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dancingfish

Are cruises just not the best vacation options anymore?

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Of course, the more you cruise, the less novelty you will feel. Also, if you cruise a whole lot, many ports will be repeats; so much of the newness there will also be gone. Finally (again for people who have cruised over the years) there has been an undeniable reduction in many of the aspects that made your earlier cruises so great —- yes, it is obvious there will be a lessening of the experience as individuals continue to cruise - but hopefully, as they have more free time, they will start taking more land vacations to more fully experience the areas they first tasted while cruising.

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21 hours ago, ariesknowbest said:

I would say that cruising has changed, and not for the better.  Before it was an intimate way to travel.  Nowadays with most of the midpriced cruise lines having ships that hold over 3000 people, people, myself included, feel that they are herded like cattle.  The food is definitely not as good and the service is not as personable.  At the ports, with that many people getting off of the ship, the destination is overcrowded and commercialized.   I use to love cruising.  I have been on over 60 cruises and now I prefer to travel differently. 

 

Then cruise on a luxury line, and pay the equivalent of what you paid in the past.

 

Cruising on the mass market lines is a LOT cheaper than the old days.  And, as with most things, you get what you pay for.   I find the mass market lines to be fine for me.

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It’s so subjective! One person might think a particular cruise was “amazing” and someone on the same sailing might think it was “terrible”. Depends on their unique expectations, tolerance levels, general attitude, etc. So, while I’m someone that scours reviews before I try something new, I also do so with a HUGE grain of salt, and an eye towards looking at the bigger themes in light of my own personal attitudes.

We’ve done 5 cruises, with our 6th coming up. We really enjoy cruising. It’s not “the best” way to travel. But no way is “the best” — at least not for everyone. We know people that cruised once and hated it. We’ve really enjoyed our experiences though, and keep coming back to it (with various other types of vacation experiences mixed in). For us, variety is the spice of life! But also for us, cruises are just “easy” and relaxing.There’s relatively little planning and work to do vs. some of our other vacations (e.g. camping, road trips, Disneyland, flying to a city/destination etc) — and while I love our other vacations too, sometimes cruising is perfect for what we’re looking for at the moment.

We’ve had negative experiences on all of our cruises. But we’ve also had many wonderful ones on those same cruises! I love to write reviews, and will be very honest and thorough in them, pointing out the good and bad. Funny thing is, for the most part what I remember most are the good parts. Case in point, we’re doing another Alaska cruise this summer, after having done one 9 years ago. My memories of it are largely very positive. Yet I went back to find my old review and saw that I wrote about several negative things that I had since long forgotten about. I shared them because they might be of interest to others (especially if there was a lesson to be learned from it). But, really, I didn’t stay hung up on those negatives and obviously enjoyed it enough to want to spend the money doing it again!

 

Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Worry about what brings YOU joy, and then do it! Life’s too short for anything else.
 

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On 5/17/2019 at 7:45 AM, SRF said:

 

Then cruise on a luxury line, and pay the equivalent of what you paid in the past.

 

Cruising on the mass market lines is a LOT cheaper than the old days.  And, as with most things, you get what you pay for.   I find the mass market lines to be fine for me.

There is little point in comparing mass market cruising today with the way it was on the same lines a couple of decades ago: the industry has changed so much that it is comparable to comparing shopping at an old neighborhood store with shopping at a big box store.

 

Today’s luxury lines offer what lines like Princess, Celebrity and Holland America used to offer;  while today’s mega ships simply did not exist in the past.

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We  love cruising for many,many reasons. We don't always take a cruise when we need a vacation, there are times when we drive to the coast, visit a neighboring country and go to a resort or rent accommodation. Whenever we can, we take a cruise. Both have pros and cons. We love traveling in general, and that is most important, to enjoy it!

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 10:14 PM, navybankerteacher said:

Of course, the more you cruise, the less novelty you will feel. Also, if you cruise a whole lot, many ports will be repeats; so much of the newness there will also be gone. Finally (again for people who have cruised over the years) there has been an undeniable reduction in many of the aspects that made your earlier cruises so great —- yes, it is obvious there will be a lessening of the experience as individuals continue to cruise - but hopefully, as they have more free time, they will start taking more land vacations to more fully experience the areas they first tasted while cruising.

