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UrbanGirlie

Favorite cruise line and/or ship & why?

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in an effort to decipher MY favorite cruise line & ship, I was wondering if you all would be so gracious to list yours and why? I have been on 14 cruises thus far with 9 planned through 2021:

 

Carnival (can’t remember ship name )  Bahamas 1988

 

Carnival Elation Key West/Cozumel 2006

Holland America Ryndam Caribbean 2014 

Azamara Journey Greece/Turkey 2015 

Viking Emerald China 2016 (River)

Paul Gauguin Ms. Paul Gauguin French Polynesia 2016

Hurtigruten Polarlys Norway 2016 

Holland America Oosterdam Alaska 2017

Windstar Star Legend Iceland 2017

Holland America Veendam Cuba 2017

Avalon Poetry II France 2018 (River)

Celebrity Summit  Bermuda 2018

Norwegian Jade Panama Canal 2018

Uncruise Safari Endeavor  Baja del Sur, Mexico 2019

 

My ‘problem’ is I want to try everything and can’t decide weather to cruise for line/ship or neither and stick with new destinations, which is a requirement. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

 

 

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11 minutes ago, UrbanGirlie said:

Cruisers-

 

in an effort to decipher MY favorite cruise line & ship, I was wondering if you all would be so gracious to list yours and why? I have been on 14 cruises thus far with 9 planned through 2021:

 

Carnival (can’t remember ship name )  Bahamas 1988

 

Carnival Elation Key West/Cozumel 2006

Holland America Ryndam Caribbean 2014 

Azamara Journey Greece/Turkey 2015 

Viking Emerald China 2016 (River)

Paul Gauguin Ms. Paul Gauguin French Polynesia 2016

Hurtigruten Polarlys Norway 2016 

Holland America Oosterdam Alaska 2017

Windstar Star Legend Iceland 2017

Holland America Veendam Cuba 2017

Avalon Poetry II France 2018 (River)

Celebrity Summit  Bermuda 2018

Norwegian Jade Panama Canal 2018

Uncruise Safari Endeavor  Baja del Sur, Mexico 2019

 

My ‘problem’ is I want to try everything and can’t decide weather to cruise for line/ship or neither and stick with new destinations, which is a requirement. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

 

 

The best itinerary on a line you do not like, and your favorite ship going to some commercial port far from anything of interest, will both disappoint.  

 

My ideal would be a fine, small ship stopping at a couple of favorite ports plus one or two previously not experienced - all for a low fare, sailing from an interesting port worth a few days pre- cruise.

 

I’m not likely to score 100% across the board —- that’s why compromise was invented.

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We cruise different lines but favorite is rccl been cruising them since late 1980’s , by far best entertainment of all the lines, love there ice show , perfer voyager class and there grand suites. But best suite perks on celebrity.

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We tend to stick with the cruise line that now offers the best perks for its most traveled passengers.  For us that is Princess.  We've been cruising NCL quite a bit recently but don't feel the perks are quite as good.   

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We have a Princess Cruise on Regal Princess scheduled for July 2020 (British Isles).  This will be our first time on Princess so I'm

excited to see their suite perks! Any specific info that you love regarding perks is welcomed, thanks!

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Until my husband retires, we're going to continue to sail the boring Caribbean and Mexican Riviera ports.  At present, our favorite cruises seem to be ones that go anywhere but where I mentioned.  Alaska and New England/Canada come to mind.

 

Once my husband retires we'll branch out to some overseas cruising. Only four years to go.

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I can board a Carnival ship, any and every Friday

at the Port which is 10-15 mins. away from my house!!

depending on the traffic! --without having to fly or road-trip anywhere.

= Nooo airports! Beat that for cruise line selection factor.

 

Oh sure I can also board other ships/lines at Bridgetown Barbados

but I am already 11 cruises and 50+ nights on board into Carnival

so I'm not about to switch.

 

Have spoken to influential ppl

about Royal Caribbean boarding ppl here, but nope!

.

BANNER-148.jpg

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Just the ship all by itself -- Sea Cloud II, chartered by Lindblab.

 

Ship and destination -- Lindblad Orion

 

Destination -- Lindblad Explorer

 

The mass market lines are fine, but they all blur together in my mind.  I'll be on Windstar sailing the Tahitian islands this winter. I'm sure that will be on my standout list as well.

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We have more cruises on Princess than any other line because I've found good prices on their cruises. I still look at the other major cruise lines before booking. The past-passenger perks we get on Princess are nice, but not great enough to keep us from sailing another line if I get a good price on a cruise we want to do.

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52 minutes ago, fyree39 said:

Until my husband retires, we're going to continue to sail the boring Caribbean and Mexican Riviera ports.  At present, our favorite cruises seem to be ones that go anywhere but where I mentioned.  Alaska and New England/Canada come to mind.

 

Once my husband retires we'll branch out to some overseas cruising. Only four years to go.

