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Your first cruise ship

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Ship+Photo+Song+of+America.jpg

 

Song of America (1982-present) Entered service in 1982 as Song of America for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL). She was sold in 1999 to My Travel/Sun Cruises and renamed Sunbird. When that company pulled out of the cruise vacation and ship ownership business at the end of 2004, she was chartered until 2011 by Thomson Cruises (UK) and renamed Thomson Destiny.

 

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Due to bar [ wrapped about the funnel], in her day 'Song of America' was classed as 'The Worlds Tallest Cruise Ship' .

In one of his books Douglas Ward advised her as a very good ship in which to take ones first cruise. As I recall she was the second ship that we cruised on, and it was a very relaxing event!

 

john

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John,our first ship was the Polynesia of Windjammer fame. We sailed it in 1979 I believe. It now rusts away at the dock in Aruba.

Our first BIG ship was Paquet Cruise Lines Rhapsody. We sailed it in the early eighties (?) with a carribean itinerary. Unlimited complimentary wine (good stuff too) with dinner.

 

Rich and Karen

 

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Argus (1938-present) Built in 1938, Argus was one of the last of the great Portuguese Grand Banks fleet. The 248 foot schooner was acquired by Windjammer Barefoot Cruises in 1975, and renamed Polynesia.

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Statendam IV (1957-2004) Delivered in 1957 she sailed for Holland America Line until 1982. Bought by Nouvelle Compagnie De Paquetvots, CIE aka the Paquet group in 1982 for which she sailed as Rhapsody. In 1986 she was sold to the Lelakis group and named Regent Star in the Regency Cruises fleet. When Regency Cruises went bankrupt in 1995 she was laid up until scrapped in 2004.

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Our first cruise was in October/1980 on the VERA CRUZ. Then we did not go on any cruise until June/1991 on the QUEEN ELIZABETH II. Now, we are up to 42 cruises with 506 days at sea and are anxiously awaiting our next trip on the msPRISENDAM on November 23 (a 26 day round-trip Fort Lauderdale Amazon Explorer cruise). Only 68 more days to go!!!!

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My first cruise was on the SS Viking Princess in July 1965 with my family from New York City to Bermuda. Copper 10-8 seems to have photos of many ships and I wonder if he has one of this ship. I wish I knew the Cruise line but don't, although the crew was Italian from the Captain on down. I believe the SS Viking Princess caught fire and burned in St. Thomas some years later. I would love to verify this information so if Copper 10-8 or anyone else knows, please advise.

 

Our first cruise was on the Prinsendam in September 1978 to Alaska as part of a WestTours tour. This was the Prinsendam immortaled in Burning Cold.

 

I must have been bad luck for the ships on these first two cruises but since then, all is well.

 

Barbara

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I only know that it was September of 1978, 30 years ago, 26 cruises ago, that my husband and our best friends, another couple, sailed out of Athens, Greece on a small Greek ship on a five day cruise of the Agean Sea. It was cheap and the first sailing for all of us. We had oompa music in the dining room and broke actual china plates as we danced around and wove our way through the dining room forming a chain with the Greek dining room waiters! We had blue skies and deep blue calm water all five days and I have been hooked ever since.

 

The night before we had been wined and dined by a Greek couple that we had met and my husband had his share of the Greek drink (I tasted it and it reminded me of kerosene) that I think was called "oozo" (spelling). He was very hung over the next day when we boarded the ship. He stayed in the cabin while we all went up top to enjoy the view and sun. A couple of hours later, I returned to the cabin and he was lying in bed saying that he was already sea sick and we had only been at sea a couple of hours. I laughingly told him we had never left the port!! :p We were divorced in 1987 (still good friends) and to my knowledge he has never been on a cruise since then!!

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First cruise was 8/18/82 on the Sitmar Fairwind. It was a 10 day Eastern Caribbean to St. Thomas, Antigua, Martinique, St. Maarten and St. Croix. We were in cabin E155. I was 7 at the time, but I guess 20+ cruises and 25 years later you could say I am hooked.

 

First HAL cruise 4/2/89 on the Westerdam. Went to San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Freeport.

 

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Sylvania (1957-2004) delivered in 1957 for Cunard Line for secondary North Atlantic services. She was sold to Sitmar Line and was renamed Fairwind in 1968 after rebuilding. She was briefly renamed Sitmar Fairwind in 1988, before becoming Dawn Princess when Princess Cruises acquired Sitmar. In 1993, Princess sold her back to the Vlasov Group V-Ships, the previous owners of Sitmar, with Phoenix Seereisen operating her under charter as Albatros until 2004. She was then sold for scrap and broken up at Alang, India.