A little off topic but you raise an interesting point.  We certainly fall into the category of those who have cruised "more" but have never tired of cruising.  In fact now, after more than 40 years of extensive cruising, we are as happy as clams (an appropriate saying for cruisers) when on a 60 day cruise or a 10 day cruise.  For us it never gets old.  If the port is a place for which we have no love, we can simply stay on the ship (its great when most other passengers are ashore) and enjoy the vessel.  We also love our extended land trips, but always return to cruising and even try to combine cruises with our land trips.  I guess we could say that we do get tired of some ports, but do not get tired of cruise ships.

 

 

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On 5/16/2019 at 7:14 PM, navybankerteacher said:

Of course, the more you cruise, the less novelty you will feel. Also, if you cruise a whole lot, many ports will be repeats; so much of the newness there will also be gone. Finally (again for people who have cruised over the years) there has been an undeniable reduction in many of the aspects that made your earlier cruises so great —- yes, it is obvious there will be a lessening of the experience as individuals continue to cruise - but hopefully, as they have more free time, they will start taking more land vacations to more fully experience the areas they first tasted while cruising.

This is exactly how I feel.  When DH retires we can start exploring Europe via cruise ship, but until then I find that cruising the same old ports is getting old.

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A birthday cruise.... what a great idea.... they is how we did our first cruise....

 

We like longer cruises more than 10 days and with sea days.... it is just so relaxing...

 

Cruising is a great holiday.... also good for relaxing, spending time together... walks around the deck watching the sunrise.... eating too much food... enjoying yourself.... and remember chill out...

 

You will have a great time on a cruise....  you are on a cruise ship and everything is done for you...

 

Enjoy,  cheers Don

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All of my vacations, land or sea, are enjoyable.  They are certainly not 100% perfect, and I always note anything annoying (like people filling their used water bottles at buffet stations or a CD's incessant noise), but that hardly makes the vacation unbearable.  

Reality is always a blend of the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent.

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It is true, it ain't what it used to be. But we still enjoy the heck out of it. And as others have said, there are still options for "the good old days."
We have also done a lot of land vacations, and we feel we get bored quicker than on a cruise.

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On ‎5‎/‎16‎/‎2019 at 9:14 PM, navybankerteacher said:

Of course, the more you cruise, the less novelty you will feel. Also, if you cruise a whole lot, many ports will be repeats; so much of the newness there will also be gone. Finally (again for people who have cruised over the years) there has been an undeniable reduction in many of the aspects that made your earlier cruises so great —- yes, it is obvious there will be a lessening of the experience as individuals continue to cruise - but hopefully, as they have more free time, they will start taking more land vacations to more fully experience the areas they first tasted while cruising.

 

I often think this, because it happened to me, and it didn't take all that many cruises. My seven-day with a balcony on Celebrity Millennium in 2001, when she was a brand new ship, fell into this category. Was getting bored with cruising and preferred a less pampered, more adventurous type of in-depth land travel for a while.  Didn't return to it until many years later, after several major life changes including divorce, remarriage and a late-in-life baby, who finally got to be around 10 years old and announced she wanted to try cruising. She and DH loved their first and here we are, now going on our 4th in three years.

 

I have to say though, that whatever "lessening" has happened over the years must never have been stuff I wanted anyway, because my Triumphant return to the water, also my first time on Carnival, was still more or less the same as everything I had ever enjoyed on my prior cruises with many details refined and improved.  And frankly Oasis of the Seas is so far beyond anything that came before, that it's hard for me to relate to anyone talking about how things have declined. 

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While reviews serve a good purpose, some people just want to complain so they can complain and outlets like CC, TripAdvisor and DISBoards are breeding grounds for them. Go read some of these complaints and actually absorb what their problems are. While several people do have legitimate gripes, others are ludicrous even if you take what they say at face value (ie, getting mad at the cruise line for not comping you when the airline lost your luggage or that Alaska was too cold to enjoy the water slides.) 

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On 5/13/2019 at 4:48 PM, dancingfish said:

Trying to plan a cruise for hubby and I for his birthday and everytime I think I have a great itenerary i look at the reviews and it seems everyone hates the cruises! Are people just being jerks or is travel by cruise ship just not fun anymore?

