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Advice please from those who have cruised multiple lines

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46 minutes ago, GottaLuvCruising said:

We are mid-60s, but not old enough for HAL 😉  Maybe someday we will try them, but based on Cruise Critic HAL board, it just doesn't sound like a good fit for us.  

Hi GottaLuvCruising,

From what deep, cold, dark caves do people get their information on cruising?.. 🙂

To pleasantly surprise you (maybe): "HAL" you know from CC HAL board does not exist.

HAL is four different products ranging from 5* to 3.5* in my ranking.

I wouldn't say that being mid-60 is too old for the top "HAL" ships.

I love top Princess ships (Sapphire & Diamond), however you seem to be missing cruising experience that is far superior to anything Princess can offer.

But it's never late to enjoy the best ship/itinerary/price.

Happy cruising!

Holland America Line • Nieuw Amsterdam
Fort Lauderdale, Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie, Half Moon Cay, Fort Lauderdale
1 departure date: Nov 16 2019

 

Edited by ronbe65

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We are seniors and Platinum on Carnival.

We've sailed Royal and NCL(hated it!)

Last year we did the Panama Canal on the Coral Princess and I was in heaven!!

We booked a full suite and I really enjoyed it!

I'd first choose the itinerary you want and then see which ships go there.

Splash out on the cabin as some of us like to hang out in our own space .

As I get older I really appreciate the little extras you get in a suite.

BTW if any of your group has ever been in any of the armed services Princess will give you a discount for that service no matter how long ago it might have been!!

Edited by riffatsea

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2 hours ago, GottaLuvCruising said:

 

Princess works for us because it isn't stuffy.  We found Celebrity to be stuffy, so sailed with them only once.  Feedback I have read is that Holland America is also stuffy with guests uptight about dress codes.  We are mid-60s, but not old enough for HAL 😉  Maybe someday we will try them, but based on Cruise Critic HAL board, it just doesn't sound like a good fit for us.  

We did not find HAL to be stuffy at all. We dressed on HAL the way we dressed on our Princess cruises: hubby in a suit on formal night and me in a knee length dress. Nothing fancy. Maybe HAL posters are stuffy, but the HAL cruisers out of San Diego certainly weren't. Heck, I've been on 25 Carnival cruises so if anyone could detect hoity toity attitudes, it's me. Not a single sour puss to be seen. Don't knock it until you've actually tried it (which seems to happen often enough on CC).

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43 minutes ago, riffatsea said:

 

BTW if any of your group has ever been in any of the armed services Princess will give you a discount for that service no matter how long ago it might have been!!

And the OBC. Don't forget the generous OBC for veterans!

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Looks like you've already gotten quite a bit of feedback. I'll go ahead and add my pros and cons for the cruise lines I've been on in case it helps as well. 🙂 

 

Disney (Fantasy)

  • Pros: Great food, best shows (even for adults), and prettiest ship I've been on. We were on the Fantasy and it had the "old ocean liner" look and feel (with a modern touch and SUPER clean).Characters are not all over the ship and in your face as you would think. They only make appearances at certain times (that are published), and in certain places. My daughter was 3 when we took her and she had a great time.
  • Cons: Expensive, perception of having kids running around everywhere (but there really aren't any more than there are on other ships). Our service was not that great which seems to be very "un-Disney-like". We did sail during the Ebola scare and they had pulled staff out of the dining room to serve drinks on the lido deck (normally self-serve), and people were constantly cleaning. I believe this contributed to the experience we had here. We weren't unhappy (like the RC cruise I refer to below) but it wasn't what we were expecting. 

 

Royal Caribbean (Allure of the Seas)

  • Pros: Several ships and itineraries to choose from, good food and great shows
  • Cons: Our worst experience with customer service on a ship (from multiple staff members) and small venues (like they tried to fit too much on the ship we were on and had to shrink the venues). Despite the recommendation for reservations for the shows, you cannot choose your seats and should arrive early enough to stand in line as if you didn't have reservations. We had a party of 9 so perhaps our "cons" were due to having so many people and trying to get everyone together. It was very difficult to find anywhere that we could all just hang out after dinner. On Carnival and NCL, there was always larger sitting areas around the ship, clubs playing music, etc. that we could go to. Everywhere we would go on the RC ship we were on was packed. Back to the service for a minute... We all felt like an "inconvenience" to the staff. Most seemed extremely frazzled and frustrated. Some even came-off like they were on some kind of power trip, like you were on THEIR ship and they should be asking you if you need something when they are ready. We were made to get back in line when waiting for a show once because we didn't know we couldn't sit down early. There were no signs or anything.. no announcements, nothing. The staff member just told us we would need to go get in the back of the line... Had we known we needed to wait, we certainly would have. For us to have been there 45 minutes before a show started only to have to get in the back of the line was pretty pitiful in my opinion. 

NCL (Bliss)

  • Pros: Lovely ship that was seemingly spotless the entire time. I have never seen a ship so clean but it was also only about a month old when we sailed on her. The service was actually probably the best I've ever experienced. The layout of the ship was perfect with plenty of room for large groups to gather in different areas. 
  • Cons: Food was not that great. even the specialty dining. We all agreed it was actually the worst food we've had on a cruise.This was an Alaskan cruise and we definitely had better food while out on excursions. Shows were "ok"... Jersey Boys was good if you were interested in the story but none of us lasted through the other show. A couple of the people in our group fell asleep and the rest of us left early. The one show I really enjoyed ("Prohibition") was an extra charge per person. Entertainment overall was lacking. We missed having any type of music to go listen to after dinner (with the exception of a Beatles tribute band). 

We are sailing on Carnival again next year and it's been a while. I am curious to see what has changed while we've been gone. Of all the lines we've sailed, I would sail them all again with the exception of Royal Caribbean. I was very put-off by that experience. 

 

 

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20 hours ago, BananaAnna said:

Question - where would you see folks signatures?

I remember them from years ago but haven't located them since.

😊 Thanks!

 At the very bottom of a post there is a "Expand Signature" link, just click that and the signature will open. 

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17 minutes ago, beachbum6264 said:

 

 At the very bottom of a post there is a "Expand Signature" link, just click that and the signature will open. 

Thank you!

Maybe it's because I'm using a tablet but it only shows a  +  Quote and a heart on mine. Will try on my computer.

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I'm using a tablet and can see the expanded signature section below the +quote, maybe it's a set up thing?

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We have cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Princess.  We primarily cruise Princess.  We are in our mid 50's and love the quieter, laid back vibe on Princess.  I think your parents would really love the entertainment on Princess, especially the music in the Piazza.  There is definitely an older crowd.  

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I would also recommend  the Yacht Club on MSC.  The Seaside and the Meraviglia would be your better choices.  Your options are suite, balcony or inside.  The ship within a ship concept is very nice and substantially  cheaper than the Haven on the newer NCL builds. With it's  own dedicated restaurant, bar and lounge, the only reason to leave the Yacht Club area is to visit the casino or see the shows post dinner. Best of luck with your decision.

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