Anyone interested in planning from the ground up for 2021?

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#1
Michigan
2,164 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Looks like a 2021 World Cruise is in our future (retirement celebration). I've started gathering information and pricing based on what is currently available last minute for 2018 and 2019. Will add 2020 to the spreadsheet as info is released.

Trying to ascertain whether it is best to book early or late. Reading about visa's and health insurance. Determining Pro's and cons to Suez Canal verses Cape of Good Hope and any must-have ports.

Wondering if anyone is interested in taking this planning journey along with me? I think a small core group of like minded planners would be a tremendous asset for this adventure. We can share resources, bounce ideas, etc..

It's a long shot, but thought I'd try here . Anyone?
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#2
90,328 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
I would recommend booking early.

You will be on the ship for a very long time and it is nice to have a good choice in what room to say in.

Lowest price and highest price categories tend to go first as do optimal location in the other categories.

If prices go down I would followup to obtain the lower price.

Keith
#3
Triangle area, NC
837 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
The right ship with the right itinerary at the right price would be needed for me to do another world cruise. Never say never.
But I'm happy to come along for the planning ride.

Re Suez Canal vs. Cape of Good Hope, I was on a "grand voyage" cruise once that travelled both. As it happens, I was not on the ship for either transit. For Suez, I was on an overland trip in Egypt where the ship dropped us off on one side of the canal and picked us up on the other. The ship was several hours late arriving. The captain (who actually came out to meet us--at 2:00 am--and help us get our luggage on and off the tender) told us that there were no cigarettes or whisky bottles left in the duty-free stores, as they had to be "distributed" to help officials understand the need for the ship to transit the canal.

We also missed the Cape of Good Hope circumnavigation, as we'd left the ship in Richards Bay to go on safari, and rejoined it in Cape Town. Those who stayed on the ship said it was extremely rocky and a little unnerving.
#4
Virginia
22,270 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Some cruise lines (I know Cunard and HAL) give you extra perks for booking early such as paying your hotel service charge. HAL also gives you a 3% discount if you pay in full 8 months in advance.
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World Voyage Blog - http://kathisworldvoyage.blogspot.com/
A Winter Crossing - http://cunard2015.blogspot.com
The Sail-Away Gang's Cruise - http://westerdam2015.blogspot.com/
Fall Foliage Cruise -http://fallfoliagecruise2015.blogspot.com/
South Pacific/North to Alaska - http://halcruises2016.blogspot.com/
Around the World Again - https://2018halgwv.blogspot.com/

Evangeline - Nassau - 1960
Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt - EB TA - 1962
Queen Mary - WB TA - 1962
Raffaello - Caribbean - 1968
MV Three Gorges - Yangtze River - 1988
Atlas - Nile River - 1995
Olympic - Aegean Sea - 1996
Constellation - Baltic Sea - 2005
Disney Fantasy - Caribbean - 2012
Queen Elizabeth - World Voyage 2014
Queen Elizabeth - Southampton to Fort Lauderdale - 2015

Westerdam - FLL to Seattle with the "Sail-away Gang" - 2015
Liberty of the Seas - Canada/New England - 2015
Westerdam - Hawaii, Tahiti, and the Marquesas with the "Pearls of the Pacific" - 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 2016
#5
90,328 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
The good news is with each passing year more and more cruise lines are offering World Cruises and some on multiple ships and even multiple times of the year.

Time is on your side.

Keith
#6
SPAIN
98 Posts
Joined Jun 2012
We have done two world cruises , both booked well in advance , there is a lot of planning , if you are visiting India visa s are a nightmare China as well.
Our first was with cunard on all three ships , the transfers were well organised and painless.
P and O s itinerary was fantastic but I much preferred Cunard as the passengers were very international and the lecturers very knowable?
We are looking at doing another world perhaps in 2019 or 2020 .
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#7
Tampa, Florida
3,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by BermudaBound2014
Looks like a 2021 World Cruise is in our future (retirement celebration). I've started gathering information and pricing based on what is currently available last minute for 2018 and 2019. Will add 2020 to the spreadsheet as info is released.