 

We haven't cruised in over 15 years but had a great time on our last cruise to Alaska!


I think some cruise lines have significantly cut back on their level of quality and service in favor of keeping pricing artificially low.  The people who have sailed those lines for years have become disgruntled.  In some cases they've walked away, in others they've grumbled loudly while continuing to open their wallets--either because that line has the lowest fares or they get to wear a pin that shows they've spent a lot of money on cruises they've often complained about.

 

Often people don't do their research or have much higher than warranted expectations.

We don't cruise oten.  We spend a couple of weeks overseas (usually in Europe) every year and have found that many of the places we really wanted to visit are better done as a land based trip.  That said, we've booked London to Lisbon next year on Windstar, and will most likely book either a Baltic cruise with Windstar, or Machu Picchu with Galapagos in 2021 with NatGeo/Lindblad.  As some places are best visited as a land based trip, others are better as a cruise.

 

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Cruises have never been the "best" vacation option.  They are just one of many vacation options that different people like for different reasons.  The only relevant question is whether cruises are the best option for you and only you know the answer to that question.  In my case, a cruise is a good option because my wife likes to cruise and I do find some but not many cruises interesting.  I would almost always prefer a land or driving trip where I can spend more than 5 or 6 hours at a location but as I said, my wife likes cruising so we cruise.

 

DON

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So many of the complaints that I have read are related to all the same things one will find on any vacation anywhere in any hotel: food, condition of accommodations, etc.  

 

Makes me wonder where these folks think they can go where the food will always be amazing, the service always top-notch, the elevators will always work (and you never have to wait) and the weather will never impact their travels.  Maybe they bought into the ads on TV about "coming back new".  Right....and driving the right car will make you sexy.

 

The two questions I always ask when thinking about a trip: where do I want to go and what is the best way to get there.   Sometimes the answer to that question is a road trip, sometimes a flight followed by several days or more in the same location.

 

But, I never would have been able to see all the places I saw in the United Kingdom or the other cruises I've taken on an overland trip. Not without a whole lot more money and a whole lot more time.   Maybe in another life when time and money are no object.  

 

And then there is the ocean.  I could stare at the sea for days.  So, for me, right now, cruising is still the best way to go.  And if things don't go as planned, well...........heck when have they ever?

 

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5 hours ago, Blondilu said:

 

  Right....and driving the right car will make you sexy.

 

 

Never worked for me.  ☹️☹️☹️

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Don’t go.

 

the less who book means prices might drop for me.

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On 5/13/2019 at 3:48 PM, dancingfish said:

Trying to plan a cruise for hubby and I for his birthday and everytime I think I have a great itenerary i look at the reviews and it seems everyone hates the cruises! Are people just being jerks or is travel by cruise ship just not fun anymore?

 

We haven't cruised in over 15 years but had a great time on our last cruise to Alaska!

 

I can see both sides. I still love to cruise more than any other vacation but over the years I’ve noticed passenger behavior and selfish attitudes get significantly worse. As much as I love the amenities of the mega ships, I’ve been mostly cruising small ships just to lesson the likelihood of encountering crowds of obnoxious people. 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/7/2019 at 11:34 AM, Blondilu said:

So many of the complaints that I have read are related to all the same things one will find on any vacation anywhere in any hotel: food, condition of accommodations, etc.  

 

Makes me wonder where these folks think they can go where the food will always be amazing, the service always top-notch, the elevators will always work (and you never have to wait) and the weather will never impact their travels.  Maybe they bought into the ads on TV about "coming back new".  Right....and driving the right car will make you sexy.

 

 

 

 

If I could give this 1000 likes, I would. These complaints are literally everywhere. Newsflash, things break down. Food won't always be perfectly to your liking. Popular tourist spots will be crowded. Other guests will be rude, especially when you take into account that what one culture sees as rude, others don't understand why it's an issue. Wait staff, room stewards, and guest services are run by human beings who sometimes have bad days and despite trying their hardest they let it affect their work. Yes, vacations are expensive, but throwing money around doesn't suddenly make the stars align perfectly for you. And most importantly to this topic, none of these matters are cruise specific. 

Edited by Twipenne

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