I feel ya. I will retire in about 6 years and then if I’m not broke from cruising all bets are off lol! I live in CA and I’ve never done Mexican Rivera, go figure! Alaska was awesome and I’d love to go back 😉

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47 minutes ago, Aplmac said:

I can board a Carnival ship, any and every Friday

at the Port which is 10-15 mins. away from my house!!

depending on the traffic! --without having to fly or road-trip anywhere.

= Nooo airports! Beat that for cruise line selection factor.

 

Oh sure I can also board other ships/lines at Bridgetown Barbados

but I am already 11 cruises and 50+ nights on board into Carnival

so I'm not about to switch.

 

Have spoken to influential ppl

about Royal Caribbean boarding ppl here, but nope!

.

BANNER-148.jpg

That is awesome!  I can count how many flights to Florida I’ve done to go on a cruise. It adds up and also adds two additional days to your trip!

Since you love  Carnival, and I haven’t tried them in about 13 years, I am wondering if they have a nice suite program, on par with other lines? 

I honestly have never explored it since Carnival ships were my first two cruises that, at the time, left lots to be desired.

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50 minutes ago, Bizmark'sMom said:

Just the ship all by itself -- Sea Cloud II, chartered by Lindblab.

 

Ship and destination -- Lindblad Orion

 

Destination -- Lindblad Explorer

 

The mass market lines are fine, but they all blur together in my mind.  I'll be on Windstar sailing the Tahitian islands this winter. I'm sure that will be on my standout list as well.

Tahiti was my absolute favorite cruising destination thus far on Paul Gaugin Cruises! Spectacular! I went in Aug 2016...

If you look close you can see our ship from the beach in Moorea in the pic!

06CAB7E9-9D0E-432E-85B4-F77C7E3130DE.jpeg

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We've tried a number of cruise lines and our preference is for smaller ships.  Our favorites are Viking and Starclippers--quite different!  We love Viking as much for what it excludes as much as for what it includes.  We initially tried river cruising, and are pretty happy with how the company has scaled up to ocean cruising, even though the ships are rather large.  Starclippers offers the scaled back, more genuine sailing experience and we enjoy the more nautical feel and emotional connection with the ship as well as opportunities to mingle with crew and international passengers.  That said, itineraries are critical and we may sacrifice our cruise line choice for value sometimes.  Just returned from Alaska (a repeat cruise) on the Norwegian Jewel;  an amazing place to cruise but we overlook the "okay, typical" ship experience and feel we got our money's worth.    We took our grown kids along and it was a good fit for them.  We think Windstar is nice for couples.  Favorite itineraries so far:  Starclippers Venice to Rome and the Viking Ocean Homelands.  Biggest cruising secret and best value:  European river holiday cruises.

 

I confess we charter catamaran sailboats and sail with friends and family and get to see destinations from a different perspective.   French Polynesia, Turkey, the Caribbean BVIs and Grenadines have all been spectacular destinations.  They would be great from ANY ship.  

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30 minutes ago, TalariaSailor said:

We've tried a number of cruise lines and our preference is for smaller ships.  Our favorites are Viking and Starclippers--quite different!  We love Viking as much for what it excludes as much as for what it includes.  We initially tried river cruising, and are pretty happy with how the company has scaled up to ocean cruising, even though the ships are rather large.  Starclippers offers the scaled back, more genuine sailing experience and we enjoy the more nautical feel and emotional connection with the ship as well as opportunities to mingle with crew and international passengers.  That said, itineraries are critical and we may sacrifice our cruise line choice for value sometimes.  Just returned from Alaska (a repeat cruise) on the Norwegian Jewel;  an amazing place to cruise but we overlook the "okay, typical" ship experience and feel we got our money's worth.    We took our grown kids along and it was a good fit for them.  We think Windstar is nice for couples.  Favorite itineraries so far:  Starclippers Venice to Rome and the Viking Ocean Homelands.  Biggest cruising secret and best value:  European river holiday cruises.

 

I confess we charter catamaran sailboats and sail with friends and family and get to see destinations from a different perspective.   French Polynesia, Turkey, the Caribbean BVIs and Grenadines have all been spectacular destinations.  They would be great from ANY ship.  

We are doing Egypt next year with Viking and we have done the Yangtze in China with them as well. Haven’t tried an ocean voyages, but plan to in the coming years. Also definitely want to try river Christmas markets, which do you recommend?

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No favourite line; one or two favourite ships for cruises longer than 3 weeks; mainly now it's all about itinerary.

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Our favourite line was Princess, spent almost 40 years working and cruising with them, but the 2015 World Cruise was the last. Their downfall started in 2003, when purchased by Carnival and in our opinion they their standards, quality and size of ship no longer meet our needs.

 

Presently we sail with Viking Ocean and enjoy the return to the small ship atmosphere with under 1,000 pax. No casino, no formal nights, no photogs, no art auctions/shopping hosts and you are treated as adults, with no restrictions on beverages brought aboard. 

