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Crowded Ports- Too many Ships in Ports!

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11 hours ago, Paulchili said:

That may have been the case in the last century (or on a rainy day 🙂). Cinque Terre towns and all its walking trails are full of tourists these days (though it is very good exercise ) 

Too there is the actual port crush of getting on and off the ship, through the mob... That you can not avoid.   In Greece a few years ago  with 3 ships ( 2 of which  were Celeb monsters) there was a line 1/4 mile long just to pass through security going or returning.     Not worth  several hours just to get off !!!

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2 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Too there is the actual port crush of getting on and off the ship, through the mob... That you can not avoid.   In Greece a few years ago  with 3 ships ( 2 of which  were Celeb monsters) there was a line 1/4 mile long just to pass through security going or returning.     Not worth  several hours just to get off !!!

 

IMO, that’s a problem in general with ocean cruising.   Just back from an Alaska cruise on Oceania.  Because of rough waters,  our captain had to make up lost time to stay on schedule.

The ship only had 2.5 hours at one scheduled port of call.   Because the ship arrived so late, some  shore excursions had to be cancelled.   The port of call was mostly a waste of time as the ship arrived 3 hours late. 👎

Also in Ketchikan, there were 4 cruise ships NCL, (2) Princess, and us, in port at the same time.  It was a madhouse in that small town.  Overrun with PAXs.

Edited by Kingofcool1947

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On 6/1/2019 at 9:32 AM, Kingofcool1947 said:

 

IMO, that’s a problem in general with ocean cruising.   Just back from an Alaska cruise on Oceania.  Because of rough waters,  our captain had to make up lost time to stay on schedule.

The ship only had 2.5 hours at one scheduled port of call.   Because the ship arrived so late, some  shore excursions had to be cancelled.   The port of call was mostly a waste of time as the ship arrived 3 hours late. 👎

Also in Ketchikan, there were 4 cruise ships NCL, (2) Princess, and us, in port at the same time.  It was a madhouse in that small town.  Overrun with PAXs.

I think too its a problem all cruising  ocean and river.    A simple fact is that no one is making new ports BUT everyone is building new 3000+ ships.   With MSC and VIKING flooding the already saturated Med, Carribe and Alaska  with Asia/ Australia Norway not far behind.   I mean they are marketing Iceland and Greenland just because they need new ports., not because of any intrinsic tourist value.!

  This leaves the the trans-pacific and trans Atlantic non port  cruises as the last crowd free venue  due to season and  the 2-3 week length.  Its natural selection few people can afford the fare or time for these cruises.

So to reiterate..  cruising in the future will only be enjoyable if one looks at enjoying the ship and ignoring the ports  Going  to experience the ports is now and  more so in the future folly.

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Hawaii Dan;

 

when/ If cruising becomes primarily about the ship and not the ports, you’ll have a lot of us quit cruising. 

 

There are already a host of land tours such    as safaris and wine tours in South Africa; going inland Morocco to the Sahara and visiting all the great sites and bazaars there; Petra, Wadi Run, and multiple interesting places in Jordan all of which don’t require getting on and off ships in less than desirable port cities or having one’s port time cut or eliminated by weather. These adventures are already becoming popular alternatives to sailing.

 

IMO, there exists a tipping point where over crowded ports, both ocean and rivers, drive travelers away from cruising. At that point, you cruisers will have the boats/ ships primarily to yourselves as travelers flee those industries. Once cruising goes “ out of vogue “, for travelers by its own success, it will be difficult to recapture that allure for at least a generation.

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21 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Hawaii Dan;

 

when/ If cruising becomes primarily about the ship and not the ports, you’ll have a lot of us quit cruising. 

 

... 


At that point, you cruisers will have the boats/ ships primarily to yourselves as travelers flee those industries. Once cruising goes “ out of vogue “, for travelers by its own success, it will be difficult to recapture that allure for at least a generation.

 

Agreed. At this point we're describing something akin to an all-inclusive resort, and if I'm doing an all-inclusive, I want to be on land.

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4 hours ago, Shawnino said:

 

Agreed. At this point we're describing something akin to an all-inclusive resort, and if I'm doing an all-inclusive, I want to be on land.

However look at the new ships   rock climb, go karts, thrill rides,  circus acts,   The likes like RCCL/ NCL/ Celeb/ MSC are already producing mega floating city-resorts at sea.... ports become secondary already.   Their marketing stresses the in board experience...no mention of  visiting anything but the  Bar and water park on board !!!

