What Makes for a GREAT Cruise for YOU?

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#1
Margate, Florida
6,683 Posts
Joined Jul 2013
So what does make a cruise great for you? Is it the food, the accommodations, the friends you come with or those you meet on board? Is it the ports of call, or the service (from wait staff to housekeeping) -- what exactly is it for you?

Before we started cruising in 2004, I would have said - "the whole experience', 'the elegance I have heard others talk about'.

Now years later, and having gone on over a dozen cruises (many people have done more)....I know what makes a great cruise for me....it is the Entertainment Staff.

From the Cruise Director to the Activities Director to the newest member of the entertainment staff....they make the cruise Rock. From the cruise directors' planning with the Miami home office to the execution of the smallest detail (like the Karoake machine working), it all has to go smoothly for that wonderful cruise for me and DH. And, they do it, and do it and keep doing it....like energizer bunnies.

Just came off of another cruise on Majesty....and Mitch and his team with Mo (Activities Director) where outstanding. To Mitch and Mo -- enjoy your own upcoming vacations.....you made our little weekend getaway -- outstanding.

We have had great experiences with Dennis (Cruise Director) and Elvis (Activities Director)....and many others.....the entertainment team, makes a cruise great for us.
#2
Rhode Island
2,079 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
For me it is first and foremost the weather We have had a few cruises with rain here and there and that can put a damper on things. Being from the Northeast we are escaping cold, cloudy weather and hope to avoid it at all costs! When the weather is sunny and warm things seems to fall into place!

Really has nothing to do with the cruise, ship, destinations, crew or fellow passengers- just give me a bright sunny day and I'm happy!
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Cathy

Carnival Fantasy 1996
Golden Princess 2002
Golden Princess 2003
Serenade of the Seas 2004
Adventure of the Seas 2005
Crown Princess 2006
Liberty of the Seas 2008
Independence of the Seas 2009
Explorer of the Seas 2010
Oasis of the Seas 2011
Oasis of the Seas 2012
Allure of the Seas 2013
Allure of the Seas 2014
#3
Ireland
204 Posts
Joined Jun 2011
I know this is a bit soppy but to be honest it's enjoying a shared love of cruising with my husband and having quality time together!
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09.09.2012 Freedom 7-night Eastern Caribbean
16.05.2013 Explorer 9-night Bermuda & Caribbean
03.11.2013 Navigator 7-night Italy & Spain
11.03.2014 Explorer 10-night Eastern Caribbean
15.10.2014 Oasis 12-night Westbound Transatlantic
30.04.2016 Celebrity Eclipse 8-night Norwegian Fjords
26.09.2016 Harmony 7-night Mediterranean
#4
Niagara, Ontario, Canada
3,949 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
My "checklist" of a GREAT cruise:

1. Staff friendliness - to us, it really makes our cruise when the staff is upbeat, and friendly
2. Not having to prepare meals or do dishes.
3. Nice weather
4. Ports we enjoy
5. Decent shows, including Quest, & Ice Show
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---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ---- ----
Carnival Victory - Jan '17 (7.5/10). Key West & Cozumel Quickie
Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas - Mar '16 (8/10). 6 Day Western with Labadee!

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas - Mar '15 (9/10) - Nice Eastern route with Labadee!
Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas - Mar '14 (8.5/10) - Back to Labadee with DW

Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas - Mar '13 (7/10) - Family Vacation!

Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas - Aug '09. (9.5/10). Dream Family Vacation.
Carnival's Holiday - Mexico Aug '08 (8.5/10) -Quick Fix Cruise.
Carnival's Sensation - Bahamas Mar '07 (8.5/10) - Family Spring Break Cruise.
NCLA's Pride of Aloha - Hawaii Aug '06 (9.5/10) -20th Anniversary Cruise! Our FIRST cruise.

Email: [email protected]
#5
Columbus, OH USA
28,044 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Paulette3028

Just came off of another cruise on Majesty....and Mitch and his team with Mo (Activities Director) where outstanding. To Mitch and Mo -- enjoy your own upcoming vacations.....you made our little weekend getaway -- outstanding.

I just got off Majesty as well over Halloween and thought they did a good job too. Ricky, from my previous two cruises on Majesty did a good job as well but it was the same both cruises.

Back to your question, I pretty much know what the expect so as long as my expectations are met. Some things that lessen a cruise aren't always under the control of the cruise line. My dive was canceled in Coco Cay which was a huge disappointing thing for me, but itprobably wasn't the cruise line's fault. On Jewel we almost missed the docking port of Costa Maya, and that would have been a huge dissapointment for me, but the captain actually went out of his way to get us there.