Ship+Photo+ALBATROS.jpg

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My first cruise was with one of my friends and after much deliberation we chose the Norway which had just become the Norway ( from the SS France)over a carnival ship the Mardi gras I think?? My parents had already been on at least a half dozen cruises so instead of our usual Club Med we picked the Norway...

 

Big mistake, we were seated at a table of 6 the other 4 people were honeymooners( 2nd marriages) we were in our mid 20's and everyone else except the 40something tablemates were at least 70, we had a lot of Don Ameche looking guys hitting on us. We had late seating and never made it for Bkfst ( there was no bkfst/lunch buffett back then..just hamburgers by the pool at lunch)..Tiny Tim was the guest Emcee and what a sight to behold he was...My one and only visit to the midnite buffett was to witness him stuffing shopping bags with the MN buffett food.. Other memories were of seeing On golden pond in the ships theatre, we had to tender into some ports as I recall as the ship was so big( the biggest at the time???) we visited ST Thomas, nassau and I forget the rest. Drinks were like 50 cents cash, our room was bunks and probably was a broom closet in a previous life. We paid $1100pp including airfare for our broom closet . My friend was seasick most the time... the seas were rough

 

Didn't cruise again till 1998 when we cruised as a family on the regal empress out of Port Manatee / My kids and I were hooked not so my husband..

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My first cruise was with one of my friends and after much deliberation we chose the Norway which had just become the Norway ( from the SS France)over a carnival ship the Mardi gras I think?? My parents had already been on at least a half dozen cruises so instead of our usual Club Med we picked the Norway...

 

Big mistake, we were seated at a table of 6 the other 4 people were honeymooners( 2nd marriages) we were in our mid 20's and everyone else except the 40something tablemates were at least 70, we had a lot of Don Ameche looking guys hitting on us. We had late seating and never made it for Bkfst ( there was no bkfst/lunch buffett back then..just hamburgers by the pool at lunch)..Tiny Tim was the guest Emcee and what a sight to behold he was...My one and only visit to the midnite buffett was to witness him stuffing shopping bags with the MN buffett food.. Other memories were of seeing On golden pond in the ships theatre, we had to tender into some ports as I recall as the ship was so big( the biggest at the time???) we visited ST Thomas, nassau and I forget the rest. Drinks were like 50 cents cash, our room was bunks and probably was a broom closet in a previous life. We paid $1100pp including airfare for our broom closet . My friend was seasick most the time... the seas were rough

 

Didn't cruise again till 1998 when we cruised as a family on the regal empress out of Port Manatee / My kids and I were hooked not so my husband..

 

Tiny Tim & Don Ameches - the images make me smile!

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My first cruise was on the SS Viking Princess in July 1965 with my family from New York City to Bermuda. Copper 10-8 seems to have photos of many ships and I wonder if he has one of this ship. I wish I knew the Cruise line but don't, although the crew was Italian from the Captain on down. I believe the SS Viking Princess caught fire and burned in St. Thomas some years later. I would love to verify this information so if Copper 10-8 or anyone else knows, please advise.

 

Our first cruise was on the Prinsendam in September 1978 to Alaska as part of a WestTours tour. This was the Prinsendam immortaled in Burning Cold.

 

I must have been bad luck for the ships on these first two cruises but since then, all is well.

 

Barbara

 

Taking this one out of order!;)

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Lavoisier (1950-1966) Lavoisier was built in 1950 by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire at St. Nazaire, France for Chargeurs Reunis (France) for which she sailed until 1961. She was 11,968 tons, 537 feet long and carried 94 first class and 230 2nd class passengers. She became Riviera Prima for Caribbean Cruise Line (Italy) from 1961 until 1964 and then Viking Princess for Flagship Lines (Norway) 1964 until 1966. During her service life, she operated between Europe, the US and the Caribbean. In 1966, as Viking Princess, she caught fire off Cuba, with the resulting loss of two passengers, following which she was scrapped in Bilbao, Spain

Riviera03.jpg

VikingPrincess01.jpg

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Our first experience on a cruise ship was August of 1993 or 94. We went on the Southern Carribbean voyage on RCCL's Monarch of the Seas roundtrip from Puerto Rico. It was fabulous!! The next time that we had a chance to ocean cruise was on HAL on the Noordam in the Mediterranean in Sept of 2002. We enjoy HAL, but there seems to be other trips (not necessarily cruises) that we want to do also. We will be taking a Christmas markets river cruise this December.:)

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Ship+Photo+CARNIVALE.jpg

 

Empress of Britain (1956-present) Sailed for Canadian Pacific Line until 1964 when sold to the Greek Line as Queen Anna Maria. Following the collapse of the Greek Line, she was sold to Carnival Cruise Line in 1976 as "Carnivale". She was transferred to subsidiary Fiesta Marine Cruises as Fiesta Marina in 1993 and sold again in 1994 to Epirotiki Line (Royal Olympic Cruise Line from 1996) as "Olympic" In 2003, the vessel was chartered, and then later sold to Topaz International as Topaz to sail with the Peace Boat organization.

