Posted March 26th, 2005, 01:55 AM
I felt the same way you did prior to our first cruise -- my DH wanted to go but I really didn't. We don't smoke or drink any alcohol, I don't think I've EVER been able to get him to dance, and we're definitely not the kind for a "party ship" atmosphere.
Just a couple of suggestions -- I've never been on one, but I would also avoid the shorter 5 day cruises -- from what I've read and heard from friends, you're more likely to have the younger, heavier drinking crowd on those ships.
Do you have friends that would like to go with you? Our 1st cruise was with a large group of friends and family -- we enjoyed taking along games that we enjoy playing together, and spent quite a bit of time in the library playing games.
I know you mentioned a Royal Caribbean ship -- I've never tried that line, but have you considered either NCL for their freestyle dining (or Princess, which has a similar option)? Part of what I really didn't think I'd like about cruising was having a large table full of dining companions I didn't know. With freestyle cruising, you can choose your own time to eat, as well as choosing to be seated either by yourselves or with others. I'm not fond of following a set schedule, so for us, the freestyle has worked particularly well.
As far as on-board activities, we enjoy watching other people participate in the Karaoke tournaments -- we would NEVER do it ourselves, but have fun laughing at people who can. Most of the lines have "game show" type events -- newlywed type games, trivia contests, etc. We also enjoy those.
I particularly enjoy just relaxing with a book and looking at the ocean. If you're planning on a Western Caribbean cruise, we really enjoyed the Mayan ruins at some of the various ports.
We're not experienced cruisers -- we've been on 2, with a 3rd planned in May -- (5/14 on the NCL Sea out of Houston, care to join us???), but we've never experienced any problem with obnoxious drunks. I don't think I'd ever plan on cruising during spring break, partly for that reason, but so far we've not had any trouble. Also, the smoke hasn't been bad, except possibly in the casino, or if you're walking past one of the bars.
The only downside I've experienced so far with cruising is that it only took one cruise to become totally addicted
. I really enjoy seeing the different ports, as well as experiencing the great food and service. My retirement balance, however, would probably be increasing at a faster rate if I could just manage to avoid planning that next cruise.
NCL Pearl 05/15 (Alaska)
NCL Jewel 05/12 (Alaska)
NCL Star 09/09 (Pacific Coastal repositioning)
Golden Princess 09/09 (one night from Seattle to Vancouver)
NCL Dawn 09/08 (Canada/New England)
NCL Pearl 05/07 (Alaska)
NCL Jewel 11/06 (Eastern Caribbean)
NCL Sea 05/05 (Western Caribbean)
NCL Sun 06/04 (Alaska)
NCL Sea 01/04 (Western Caribbean)
Roll call for 5/17 sailing http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2027400