Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Sharratt

1st cruise experience

Recommended Posts

For our first cruise experience we picked th Diamond Princess 21 day Grand Southeast Asia Tour on 29th Dec 2018. We chose that one as we were told that the waters in that area are reasonably calm which was correct. We were under the impression that this was a 21 day cruise where entertainment and food would be different each day but it appeared that it was 2 separate cruises where the entertainment and the food were repeated which we didn,t realise. 

There were 10 at sea days on which there wasn.t much actual entertainment but quite a lot of seminars and upselling of jewellery etc. Anotner thing we disliked was the amount of queing, on tour days we had to meet at a certain place and que for a sticker then go to the theatre to wait again before either disembarking or getting onto the tender boats. The same happens when getting back onboard.

 

We did have a good time but were told that Med cruises offer better entertainment and also dock virtually every day so have very few at sea days which i think will suit us beter.

 

We will give it another try in a couple of years and hopefully have a better experience.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Sharratt said:

For our first cruise experience we picked th Diamond Princess 21 day Grand Southeast Asia Tour on 29th Dec 2018. We chose that one as we were told that the waters in that area are reasonably calm which was correct. We were under the impression that this was a 21 day cruise where entertainment and food would be different each day but it appeared that it was 2 separate cruises where the entertainment and the food were repeated which we didn,t realise. 

There were 10 at sea days on which there wasn.t much actual entertainment but quite a lot of seminars and upselling of jewellery etc. Anotner thing we disliked was the amount of queing, on tour days we had to meet at a certain place and que for a sticker then go to the theatre to wait again before either disembarking or getting onto the tender boats. The same happens when getting back onboard.

 

We did have a good time but were told that Med cruises offer better entertainment and also dock virtually every day so have very few at sea days which i think will suit us beter.

 

We will give it another try in a couple of years and hopefully have a better experience.

 

 

Too little information.

 

What are your normal travel preferences, experiences, desires, demographics and what means do you have to afford them? These and other factors are very important in selecting a cruise, particularly when you may be looking at cruises longer than a one week "boat ride."

 

There are several cruise industry segments including the "mass market" (e.g., Princess). Then there are the "premium" and "luxury" segments where "included" vs "optional" amenities may be the major difference. 

 

One thing that is certain is that there will be far less menu repetition on upscale cruise lines. On Oceania, for example, that repetition varies depending on itinerary but figure 21+\- days for a large part of the menu. Even more important is the quality of the food, which will always be of superior quality on premium/luxury lines.

 

As for musical entertainment, the upscale lines generally have small ships, which certainly limit the size and scope of what their theaters can handle. However, again using Oceania as an example, on ships that accommodate <700 or <1200 passengers, there's a string quartet, cocktail piano player, show band and performance troupe (along with single/duet performers of every variety (assembled by the same agency as that used by NCL). IMO, if you want a Broadway Show, go to Broadway.

 

BTW, there are far fewer "waiting to get on/off" lines on a ship with 700 passengers than on one with thousands of passengers.

 

You mentioned "lectures." Oceania uses very experienced experts (often retired college professors) who bring to life the history, culture, etc of your ports rather than trying to sell you stuff.

 

Might I suggest that you find a highly regarded cruise specialist travel agency (plenty of discussion threads here on CC explaining how to find exceptionally good ones). They can interview you and help find the right match (while also adding additional perks to your cruise purchase).

Edited by Flatbush Flyer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to your mass-market huge cruise ship.  I will only sail them if the price is right (very cheap) and it gets me from A to B (I use them as ocean liners).  Less repetition of so-called entertainment that way.

 

I prefer to keep my cruises to ships with under 1,400-1,500 pax (still too large).  Cruise in just over a month has a maximum of 290 pax.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry that you were disappointed in your first cruise experience.  Could be your TA didn't give you all the correct information -- i.e. -- that it was a back-to-back cruise and things will be repeated, etc.

 

You should find another TA that deals only in cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is most unfortunate your first cruise didn't meet your expectations.

 

Back in the days when we cruised with Princess, the Diamond/Sapphire & Island/Coral were our favourite ships, actually being the least crowded of the mega ships. Being built in Japan Diamond is also one of the best finished mega ships, with respect to quality.

 

In the Meddy, while you will get more ports & less sea days, if you stay with a mainstream cruise line, the entertainment, food quality, upselling and crowds will be fairly consistent to your SE Asia experience. One thing to note that ports in the Meddy can be very busy, with both cruise pax & regular tourists.

