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How is cruising now different from 25 years ago?


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2 hours ago, clo said:

Did you ever see this pic of mine of our cabin on Hurtigruten's 100 pax Lofoten for our Norwegian coastal cruise? Someone here disdainfully compared it to a jail cell 🙂

IMG_6639 - Edited.jpg

IMG_6772 - Edited.jpg

The bathroom on my last cruise was bigger than that 😁

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36 minutes ago, George C said:

The bathroom on my last cruise was bigger than that 😁

So what? 🙂 We were completely charmed by this trip. A hundred pax, mostly British and German. There for the experience. Food was terrific. NO entertainment - much less ballroom dancing. LOL. We loved it so much we would have returned for a one-way version along with other trips. But we don't travel for the vehicle.

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2 hours ago, cb at sea said:

Totally different.  Used to be, no matter WHAT you paid for your cabin, EVERYONE got the same stuff.e

I didn't know that. I thought "back in the day" lines like Cunard didn't allow the 'masses' to mingle with the la-dee-dahs

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3 minutes ago, clo said:

So what? 🙂 We were completely charmed by this trip. A hundred pax, mostly British and German. There for the experience. Food was terrific. NO entertainment - much less ballroom dancing. LOL. We loved it so much we would have returned for a one-way version along with other trips. But we don't travel for the vehicle.

We did our share in tiny cabins and agree can have a great time with any cruise cabin, but would hope I never do another tiny inside cabin.

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2 minutes ago, George C said:

We did our share in tiny cabins and agree can have a great time with any cruise cabin, but would hope I never do another tiny inside cabin.

Oh, this wasn't inside. Porthole. 

IMG_6740 - Edited (1).jpg

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1 hour ago, clo said:

I didn't know that. I thought "back in the day" lines like Cunard didn't allow the 'masses' to mingle with the la-dee-dahs

 

You're confusing ocean liners with cruising. Modern cruising -- cruising as a vacation in itself and not just a way to get from, say, London to New York -- didn't really kick off until the late 60's early 70's when lines had to re-brand themselves after trans-continental flights really took off (pun intended).

 

On those early cruise ships it's absolutely true that the only thing people paid extra for was a larger cabin. A great many cabins were inside, some had portholes and a few, VERY few, had windows and/or a verandah.

 

Everyone ate the same food in the same dining rooms, everyone saw the same entertainment, and shared the same spaces. There were no "suite amenities" -- the suite itself was the amenity. No special gathering place or concierge, no special dining room, no special reserved deck space. 

 

That's one of the things I liked about cruising. We usually traveled on the bottom deck of passenger cabins -- as my dad joked, separated by a few inches of steel from the anchor's resting place. In other words, the really cheap seats. Yet we enjoyed everything and were treated just like every other passenger aboard.

 

 

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On 4/24/2020 at 7:05 PM, jeremyosborne81 said:

 

I know what you mean

I'm just amazed some of them can bring their nose down out of the air far enough to see their computer screens and deign to communicate with us dirty, common rabble.

 

Nose in the air.jpg

 

I read an article in Psychology Today that said, among other things, that some snobs may not realize that they are snobs.  

 

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3 hours ago, clo said:

So what? 🙂 We were completely charmed by this trip. A hundred pax, mostly British and German. There for the experience. Food was terrific. NO entertainment - much less ballroom dancing. LOL. We loved it so much we would have returned for a one-way version along with other trips. But we don't travel for the vehicle.

absolutely no entertainment and no dancing?

what were the reasons for choosing such an expensive cruise?

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As far as only sightseeing is concerned,

I think sightseeing in US and most of  Europe and Asia is best done by land.

 

Because you need 3 to 7 nights in each tourist City to cover all the main things to see and do.

 

Also, you don't have a deadline to to be back on the ship in a matter of 6 to 8 hours or risk getting left behind.

