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1025cruise

Would you book a new cruise line before it sails?

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I am looking at my cruise options for next year. One of the cruises I am considering is on the new Virgin Voyages line. (Note, I am trying to keep this question generic, and not specific to Virgin,)

Obviously, Virgin hasn't sailed yet, so the only information available is what has been made available by searching the internet. So, given this, would you book a cruise on a new line with limited information available? Or would you wait until there is more factual information from cruisers? 

 

I must admit that part of the appeal of doing this is seeing what the ship would be like, and the fact that they are 18+. But, its still a large unknown. Even with a new ship in an existing cruise line, for the most part you still have an idea of what to expect. Yes, there might be new features, etc, but they are going to keep what's tried and true on the new ship.

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For me I like to wait until all the bugs are worked out   for others it is the thrill of "being first" 😉

 

YMMV

 

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I like data, so no -- I would wait until there were some reviews, media coverage, real experiences, etc.

 

I faced a similar situation when Voyages to Antiquity first launched. I loved the concept and the itineraries and the glossy brochure was very tempting. Eventually I ended up booking a cruise at the end of their inaugural season. I'm glad that I waited because they definitely went through some kinks in the first few months of sailing that were mostly straightened out by the time I sailed. 

 

Reading reviews here for years has also convinced me not to book any new ship for the first few months after launch. I am more concerned with having seamless service than with being the first to sail on a new ship.

 

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No way.  Let them shake out the kinks first--nevermind being assured that the ship will actually be completed on time.  

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I think I probably would if it was appealing and if it were a really good deal.  I know it might be a throw of the dice, but I might be inclined to take the chance.   

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2 hours ago, 1025cruise said:

I am looking at my cruise options for next year. One of the cruises I am considering is on the new Virgin Voyages line. (Note, I am trying to keep this question generic, and not specific to Virgin,)

Obviously, Virgin hasn't sailed yet, so the only information available is what has been made available by searching the internet. So, given this, would you book a cruise on a new line with limited information available? Or would you wait until there is more factual information from cruisers? 

 

I must admit that part of the appeal of doing this is seeing what the ship would be like, and the fact that they are 18+. But, its still a large unknown. Even with a new ship in an existing cruise line, for the most part you still have an idea of what to expect. Yes, there might be new features, etc, but they are going to keep what's tried and true on the new ship.

This is similar to your very first cruise .Ours was on Cunard prior to the internet and very little was to research .We took a chance and were not disappointed.

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If I was a travel agent and was invited on a free cruise as a promotion...yes.  Otherwise...No.  EM

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Nope; I'm also not the type of person who would buy a condo apartment before it was finished......I want to make sure it actually happens without problems before I invest the time and money (and hopes) to plan for it.

 

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Not only would I not book a line before it has sailed, I also wouldn't book a new ship of an already existing line before that ship has sailed.  

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Yeah. I'm on the fence because while some of the information I've read makes them sound interesting, other stuff not so much. But, since no other itinerary at the time sounds interesting, it might be a fun experiment.

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I would do it if the price was right AND my time was somewhat flexible (ours hasn't been, but dr'spin's last day of work is TOMORROW), in case of delays or cancellations. And itinerary and pre-launch info remained intriguing.

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Out of curiosity what are people so afraid of that could go wrong on an inaugural cruise? How bad of an experience could you have😳

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1 hour ago, ilikeanswers said:

Out of curiosity what are people so afraid of that could go wrong on an inaugural cruise?

Most simply, it could be not what they've advertised or what you've paid for.  

Specifically, it could be inadequately operating equipment or plumbing, insufficiently trained/practised staff, ongoing construction (workmen still building), or even just food/drink shortages if they miscalculated the necessary amounts.   Not anything safety related, but not what you signed up for.

 

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1 hour ago, ilikeanswers said:

Out of curiosity what are people so afraid of that could go wrong on an inaugural cruise? How bad of an experience could you have😳


1.  The shipyard falls behind and your cruise is cancelled--possibly with very short notice.

2.  The crew is all new to their jobs and/or the ship and/or each other and not flowing well leaving massive gaps in service.

3.  There are workers on board during the cruise finishing many things and creating noise.  There are amenities that aren't usable as they haven't been completed.

4.  The first passengers are the guinea pigs who might have to suffer through issues with HVAC, water pressure, outlets not wired, or exploding shower doors.