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On 5/6/2019 at 4:42 PM, warburg said:

Right on, Hawaiidan.  Fab photo. We live on South Beach, South of Fifth. This neighborhood is neglected by hordes because it has very few inexpensive bars and restaurants,  By contrast, in The Season, north of Fifth Street resembles Dante's Inferno. However, off season, all of South Beach is nice but warmer. Therein lies another anti hoard strategy. Visit places when the main industry shuts down, For example, ski areas are still pretty nice off season, especially if you like mountains. As travelers, checking out destinations is fun and pays off. Our next land trip is to Phoenix this July. In this case we are attending a big event and this is when it is. I am guessing that it is off season there. I've already checkout the hotel. Great air conditioning, You are correct about west/east TAs. Much more comfortable.

Seems to me better do TA's East to West as the clock goes back during that cruise while on West to East cruises you lose at least an hour most nites.  We did one East to West TA and because of time of day in Morocco we actually had the clock go forward for a total of 2 hours loss the next day.  4 PM became 5 PM and 2 AM became 3AM.  Strongly recommend TA's going East to West no matter the Atlantic or Pacific to ease Jet Lag.

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5 hours ago, rallydave said:

Seems to me better do TA's East to West as the clock goes back during that cruise while on West to East cruises you lose at least an hour most nites.  We did one East to West TA and because of time of day in Morocco we actually had the clock go forward for a total of 2 hours loss the next day.  4 PM became 5 PM and 2 AM became 3AM.  Strongly recommend TA's going East to West no matter the Atlantic or Pacific to ease Jet Lag.

Well  as a west coast passenger we have a 9-11 hour time change to europe.    Flying from the west all includes a "red eye" night that unless in a business bed and on a  high cabin pressure aircraft    you will arrive in Europe  feeling like it is  midnight or  2 am !!! 

   

   Flying back 12-13 hours is all in daylight and  it softens the effect of the body.   I agree East to west for flying     West to east for surface travel  as you avoid the red-eye     

 

 Having done both ways  I found the stress to be way less sailing to Europe than sailing from it.

You have the most energy at the start of a trip... use it on enjoying the cruise     At the end your reserves are low.. and a quick non stop , I find great.

 

The defining factor is  what the flight  to or from  has a cabin pressure of 6000 ft ( 787-A340 A380)  and if you can travel in a business class seat /bed.

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On 6/4/2019 at 6:40 PM, Hawaiidan said:

Well  as a west coast passenger we have a 9-11 hour time change to europe.    Flying from the west all includes a "red eye" night that unless in a business bed and on a  high cabin pressure aircraft    you will arrive in Europe  feeling like it is  midnight or  2 am !!! 

   

   Flying back 12-13 hours is all in daylight and  it softens the effect of the body.   I agree East to west for flying     West to east for surface travel  as you avoid the red-eye     

 

 Having done both ways  I found the stress to be way less sailing to Europe than sailing from it.

You have the most energy at the start of a trip... use it on enjoying the cruise     At the end your reserves are low.. and a quick non stop , I find great.

 

The defining factor is  what the flight  to or from  has a cabin pressure of 6000 ft ( 787-A340 A380)  and if you can travel in a business class seat /bed.

Sailing from Europe to Miami the best for us.  Pick up an hour every other day and that works for us.  Nice to have 13 hour days. 

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Hate crowds.  Like small ships.  However, with so many ships sailing, some ports will be crowded.  It is what it is.

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One of our ports of call in August is Kirkwall on Orkney Island . I’m captaining a tour group there from our Roll Call. When discussing and establishing our tour with the tour guide the subject of a lunch stop came up. Our guide checked and came back to tell us that besides us, in the smallish port, there would also be an additional two mega ships that day. It would overwhelm the town, lunch service will be crowded and slow. He suggested we pack a lunch from the ship , we’d stop somewhere to pick up drinks, and then do a picnic style lunch. Everyone agreed. Even remote stops such as Kirkwall, and I was basically advised the same in Torshaven, are seeing huge tourist crowds.

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Technically (unless it's different where you will be) it is not permitted to take food off the ships.  I confess that didn't stop us on our Black Sea cruise in August 2012 on some of our very long-day private tours.

 

Mura

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Mura;

 

Typically that limitation is with fresh fruits or veggies. I will check back with out guide on the issue. 

