What made you decide to start cruising ?

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Leeds, UK
189 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
After my father passed away in 2005 my mum started cruising with my auntie and always raved about the good times they had. My DH was not interested in cruising but after seeing a good deal for cruising the med with Fred Olsen Balmoral in the paper he said he was willing to "give it a go" and that was the start of our cruising.
Since then we have been on some wonderful cruises inc transatlantic to NY and to Russia with Cunard and various others with P&O but also some with other lines. Just over 3 weeks and I will be embarking Aurora........can't wait......
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59 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
I think Eglesbrech deserves a virtual round of applause for starting this thread!
I don't know about anyone else, but I find that the people who dislike cruising the most are those that have never been.....
1,097 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by zoe sproodle
I think Eglesbrech deserves a virtual round of applause for starting this thread!
I don't know about anyone else, but I find that the people who dislike cruising the most are those that have never been.....
I quite agree. It’s been great to hear a bit about everyone as we have only had the pleasure of meeting a small number of fellow Cruise Critic contributors in the real world and very much enjoyed doing so, especially Andrew (Britboys) whose company we really enjoyed for a half hour chat on the top deck of Aurora when we were in Skagen in May.
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P&O Cruises Experience – 155 nights over 14 cruises (Aurora x 4, Azura, Britannia x 3, Oceana x 2, Oriana x 2, Ventura x 2)
P&O Cruises to Come - 62 nights over 4 cruises (2018 - Arcadia, Aurora, 2019 - Aurora x 2)

674(A) Oriana 14/5/96. Southampton to Istanbul (Fly back). 8 nights. Outside Cabin.
E620 Oceana 11/8/06. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
E720 Oceana 12/8/07. Canaries. 13 nights. Outside Cabin.
X912 Oriana 24/7/09. Baltic. 14 nights. Outside Cabin.
A118 Azura 5/8/11. Eastern Mediterranean. 16 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
N321 Ventura 18/8/13. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin.
B517 Britannia 15/8/15. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
B622 Britannia 23/7/16. Norwegian Fjords. 7 nights. Forward Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.
N703 Ventura 15/2/17. Amsterdam & Bruges. 4 nights. Penthouse Suite.
R705 Aurora 13/5/17. Baltic. 16 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
B721 Britannia 22/7/17. Western Mediterranean. 14 nights. Aft Suite + Adjacent Balcony Cabin.

R718 Aurora 20/10/17. Zeebrugge (although didn’t dock due to storm). 2 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin. Back to Back with;
R719 Aurora 22/10/17. Spain & France. 7 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
R802 Aurora 9/3/18. Northern Lights. 12 nights. Accessible Balcony Cabin.
north east
2,377 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Our first cruise happened when my children, (and all their friends) were home from uni for the summer. I found myself sitting in the bedroom as there was no space left downstairs! I was sick of feeding them all so found a very cheap cruise from Liverpool on teletext holidays. I was sick as a dog for 2 weeks and vowed never to step foot on a ship again.
SIX years later, I should add my husband loved it and really wanted to cruise again, anyway 6 years later I did a holiday auction and for a ridiculous price we went to the caribbean for 14 days. Fantastic holiday loved it. We then did another, and another, and........ Apart from UK we haven't been on a land based holiday for years now.

I would also like to say Thank-you for starting this thread.
959 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
I'm glad people are enjoying the thread, I certainly am. Really interesting to hear how people got started.

I am however astounded that more people were not inspired to the sea by Gopher, Doc, Isaac, Julie and Captain Stubbing - must just have been me then
458 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
We did European package holidays when our children wereyoung. Then our parents inherited somemoney and said they wanted to take us all to Florida, which we did 3 yearsrunning. We enjoyed the USA so our next holiday we went to Los Angeles and then to San Diego. Great holidays but the long hours flying put us off doing it again. We had friends who cruised several times a year and so were always talking about it, so when it came to booking a next holiday looked into cruising as my teenage sons did not want to fly. This was 2009 and we booked a 14 day cruise school holidays on Oceana. My youngest son who was 14 said it was hisbest holiday ever. We all enjoyed it butwere not sure if we all wanted to do it again, so following year we booked apackage holiday to a lovely hotel in Madeira. My 15 year old son, hardly left his room, he kept saying it was boring and my eldest son who was 19, said whenwe arrived “it doesn’t compare to a cruise”.

