Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Cruise Discussion Topics > Ask a Cruise Question
 
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Notices

Ask a Cruise Question Post your general cruise questions here.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old August 20th, 2012, 01:54 PM
sakamine sakamine is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 8
Cool Online questionniare for Cruise Decision Making??

Is there an online tool or questionnaire that will help me narrow down what type of cruise I should take? All these options can be overwhelming and I would love it if something could help me narrow down the choices.
Reply With Quote

  #2  
Old August 20th, 2012, 02:06 PM
LHT28's Avatar
LHT28 LHT28 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 23,904
Default

How about a TA that specializes in cruises??
Maybe you have one locally
Reply With Quote

  #3  
Old August 20th, 2012, 02:12 PM
paul929207's Avatar
paul929207 paul929207 is online now
40,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Greenville, SC, USA
Posts: 43,938
Default

I have never seen a questionaire for picking a cruise. Best bet is to find a TA specializing in cruises.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote

  #4  
Old August 20th, 2012, 02:32 PM
maryann ns's Avatar
maryann ns maryann ns is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Nova Scotia Canada
Posts: 3,847
Default

Some people do not have access to such a specialized TA so I think this is a fair role for CC.

Why not start a new thread and ask What type of cruise or cruiseline would be good for me.

List your age (approximate), interests, where you would like to go. Are you on the ship mainly to enjoy life on the ship with all its amenities or are you mainly interested in the travel and the ports?

Is price a factor? How long can you be away? Are you taking children? Who will you be with?

I did some research, but was very lucky with my first cruise choice. I do not want all the hoopla of a big ship. I do not want tons of children and partying. I chose to cruise for the experience and as a comfortable way to get to out of the way places. I also love good food and wine.

Small, quieter ships work for me. They may be all wrong for you.
__________________
Next:
2014 Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam (land and Halong Bay Cruise on Dragon Pearl)
2016 Antartica on the Expedition

Sailed:
Azamara Quest Far East, March 5, 2011
Victoria Empress, Yangtze River, March 25, 2011
Azamara Quest Ancient Empires, Nov. 14, 2009

Independent land tours:
New Zealand and Australia 2013
China 2011
Argentina and Peru, 2007
Europe, 1985, 91-92, 95, 2001, 2003, 2008, 2011
numerous in US and Canada
Guatemala and Mexico 1971, 1972
Haiti, 1970
Jamaica, 1968-71
Reply With Quote

  #5  
Old August 20th, 2012, 02:42 PM
cb at sea cb at sea is online now
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Fredericksburg, va. USA
Posts: 62,828
Default

Actually, there used to be a spot on this site to help you choose the cruiseline that best suits you....I don't know if it's still there, as I haven't gone to the main informational pages on Cruise Critic for a LONG time!

But, a TA will help you by giving you many brochures and info. You can look through the brochures and see which line feels 'right' to you!
Reply With Quote

Ad Sponsored By
  #6  
Old August 20th, 2012, 03:11 PM
MCC retired's Avatar
MCC retired MCC retired is online now
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brooksville FL
Posts: 2,094
Default

A good Cruise Specialist TA's will ask you some qualifing questions to narrow your search from the mind bogeling choices out there.
Look for a Cruise Specialist TA that has CLIA Certification as an ACC or better yet MCC or ECC. Cost you "$0".
Reply With Quote

  #7  
Old August 20th, 2012, 05:21 PM
sail7seas sail7seas is offline
Charter Member - 5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 68,675
Default

I agree.
A cruise specialist TA would be helpful for OP.
When you need that sort of guidance, it's good to get it from a 'professional' who is looking out for your interests.

__________________
<img src=http://www.hollandamerica.com/images/5starMariner.gif border=0 alt= />

sail7seas7 At yahoo .com
Please put CruiseCritic in Subject Line
Reply With Quote

  #8  
Old August 20th, 2012, 05:34 PM
sakamine sakamine is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 8
Default

It seems like I have to talk to a person in order to narrow down my choices. Only thing is I hate talking to agents because I feel like they are always trying to push me to buy. I would rather have narrowed down my choices somewhat and really investigated what I want before talking to an agent. Hard to believe there is no online tool out there for this. #frustrated
Reply With Quote

