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Thank you very much for posting a picture of my all time favorite ship, many fond memories from her when she was the Vistafjord.

 

Of all the ships we have cruised on since the early 70's, she is the only one we have a picture of framed on display in our home.

 

To this day, we still miss her.

 

Yes I have a picture of her hanging in my home as well! She was wonderful.

I forgot to mention a later experience we had aboard the Caronia. Although we only had the fortune to sail on her once, we were in Southampton in January 2004 getting ready to sail the "Maiden Voyage" of the Queen Mary 2 and also in dock was the Caronia. We had friends who worked for Cunard in Southampton and as we were several days early for the QM2 we were given an option to see QM2 early, we chose instead to revisit Caronia. It was like going home. She was as I had remembered her. The highlight of that brief visit was being invited to a light lunch in the "White Star Bar" (the old North Cape Bar) with the Captain and several officers as well as the head of security for QM2. It was an unexpected surprise that I fondly remember...along of course with all the festivities associated with Queen Mary 2...heady, wonderful times.

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My first cruise was on the Queen Elizabeth II in September, 1970. A friend and I decided to move to England for a year (from Milwaukee) at age about 24, and at that time it was the same or cheaper to cruise over to England as to fly. I think if recall correctly it was around $550 each for the cheapest inside cabin. Our dinner mates were returning to Cork, Ireland after a few years in the US, and the ship stopped off the coast of Ireland so they could tender in. I recall lots of fancy dress...but not us!

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I did a Panama Canal (FLL-LA) on her sister Sagafjord, back in 1993. Classic ship and classic cruising! If I remember right, out of 14 days, 9 or 10 were formal:)

 

We did two cruises on the Sagafjord and then after the boiler blow up, we went to the Vistafjord and were hooked, until Carnival bought Cunard.

Cunard was transitioning the ships from NAC style to Cunard style at the time we started cruising on them.

Shorts were never permitted in the dining room and coat and tie was required wear after 6pm, with many formal nights throughout each cruise. Formal meant tuxedo. Classic is exactly the right term.

Service and dining was superb. The staff was pretty constant from cruise to cruise, many staff members had decades of time on the ship.

Still have fond memories of those tan hulls with the Cunard red and black stack. I do not think those days will ever be matched.

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Thank you very much for posting a picture of my all time favorite ship, many fond memories from her when she was the Vistafjord.

 

Of all the ships we have cruised on since the early 70's, she is the only one we have a picture of framed on display in our home.

 

To this day, we still miss her.

 

Captain was a Swede, Magnar Berntzen

Edited by Copper10-8
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Captain was a Swede, Magnar Berntzen

The captain we sailed with the most frequently was Capt Terje Sorensen.

I will never forget the Vistafjord cruise on which Captain Sorensen had to pull very hard and rapidly to starboard to avoid the Mermoz on the way to the only anchoring spot in Santorini.

The ship had a tremendous list and stuff hit the floor all over the ship. It was obvious from from the tone of the subsequent announcements from the bridge that Captain Sorensen was displeased, to say the least. The Paquet ship had broken the maritime rules, quick thinking by our captain saved the day.

The last I heard of Captain Sorensen he was captain of the Switzerland, which I think was a reincarnation of the old Carras/Costa Daphne, but that was quite some time ago.

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First cruise was a one weeker to Bermuda from NYC on the Amerikanis in 1975 (I think). Took 3 more one weekers to Bermuda and then nothing until 2011 when we did the South America Grand Voyage in the Prinsendam. That's the one that got us hooked. Since then we've done 3 more including this years' Grand World voyage on the Amsterdam. What a great experience!

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My first ship when I was a passenger rather than a crew member was the USS General J.C. Breckinridge (T-AP-176). Sailed from Seattle to Yokosuka, Japan in 1961. Comparing her to the Prinsendam, she was 20,175 tons compared to Prinsendam's 38,000 tons; had a similar crew size 460 vs 466 on Prinsendam, but could carry 5289 passengers vs Prinsendam's 790. She was built in 1945 and carried both troops and families. The troops (I was a troop) had their own area separate from the families. One other difference was she carried 5 inch, 40 mm and 20 mm guns and the crew were all Navy rather than civilian. Before the jet age, this was the way most military people travelled.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Our first cruise was on the Rotterdam in 2000- a Baltic cruise. Next month, we sail from Athens to Rome on the same. Have only cruised twice in between- have loved all four cruises, but are focusing on independent land travel while we still have good legs and wits!