 

Yes, the base fare is higher than mega ships, but the total cruise cost is almost identical.

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@UrbanGirlie You can see my cruising history in my signature. Agree with @navybankerteacher great itinerary on a shabby ship is not so good. We did the Panama Canal + Mexican Riviera on the NCL Star, because a balcony was cheaper than an inside on a Holland America ship. Unfortunately, there was a reason for that! "If it sounds too good to be true..." So we will never sail on NCL, because not interested in the mega-ships that are bright and shiny and we cannot trust them to maintain their older ships and keep their employees happy.

 

As you can see we have been very happy on HAL. We are starting to branch out with a good TransAtlantic with Royal Caribbean. We found the experience on a par with HAL but a bit different. I booked a B2B in the southern Caribbean with them on that cruise! Then when my husband said he would like to cruise to Tahiti, I discovered Princess sails from our home port of Los Angeles ROUND TRIP! And next year they also have a new itinerary R/T to Alaska. So we are booked on both of those.

 

HAL: elegant and refined, at least for a main-stream line. Excellent crew mostly Filipino and Indonesian.

RCI: more 'fun' elements, attentive and accommodating crew that is more international.

Princess??? hoping for the best! considering we have 42 days booked on them...

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6 hours ago, UrbanGirlie said:

We are doing Egypt next year with Viking and we have done the Yangtze in China with them as well. Haven’t tried an ocean voyages, but plan to in the coming years. Also definitely want to try river Christmas markets, which do you recommend?

I was on Azamara for a Christmas Market cruise along the Danube last December. Vienna to Nuremberg.  It was absolutely spectacular!  

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Posted (edited)

No favourite cruise line.  Well, perhaps Crystal based on one trip.

 

Favourite ship (s) Celebrity Soltsice class ships especially Equinox.

 

Azamara and Viiking are on our to do list.

Edited by iancal

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I have been on Carnival, NCL, HAL, Disney and Princess.  My favorite ship so far is the Regal Princess.  My favorite destinations are Alaska (2x) and Canada/New England (2x).  

 

I have two cruises in the works.  Carnival Sunrise in September and the new Sky Princess in January, 2020.  

 

Can’t wait!  

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My favorite is RCCL Quantum Class - Anthem of the Seas and a Canada and New England Cruise.

- right now considering Ovation and a New Zealand Cruise February 2020

 

 

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Favorite cruise line is Star Clippers...    But having said THAT, we cant afford a steady diet of those gorgeous sailing ships.   As well, they tend to do their "loops" over and over, and there are SO damn many places in the world to see that we keep trying "other" lines.   Our next cruise for example is on NCL, a line that we have not sailed on since we had our kids with us, but they are doing a fun "different" 21 day cruise through the mid east, (Take THAT off the bucket list) at a VERY reasonable "port intensive"  price.   

 

But back to the OP's question.   Favorite line?   Star Clippers.   Why?  you and at a MAX 220 of your friends on a real sailing ship that was designed and built as a cruise ship.    

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19 hours ago, crystalspin said:

HAL: elegant and refined, at least for a main-stream line. Excellent crew mostly Filipino and Indonesian.

RCI: more 'fun' elements, attentive and accommodating crew that is more international.

Princess??? hoping for the best! considering we have 42 days booked on them...

I forgot the rest of your questions. Favorite ship (so far) probably the Zuiderdam. While at 950ft/~2000 passengers, she would be a small ship on many lines, she is mid-sized for Holland America. She was big enough that we had no objectionable motion in our very high, very fore cabin. Do not have any urge to sail on a mega-ship and would be afraid of companions' seasickness on a smaller one, depending on itinerary.

 

As far as itineraries, which you didn't ask but why not add. dr'spin and I like transAtlantics (and booked for a R/T so.Pacific) for the relaxation, but the most fun is taking family to Alaska (done three times and booked for a fourth).

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OP - You cruising history is very impressive.  Your 14 cruises are probably a wider variety of cruises than most people on these boards.  Most seem to cruise 1 line or 1 type of line.  Even though I have 54 cruises, it's all on mass market lines so not nearly as varied as yours.

 

Sorry, I can't really answer your question.  It's hard to say which line is my favorite.  Going forward, I'd like to be more varied as you've been. 

 

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2 hours ago, antmaril said:

I have been on Carnival, NCL, HAL, Disney and Princess.  My favorite ship so far is the Regal Princess.  My favorite destinations are Alaska (2x) and Canada/New England (2x).  

 

I have two cruises in the works.  Carnival Sunrise in September and the new Sky Princess in January, 2020.  

 

Can’t wait!  

Nice to hear Regal is your favorite ship!  We are sailing with them in 7/2020!

Also excited about those Sky Suites on Princess Sky, looking forward to some cruise critic photos!

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