My only regret, as I am sure a lot of people have, is that my parents would have loved cruising and wish we had taken them with us whilst they were fit and able to go. We took my 85 year old father-in-law this yearto the Fjords and he absolutely loved everything about it and have booked againf or next year.
Southampton , United Kingdom
13 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Both My Wife and I grew up in Southampton, about a mile from the old Ocean Dock. As children we had both watched a long list of Ocean liners and Cruise ships come and go. We both thought Cruising was too expensive and only for the Rich. Then about 5 years ago we got a good deal on a 7 day trip to Norway and loved it.
United Kingdom
266 Posts
Joined Mar 2015
I'd never really done very much with my holidays, but when I retired I decided that I'd better start travelling more widely while I was still young enough and fit enough to do so. The idea of cruising had always appealed, with the ability to see lots of different places on a trip without continually having to move from one hotel to another. It was even more appealing as my eyesight is too poor for me to drive.

Then in 2010 I saw one of those full-page adverts in my newspaper from that well-known travel agent that specialises in cruises. It was for a cruise to the Canaries on Aurora departing in a couple of months time for what seemed like a very good price. So I took the plunge, thoroughly enjoyed it, and became a regular cruiser, mostly with P&O.
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549 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Great thread - Interesting to read how everyone got into cruising !!

For me I went into the travel agents to get a brochure for something else and picked up a leaflet for P&O Cruises, took it home and read it cover to cover about a 100 times and fell in love a cruise on Arcadia to Belgium, Holland, Germany, Norway and Denmark in December 2009

Just before I was due to sail they held the climate conference in Copenhagen - where we were due to have 2 full days - For me that was my reason to book as I had wanted to visit Copenhagen - People were demonstrating in Copenhagen so P&O sent me a letter saying we were going to go to Aarhus in Denmark and Gothenburg in Sweden instead of 2 full days in Copenhagen. I went on the cruise, had a great time, met some lovely people, came home and raved about it - but wouldnt sail again until 2012 when I booked on P&O Azura to the Norwegian Fjords, got a great deal on an inside cabin, too good to resist

Needless to say its an expensive addiction that I bloody love

49 Nights on 6 Cruises, 4 Ships, 13 Countries later all with P&O Cruises

Will be experiencing Princess Cruises from Vancouver to Alaska on the Star Princess in May 2018
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49 Nights at Sea, 13 Countries, 6 Cruises, 4 Ships...
894 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
We used to spend all our holidays in France or Spain (driving down) as I have always had a fear of flying but after the children had left home we felt we wanted to travel further afield (without flying). I noticed a cruise to Iceland in the travel agents so booked and have been hooked ever since! Visiting new countries made me want to visit even more!( I be got a lot of catching up to do) I even went on a fear of flying course ( and am flying to the Caribbean in march)but still prefer to cruise from the UK. I love the social side the fact that you can visit so many places on just one holiday and the fact that you only have to unpack once!��
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Crown Princess 2011
Independence of the Seas 2012
Queen Elizabeth 2013
Oceana March 2014
Ventura October 2014
Ventura April 2015
Cruise & Maritime July 2015
Arcadia Sept 2015
Ventura Feb 2016
Emerald Princess June 2016
Arcadia October 2016
Britannia March 2017
Britannia June 2017
Azura September 2017
Long Island,NY
3,526 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Eglesbrech
Friends of ours have just returned from their first cruise, which they loved. They decided to give it a try after hearing over the years how much we enjoy it as a holiday experience.

I should be on commission the number of people I have sent P&Os way. For Brits it's always a good place to start as it feels familiar and is generally an acceptable all round package.

For me it was watching the Love Boat which, at the time, seemed so sophisticated and thinking I would like to try cruising. For those of you too young to remember the Love Boat was an American TV series set on a Princess ship. It was a light hearted rom com. If I watched it now I would probably not be so impressed but this was back in the 70s when some uk hotel rooms were still not en suite and there were no fancy cocktails or pool parties.

