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Do you cruise for destination or ship?


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On 2/10/2020 at 1:26 PM, RedwingHockeyFan said:

I pick Itinerary over ship.  For my next cruise there were three ships sailing the same itinerary so I eliminated the ship I had sailed on before then narrowed it down with price.

 

I want to try the 7 day Southern Caribbean itinerary but I have already sailed the Epic twice.

 

I love Southern Caribbean itineraries! 

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It's all about the ports for me.  I especially like a cruise that embarks from one city and ends in a different city so I can spend extra time in both places.  I love that some of the cruise lines are starting to do more overnight/multi-day stays in ports too.  Those are the factors that will sell a cruise to me. 

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I prefer a ship I like and destinations I'm interested in but if I must choose the ship is more important.

 

I can take an itinerary I don't really like if I like the ship but I should never take a cruise on a ship I don't like.

 

If destination was the most important thing for me I shouldn't cruise.

 

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10 hours ago, blueslily said:

 

I love Southern Caribbean itineraries! 

 

Yeah, I have been to St Maarten before on a cruise and I've been to Aruba non-cruise and I love them both.  I had been hesitant about cruising from Puerto Rico but I've warmed up to it.  I have already sailed the epic twice, I don't mind it but I like to try different ships.  Lately I had been rotating the western Caribbean itineraries because I like cruises with more ports and the Eastern routes had only 3 stops.  Next year the Joy adds the Puerto Plata stop to the itinerary so we went with that one.  In 2022 we are going to do our yearly cruise in Alaska but in 2023 I think we will do the southern Caribbean itinerary finally.  

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16 hours ago, tallnthensome said:

Why would people continue to sail out of the same port all the time for convenience taking  you to the same ports over and over again? That seems pretty awful to me if all the ports look the same after being there so many times. I’ve never understood that approach. Why not save some money and fly to a different port in order to get somewhere you have never been? I’d never sail out of a local port so many times just for convenience if it meant I had to do basically the same cruise over and over and over ......

Well, that's why we like different ships.  Each one is unique and it's like a different country, especially when you sail with different lines!

DH and I are seniors....we've traveled all over the world...when we were young.  Now we (mainly me) like to sit back and relax.

I also like to avoid flying.  The cruise port is walking distance to my apt (although we take a cab there).  So, it takes me less time to "be on vacation" than just getting to the airport would take.

And, that's why "people continue to sail out of the same port and go to the same places".

In addition...no ports are guaranteed so I wouldn't want to fly to Europe and then the ship can't dock etc.....

When I was young I wouldn't have  understood this approach either.  But it works for us!

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4 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I prefer a ship I like and destinations I'm interested in but if I must choose the ship is more important.

 

I can take an itinerary I don't really like if I like the ship but I should never take a cruise on a ship I don't like.

 

If destination was the most important thing for me I shouldn't cruise.

 

Ditto...as I said in the above post, DH and I did our "traveling" a long time ago.  And a port on a cruise is not a guarantee that you'll get there.

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39 minutes ago, April42749 said:

 And a port on a cruise is not a guarantee that you'll get there.

 

That is very important to remember.

 

We have only missed one port, San Juan, and we got a wonderful day at sea instead. One of the nicest days in my life!

Edited by sverigecruiser
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Until recently it was always destination. As a result half my NCL cruises have been on Dawn/Star since the Star class seems to be the workhorse of interesting destinations. I finally reached the point that I have been to most of the destinations so last fall I decided to do a ship only cruise. I wanted to be on the newest ship so I did a Spa cabin on the Bliss doing the Mexican Riviera. I had been to the ports twice previously so I never got off the ship. It was all about enjoying the ship. I have one last ship itch to scratch so I'm doing haven on the Joy in December. After that I'll be back to itineraries for a while maybe until the next class of ship comes out. 

