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Best ship and itinerary you have cruised


smd8z
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For me, the delightful Pacific Princess is the be-all and end-all of cruise ships, and it doesn't matter where the itinerary is going!!

 

My favorite itinerary …. well, that's difficult question because I've never not enjoyed a cruise, no matter which Princess ship it was on. But I would have to say it was the 28 day r/t LA to Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, LA. A close second was the one that began in FLL and went all the way around South America.

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[Note:  this is my first visit to the board; it's title seems quite general, sounds like place to ask for advice].  We've been on 51 cruises, mostly on Princess.  Our favorite kind of cruise is a TA, either WB or EB--we've done a number both ways.  Love the sea days when there are interesting lecutres and many other activities onboard.  Also, TAs are the best value IMHO and one only has to fly overseas one-way.  Our favorite itinerary that wasn't a TA was a 10-day northern Med cruise from Civitavecchia and included Rhodes, Santorini, Athens, and Mykonos in Greece; Istanbul (overnight) and Ephesus in Turkey; and Naples (Celebrity Galaxy, 10/2008).  Another interesting itinerary was on the Celebrity Eclipse RT from Southampton in 9/2014 which stopped at Gibraltar; Malaga, Spain; Genoa, Livorno & Civitavecchia, Italy; Villefranche, France; and Lisbon, Portugal (4 new ports for us).

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My favorite itinerary was out of San Juan to St Thomas (also stopped at St John), St Lucia, St Kitts, St Maarten, Antigua, and Barbados. I had never been to any of those, including PR. To be able to see these 8 gorgeous islands within 7 days, and for the price I paid, is one I won't soon forget.

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Favorite ship?  Freedom of the Seas.

best itinerary?  One of the following....

  Colon, Panama - Puerto Limon, Costa Rica - Belize on Carnival Legend

  Princess Cays - St Thomas - St Maarten - St Lucia - Antigua - Barbados on Ocean Princess. 

 

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On 4/4/2019 at 1:17 PM, BarbinMich said:

[Note:  this is my first visit to the board; it's title seems quite general, sounds like place to ask for advice].  We've been on 51 cruises, mostly on Princess.  Our favorite kind of cruise is a TA, either WB or EB--we've done a number both ways.  Love the sea days when there are interesting lecutres and many other activities onboard.  Also, TAs are the best value IMHO and one only has to fly overseas one-way.  Our favorite itinerary that wasn't a TA was a 10-day northern Med cruise from Civitavecchia and included Rhodes, Santorini, Athens, and Mykonos in Greece; Istanbul (overnight) and Ephesus in Turkey; and Naples (Celebrity Galaxy, 10/2008).  Another interesting itinerary was on the Celebrity Eclipse RT from Southampton in 9/2014 which stopped at Gibraltar; Malaga, Spain; Genoa, Livorno & Civitavecchia, Italy; Villefranche, France; and Lisbon, Portugal (4 new ports for us).

You have had some great itineraries.  

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On 4/1/2019 at 7:24 PM, SRQbeachgirl said:

Best ship was Carnival Magic, because we like that size ship and the ample outdoor space. 

 

Best itinerary was out of San Juan to Guadeloupe, Grenada, Aruba, Curacao, and Caracas (back in the 90's when cruise ships still visited Venezuela).

We've also visited Guadeloupe out of San Juan on our very first cruise back in '94.  I really liked it and would go back but the main stream cruise lines don't seem to have stopped there in some time.  I imagine it's because it's French-speaking, but our excursion guide spoke English.  I don't know if US ships are calling at Martinique any more either, for the same reason.  Our Princess cruises in winter 2000, 2005 and 2007 stopped there.

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5 hours ago, AF-1 said:

You have had some great itineraries.  

Yes we have!  Princess, our preferred cruise line, used to offer more variety back then (90s', early 00's).  Now ships are much larger, which, no doubt, limits where they can stop.

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46 minutes ago, BarbinMich said:

Yes we have!  Princess, our preferred cruise line, used to offer more variety back then (90s', early 00's).  Now ships are much larger, which, no doubt, limits where they can stop.

And unfortunately the trend is to more and more bigger and bigger ships. The ship itself is supposed to be the destination, not the ports. It's a truly horrible trend.

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51 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

And unfortunately the trend is to more and more bigger and bigger ships. The ship itself is supposed to be the destination, not the ports. It's a truly horrible trend.

I agree.  Can't imagine what it's like on mega ships such as Anthem OTS.  The focus on such ships seems to be inward, i.e. "eek" try to forget you're at sea <g>.  I miss not having a true promenade deck on the Regal/Royal Princess.  Nothing like sitting in a deck chair looking out to the ocean while at sea, hoping to see a sea bird or something more interesting like a dolphin!

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5 hours ago, ontheweb said:

And unfortunately the trend is to more and more bigger and bigger ships. The ship itself is supposed to be the destination, not the ports. It's a truly horrible trend.

Yes, and no.  I agree that the trend towards bigger ships and larger capacities is horrible, but I disagree that it's a horrible trend that the ship rather than the ports is the real destination.  My favourite voyages have been transoceanic voyages with 1 or 2 ports among 15 to 20 sea days.  I wanted to be on the ship, not at ports. 

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15 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

I agree.  Can't imagine what it's like on mega ships such as Anthem OTS.  The focus on such ships seems to be inward, i.e. "eek" try to forget you're at sea <g>.  I miss not having a true promenade deck on the Regal/Royal Princess.  Nothing like sitting in a deck chair looking out to the ocean while at sea, hoping to see a sea bird or something more interesting like a dolphin!