So what gave you the cruise bug?
I lived in NYC and Cunard cruised from Manhattan.I decided to try a cruise and became "hooked."
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United Kingdom
503 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I was brought up in Liverpool and used to watch the ships that came into the Pier Head. When i said I was going on a ship one day my parents laughed and said it was only for the rich and not for the likes of us (that was in the early 60s) which made me more determined that one day i would cruise. A promotion at the age of 40 was what finally motivated me to book a cruise on the Victoria for my husband, myself and out then very young daughter. Husband hated it; daughter and I loved it and went on cruising every year until she left home last year. I also cruise alone and with friends.
Now that Liverpool has built a new cruise terminal, I really must try a cruise from there to go full circle; I know Fred sail from there so will probably try them.
17 Posts
Joined Feb 2015
I'm Australian and am married to an Englishman and have lived in England for 15 years. Every two years we fly home to Australia for Christmas and I usually require quite a few G&Ts to ensure the plane doesn't crash (stupid fear I know). My boss cruises a lot and kept telling me I'd love it so in September 2015 we did a eleven day cruise around Spain, France and Portugal on Britannia. He was right. I loved the ease of driving to Southampton, dropping the car off, unpacking suitcases and staying put whilst waking up every morning in a different port. I loved the food, the music, the bars, the pools, the dressing up for dinner. I loved the sound of the sea right outside the cabin door. So far we have been on three cruises, all with P&O and all on Britannia. We are booked on a Canary Islands cruise next year on the same ship. I know we probably need to branch out and that other cruise lines leave from Southampton.

We're off to Australia in December, get the G&Ts ready!!
Lancashire... UK
972 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by zoe sproodle
I think Eglesbrech deserves a virtual round of applause for starting this thread!
I don't know about anyone else, but I find that the people who dislike cruising the most are those that have never been.....
This is a wonderful thread....I agree with zoe sproodle the people who don't like....or say that they won't like...cruising are the ones who have never cruised....they just say "Oh I won't like cruising"....ask them why and they come up with all sorts of incorrect reasons....
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P&O Oceana Caribbean Dec 2010
Princess Star Mediterranean Sept 2011
P&O Azura Caribbean Dec 2011
RCI IOTS Canaries April 2012
Princess Caribbean Round Britain May 2012
P&O Oceana Canaries Nov 20112
Celebrity Infinity Norway & Fjords May 213
Princess Crown Mediterranean July 2013
P&O Ventura Mediterranean Oct 2013
Thomson Spirit Ireland May 2014
MSC Magnifica Northern Cities Sept 2014
MSC Splendida Northern Cities Sep 2016
P&O Azura Fjords Sept 2017
P&O Azura Spain,Portugal & France April 2018
Thomson Discovery European Experience Sept 2018
P&O Azura Fjords April 2019
P&O Ventura Spanish Cities & Portugal Sept 2019
131 Posts
Joined Aug 2016
Booked our first cruise 18 months ago on a whim. Booked last minute with RCL for 2 weeks around the med. Loved it so much we have already had 2 other cruises since to the Carribean and Spain. We were going to have a year off this year and have a couple of land based holidays booked,However looks like we will also be going to the Fjords in June .
Devon, UK
4,620 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
I should also add to my post that aged 20 I emigrated to Canada on the Cunard Sylvania. 15,000 tons and we had a Force 11 for 6 days. ropes up the stairs, fiddles on the tables to stop everything sliding off. Was sick for 2 days, but recovered with a brandy and port. Loved the life at sea. So many years later we started cruising.
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Southampton UK
16 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Nevasa was my 1st cruise, an educational school trip to the Med aged 15. Fast forward 30 years with a 25th wedding anniversary to celebrate, I managed to covince hubby that a cruise would be special. we decided on Pacific Princess ( The Love Boat) around the Holy Lands, wonderful ship, fantastic 2 weeks. Since then we have celebrated each significant anniversary with a dream holiday, another with Princess , then P & O who we love, 45th Anniversary this year, Aurora and Norway awaiting us.

Sent from my SM-T710 using Forums mobile app
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Cheshire, UK
783 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
After a few years of poor health which meant no holidays, we decided to splash out on a cruise to celebrate freedom. 1 May 1981 we stepped aboard the old Oriana and the rest is history. Still cruising after all these years and been to some fantastic places all round the world, although not exclusively cruises.

