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Interesting poll and looks like I am the first one voted
Btw: "I like that you can explore, easily, independently" really contradicts to "I like my tours arranged for me"
We actually like the fact there is an option. Depending upon the port/location when new to us. we like the usually included overview tour of the city or town, then the free time to explore on our own. If we are familiar with the location, we can omit the included tour and spend all of the time in port exploring on our own. Having that flexibility is appealing to us.
Viking Freya 12/13 (Heart of Germany), Sapphire Princess 4/13 (Coastal), Ruby Princess 12/12 (CRB), Viking Pride (Paris/Normandy) 10/12, Star Princess 12/11 (S. America), Caribbean Princess 5/11 (CRB), Sapphire Princess 2/11 (MEX), Emerald Princess 12/10 (CRB), Viking Sky 11/10 (Danube), Golden Princes 5/10 (Coastal), Vision of the Seas 2/09 (CRB), Crown Princess 12/08 (CRB) ,Crown Princess 8/08 (Scandinavia and Russia), Golden Princess 3/08 (MEX), Island Princess 12/07 (PAN CANAL), Emerald Princess 5/07(MED) , Grand Princess 2/07 (W. CRB), Viking Surkov 8/06 (RUSSIA), Sapphire Princess 3/06 (MEX), Golden Princess 12/05 (S. CRB), Viking Century Star 5/05 (CHINA), Sea Voyager 12/04 (PAN CANAL), Splendour of the Seas 10/04 (MED), Golden Princess 3/04 (E. CRB), Polaris 5/03 (GALAPAGOS), Sovereign of the Seas 3/03 (BAHAMAS), Norwegian Sun 12/02 (W. CRB), Legend of the Seas 5/02 (ALASKA), Norway 12/01 (E. CRB), Miriam 5/01 (EGYPT), Sunbird 3/00 (S. CRB), Song of America 3/98(MEX)
I'm an "other". We've done quite a few ocean cruises, certainly not all of them, but a lot, and we're ready to do more exploring of places that do not abut an ocean.
We are eagerly looking forward to our first river cruise in a month, and anticipating the differences. In a turn of events unusual for us, we have nothing booked yet for 2014 - I guess we're waiting to see how we like the river cruise!
__________________ 20 Cruises -- so far!
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There are small-ship ocean cruises, and there are port-intensive ocean cruises. There are also ocean cruises that include shore excursions (at luxury prices, but river cruises are all at luxury prices).
So the "other" reason for me is that not all the interesting places in a country are on the coast. River cruises allow you to visit the interior, while still having the convenience of a floating hotel.
The driving factor initially was.... I don't get seasick!!!
Looked to river cruising after doing Alaska with Princess --> had 2 quite rough days, and figured that I paid too much money to feel that horrible. Also, we didn't use all of the boat. We don't gamble, don't like the "sales" in the lobby area, don't enjoy hanging out by the pool, and don't like to have to drag formal clothes to dress up. We met no one on our Alaskan cruise... and we weren't sailing in one of the larger boats!!
We love the smaller boats, and the opportunity to meet some great people. And, although the price is higher to start, we never feel as if we have been "nickeled and dimed" throughout the trip and therefore the cost is comparable at the end.
Last edited by franski; May 20th, 2013 at 12:38 AM.
...we are new to River Cruises,,, our first in December for the Christmas Markets on the Danube... and that is why we are doing one, The Christmas Markets. A Bucket List item. But, after reading so much about River Cruises on here , we are thinking maybe a few more after we experience this one,,, we like the idea of Small ships,,,we like the idea of Rivers not Oceans,,, we like seeing cities and places that we can do on a ship,,,because we like them ...rather than a bus. Hope this makes sense.
I've done several ocean cruises, and I like the big ships and all their innovations and choices. But I agree with Jazzbeau and others that the ITINERARY is my main motivator when developing my travel plans.
Ocean cruises are limited (mostly) to coastal cities. River cruises open up additional itineraries by visiting interior towns and cities. A third travel option is the organized land tour, which opens up even more possibilities.
