

Screen Shot 2013-03-28 at 5.29.35 AM

10) You have no choice.

There is plenty of choice when it comes to cruising. Your biggest choice should come in your planning stage. Do your research, talk to a travel agent ho specializes in cruises, or visit a cruise forum to make sure you are picking a cruise line/ship that fits what your lifestyle is.  If you make the right choice then, you will find that the choices really open up during the cruise because you will like more of the options offered to you.

I believe there is a cruise line, ship or itinerary for everyone. It just takes a little work to find it. It may not be on one of the mainstream large cruise lines. Maybe it is a river cruise, or a barge cruise in the French countryside. It could even be a luxury cruise on a small ship or yacht. The choices are endless so take some time to research what’s best for or call a travel agent and talk to them about cruising. They would be happy to show you the possibilities.

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Deflating the 10 Reasons to Never Cruise Part 1

I recently read an a blog post entitled 10 Reasons To Never Cruise Again in which the authors gave their reasons why a cruise is not for them. There is always talk from people on why cruising is not for them. Some people have never been on a cruise while others have and were probably on the wrong cruise line. The couple that wrote this post has said they were on two different cruise lines and I could probably guess which ones they were. I tend to think that if someone does enough research, or talks to a cruise consultant, they can find a cruise that is right for them.

 

MS Eurodam from the Port Everglades webcam

MS Eurodam from the Port Everglades webcam

I will take a look at the 10 reasons they gave for why to NEVER cruise again and give a few reasons why I think a little extra time in the planning stage could have made for a better experience.

1) The only place you can be alone is your room.

For the most part, unless you are camping or hiking through some remote area, it is hard to really be by yourself while on any vacation. Many of the new ships being built are building in ways to allow people to have some “alone” time while on the ship. Take for instance; on the new Royal Princess there will be cabanas in the Sanctuary and around the Retreat pool that you can reserve.

MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line have the Yacht Club and The Haven, respectively. These are like a ship within a ship where there are fewer passengers and special amenities to those booked in those cabins.

The Haven Courtyard on the Norwegian Breakaway

The Haven Courtyard on the Norwegian Breakaway

2) You’re less likely to experience any authentic dining.

Most of the time you are in port for a full day. You can have plenty of time to find some authentic food while in port. Yes, I know, the food on board is included in your fare; but how can you turn down a chance to try some street food in port?

3) Your destinations are manufactured.

This is where they complained about the ports being built for the cruise ships. I need to say, of course the built the ports especially for the cruise ships. People like to be docked more than they like to be tendered to port. There is more to the port of call than just the actual port. Get out and explore.

4) The alcohol on the boat is expensive, man!

Have you ever when to a hotel lounge? Any nice restaurant in a larger city?  The last time is went to a hotel lounge my drink was $14; I don’t think the drinks on board that far out of line.

5) The on-board structured group activities are lame.

No one say you have to participate in the activities. There are other things you can want to do. Some cruise lines bring experts on board to give seminars about the culture your port of call. Princess does this in Alaska and Norwegian Cruise Line does this in Hawaii. Almost all cruise lines do this in Europe.

Dreamworks Character parade on the Allure of the Seas

Dreamworks Character parade on the Allure of the Seas

I will continue with reason 6 – 10 in a later blog but for now, what are your ideas? Do you consider any of these points when thinking about taking a cruise? What are your pros and cons of cruising? I would love to hear them. Please comment on this blog and lets have a discussion.

Author Nate: nate@cardinalcruiseandtravel.com

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Sign the petition.

Scott Lara (@scottlara1961 on twitter) is one of the biggest Holland America Cruise Line fans I know. When I saw him tweet asking how he should celebrate the 140th anniversary of his favorite cruise line, I couldn’t resist to make a suggestion.

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I suggested he should dress in a body suit the color of the hulls of his favorite cruise ships. He could stand at the entrance of Port Everglades holding a sign that says “Happy 140th @HALcruises” He should also wear a hat that looks like the funnels on the Holland America cruise ships.
I’m not sure how keen he is on this idea, so I need your help. Leave a comment to this post to sign the petition to have Scott dress as his favorite ships. Share this with your friends so they can sign the petition as well.

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Categories: Cruise, Holand America, travel | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Royal Princess Comes to Life at Night

Part of the fun of cruising is the nightlife on board the ship. You get back from spending the day in port, have dinner, and let the fun begin. Maybe you check out a show in the theater, play a few games in the casino, or have a few drinks and some dancing in the nightclub. Today’s new ships have a ton to do to keep you entertained long into the night.

Rendering of the Royal Princess at night.

Rendering of the Royal Princess at night.

Recently Princess Cruises gave us all better look at what the nightlife will look like on their newest ship, the Royal Princess. The Royal Princess will make her debut on June 16, 2013. She will be sailing 12-day Grand Mediterranean voyages before her first trans-Atlantic voyage to Fort Lauderdale where she will sail from for the winter.