Trying to ascertain whether it is best to book early or late. Reading about visa's and health insurance. Determining Pro's and cons to Suez Canal verses Cape of Good Hope and any must-have ports.

Wondering if anyone is interested in taking this planning journey along with me? I think a small core group of like minded planners would be a tremendous asset for this adventure. We can share resources, bounce ideas, etc..

It's a long shot, but thought I'd try here . Anyone?
How can you plan without knowing where the various cruise lines will be going? HAL, for instance, has not yet come out with the 2020 World Cruise. In answer to your question, however, I agree that early booking should be your goal. There are substantial benefits on these cruises for early booking, i.e. prepaid hotel charges, delivery of luggage (depending on cabin type); OBC's; free internet; etc.

When making a determination based on ports, my method is: Which port requires more time, money, and effort if I were to fly to that city? Cape of Good Hope stands right out there as requiring more flight time than I wish to spend; therefore, I would prefer to sail. I don't think, to use your example, that the Suez Canal requires as much effort.

One of the reasons that the 2019 HAL World Cruise didn't attract me is that it spends too much time in Europe, which is easily reached by a relatively short flight. OTOH, if the Cape of Good Hope is included (can't remember if that is on the 2018 or 2019 World Cruise, I would choose that cruise.

Have fun planning! I an already shopping for cabin decorations for our 2018 Grand Asia. (Can you spell "OC?") As soon as HAL deems it worthwhile to publish their shore excursions, I will be deep into researching tours. It's the anticipation!
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#8
Michigan
2,164 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Thank you for playing along .

Keith: I always appreciate your input. I would agree, more and more lines are getting in the World Cruise Game. MSC is doing their first world cruise in 2019 with one of it's musica class ships at 92K g/t. I've sailed MSC a few times and find their product a good value. I believe that this will be the largest ship doing full circumnavigations.

WishIwerecruisin:Thank you for your thoughts on Suez Canal vs Cape of Good Hope. The more I look at itineraries offered, the more this seems to be one of the deciding factors for us. I really need to get a good handle on the pros/cons for each option. We've spent lots of time in the Mediterranean both sailing and land vacations, so a cruise through the Suez Canal with lots of stops in the Med does not thrill me. I also wonder about political climate (although I know no way to absolutely predict).

Spanishlady:P&O does have some very interesting itineraries. I like the Arcadia's circumnavigation route in 2019. Arcadia is 83K g/t so that is a plus for us. Cunard is also sailing some larger ships so those are options. The formal dress code on Cunard wouldn't be our first choice, but we certainly have the wardrobe should we go that route.

TampaGirl:I know right? So hard to plan for something without even a hint at itinerary. Right now I'm simply gathering information so that I make an informed decision. I'm using current availability for research but realize that will change.

Are you sailing on Hal's Amsterdam for Grand Asia? I very much enjoy HAL and the Amsterdam. In terms of lines sailing worldcruises right now, HAL would be the line I am most familiar with and at 60Kg/t, I think the Amsterdamwill be about the smallest ship we would want to sail for any length of time.That's good for us in the sense that many of the smaller ships are more expensive. Rarely is my desire inversely proportionate to cost.

I do know that most people on Cruise Critic are fans of early booking. It's not that I'm against early booking, but I've typically found my very best deals after final payment even considering perks. When pricing cruises leaving at the beginning of January 2018 (approximately 60 days out) it seems that most lines are offering the very same incentives as early booking (free grats, laundry,etc...). Odd as it seems to me, the actual PRICE is more than relatively similar itineraries leaving in 2019. It might actually be better to book a world cruise early and benefit from cabin selection. Time will tell I suppose,I have several years to look for trends.

So far in my research I believe I've come to conclusion that we would like a mid to large size ship to sail on so there are a bit more choices in entertainment with a more diverse population. I also know that we would much prefer an itinerary with less stops in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and prefer as many overnights as possible.