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My husband & I also sailed the Stella Solaris---it was our honeymoon in 1982.

2 week cruise of the Mediterranean--every port historic, charming and interesting---and safe. Wonderful memories of the ship--especially the crow's nest bar with it's homemade potato chips, and the friendly Filipino piano player who always played "our" song whenever we walked into the bar. Great crew. Though the ship was small by today's standards and we only had an inside cabin, it was all big enough for us, and we had a wonderful time.

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I did a Panama Canal (FLL-LA) on her sister Sagafjord, back in 1993. Classic ship and classic cruising! If I remember right, out of 14 days, 9 or 10 were formal:)

 

Those were the days! I still have 6 beautiful crystal low ball glasses with the QE2 engraved on them in an oval and 2 more ovals with a thistle engraved on them that I purchased on the Sagafjord. She was truly a classic ship with classic service.

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Our first cruise was aboard the Volendam, to Alaska, inside passage RT Vancouver.

 

It's funny (now) because we were such noob's that when we were offered an upsell to a Neptune Suite, we turned it down because we were happy with our cabin. Then we were offered it again at a lower price, and we decided to ask on here if we should do it. By the time all the encouragement from you good people had us convinced we should go for it, a third offer came at an even lower price! We took it quickly that time!

 

Been spoiled ever since, and we love the Volendam.

 

We'll be back aboard her in Feb 2014!

 

<a href=P1010276.jpg' alt='P1010276.jpg'>

Edited by popcan
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My first cruise was on the Crystal Harmony in March 1996. My second (even though you didn't ask) was on the Regal Empress (is she still around?) in August of the same year. Talk about from one extreme to the other! And yes I am firmly hooked.

 

Caryll

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My DH and I first cruised on RCCL, the Song of America, a 7 day out of Miami to the Carribean, in l983. Never dreamed we would go again and again. Now we have cruised on 9 different lines, well over 45 cruises, we have lost count. Never counted days, on cruises.

 

My DH had cruised before l983, on the old SS France and other foreign ships in the Mediterranean. He immigranted to USA, leaving Israel on a ship to France and then flew to the USA on American Arilines from Paris in l968. He introduced me to cruising.

 

We have done the Mediterrean, eastern and western many times, the Baltics, many TAs and one Transpacific, hawaii, Mexican, Alaskan and Carribean cruises. Still have not done and plan to do a panama canal, and north eastern Canadian cruise out of Boston.

 

Just finished a 7 day California Coastal on the Grand, have the Nieuw Amsterdam booked for April on a TA to Barcelona, the Silouellet booked for a Eastern Mediterranean in October 2014, and the Star Princess booked for a Mexican Riveria for the spring of 2015. Waiting for fall 2015... yes we are addicted. :D

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Our first was on the MS Westerdam for our honeymoon. We became hooked, and have cruised every year. We are now cruising multiple times a year (3 times this year, same for next).

 

Like your name here....

 

NCL Skyward 1973

Edited by MR NW GUY
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We discussed cruising 2 years ago as neither of us had done it before. So we decided to give it a try on the Grand Princess for 7 days in the Carribean to escape winter in the UK.

We were excited but also apprehensive as some people don't take to cruising.

On the day of embarkation we were driven from the hotel to the port and I never forget the first sight of this huge ship and we just looked at each other and I think this is when we got very excited.

Since we had booked a suite on the ship the biggest impact for me was the calm sail on the ocean and watching it from the balcony, the warm nights and clear sky.