 

Suggest checking out the premium/luxury lines. While the base price is higher, they are more inclusive, have superior food quality/service, less crowding, no upselling and quality lectures. A quality Travel Agent can assist in research. When looking for a new cruise line, we short-listed to Viking Ocean & Oceania, opting for Viking. They are 18+, so no kids, have no casino, no art auctions, no shopping host, no photographers, no formal nights but include free unlimited wi-fi, free excursion in each port, very few sea days, except world cruises, free self-service laundry, free beer/wine/soft drinks at lunch & dinner.

 

Good luck finding a 2nd cruise that better meets your needs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This conversation is another example of the differences in people and what they think is important.  I just did a search of 7 night Viking cruises for the remainder of 2019.  The cheapest one is $2,399 PP and the most expensive is $12,499 PP.  And the $12K one says you can get airfare for $1,200 PP when you book, so an additional $2,400.  So $27,400 for 7 nights, or $3,914 per night.  The cheap one comes out to $7,198 (assuming you get a deal on airfare) or $1,028 per night.  But there’s unlimited WiFi, laundry and drinks at dinner.  And no art auctions, photographers or kids.  

 

 I can’t tell you the last time we had more than a couple of hundred dollars in onboard charges on our account on a 7 night cruise.  And there isn’t a cruise out there that’s worth $1,000 a night to us.  Just an observation but there really are all sorts of perspectives out there for value in cruising.  YMMV also means your money may vary.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was an awfully long cruise for a 1st experience!  We like more ports than sea days, so we try to book itineraries that do have more port stops.  (We are partially retired, so we can "relax" pretty much whenever we like...on vacations, we like to do things!)

 

You  will find that each cruise experience is different...even on the same ship!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, lifes-a-beach said:

This conversation is another example of the differences in people and what they think is important.  I just did a search of 7 night Viking cruises for the remainder of 2019.  The cheapest one is $2,399 PP and the most expensive is $12,499 PP.  And the $12K one says you can get airfare for $1,200 PP when you book, so an additional $2,400.  So $27,400 for 7 nights, or $3,914 per night.  The cheap one comes out to $7,198 (assuming you get a deal on airfare) or $1,028 per night.  But there’s unlimited WiFi, laundry and drinks at dinner.  And no art auctions, photographers or kids.  

 

 I can’t tell you the last time we had more than a couple of hundred dollars in onboard charges on our account on a 7 night cruise.  And there isn’t a cruise out there that’s worth $1,000 a night to us.  Just an observation but there really are all sorts of perspectives out there for value in cruising.  YMMV also means your money may vary.  

Kind of funny (unless it's YOUR money).

 

BTW, Oceania doesn't do a whole lot of 7 night cruises. But you could do one of their few 7 day Caribbean or California coastal ones for about $2200/person (Veranda cabin) and that includes airfare (plus unlimited internet/beverages/specialty restaurants as well as a choice of booze or excursions or SBC).

 

Of course, O's food and service will be impeccable and the demographic will be primarily well traveled and accomplished adults.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/16/2019 at 11:41 AM, lifes-a-beach said:

This conversation is another example of the differences in people and what they think is important.  I just did a search of 7 night Viking cruises for the remainder of 2019.  The cheapest one is $2,399 PP and the most expensive is $12,499 PP.  And the $12K one says you can get airfare for $1,200 PP when you book, so an additional $2,400.  So $27,400 for 7 nights, or $3,914 per night.  The cheap one comes out to $7,198 (assuming you get a deal on airfare) or $1,028 per night.  But there’s unlimited WiFi, laundry and drinks at dinner.  And no art auctions, photographers or kids.  

 

 I can’t tell you the last time we had more than a couple of hundred dollars in onboard charges on our account on a 7 night cruise.  And there isn’t a cruise out there that’s worth $1,000 a night to us.  Just an observation but there really are all sorts of perspectives out there for value in cruising.  YMMV also means your money may vary.  

Not sure whether you searched for Viking Ocean or Viking River, as I'm not aware of VO having 7-day cruises. Just did a quick search on VO website for the shortest cruises in 2019 and the shortest I found was 8 days. 

 

The other issue with VO is that they are currently selling well, with many cruises in 2019 already fully booked. Therefore, they rarely have a need to reduce prices to fill the ships. On the 8-day cruises, I only found 4 base level cabins available and they were Dec 2019, so higher level cabins will obviously be more expensive. Yes, the cheapest cabin on one cruise was $12K, but it was the only cabin remaining (1,500 sq ft owner's suite). The other consideration is  the lowest cabin category is a balcony, as VO has no inside cabins/oceanview. 

 

Since the recommended discretionary service charged for many of the mainstream cruise lines are about $200 for a week, you have limited additional spend, so I concur the additional base fare of luxury/premium lines would not be cost effective. In our case, when comparing total costs of cruise + airfares, we find minimal difference in total cost, plus premium/luxury lines provide many of the things we are looking for that sadly mainstream line no longer provide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×