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inaugural cruises

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Has anyone been on an inaugural cruise before. We are booked on the Carnival Panarama. We are wondering if we should expect anything different than a regular cruise.

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We were on RCI's Grandeur of the Seas inaugural cruise in 1996, which was coincidentally just announced will be retired from their fleet in early 2021. There is always the chance that not everything will be 100% completed or all venues fully operational, but that was not the case with us.  The then President of RCI was on board for the first half of the cruise and we noticed that the crew was somewhat subdued while he was on board, but relaxed and became more animated once he left the ship.  They may have some sort of celebration on board or, in our case, a commemorative gift recognizing the sailing was provided, which was a hard bound book detailing the build and launch.

 

I'm sure you will get varied responses from positive to negative and likely all will be correct from the experience of those reporting it.  But we did not have anything particularly negative or overly positive - it was a nice cruise on a brand new ship on which we were among the first cruising passengers.

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12 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

I'm sure you will get varied responses from positive to negative and likely all will be correct from the experience of those reporting it.

I can’t imagine a more accurate statement.  This should be auto-populated before every post in every review thread.  Thank you.

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12 minutes ago, lifes-a-beach said:

I can’t imagine a more accurate statement.  This should be auto-populated before every post in every review thread.  Thank you.

He is one poster that I enjoy reading and offers a lot of excellent advise, recommendations and suggestions. I've learned a lot from his posts. 

Edited by davekathy

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Not quite an "inaugural cruise" but I did sail on QM2 right after she came out of a major refit in 2016.  Major changes were made to the layout of the buffet and the grills dining rooms so even the crew members that were on before the refit had to learn the new arrangements.  On the first day I didn't have hand or bath towels until after diner - and that was in a suite.   Now imagine an entire crew being new to a ship.  Even is they all served on other ships in the fleet there are bound to be some service glitches as they learn and settle into a new environment. 

 

Unless something goes very wrong you won't have the cruise from hell but you will experience some service problems.  And you will forever have bragging rights to having been on a maiden voyage. 

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3 hours ago, davekathy said:

He is one poster that I enjoy reading and offers a lot of excellent advise, recommendations and suggestions. I've learned a lot from his posts. 

 

...check's in the mail, Dave.

 

And ditto your comments to you.....

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Biggest issue in my estimation is that the crew has not had enough time to become a team. They are all good people, however they have not had the opportunity to work together. That includes servers in the dining and workers in the kitchen; housekeeping teams are vital, if they have not had time to learn to work together, then things can not be as good as one might expect.

 

Jim

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What everybody else has said , particularly that the crew are on something new too and are still learning 

 

and remember the Titanic for on her maiden voyage.

 

Cheers Don  

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Just our experience...we were on the inaugural Allure of the Seas sailing...what we remember the most was receiving a surprise gift, everyday, in our cabin.........nice. 😊

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For Long Beach, we're more concerned about the parking (or lack thereof) situation than anything that will happen onboard  We have many cruise friends on the first sailing, fortunately they are very 'go with the flow' type people.

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We did one, the Grand  Princess in  l998, from Istanbul to Barcelona.   The ship was delivered late, so still laying some carpet when we boarded;  many fire boats in many ports along the way to celebrate the ship's first arrival in port; people in Istanbul stood on roof tops to watch the ship leave,  as the ship was taller than any building in port   (the largest ship afloat at the time); we crashed the private Press  Party in the disco which we discovered by accident exploring the ship before it left port, it was much better the welcome party the follow day at sea, LOL.   Oh, Rita Moreno was the featured entertainer on board.  Those are he memories  that I recall over 20 years later.   Never did another, any serious cruisers should do at least one, just for the fun of it.  

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Our first cruise was - purely by chance - the maiden voyage of (the original) Ocean Princess in 2000.  It was, by a long way, the best of our seven cruises.  Everything was perfect.

 

They had put on board all their most experienced staff and it showed in their quiet confidence and easy way they made everything happen.  Also, many of the passengers were very experienced travellers and happily gave us great advice that has since served us well.  And we were interviewed by a charming cruise journalist (who, I am 95% sure, was from Cruise Critic) who told us more than we told them.

 

But, we have heard tales of others who have done maiden voyages and regretted it.  If a new car can be a lemon, presumably, so can a cruise ship.

 

Either way, you leave with a story to tell.

Edited by S-and-J

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