  #9  
Old August 20th, 2012, 05:39 PM
LHT28's Avatar
LHT28 LHT28 is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 23,904
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sakamine View Post
It seems like I have to talk to a person in order to narrow down my choices. Only thing is I hate talking to agents because I feel like they are always trying to push me to buy. I would rather have narrowed down my choices somewhat and really investigated what I want before talking to an agent. Hard to believe there is no online tool out there for this. #frustrated
Maybe you can make a list of things you want in a cruise, the age range of your family, the ports you may want to visit then go from there

There are lots of online booking sites where you can narrow down the choices by area, prices & size of ship but I have not seen any that can ask you what you prefer to do on your cruise
In the top menu on cruise critic there is a link "find a cruise" maybe start with that

Good luck
Reply With Quote

  #10  
Old August 20th, 2012, 06:59 PM
Happy ks's Avatar
Happy ks Happy ks is offline
20,000+ Club
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: California
Posts: 21,299
Default

There is a tool right here on CC:

http://www.cruisecritic.com/cruiseto/
Reply With Quote

  #11  
Old August 21st, 2012, 12:48 AM
Cruisin' Chick's Avatar
Cruisin' Chick Cruisin' Chick is offline
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: In the Valley, CA
Posts: 19,608
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LHT28 View Post
How about a TA that specializes in cruises??
Maybe you have one locally
Quote:
Originally Posted by maryann ns View Post
Some people do not have access to such a specialized TA so I think this is a fair role for CC.

Why not start a new thread and ask What type of cruise or cruiseline would be good for me.

List your age (approximate), interests, where you would like to go. Are you on the ship mainly to enjoy life on the ship with all its amenities or are you mainly interested in the travel and the ports?

Is price a factor? How long can you be away? Are you taking children? Who will you be with?

I did some research, but was very lucky with my first cruise choice. I do not want all the hoopla of a big ship. I do not want tons of children and partying. I chose to cruise for the experience and as a comfortable way to get to out of the way places. I also love good food and wine.

Small, quieter ships work for me. They may be all wrong for you.

I agree with most of the posters -- if you don't have a recommendation for a "cruise specialist" from a family member or friend, look in your yellow pages under travel agents and look for one with that phrase in their heading or ad. You'll get some ideas of possible ships, cruiselines, itineraries from members here, but most will give you their preferences, which will often be based on limited experience (for example, I can only tell you about two cruiselines). But a good cruise specialist will have been on several different cruiselines, ships, etc., and hopefully can steer you to the right decisions. Do go in with an idea of budget (unless it's a luxury line that includes tips, be sure to figure in about $11-12/person/day for tips, which won't be in the fare total), idea of about when you can go, which destinations interest you, idea of what kind of cruise (quiet, active, gourmet food, etc.).
__________________
Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
http://www.sites.google.com/site/holidayalohaii/home
Reply With Quote

  #12  
Old August 21st, 2012, 07:35 AM
dorisis's Avatar
dorisis dorisis is offline
5,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 5,334
Default

Although my first cruise was many years ago, I made the choice after reading brochures from as many cruise lines as I could find. Got the brochures from a local TA. At that time there was no internet to help. But I don't think it would have made a big difference which cruise I took. I was addicted from day one. Pick one that suits your budget and then sit back and enjoy.

~Doris~
__________________
~Doris~
Reply With Quote

  #13  
Old August 21st, 2012, 10:09 AM
5326jan's Avatar
5326jan 5326jan is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 4,328
Default

You could always pick a spot that is really only accessible by cruise, like the Inside Passage of Alaska. It goes in summer months May-Sept, usually a week long. You'll get to see a part of the world that is gorgeous, but must be seen from the water. The water is completely calm and the chance of getting seasick is extremely low, IMO.

Alaska itineraries usually have a naturalist at least once during the sailing. You have a very good chance of seeing whales, bears, eagles, seals, etc.

We had been on cruises before our Alaska cruise, but that one really got us hooked! We were on Coral Princess, which is a mid-sized ship with Horizon Court buffet area in the bow, so you get a great view while having your breakfast or lunch.
__________________
Reply With Quote

  #14  
Old August 21st, 2012, 10:15 AM
meggie711's Avatar
meggie711 meggie711 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: south Georgia
Posts: 1,180
Default