A few things I am budgeting for which could add up significantly and will be a factor in final selection:

1) Availability and cost of internet. We will need to stay connected most, if not all of the time so an unlimited plan is preferred. We realize there will be times where the satellite signal is too weak (like the Norwegian Fjords), but DH will still be operating his business and will need to be in touch with his employees on a regular basis.

2).Laundry. I like ships with free/discounted/or self-serve laundry available, but could manage without. HAL's perk to send free luggage is nice, but I priced out sending luggage to Florida and it was not all that expensive. Leaving from Europe is another matter entirely.

3)Insurance. One of the lines is offering health care onboard the ship as a perk.Interesting. I need to figure out what part of my insurance is international.I'm also looking at trip insurance policies for this length. The longest we've done is a month so this is much different.

4) Drink packages: Looks like a few lines are offering complimentary beer/wine at lunch and dinner. This is a very nice perk for us as DH does enjoy his beer. Some of the lines are far more reasonable in beer pricing (P&O and CMV for example) when compared to lines like HAL, so that is something for us to consider as well. At American bar pricing, we could easily end up with a substantial alcohol bill.

I realize there are many incidentals that add to the cost of the cruise, but these are the 4 things I think could add $1,000's of dollars to the trip. Am I missing anything big? I know that excursions are a large cost, but excursion pricing should be about the same for us no matter what ship since we would do most outside of the cruise line. Our budget is 100K so I want to make sure that I'm spreading that pot in all the right places.


Thanks again for any of your thoughts. I know I am SUPER early, but planning is half the fun for me. We're headed to the Galapagos this summer, so my cup is overflowing with vacation planning at the moment, which is exactly how I like it.
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#9
Virginia
22,270 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
If you have not done so, read Pete's blog, http://www.theinsidecabin.com/ . He and his wife did the WV on Amsterdam in 2016 and will be doing the 2018 also on HAL. At the top of his webpage click on "World Cruise Reference". He gave lots of good information.

One thing about booking early is that prices can rise. For the 2018 HAL WV I have a DA cabin. Earlier this year the price had increased by $10,000. On the other hand, I have seen some years where there were good sales.
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My Cruise Blogs
World Voyage Blog - http://kathisworldvoyage.blogspot.com/
A Winter Crossing - http://cunard2015.blogspot.com
The Sail-Away Gang's Cruise - http://westerdam2015.blogspot.com/
Fall Foliage Cruise -http://fallfoliagecruise2015.blogspot.com/
South Pacific/North to Alaska - http://halcruises2016.blogspot.com/
Around the World Again - https://2018halgwv.blogspot.com/

Evangeline - Nassau - 1960
Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt - EB TA - 1962
Queen Mary - WB TA - 1962
Raffaello - Caribbean - 1968
MV Three Gorges - Yangtze River - 1988
Atlas - Nile River - 1995
Olympic - Aegean Sea - 1996
Constellation - Baltic Sea - 2005
Disney Fantasy - Caribbean - 2012
Queen Elizabeth - World Voyage 2014
Queen Elizabeth - Southampton to Fort Lauderdale - 2015

Westerdam - FLL to Seattle with the "Sail-away Gang" - 2015
Liberty of the Seas - Canada/New England - 2015
Westerdam - Hawaii, Tahiti, and the Marquesas with the "Pearls of the Pacific" - 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 2016
#10
90,328 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
BermudaBound2014 I want to complement you on being very thorough and for thinking things out.

My experience has been to book the World Cruise early. Some lines give you added incentives for doing this and I have seen prices go up. Should they go down we have been able to get the lower price. My experience on the line we sail is that the lowest priced and highest price categories go first as to the ones in the better locations within the other categories so I would keep that in mind.

Keith
#11
Tampa, Florida
3,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by BermudaBound2014
Thank you for playing along .

TampaGirl:I know right? So hard to plan for something without even a hint at itinerary. Right now I'm simply gathering information so that I make an informed decision. I'm using current availability for research but realize that will change.