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A lot of answers reflect the idea that even the same person may have different priorities at different stages of life.  I'm not a beach person and don't care for the Caribbean at all BUT we went on those cruises back when we travelled with our kids because they were good "easy" big family vacations.  Also, most of us don't travel solo so choices are frequently compromises.  My husband likes to avoid multiple short flights because of ear problems and he does get a kick out of the "bells and whistles" of the big ships, whereas I'd be fine with a good book on a ferry boat.  There are a lot of areas that are particularly suited to cruising (Baltics, Alaska, Med, Fjords) and there are many other places where the points of interest are too far from the ports.  Those places work better as land trips unless you are really all about cruising (which we are not).  Since we retired we take long multiple-destination trips and usually try to sandwich a cruise somewhere in the middle of the itinerary.  That's what's working for us now.  That could change again as we age and our stamina declines.

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On 2/10/2020 at 3:03 PM, Phaedrus78 said:

Price > destination > ship, but it's gotta be a ship I want to be on.  I like the big ships, but I wasn't into the Encore so much because my favorite area is Spice H20.  

 

I'd actually love to do the Southern Caribbean itinerary early next year on the Epic, but the cost of flights to San Juan are KILLING me.  It's got me considering going on a Celebrity Apex cruise instead, balcony rooms on that new ship look like a really good deal right now even though it'll be a set of Caribbean destinations we've already done.  

the Jade is scheduled to do Southern Caribbean out of Tampa starting in November!   We are planning on doing the first on in November but I think there is a January option also.  I know the Jade doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the big ships but there should be pretty reasonable flights from Indy to Tampa!

 

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Like many others my reasons and priorities continue to change. The first thing I look at is what cruises are available when I want to go, where they are going and what the prices are. I've always enjoyed the smaller, older ships so booking the newest or fanciest ship is not my priority. I am looking to get out of Minnesota during the cold winter months so a warm destination is a must. I do give preference to an itinerary with a port I haven't visited, but those are few and far between, so date and price usually top the list. (Not just for the cruise, but also for the airfare.)  I hop from NCL, HAL, RCI, Celebrity, Princess and I recently did an MSC. Who has the best perks, anybody have free gratuities, etc. For me, I want at least 4 ports, the ships with 3 are not for me.

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Is it a cop out to say "both"? In March I am sailing on the Bliss to FL/Bahamas, which is a terrible itinerary. But I am doing because it was very cheap and sails out of NYC, which is an easy port for me. In December, I sailed on the Bliss out of NYC to the Southern Caribbean and it was definitely NOT cheap, but I wanted to go to the Southern Caribbean, as I had never been there before. I ended up loving it so much that I am looking at Southern Caribbean sailings out of San Juan for next January and I will probably not be picky at all about the ship or even the cruise line, just the itinerary. At the end of August we are sailing to Alaska. In that case, we are taking our first Princess sailing, because it was significantly cheaper to sail on the Ruby Princess than the NCL Bliss for the same itinerary that same week. So cost is also a factor in our decision making.

Fantastic input! I appreciate your prospective and will take your advice as we begin to plan our Alaska cruise! Thanks for posting!


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My vote is both too. It depends on the situation. My next cruise next month, the Encore, is for the ship because I have been to all those islands multiple times.  The following in the summer is for the destination because Greece is part of my bucket list.This one is with RCI because they had a better price.

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I'm a ship man all the way. We don't partake in any excursions, so it's not really worth getting off the ship for us since most of the stops feel the same with all the cookie-cutter jewelry shops and clothing stores being front and center. Plus, it's nice to have the ship to ourselves while everyone is out and about.

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I would say both.  When it's the ship, I go for the Haven experience with the goal of rest and relaxation.  For the destination, I try to go places I haven't already been. Cruising out of the east coast, I have done most of the Eastern and Western caribbean already, so if I find a deal, the ship is important.  

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On 2/10/2020 at 7:09 AM, nhtravels said:

With an ever growing bucket list for travel, I'm in constant planning mode.  

 

When you are planning your cruise, do you choose based on the ship or are you more about the destination?  

definately destination. 

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I travel for the destination.  But sometimes the ship is the destination.

 

So when I booked Symphony, Encore and Mardi Gras*, I choose the transatlantic.  Long trip, lots of sea days.

 

I'm cruising the Baltics this summer and they could swap in a coal barge and, sure...whatever... 

 

*Yeah, still super bitter about that. 

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