Food usually isn't a disaapointment for me, if something is bad, which rarely happens, they will replace it.
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1st cruise 4/29/06 RCCL Voyager of the Seas. - Eastern Caribbean.
2nd cruise - 5/11/07 Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas. MOTHER'S day cruise!
3rd cruise - 4/27/08 Freedom of the Seas -Western Caribbean. Freedom's 100th cruise!
4th cruise - 4/16/09 Navigator of the Seas - Cozumel/Belize.
5th cruise 11/15/10 Majesty of the Seas - Key West Nassau.
6th cruise -5/1/11 Allure of the Seas Eastern route 30th anniversary cruise
7th cruise 4/14/12 Jewel of the Seas Cozumel Costa Maya
8th cruise 4/28/13 Allure of the Seas Eastern route
9th cruise 10/28/13 Majesty of the Seas Halloween in Key West
10th cruise 5/3/14 Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean
11th cruise 4/26/15 Freedom of the Seas Western Caribbean
12th cruise 4/30/16 Oasis of the Seas Eastern Caribbean
13th cruise 10/17/16 Majesty of the Seas 4 day from Bahamas
14th cruise 4/29/17 Adventure of the Seas ABC islands.
15th cruise 9/18/17 Majesty of the Seas Irma shortened cruise


83 of 84 great night's sleep

21 days on an Oasis class, 19 days on a Voyager class,18 days on a Sovereign class ship, 14 days on a Freedom class, 12 days on a Radiance class, .







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#6
The Big Easy
19,011 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
For me, it's service, the ship and entertainment. I love live entertainment, especially in the evenings, which is one of the big reasons I am partial to RCI.

Additionally, I prefer a well behaved and courteous crowd, which is becoming a rare occurrance these days. But when it does happen, it makes a world of difference.
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Paul
Sunward II 11/88, Seaward 8/92, Seaward 4/96, Norwegian Sea 11/01, RCI Monarch 10/02, RCI Enchantment 10/03, RCI Majesty 5/04, RCI Adventure 10/04, RCI Explorer 10/05, RCI Majesty 5/06, RCI Freedom 9/06, RCI Explorer 5/07, RCI Adventure 10/07, RCI Navigator 2/08, RCI Navigator 8/08 (Med.), RCI Majesty 11/08, Celebrity Solstice 4/09, RCI Enchantment 7/09, RCI Radiance 11/09 (Mex. Riv.), Celebrity Solstice 4/10, RCI Majesty 6/10, RCI Majesty 8/10, RCI Oasis 10/10, RCI Radiance 11/10, Celebrity Century 1/11, RCI Allure 4/11, Nor. Sky 6/11, RCI Majesty 9/11, Nor. Sky 9/11, Celebrity Summit 11/11, RCI Liberty 2/12, Nieuw Amsterdam 5/12 (Med.), RCI Majesty 8/12, RCI Oasis 10/12, RCI Majesty 11/12, Nor. Dawn 12/12, RCI Liberty 2/13, RCI Majesty 4/13, Celebrity Millennium 6/13 (Alaska), RCI Enchantment 9/13, RCI Allure 11/13,Celebrity Constellation 1/14, Ruby Princess 2/14, RCI Liberty 4/14, Caribbean Princess 5/14, Zuiderdam (Alaska) 7/14, RCI Vision 8/14, RCI Liberty 11/14, Regal Princess 4/15, Oosterdam 10/15, Celebrity Eclipse 12/15, Nor. Escape 4/16, Carnival Liberty 10/16, Koningsdam 11/17
#7
1,458 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Good food in the specialty restaurants.

A week with very few kids on board.

A Crown Loft all to myself.

Enjoying a cigar on the balcony of said Crown Loft. (and yes, I'll probably still do this unless someone specifically asks me not to!)
#8
Central Florida exactly on north-29
2,074 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Meeting nice people, and I will tell you from our experiences, that people vary from nice to ugly on any given cruise.
Also like a cruise where there are no big groups or small groups who think anyone outside there group is a potential criminal LOL
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"Nothing taste as good as skinny feels" (Kate Moss)

"Without change, there can be no NOSTALGIA"
(Ghost Train To the Eastern Star)


Completed travel videos, more to to come????
https://www.youtube.com/user/nansea1/videos
#9
1,458 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by north29
groups who think anyone outside there group is a potential criminal LOL
I don't need to be part of a group to do that. I always assume everyone is a potential criminal! Just like when I drive, I assume every other driver is either drunk, distracted or just an idiot. Better safe than sorry!
#10
Pennsylvania
1,050 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
A week with my husband
Sitting on the balcony watching the ocean
An umbrella drink/glass of wine
Someone else cooking and cleaning
Beautiful weather and beaches

In that order
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Maryann
#11
New Hampshire
277 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Sitting in the adult only area reading a book looking at the ocean. Also spending time with my hubby.