 

In April 2008, she was retired from the Peace Boat organization; and she was laid up. On June 15, while she was anchored, she was struck by the tanker Champion Brali. The collision severed off part of her bow. Her future currently remains uncertain although it has been reported that she has been sold for scrap to an unidentified Indian shipbreaker.

Wow!!! Does this picture bring back memories. We sailed on her as the Empress of Britain from Saint John, New Brunswick to Liverpool in January, 1957. I was eleven years old and it was the most exciting experience of my young life. There was only one suite and we had it, as well as the adjoining room--all at government expense!!! We were on our way to Germany for two years with numerous other army personel and families. My father was the ranking officer--ergo the suite. Children were fed first in the dining room and then the adults went down to eat--a dressy affair every night. There were only two other children in first class so it was a rather lonely trip---in those days you stayed on your own deck. We lost power in the Irish Sea and had to be towed into Liverpool. I still remember all the masts of shipping that was sunk during the war sticking out of the water as we approached Liverpool. I wonder if they are still there.

 

So sad to learn of her fate.

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Ah yes, I remember it well! HAL, The Ryndam, 1998, Vancouver to Seward, followed by a land tour ending in Fairbanks. We were hooked the first day! :)

 

Ship+Photo+Ryndam.jpg

 

m/s Ryndam (1994-present)

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Great job John, this tread is a lot of fun. I don't this has happened to anyone else but the first ship I cruised on was also my last to cruise. In '96 I cruised on the Regal Empress out of New York to New England including Rhode Island, Marthas Vinyard, and Bar Harbor Maine and I think St Johns Bay. In '07 , I again cruised the Regal Empress although a bit run down from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas on a two nighter.Thanks for all your posts. joe seaya

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Hey Copper, did you find any good pics of Carnival Celebration? I didn't even bring a camera with me in 1991. Thanks so much.

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Thank you, Copper for the wonderful old pictures and the thread. My first cruise was on Carnival Celebration in 1991 to San Juan, St. Thomas & St. Maarten. I couldn't convince any friends to go with me so I went by myself and Carnival found me a roommate. It was so fantastic! - the cruise, not the roommate. There was a wonderful steel drum band out by the pool everyday and people danced all day and I danced in the pool for hours. It was such a good vibe. I got strep throat a few days out and I always tell people I had the best time of anyone who ever had strep throat! I was hooked. I rented a car and drove up to Disneyworld for a few days after the cruise but I couldn't talk the whole time. Thanks for the memories.

 

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Celebration (1987-present) Delivered to Carnival Cruise Line for which she operated until mid-2008 when she was (internally) transferred to Iberocruceros (Spain) and renamed Grand Celebration

Iberocruceros was founded in 2007 as a joint subsidiary of Carnival Corporation and Orizonia Corporacion. The cruise line is aimed at the Spanish-speaking market. Orizonia Corporación provided 2 ships from its existing Iberojet fleet, the Grand Mistral and the Grand Voyager. Carnival Cruise Lines provided Iberocruceros with the Grand Celebration and soon to be Grand Holiday (currently, the Holiday).

 

Ship+Photo+Grand+Celebration.jpg

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First cruise was a 4 day LA-Ensenada and return on the Cunard Adventurer.

 

After hearing stories from my Aunt Lily of her sailings on the Leonardo DaVinci and the SS France, I was actually disappointed and not hooked first time outta the box.

 

 

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Cunard Adventurer (1971-present) Delivered in 1971, Cunard Adventurer was one of a series of small, cruise-oriented vessels the line operated at that time. She operated for Cunard until 1977 when she was sold to Norwegian Caribbean Line and renamed Sunward II. She was sold to Epirotiki Line (Greece) as Triton in 1991 and then passed to the combined Royal Olympic Cruises fleet in 1995. Following the collapse of Royal Olympic, Triton was sold to Louis Hellenic Cruises at public auction in 2005 who renamed her "Coral". She is currently sailing for Louis under that name.

Ship+Photo+Coral.jpg

 

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Ship+Photo+Cunard+Adventurer.jpg

 

Cunard Adventurer (1971-present) Delivered in 1971, Cunard Adventurer was one of a series of small, cruise-oriented vessels the line operated at that time. She operated for Cunard until 1977 when she was sold to Norwegian Caribbean Line and renamed Sunward II. She was sold to Epirotiki Line (Greece) as Triton in 1991 and then passed to the combined Royal Olympic Cruises fleet in 1995. Following the collapse of Royal Olympic, Triton was sold to Louis Hellenic Cruises at public auction in 2005 who renamed her "Coral". She is currently sailing for Louis under that name.