Are you sailing on Hal's Amsterdam for Grand Asia? I very much enjoy HAL and the Amsterdam. In terms of lines sailing worldcruises right now, HAL would be the line I am most familiar with and at 60Kg/t, I think the Amsterdamwill be about the smallest ship we would want to sail for any length of time.That's good for us in the sense that many of the smaller ships are more expensive. Rarely is my desire inversely proportionate to cost.
BermudaBound - yes, we are booked on the 2018 Grand Asia and are looking forward to exploring possible excursions after the first of the year. Will most likely use independent, non-HAL, providers. Never having taken a cruise of more than 25 days, I have found the World Cruising site on CC to be of tremendous help, as well as The Inside Cabin's blog and reports. At the conclusion of the 2016 World Cruise, he did a report on average onboard and onshore expenses; as well as packing tips. If you can find the blog, these reports should be at the end of the blog. If you need the site, let me know. I have it on the laptop but not on this computer.

Re World cruise lines, have you checked the Viking cruises? I don't remember the size of their ships, but they look stunning. Not sure if I can stand 180 days, however. That could be sour grapes, of course. In any event, half the fun is in the planning - enjoy!
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#12
USA
4,416 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by BermudaBound2014
Thank you for playing along .



1) Availability and cost of internet. We will need to stay connected most, if not all of the time so an unlimited plan is preferred. We realize there will be times where the satellite signal is too weak (like the Norwegian Fjords), but DH will still be operating his business and will need to be in touch with his employees on a regular basis.

2).Laundry. I like ships with free/discounted/or self-serve laundry available, but could manage without. HAL's perk to send free luggage is nice, but I priced out sending luggage to Florida and it was not all that expensive. Leaving from Europe is another matter entirely.

3)Insurance. One of the lines is offering health care onboard the ship as a perk.Interesting. I need to figure out what part of my insurance is international.I'm also looking at trip insurance policies for this length. The longest we've done is a month so this is much different.

4) Drink packages: Looks like a few lines are offering complimentary beer/wine at lunch and dinner. This is a very nice perk for us as DH does enjoy his beer. Some of the lines are far more reasonable in beer pricing (P&O and CMV for example) when compared to lines like HAL, so that is something for us to consider as well. At American bar pricing, we could easily end up with a substantial alcohol bill.

I realize there are many incidentals that add to the cost of the cruise, but these are the 4 things I think could add $1,000's of dollars to the trip. Am I missing anything big? I know that excursions are a large cost, but excursion pricing should be about the same for us no matter what ship since we would do most outside of the cruise line. Our budget is 100K so I want to make sure that I'm spreading that pot in all the right places.
Many of these things you list are complimentary on Oceania for their world cruises. Many other things included too. Check them out.
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Oceania Insignia 1-2019 (World Cruise - 161 days)
Ruby Princess 9-2018 (Seattle-Vancouver - 1 day) **Elite**
Ruby Princess 9-2018 (Northern California Coastal - 7 days)
Oceania Insignia 12-2017 (Cuba - 7 days)
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Regal Princess 11-2017 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Caribbean Princess 3-2017 (Southern Caribbean - 8 days)
Celebrity Silhouette 8-2016 (British Isles, Guernsey, Belgium, Amsterdam - 14 days)
Grand Princess 11-2015 (Hawaii - 15 days)