I don't know of an online tool but I created a cruise spreadsheet and it helped me narrow down and make a decision. In addition, I used Wikipedia and printed off the page for each of the cruiselines I was considering. That helped me to be able to quickly look at a ship and get more info on it.
On my spreadsheet, I included all of the information that I wanted to consider. Each row held different information. Mileage to drive to ports, amount of time in each port, port parking fees, stateroom info, dates available, service charges or auto-gratuity rates, activities offered on the ships, restaurants (included info on cover charge for specialty restaurants). This may be overkill to some people, but I must admit.. I'm a spreadsheet-aholic. I like having everything right in front of me in one place. Hubby laughed because I had the cruises color-coded by cruise line and then in order of price. lol
It did take some time, but honestly, I love this part of cruising. I feel we made the best decision possible and couldn't argue once we had it all down on paper in front of us.
__________________
May 2001 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
August 2003 Carnival Fascination
December 2005 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
September 2008 RCI Mariner of the Seas
December 2010 RCI Monarch of the Seas
Most recently sailed: March 2013 NCL Epic
Next up, March 2015: NCL Epic
Reply With Quote

  #15  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 04:06 AM
john160's Avatar
john160 john160 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Orlando FL
Posts: 130
Default

Here is my 2 cents on the subject. Go to the cruise line websites and narrow the search to ports where you would prefer to embark from. If you have a specific time that you would like to or need to travel during. Browse the results and do a little research on the ports to see what looks interesting to you. If you narrow it down to a few itineraries and ships consult a local cruise TA or as I did for the last one I book I posted the planned ships/itineraries here and got some wonderful feedback.
__________________
Vision of the Seas May-12-14 - Sailed
Freedom of the Seas Dec-15-13 - Sailed
Majesty of the Seas Dec-17-12 - Sailed
Majesty of the Seas Nov-23-09 - Sailed
Sovereign of the Seas Oct-12-07 - Sailed
Sovereign of the Seas Nov-24-06 - Sailed
Discovery One Cruise May - 1989 - Sailed

Reply With Quote

  #16  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 12:28 PM
lady_cruiser's Avatar
lady_cruiser lady_cruiser is online now
10,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Church Point AKA Cajun Country
Posts: 10,327
Default

Start here http://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=66 It's a new article that CC had on picking a cruise ship.
__________________
Rosemarie
Reply With Quote

  #17  
Old August 22nd, 2012, 01:27 PM
sakamine sakamine is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 8
Default

Wow! Great suggestions. Keep them coming. @meggie711 would you be willing to share the spreadsheet with me? If so, please send me a private message and I will send you my e-mail address. Thanks everyone!
Reply With Quote

  #18  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 02:38 PM
meggie711's Avatar
meggie711 meggie711 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: south Georgia
Posts: 1,180
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sakamine View Post
Wow! Great suggestions. Keep them coming. @meggie711 would you be willing to share the spreadsheet with me? If so, please send me a private message and I will send you my e-mail address. Thanks everyone!
I would be glad to share it but I deleted it after we finally booked our cruise. It was an awesome spreadsheet... lol
__________________
May 2001 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
August 2003 Carnival Fascination
December 2005 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
September 2008 RCI Mariner of the Seas
December 2010 RCI Monarch of the Seas
Most recently sailed: March 2013 NCL Epic
Next up, March 2015: NCL Epic
Reply With Quote

  #19  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 02:42 PM
meggie711's Avatar
meggie711 meggie711 is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: south Georgia
Posts: 1,180
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by meggie711 View Post
I would be glad to share it but I deleted it after we finally booked our cruise. It was an awesome spreadsheet... lol
I will give you a basic rundown though. I listed the names of the ships down the side, grouped by cruiseline (with each line having their own color). Then I created columns left to right that included: date, days (Sat-Sat, Sun-Sun, etc.), type of room (different ships may offer different staterooms - for example, I wouldn't want an aft-balcony on one cruise, but would prefer aft-balcony on another), itinerary price of cruise (including taxes), service charges/auto gratuity amount, price to drive to port, port parking. I then had a comment area where I could list amenities and activities (Ice Bar, ziplines on board, etc.). Hope this helps!
__________________
May 2001 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
August 2003 Carnival Fascination
December 2005 RCI Sovereign of the Seas
September 2008 RCI Mariner of the Seas
December 2010 RCI Monarch of the Seas
Most recently sailed: March 2013 NCL Epic
Next up, March 2015: NCL Epic
Reply With Quote

  #20  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 05:16 PM
Krazy Kruizers's Avatar
Krazy Kruizers Krazy Kruizers is offline
50,000+ Club
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 87,653
Default

You really need to sit down and talk with a TA.

Ask friends, family and co-workers who they use.

You may even have to visit a couple of TA's to compare notes.
__________________
Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Far, far too many cruises to list.
Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks


Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:11 PM.


© 1995 - 2014, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.