Sent from my MB886 using Forums mobile app
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The ocean is the place i want to be


#12
chicago
2,504 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
For me, it's the "kick-off" at sailaway....good music, dancing, and a great drink. The tone of my cruises is always set by how I start it off. WITH A "BANG"!!!
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Judi




#13
chicago
2,504 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by erniebert
I know this is a bit soppy but to be honest it's enjoying a shared love of cruising with my husband and having quality time together!
Not soppy at all...I feel the same!
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Judi




#14
lisbon, ohio usa
2,502 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
lots of diff things but the one thing in particular for us is the service...if we have great service, it makes our cruise so much more enjoyable.




Marsha
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Upcoming Cruises:



December 10 2017 Carnival Splendor Western Caribbean
May 10 2018 Celebrity Millenium Alaska
October 9 2018 Celebrity Infinity Panama Canal Eastbound
#15
Mexico City
429 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
I know some people think the food is just fine or sometimes bad. I find it really good and I enjoy the WJ a lot. So to me it would be food + fashion. I really love putting my outfits together and planning every part of it.

Entertainment is whatever to me. I will go if there is anything worth it and I will enjoy it. If its not worth it or there isnt any I could care less. Same for the cruise director, could care less who he/she is. wouldnt even notice if there is or isnt.
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Oasis of the Seas Fort Lauderdale round, April 6, 2013
Jewel of the Seas Puerto Rico Round, January 11, 2014
Norwegian Epic Barcelona to Miami, October 26, 2014
Allure of the Seas, Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale, October 25 2015
Norwegian Sky Bahamas round, January 2, 2017

Coming up:
MSC Seaside, January 27, 2018
#16
Michigan
2,904 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
For me, the main thing is being at sea. I have basically shut out the real/outside world. I do not turn on the TV - but for muster drill. No news or movies. Also, no technology - no phone, no internet. I don't have to shop for food, cook food, or clean up after fixing/eating food. I don't do laundry or make my bed, or clean bathrooms. I do, however, keep my personal items under control.

I like the main dining room for dinner each night. I have never had a bad meal there; I do enjoy the service. I also like the nightly entertainment. Every night on the cruise is "date night". After 40 years, it is still fun to dress up a bit, have a nice dinner, and then see a show.

The last thing for me would be the daily activities, as well as time to mindlessly read a good book. I do a few of the activities, and will read a book or two while cruising, but what I really enjoy is an afternoon dip in the hot tub.
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#17
New Jersey
2,699 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by erniebert
I know this is a bit soppy but to be honest it's enjoying a shared love of cruising with my husband and having quality time together!
Not soppy at all. That's sweet.
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Madeline
#18
Lansing, MI and Ormond by the Sea, FL
2,831 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Originally posted by sleepless
For me, the main thing is being at sea. I have basically shut out the real/outside world.
That's just it for me! I feel very special when we cruise. Like I'm living in a dream. I like to dream!

Cathy
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Grandeur of the Seas, 03/01
Sovereign of the Seas, 12/02
Mariner of the Seas, 3/05
Liberty of the Seas, 5/07 (Pre Inaugural)
Enchantment of the Seas,12/07
Liberty of the Seas, 1/09
Grandeur of the Seas, 7/10, My Retirement Cruise!
Jewel of the Seas, 1/30/12
Liberty of the Seas, 2/21/13
Freedom of the Seas, 3/9/14
Freedom of the Seas, 1/4/15
Freedom of the Seas, 3/8/15
Enchantment of the Seas, 4/13/15
Brilliance of the Seas, 2/27/16
Navigator of the Seas, 3/27/16
Oasis of the Seas, 1/29/17

#19
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,352 Posts
Joined May 2001
Weather...followed by accomodations, food, then the entertainment...but not "group activities"....just good bands/shows, etc...
#20
Texas Hill Country
16,075 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by MS52
A week with my husband
Sitting on the balcony watching the ocean
An umbrella drink/glass of wine
Someone else cooking and cleaning
Beautiful weather and beaches and snorkeling

In that order
DITTO, that just about sums it up for me too. The absolute is the sea and the critters in it. There's just something sublime about being a little bitty spec in a huge liquid blue space...humbling
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167 Days at Sea with RCCL
14 with Celebrity
4 with Carnival