 

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Thanks for that pic, Copper. So much nicer than that faded postcard I found on Simplon Postcards.

 

She looks real nice as the Coral. (Probably better service, too.) :)

 

I'd been looking for a better pic off-and-on today cuz I figured you would pass this ship as I had already posted the postcard. So I was surprised and delighted you found something better.

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Ours was the Carnival Tropicale in 1999. I believe that it was only 40,000 tons. We were on the lowest deck at the very rear. The location gave the room a weird pulsing motion due to the engines. The seas never got over 3 feet but that, combined with the location and small ship size, almost turned my wife off cruising for good. The real topper was when we heard that several cruises later, it lost an engine in a hurricane and the toilets flooded the hallways.

 

Fortunately, I was able to convince my SO into trying a second time (larger ship and higher up) and she had a much better time. Our third cruise is next week!

 

Tropicale02.jpg

 

Tropicale (1981-present) Delivered to Carnival Cruise Line in 1981 as Tropicale as the first of Carnival’s “new builds” as well as the first appearance of the distinctive “whale-tail” funnel. She operated for them mainly in the Caribbean but also to the Mexican Riviera until 2000 when she received an internal transfer to Costa Cruises and was renamed Costa Tropicale. In December 2005, she entered service with P & O Australia Cruises as Pacific Star home-based at Brisbane and cruising Queensland’s coastline as well as the South Pacific Islands of Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Loyalty Islands and onto New Zealand. She was acquired by Pullmantur Cruises (Spain) in March 2008 and is currently cruising for them as Ocean Dream.

Ship+Photo+Ocean+Dream.jpg

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John, thanks for posting the pic.

 

My first cruise was also on the Viking Serenade, the 4 day version of the Baja cruise. I believe that was in 1990. What a great time! The food and service were wonderful. Our steward iced down our wine every afternoon that we had brought on board with us. My buddy and I started out at a dinner table with a married couple. We asked the Maître d' after dinner the first night if we could move to a table that might include single women. He readily accepted the challenge and seated us with a wonderful group of nice women for the rest of the cruise.

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John, thanks for posting the pic.

 

My first cruise was also on the Viking Serenade, the 4 day version of the Baja cruise. I believe that was in 1990. What a great time! The food and service were wonderful. Our steward iced down our wine every afternoon that we had brought on board with us. My buddy and I started out at a dinner table with a married couple. We asked the Maître d' after dinner the first night if we could move to a table that might include single women. He readily accepted the challenge and seated us with a wonderful group of nice women for the rest of the cruise.

 

Sounds like a good time was had by all! Hope you guys tipped him;) Viking Serenade had a pretty nice Viking Crown Lounge

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Thank you John for taking the time to find these great photos. They bring back wonderful memories of our early days of cruising.

We all owe you a Wang Wang.:)

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Sounds like a good time was had by all! Hope you guys tipped him;) Viking Serenade had a pretty nice Viking Crown Lounge

 

You bet; that tip was given gladly.

 

You know when we came back from an afternoon of a little alcohol consumption and a good time at Senior Frog's, they were ready for us outside the Windjammer Café with barbecued cheese burgers. They really did a great job of anticipating their passengers' needs & desires.

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Firts cruise was a back-to-back on the 18,000 ton Cunard Countess back in the 80's. We had spent years touring all over Europe -- finally talked DH into a cruise. He wanted to do only 7 days -- I said "No way" -- I am not flying to San Juan for just a 7 day cruise. One week was port intensive -- a different port each day. The other week we had just 5 different ports. First time we went to Caracas -- took pictures and compared it with pictures my mother had taken when they were there in the 30's -- nothing much had changed.

 

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Cunard Countess (1974-present) Although delivered in 1974, Cunard Countess did not begin sailing for Cunard until 1976. In 1982/83 she was used as a troop ship during the Falklands conflict. She was sold to Royal Olympic Cruise Line (Greece) in 1997 and became the Olympic Countess and, later, Olympia Countess. Following the collapse of Royal Olympia in January 2004, she was aquired after public auction by Majestic International subsidiary Maximus Navigation and named Ocean Countess. In 2005, she was chartered to TravelPlan/Globalia (Spain) and in 2006 to German tour operator Holiday Kreuzfahrten as Lili Marleen. Holiday Kreuzfahrten failed later that year and she was returned to Majestic International. In 2007 she was chartered Louis Hellenic Cruise Line and renamed Ruby to replace Sea Diamond (lost at Santorini). She is currently on charter to Monarch Classic Cruises, another subsidiary of Majestic International Cruises, once again as Ocean Countess

 

Ship+Photo+OCEAN+COUNTESS.jpg

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