Hope to continue for as long as possible, well would rather spend money on fantastic holidays than care home fees!
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Life is like a book, if you don't travel, you only read the first page
81 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
When I was a kid we used to holiday with my Dad's family in Ireland,it was the 1950's,air travel wasn't an option,only rich people did that,much to the discomfort of my Mum who was sick days before the sailing & for days after!
I loved it though & later travelled by ferry wherever I could,holidays in the Netherlands & the Isle Of Man,along with countless day trips to the Isle Of Man where I would spend the whole voyage out on deck just watching the world(& ships) go by,holidays were great,just load up the car & forget everything until you get there.
But because ferries take time any destinations were close to home,we had no interest in the sun spots our holidays of choice saw us heading to the USA most years for fly drives,anything up to 3 weeks, driving 2-3000 miles at a time,such wonderful memories,but as we got older,the journey seemed harder,the security got stricter,& the flight prices kept going up,something needed to change.
Given our past history cruising seemed an obvious choice,if only we could find somewhere interesting to go without flying,still I wasn't at all keen on the idea,travelling somewhere by ship was enjoyable,being 'stuck' on one for 2 weeks seemed less appealing.
My Wife on the other hand was really keen on the idea,I think she liked the idea that it seemed glamorous,I finally gave in in 2010 & booked a cruise on the Crown Princess to Iceland & Norway which I thought sounded interesting destinations.
After booking I can still remember my Wife saying at least that is everything paid for,then we started reading the small print in the brochure,so much per person per cabin per day would be taken out for tips,£25 each extra to eat in the 'better' restaurants,along with seeing the price of the drinks which seemed very expensive & the thought of having to dress up which I hate made me even more apprehensive as the time approached.
We live in the North,the coach journey to Southampton seemed to take forever,arriving at Southampton we were kept waiting at the bottom of the escalator to the departure lounge for ages,we found out why when we got up there,it was a madhouse,just like being in an airport,not a good start!
This was July but we soon realised that many of our fellow passengers were not a hardy bunch as even in the Irish Sea on our first full day while we were still in t-shirt & shorts many had taken to overcoats,hats,scarfs & gloves,by the time we were approaching Iceland I was the only one out on deck,loved that bit,while inside evry space seemed crammed,not fun,the price of the drinks turned out to not be such a big problem after all as they seemed to run out of pretty much everything we liked within days of sailing!
We enjoyed the destinations,Norway especially was beautiful but after returning home we both said,'done it,wouldn't do it again!'.
Within weeks my Wife was telling me she loves cruising & wanted more,not only that but she now wanted anywhere sunny,giving in again we booked the school holiday cruise to Spain,Portugal,Canaries & Madeira on Britannia,her first year,found her too big,didn't like the dark colours inside,we had many teething troubles in our cabin,the balcony was too small,there were millions(or so it seemed) of kids but somehow we came home feeling that we actually had enjoyed it,for starters the check in at Southampton had been so much better which was a good start.
So the jury is still out but next month is a significant Birthday for me,I have just retired so we are flying out to join Britannia again on her cruise back to the UK,am i looking forward to it,as treat I booked the Premium upgrade on the flight & a suite on board to ease the pain(!),& yes I am,maybe an age thing but the 5 days at sea on the cruise out to the Azores sounds really peaceful,by the time we get back we may know whether we are(both) really into cruising!
2,482 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
I spent a lifetime saying cruises were not for me... I would want to get off, would feel claustrophobic, would not like all the events organised and was afraid of sinking. Not helped by 88 year old father in law loving his cruises on Saga and reeling off a lot of scenarios and activities I would hate but topping it all by complaining after the last one that the other people were just too old now on cruises even for him!!

Then some friends our own age started raving about a cruise on the Fjords and suggested we would like it. I started to investigate and coming up to the big 60 I surprised the family by saying I wanted to try a cruise as my Big Birthday Treat - even if I didn't like it, I wanted to try it and need never go again.

Well, that's the history. After a week on Oriana to the fjords back in 2013 we are both well and truly hooked. Met a couple on our dining table and got on like a house on fire and have been crusing with them every year ever since.