Celebrity Infinity 10-2014 (TA - England, Azores, Bermuda, Bahamas - 14 days)
Celebrity Reflection 3-2014 (Eastern Caribbean - 7 days)
Crown Princess 7-2013 (Baltics/Russia - 14 days)
Emerald Princess 3-2012 (Eastern Caribbean - 10 days)
Caribbean Princess 6-2011 (Canada/New England - 9 days)
Crown Princess 9-2010 (TA - British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, Canada - 14 days)
Coral Princess 12-2008 (Full Panama Canal, Central America, Mexico - 14 days)
Sun Princess 9-2007 (Alaska - 7 days)
Carnival Paradise 9-2003 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Carnival Fantasy 1-1990 (Bahamas - 4 days)
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#13
Michigan
1,449 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
FYI our WC on Viking is only 120 days. It should be pretty all-inclusive. However, I did look at the website for next year's WC and it will not include medical or laundry( complimentary self serve still included) for all cabin categories. There is a generous on-board credit to use for optional excursions. We did find that in many ports we wanted to do something else instead/in addition to the "included" excursion. We are VERY excited and I will report back once the cruise is over. Not sure if I had years to plan this I would have done it.....planning is more stressful than I anticipated and I am already missing grandchildren!
#14
Tampa, Florida
3,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by deec
FYI our WC on Viking is only 120 days. It should be pretty all-inclusive. However, I did look at the website for next year's WC and it will not include medical or laundry( complimentary self serve still included) for all cabin categories. There is a generous on-board credit to use for optional excursions. We did find that in many ports we wanted to do something else instead/in addition to the "included" excursion. We are VERY excited and I will report back once the cruise is over. Not sure if I had years to plan this I would have done it.....planning is more stressful than I anticipated and I am already missing grandchildren!
Not sure where I got the 180 days - maybe Oceania? Or maybe I just wasn't reading carefully. It did seem a little too long, at least for me.
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#15
USA
4,416 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Tampa Girl
Not sure where I got the 180 days - maybe Oceania?
Yes, Oceania is the 180 day world cruise. I don't think any other line is this long.
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Life's Milestones are Best Celebrated in Nautical Miles.



Oceania Insignia 1-2019 (World Cruise - 161 days)
Ruby Princess 9-2018 (Seattle-Vancouver - 1 day) **Elite**
Ruby Princess 9-2018 (Northern California Coastal - 7 days)
Oceania Insignia 12-2017 (Cuba - 7 days)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Regal Princess 11-2017 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Caribbean Princess 3-2017 (Southern Caribbean - 8 days)
Celebrity Silhouette 8-2016 (British Isles, Guernsey, Belgium, Amsterdam - 14 days)
Grand Princess 11-2015 (Hawaii - 15 days)

Celebrity Infinity 10-2014 (TA - England, Azores, Bermuda, Bahamas - 14 days)
Celebrity Reflection 3-2014 (Eastern Caribbean - 7 days)
Crown Princess 7-2013 (Baltics/Russia - 14 days)
Emerald Princess 3-2012 (Eastern Caribbean - 10 days)
Caribbean Princess 6-2011 (Canada/New England - 9 days)
Crown Princess 9-2010 (TA - British Isles, Iceland, Greenland, Canada - 14 days)
Coral Princess 12-2008 (Full Panama Canal, Central America, Mexico - 14 days)
Sun Princess 9-2007 (Alaska - 7 days)
Carnival Paradise 9-2003 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)
Carnival Fantasy 1-1990 (Bahamas - 4 days)
Carnival Holiday 12-1989 (Western Caribbean - 7 days)








#16
528 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
I recently received a brochure from a cruise company based in Seattle (not the big box store). They included a few 2
020 itineraries in the brochure.
#17
Tampa, Florida
3,934 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by sandiego1
I recently received a brochure from a cruise company based in Seattle (not the big box store). They included a few 2
020 itineraries in the brochure.
Are you referring to a cruise line or a travel agency? Travel agencies cannot be mentioned on CC, but cruise lines are always mentioned. If it is a cruise line, which company has their 2020 itineraries out, besides Cunard, which I think does have some itineraries out.
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#18
Virginia
22,270 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by Tampa Girl
Are you referring to a cruise line or a travel agency? Travel agencies cannot be mentioned on CC, but cruise lines are always mentioned. If it is a cruise line, which company has their 2020 itineraries out, besides Cunard, which I think does have some itineraries out.
I received a brochure from my TA (likely the same as above) which showed 2020 World Voyages for Crystal and Regent Seven Seas.
#20
Anywhere, USA
1,903 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
"So far in my research I believe I've come to conclusion that we would like a mid to large size ship ..."


Keep in mind, though, that the smaller ships can often go further upriver or dock much closer to city centers than the mid to large ships. We appreciated the size of Insignia in this respect when we did this year's RTW.
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