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1 hour ago, pinotlover said:

One of our ports of call in August is Kirkwall on Orkney Island . I’m captaining a tour group there from our Roll Call. When discussing and establishing our tour with the tour guide the subject of a lunch stop came up. Our guide checked and came back to tell us that besides us, in the smallish port, there would also be an additional two mega ships that day. It would overwhelm the town, lunch service will be crowded and slow. He suggested we pack a lunch from the ship , we’d stop somewhere to pick up drinks, and then do a picnic style lunch. Everyone agreed. Even remote stops such as Kirkwall, and I was basically advised the same in Torshaven, are seeing huge tourist crowds.

Hardly mega ships  but maybe for Kirkwall 

Astor has 596 pax

Hebridean 50 pax

Silver Wind  296 pax

https://www.orkneyharbours.com/

In any case  when we were there

did a ships tour  we stopped at a local place outside of town  did not seem to be an issue  & there was a music festival going on that week

 

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3 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Mura;

 

Typically that limitation is with fresh fruits or veggies. I will check back with out guide on the issue. 

That used to be the case but at least in 2012 -- and perhaps it was because we were in Russia and Ukraine -- they said no food.  What we did was either order a sandwich from room service or snaggle bread, cheese, maybe a piece of fruit, from Terrace.  They never checked our bags to make sure we weren't taking food.

 

I remember the days when O would prepare box lunches for people on tours ...

 

Mura

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it might vary by location--but I can't remember the last cruise I was on where we were not warned against it (not just O).

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6 hours ago, pinotlover said:

One of our ports of call in August is Kirkwall on Orkney Island . I’m captaining a tour group there from our Roll Call. When discussing and establishing our tour with the tour guide the subject of a lunch stop came up. Our guide checked and came back to tell us that besides us, in the smallish port, there would also be an additional two mega ships that day. It would overwhelm the town, lunch service will be crowded and slow. He suggested we pack a lunch from the ship , we’d stop somewhere to pick up drinks, and then do a picnic style lunch. Everyone agreed. Even remote stops such as Kirkwall, and I was basically advised the same in Torshaven, are seeing huge tourist crowds.

 

Just to reiterate.. the " cruise market" is becoming desperate for ports as there are too many ships and too few places the can go.     I mean they are now stopping at Savusavu.. ( a 2 block long village with a deep water port) with nothing to do really but leave

Picking the right land tour  involves picking the right vehicle as 13590446_1643001496017739_5260174967204583793_n.jpg.e8d6c0f981796cbe1ecfb111ea4eb4fe.jpg, to connect with the locals.

 

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One solution for the adventuresome - research nearby smaller towns, especially those with excellent (frequent) public bus and/or train service from the port city.

 

For example, on back to back cruises with Southampton in the middle, take the train from Southampton to Winchester.  The town has major tourist attractions, good restaurants and flat easy walking with frequent train service.  Since there are some passengers leaving the Oceania ship and others coming to the ship to board, Oceania usually has offered a shuttle bus from the ship to the train station.

 

Another is Dinard, France which is a short passenger boat ride across the harbor from St. Malo. 

 

We are taking an Oceania Baltic cruise in August and I have all ready noted small DIY (do it yourself) towns near Helsinki, Riga, Klaipeda and Tallinn.

 

The small town approach is best if you have seen the big major city tourist attractions already.

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On 6/10/2019 at 4:09 PM, UDSpud said:

...


We are taking an Oceania Baltic cruise in August and I have all ready noted small DIY (do it yourself) towns near Helsinki,...

 

What's the small town near Helsinki? I'm drawing a blank.

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On 6/8/2019 at 9:32 AM, Redtravel said:

Hate crowds.  Like small ships.  However, with so many ships sailing, some ports will be crowded.  It is what it is.

Most crossings are in the off season where the towns and cities are not crowed at all.  Just need to check the weather in advance to make it is not too cold to tour.  We will be doing another one next year god willing.  😀

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3 hours ago, RJB said:

Most crossings are in the off season where the towns and cities are not crowed at all.  Just need to check the weather in advance to make it is not too cold to tour.  We will be doing another one next year god willing.  😀

Everyone has options to avoid crowds    For me Trans Atlantic and Pacific are  today the only options   You may have others that you like    Tahiti and Hawaii are crowded and I try to avoid them now.   ....  

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On 5/27/2019 at 10:07 AM, pingpong1 said:

As I get older, I'm liking crowds less and less.  Never really did "like them", but found it easier to "put up with" when I was younger.

 

Many of us are well on the way to becoming curmudgeons. 

 

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.  H.L. Mencken

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3 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Everyone has options to avoid crowds    For me Trans Atlantic and Pacific are  today the only options   You may have others that you like    Tahiti and Hawaii are crowded and I try to avoid them now.   ....  

T/As are easier for us so we will continue to look at those.     

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