 

I could go on, but that's a decent start.

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31 minutes ago, ducklite said:


1.  The shipyard falls behind and your cruise is cancelled--possibly with very short notice.

2.  The crew is all new to their jobs and/or the ship and/or each other and not flowing well leaving massive gaps in service.

3.  There are workers on board during the cruise finishing many things and creating noise.  There are amenities that aren't usable as they haven't been completed.

4.  The first passengers are the guinea pigs who might have to suffer through issues with HVAC, water pressure, outlets not wired, or exploding shower doors.

 

I could go on, but that's a decent start.

 

Respectfully, with the exception of the first point, if one believes the posts on this board these challenges happen over and over and over on ships that have been in service for weeks and years. Might be a different reason for the problem but the reason really doesn't matter. No one here has the stats to start saying -- it is more likely to happen on a new ship / line. Maybe, just maybe, a new line will have learned from the mistakes of the current lines that keep doing the same old thing, maybe they will be more Guest Service oriented and maybe the first cruise will be close to perfect? My  glass is half full. 

 

We would do it in a heartbeat IF there was a new destination. There are too many places to explore in this world that are not accessible from the water to repeat ports we have already been to. The only cruise I would repeat would be an expedition ship to Antarctica -- no ports just the beauty of nature. 

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, snowskier said:

 

Respectfully, with the exception of the first point, if one believes the posts on this board these challenges happen over and over and over on ships that have been in service for weeks and years. Might be a different reason for the problem but the reason really doesn't matter. No one here has the stats to start saying -- it is more likely to happen on a new ship / line. Maybe, just maybe, a new line will have learned from the mistakes of the current lines that keep doing the same old thing, maybe they will be more Guest Service oriented and maybe the first cruise will be close to perfect? My  glass is half full. 

 

We would do it in a heartbeat IF there was a new destination. There are too many places to explore in this world that are not accessible from the water to repeat ports we have already been to. The only cruise I would repeat would be an expedition ship to Antarctica -- no ports just the beauty of nature. 

 

 

 


The first point alone is enough to keep me from booking a ship when it first enters service, whether from drydock or new build. 

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22 minutes ago, ducklite said:


The first point alone is enough to keep me from booking a ship when it first enters service, whether from drydock or new build. 

I believe Carnival recently has had to delay a sailing of a new ship because of delays in the shipyard so it does happen. That being said the question is booking with a new cruise line before passengers have sailed with it and it is possible to book a sailing that occurs several months after the first sailing, so the question isn't limited to only the inaugural one. 

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I'm not looking at taking the inaugural cruise. In fact, the ship will be sailing a couple of months before I board, so hopefully the kinks will be worked out prior to me getting on. Plus by then there will be reviews. In my case, the whole thing is the fact that it is a complete unknown. New line, new concept, new everything. 

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3 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

Out of curiosity what are people so afraid of that could go wrong on an inaugural cruise? How bad of an experience could you have😳

 

Some of the many things I've read here through the years re: inaugural voyages or first voyages after a dry dock:

 

  • No deck chairs (didn't arrive in time)
  • Shortages of certain wines/alcohol or specific food items (also didn't arrive in time)
  • Ongoing construction work that is both loud (hammering, welding) and disruptive (e.g., certain spaces closed)
  • Long waits in dining room for food due to servers having to learn the ropes of new ship
  • Long waits (or worse, issues obtaining clearance) in certain ports due to lack of familiarity with procedures/lack of relationship with authorities  (This happened on Voyages to Antiquity, more likely on a new cruise line than just a new ship of existing line)
  • Strong smells of paint and/or varnish from ongoing work
  • Lack of experience in tendering operations

None of these would be terrible in and of themselves, but why take a chance?  Most inaugural voyages are not unique itineraries. I'd just wait until everything is up and running smoothly before booking.

 

Edited to add:  Just did a quick search and also found reports from very recent cruisers on cruises following dry docks with some significant problems. In one case, the computer system was nonfunctional for check-in, which led to huge delays and lines. In another, apparently up to 25% of cabins on board the ship were affected by either AC or plumbing issues, including a number of cabins that were flooded with several inches of water.

 

 

Edited by cruisemom42

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4 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

Out of curiosity what are people so afraid of that could go wrong on an inaugural cruise? How bad of an experience could you have😳


Look up the Carnival Mardi Gras. 

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