“Royal Princess will feature the widest variety of entertainment we have ever offered at sea,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ executive vice president. “No matter how passengers like to spend their evenings at sea, we’ll have an exceptional array of options to keep passengers entertained.”

Club 6 – A new dance club, conveniently located on Deck 6 near the Atrium, Club 6 offers a vibrant space with an intimate atmosphere and contemporary decor. Passengers can grab a cocktail and dance to their favorite hits.

Production Shows – With high-definition screens and a brand new lighting system to enhance each show, the Princess Theater will offer a larger and more spectacular space for the line’s original production shows and entertainers. Four new productions will debut aboard Royal Princess, including “Colors of the World,” an experiential journey through the destinations visited by Princess ships; “Spectacular!” a musical revue extravaganza; “Sweet Soul Music,” an upbeat tribute to Rhythm and Blues; and “What the World Needs Now,” a timeless, elegant show celebrating the music and style of the ‘60s.

Princess Theater

Princess Theater

Vista Lounge – A more intimate entertainment setting, the Vista Lounge will host a variety of top-notch entertainers each night, from live bands to comedians and illusionists, plus themed parties and special events.

Casino – The Princess Casino aboard Royal Princess will feature the latest new slots and table games.  Passengers can indulge in their favorite games of chance, from blackjack to Texas Hold’em and roulette, or participate in the excitement of slot tournaments.

Water & Light Show –Something that I’m excited to see is on the top deck where pools with fountains shoot plumes of water to delight and amaze all members of the family. Royal Princess also boasts a second-level stage above the pool area where live bands will play during unforgettable evening parties.

Crooners – The resident entertainer in Crooners will keep the crowds singing along while passengers try to choose their favorite from the bar’s famous selection of more than 50 martini varieties.Crooner's

Bellini’s – The new Bellini’s bar offers a prime location for watching the action in the Piazza below. This hotspot serves up a variety of Bellini-inspired drinks, including the new signature “Royal Bellini.”

Bellinis

Movies Under the Stars – Naturally Princess’ signature poolside theater will have a variety of movies and concert playing on the big screen. Featuring the largest Movies Under the Stars screen yet, Royal Princess offers passengers a great view while they relax on a comfortable lounger snuggled under a cozy fleece blanket and snack on complimentary fresh-popped popcorn or delicious cookies and milk.

Movies under the Stars

For me, I’m excited about the water show on the pool deck. My other item I’m really looking forward to is the Movies Under the Stars.  I like the open air. Love to be outside so that’s why those intrigue me. I probably could be found in the casino playing a little poker though.

 

So what are your favorites? What are you most looking forward too? Leave a comment and tell us what it is.

 

 

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Titanic II Hotel or Cruise Ship?

Danielle, Aka @CruiseMiss, recently wrote in her blog; Titanic II A Legacy Or A Curse; her feelings about the plans to build the Titanic II. This plan is being pursued by Australian business man, Clive Palmer, and has the whole cruise world debating on if it’s a good or bad idea. Here is an excerpt from Danielle’s post, to read her whole post click here.

“Is there a demand for this type of vessel? I don’t really think there is however if she did come along I know many people would be truly fascinated by her and it would certainly be something very different indeed for our modern times.

Could she sustain herself? Maybe, there are one or two cruise lines with just one vessel and they manage to survive however, they are modern vessels with all the modern luxuries we crave whilst at sea.

I think the subject of Titanic II will forever have a divide and my own feelings lean me towards the “not such a great idea” area.”

Her post got me thinking more about if this is a good idea or not. For the most part’ I agree with Danielle that there won’t be a demand for this ship. This is especially true after the first couple of years, after the Titanic enthusiast and history buffs take their cruise. So does this mean I think it’s a bad idea to build this ship? Whoa…wait a moment before go that far!!

While I think that this won’t work as a cruise ship, I think that it could possibly be a good idea to make it into a floating hotel. A few points on why I believe this:

  1. The cost to spend a couple nights on the Titanic II would be far less than taking the Trans-Atlantic cruise. This would encourage the interested people to do this if they couldn’t afford the weeklong cruise
  2. This would cost less to operate, as the fuel would not be need to propel her through the water. The electrical and water systems could be hooked up to city utilities.
  3. The main dinning room could be made into a fine dinning restaurant that could be open to the public instead of just the people aboard the cruise.
  4. They could also build in a Titanic museum into the ship that would be open to the public therefore, increasing the possible revenue.

Am I saying this is a great idea, not even close? What I am saying is that, in my opinion, it works far better as a hotel than it does as a cruise ship.titanicII

So what are your thoughts, I want to hear them. Am I way off line on this thinking? Do you have any ideas or should the whole Titanic II idea be scraped altogether. Please leave your comments telling me what you think.

 

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