 

Andrea :)

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As a kids I loved watching The Love Boat. I also to loved to go to a local travel agency and collect airlines schedules and cruise brochures and dream about going off to far off destinations. I remember having my first 1973 Princess cruise brochure and Sitmar Lines, Royal Viking, Costa & RCCL. I kept asking by parents to take me on a cruise. They looked at me as if I were an alien from another planet. LOL Although my parents weren't poor and we lived in a nice house and neighborhood...as far as they were concerned cruises were for the very wealthy. Remember too back in the late 70's cruises were not cheap. Finally, I talked by mom into going. Well, we all loved watching the Love Boat, but dad would have nothing to do about going. OK, it wasn't his thing. So, she first booked NCL's Southward, but change her mind into booking RCCL's Song of Norway. Yes, good choice. I was 19 years old and she took me for my HS graduation. Oh, I was so excited. We took a National Airlines DC-10 red eye from Los Angeles to Miami. RCCL ground staff met us at the gate and bus us to the pier. My mom and I had such a wonderful time. I remember the mid night buffets and elegant dining. Back then dining was gourmet. I remember the flaming Baked Alaska on parade and the table side preparation of Cherries Jubilee. Our cabin was a very small inside cabin. I remember swimming in the pool and they would make announcements over the P.A. for each meal. It wasn't the Love Boat, but it was just as nice. We went to Puerto Plata, San Juan and St. Thomas. I still have pictures of that trip. I was hooked every since. 30+ cruises. We did the same cruise the following year and this time took my dad. Yes, and he loved it too. I would say my best cruise was 10 years later from Acapulco to San Juan via the Panama Canal on the old Royal Princess in 1990. Everything was just top notch, deluxe and first class all they way, but you still never forget your first cruise.

Edited by COMBOY
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My first cruise was in 1983 aboard the Victoria and we sailed out of Puerto Rico. I went with 2 girlfriends, all of us on our first big trip after landing our first full time jobs after university. We saw St Thomas, Aruba and Cartegena. I loved it, but my two friends didn't. It took many years and a husband to book my next cruise - on the Volendam to Alaska in 2001 - but I got him hooked! We've been on 4 more cruises and are trying to decide where to go next.

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My first cruise was on the Crystal Harmony in March 1996. My second (even though you didn't ask) was on the Regal Empress (is she still around?) in August of the same year. Talk about from one extreme to the other! And yes I am firmly hooked.

 

Caryll

 

Unfortunately the Regal Empress is no longer around having been sold for scrap in 2009 when she was 57 years old.

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RCCL sun Viking to Alaska Labor Day 1991. It was a very very small ship by any standard- maybe 20000 tons? ( have to look it up again.) 2 kids and 2 parents in a quad cabin. The upper bunks were so close to the ceiling, my husband had to slide out of bed. If he sat up, he would clock his noggin ! We had a wonderful time- but looking back, lots of funny things we now laugh about! The shower stall was so small, the curtain would stick to our wet bodies. Service in the DR was a little ragged; the steward was somewhat listless the first night. We greeted him and I asked sympathetically if everything was okay with him. He said, oh I had a big tooth pulled today- then he pulled down his lip, opened wide and showed us the gaping hole!! It was toward the end of the season and the social hostesses gowns were getting a little grubby- to the point the necklines were streaked with makeup! We rode thru the dark and stormy night to Haines- if we had known then what we know now, we never would have taken the small open craft to shore with the huge waves. The kids went up on stage with the juggler- and both pulled back instantly when he greeted them. Coming up to the stage, we realized why-he reeked with the the odor of garlic mingled with terrible body odor! Every afternoon, the boys had hamburgers and cocoa served to them on the outside deck. Bizarre and weird passenger stories, never repeated on any other line, shall not be repeated here- only told in person! Anyhow, from this humble start, it has only been upgrades to this experience. We return to resorts from time to time, but cruising is the best time!

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My first and only cruise(before the Island Princess scheduled next year) was on the present-day MS Pearl Seaways.

 

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It was almost 20 years ago and I actually cant remember the trip, but thanks to photos and video I can see how its like. Back then it was called MS Langkapuri Star Aquarius and owned by the previous operator Star Cruise(subsidiary of Genting, half parent of NCL). It was converted from a cruise ferry to a small cruise ship(casino taking over the cardeck) for the Asian market

 

StarAquarius01.jpg

Edited by eldridchapman
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