Do any of the "newer" ships have a true promenade deck? That is one thing I absolutely love. We were on the Epic and I hated not having a place to just sit outside.

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15 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

I agree.  Can't imagine what it's like on mega ships such as Anthem OTS.  The focus on such ships seems to be inward, i.e. "eek" try to forget you're at sea <g>.  I miss not having a true promenade deck on the Regal/Royal Princess.  Nothing like sitting in a deck chair looking out to the ocean while at sea, hoping to see a sea bird or something more interesting like a dolphin!

Another reason to miss the true promenade deck is missing the walk around it. Not only is it invigorating with the sea breeze, but you can walk off some of the extra pounds from all the food.

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20 hours ago, ontheweb said:

And unfortunately the trend is to more and more bigger and bigger ships. The ship itself is supposed to be the destination, not the ports. It's a truly horrible trend.

We "hear ya" but do not completely agree.  You are certainly right about the size of ships and also the trend to make the ship the destination (which feeds the "maximize onboard revenue" business plan).  But we would submit that there is room in the market for all kinds of cruises.  We will sometimes book a larger ship (such as with MSC) with the intent of spending most of the port time onboard (our record is staying onboard for 8 out of 9 ports).  We primarily do that in the Caribbean where we do see the ship as the destination and an alternative to booking an AI.  But there are also plenty of smaller vessels doing interesting itineraries, although economies of scale (and fuel costs) are driving up the costs of these voyages (many of which are in the luxury cruise market).  We like to book all kinds of cruises because variety is why we still love every cruise....even after more than forty years of frequent cruising.

 

Hank

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4 hours ago, smd8z said:

Do any of the "newer" ships have a true promenade deck?

I don't know about new, but at least newly renovated.....Crystals 2 ocean cruise ships both have 360 degree real promenade decks.  There's not terribly comfortable seating on it (no lounges), though there is ample comfortable outdoor seating on the aft of the decks above that level.

Serenity2015_33.jpg

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48 minutes ago, calliopecruiser said:

I don't know about new, but at least newly renovated.....Crystals 2 ocean cruise ships both have 360 degree real promenade decks.  There's not terribly comfortable seating on it (no lounges), though there is ample comfortable outdoor seating on the aft of the decks above that level. . . .

I was referring to ships of mainstream, not luxury, cruise lines.

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On ‎4‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 1:17 PM, BarbinMich said:

 [Note:  this is my first visit to the board; it's title seems quite general, sounds like place to ask for advice].  We've been on 51 cruises, mostly on Princess.  Our favorite kind of cruise is a TA, either WB or EB--we've done a number both ways.  Love the sea days when there are interesting lecutres and many other activities onboard.  Also, TAs are the best value IMHO and one only has to fly overseas one-way.  Our favorite itinerary that wasn't a TA was a 10-day northern Med cruise from Civitavecchia and included Rhodes, Santorini, Athens, and Mykonos in Greece; Istanbul (overnight) and Ephesus in Turkey; and Naples (Celebrity Galaxy, 10/2008).  Another interesting itinerary was on the Celebrity Eclipse RT from Southampton in 9/2014 which stopped at Gibraltar; Malaga, Spain; Genoa, Livorno & Civitavecchia, Italy; Villefranche, France; and Lisbon, Portugal (4 new ports for us).

Since you are apparently a Princess fan …. I know I am …. have you tried the Pacific Princess, Princess' only remaining small ship, with about 670 passengers? There used to be 3 of the little ladies, as one of the Captains referred to them, but two have been sold off to other cruise lines, and I worry about how much longer the Pacific will stay with the fleet. 

I too love TAs and all of those wonderful Med and European ports you mentioned. We'll be back on the Pacific Princess in a month for a couple of weeks, and then again late in the Fall for a nice long TA itinerary, starting in Venice.

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With over 60 cruises, we have actually lost count...  

 

If I focus on more recent ones because they are still available and it is a bit easier.  

 

We did a TA on the Ruby which was wonderful a few years back.  Entertainment, ship, itinerary were all great, we went from Florida to Southampton England with a stop at Cork Ireland.  

 

We did a cruise in the Mediterranean on the old Royal (small ship) from Rome to Greece with stop in Egypt and Israel... small ship and wonderful ports made for a magical cruise.

 

Beyond Princess, we did a couple of cruises on the Cunard Queen Victoria, love that ship, we enjoyed it so much we did a 15 day cruise on the QM2  New York to Quebec City round trip, big mistake QM2 is over rated, very strange layout, would do either the Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth, sister ships, again for the right itinerary.  OM2 never again..  I am sure we are in the minority about the OM2... dinning room and food okay only.  Cabin a mini suite on Princess is a suite on Cunard, QM2 and the price is much higher too.  Did find the entertainment on Cunard in general very good.    Another issue we had with QM2 is it took for ever  to get on and off the ship in ports, only one gangway.... by tender ... it was hours, we skipped Newport as a result.  I know you are looking for favorites but feel good to let folks know about the QM2.... ocean liner status did not impress us.

 

We have cruised 9 different cruise lines over 35 years Princess, RCCL, HAL, Celebrity, Cunard, Crystal, Royal Cruise Line, NCL and Sitmar which was bought by Princess.  We have cruised Princess more than the others, 27 times;  we are elite on Celerity, 2 star on HAL... but still rank two Princess ships top on our list.  

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