There is always independent travel (plane, rail, driving, etc.), and that is always an option, although as I get older I prefer to leave the "macro" planning to others (I still pick out the itineraries that I prefer).
I've only done two river cruises so far (Danube and Rhine), and will be sailing on another one (lower Danube) in about a week. I've enjoyed my previous river cruises, and they offer me alternatives for my travel plans, along with ocean cruises and land tours. I like the mix of all 3 options.
I hope this makes sense.... I voted for "itineraries".
I voted for the destinations, but I also like the idea of exploring independently, and this encompasses the size of the vessel. I feel like the idea behind ocean cruising should be that you have a floating hotel; but with the increasing size of ocean liners, they can't dock close enough to the places you want to go to tour independently very easily. I like the idea that river cruises are small enough to be docked alongside the cities and villages you want to explore and that you can explore them on foot or on a bicycle.
Something different. We love seeing new places, and cruising is an easy way to do it. However there are quite a few places that are inland, hence river cruising. We did a 5 day Nile river cruise a few years back as part of a tour of Egypt, and we have done a day cruise on the Rhein in Germany. We really enjoyed them both.
Other - as someone else mentioned above - having a floating hotel and being able to pack and unpack just once but being in a different city every day. I traveled with my mother who is getting up there a bit in years. She has had enough of land tours, with a different hotel, different city every night. We also really liked having an organized tour in the morning and then free time to explore on our own in the afternoon. It was so relaxing to be able to sit on the sun deck and watch the countryside as we cruised.
My first river cruise experience last month was so much more relaxing that the ocean cruises I have been on. I got to know more people, including the crew, and the service was spectacular! Don't get me wrong - I still plan to cruise on the ocean again next year, but I hope to get on a river, too!
Cunard Countess - Caribbean - mid '70s, Song of Norway - Caribbean 7/89, Norwegian Sea - Bahamas 12/01, Sovereign of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2002, Radiance of the Seas - Alaska 8/23/03, Mariner of the Seas - Caribbean 05/15/05, Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean 09/30/07, Jewel of the Seas - Baltics 08/21/09, Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/27/10, Enchantment of the Seas - Bermuda 09/04/2010, Celebrity Infinity - South America 03/13/2011, Liberty of the Seas - Jamaica 12/29/2011, Enchantment of the Seas - Bahamas 12/29/2012, AMACerto - Tulip Time - 04/15/2013, Explorer of the Seas - Bahamas - 12/29/2013, Celebrity Reflection - Mediterranean/Greek Isles 06/02/2014, AMASonata - Romantic Danube 09/06/2015, Freedom of the Seas - Western Caribbean 02/14/2016,
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I agree with someone who posted above me who said that the "other" reason was that they wanted to go to places inaccessible to an ocean cruise.
I like intimate, slow-moving experiences, so I'm hoping river cruising will be for me, some day.
I also agree that sometimes it's nice to have tours arranged for you, but other times to just go your own way, and on a river cruise, being close to the centre of many places, that, I hope, would be easier to do.
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I like most that you sort of slow down on a river cruise. After the first few days you have adjusted to the slow pace of the boat and can start to relax.
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My wife and I have travelled independently throughout Europe and have always been attracted to the port cities and towns so we started with river cruising in 2008. Having visited many of the attractions that are offered on the cruises, we try and spend time visiting places we were interested in but unable to visit in the past. We are fortunate to be able to do pre and post trips just to explore. River cruising is a way to get excited about seeing areas of the world or to just relax and watch the world go by.
As an "other", we began cruising the Caribbean when the ships were under 1000 passengers. We began liking it less as the ship size grew and made it more difficult to visit the less-traveled islands. We also became aware that we seldom saw the same passengers due to the size of the ship, therefore making it difficult to establish even passing acquaintance for the length of the cruise.
Although we chose our first river cruise for the itinerary, we found it offered all that we had been missing on the ocean cruises; the opportunity to really explore the ports at our leisure; the opportunity to connect with fellow passengers on tour and at meals and make some lasting friendships. And, bonus, a cruise staff that really seemed to care whether we were pleased with our experience!