 

however, cruises are very useful for sightseeing islands in the Caribbean, South Pacific, Indian ocean, as well as Alaska, the Norwegian fjords, et cetera

Edited by drsel
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14 hours ago, cb at sea said:

Totally different.  Used to be, no matter WHAT you paid for your cabin, EVERYONE got the same stuff....the same delicious meals in the DR....artfully arranged, and prepared exquisitely....Cruising used to be an elevated experience.  About 12 years ago they really started delineating "classes"....all these "for fee" restaurants, that now serve what the MDR USED to serve included in your fare.  The presentation has suffered greatly.  Cruising is not what it used to be.  It's still a good way to vacation, but it's in NO WAY like it used to be.

 

It's a matter of perspective. One person's "elevated experience" is another's imposition of rigid requirements with expectations of absolute conformity.  What contributed to the expansion of cruising was the realization that relaxing the requirements of mandatory table sharing and fancy pants nights would appeal to a larger audience who have little interest in the illusions of grandeur.   

 

Today there are more choices and every segment of the traveling public can pick and choose the options they prefer.   

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9 hours ago, drsel said:

Sorry I came in late, who are you referring to?

 

Are you talking to me?  😄

 

I wasn't referring to anyone.  I was only referring to what I read in an article.  

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2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

If your primary reason for cruising is to experience the area/ports visited, the lack of amenities is secondary.  

 

For Antartica that  would be the case because that is the only way to access the place.  But a cruise ship isn't really a good choice if the primary reason of travel is just to visit ports/areas.  I think there must be something, some personal preference of some sort,  some anticipated onboard experience that is driving it other than just a means of conveyance.  

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19 minutes ago, ldubs said:

For Antartica that  would be the case because that is the only way to access the place.

I've not verified this but I believe the only (perhaps sensible) way to tour the Norwegian coast is by ship. And Hurtigruten's are pretty unique. IIRC on the RT they make 37 stops in 11 days, 24 hours a day, some just for a few minutes. They also pick up passengers that are just going from one port to another. But if one is doing the OW or RT you're doing it for the exquisite beauty. None of us seemed to tire of it.

 

BTW, and you likely know this, the big ships going to Antarctica can't disembark at all. That's how we 'discovered' Hurtigruten. Four hundred pax on that ship and we went ashore at four different locations and they took us out in zodiac-equivalents at other times.

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5 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

For Antartica that  would be the case because that is the only way to access the place.  But a cruise ship isn't really a good choice if the primary reason of travel is just to visit ports/areas.  I think there must be something, some personal preference of some sort,  some anticipated onboard experience that is driving it other than just a means of conveyance.  

 

As someone who travels quite a bit by both land and sea, I can only say that my cruises are driven primarily by itinerary (land trips too). I am happy as a clam to be on any cabin onboard -- inside is fine and location doesn't matter. While I do enjoy a good lecture, I also don't really care about entertainment; and while I do like and enjoy good food, it does not have to be the equivalent of a Michelin-star experience to attract me. There are other times and places were I can get that itch scratched.

 

I rather disagree that cruising isn't necessarily a good way to visit places -- maybe if you look at a Med cruise as a one-off trip it is limiting, but if it is a sort of yearly event book-ended by additional time on land, it can make sense. I have visited a lot of Greek islands for a day that allowed me enough time to enjoy and get the flavor of the place without an extended stay.  Another example might be the cruise I had booked for April (sadly canceled due to COVID-19) that circumnavigated several of Japan's islands during cherry-blossom season. I've already been to Japan twice for extended land trips, but this cruise was stopping in places that are not on the usual land routes and providing some very unique chances to view the cherry blossoms throughout the country at a time when travel on land, hotels, etc. are very crowded and expensive.

 

Another point in favor of cruising that doesn't necessarily relate to amenities onboard:  cruise ships travel primarily at night avoiding the long, boring bus or car drives or flights during the day that can eat up extra days and don't really add to the experience. (You can't convince me that spending an hour getting to a local airport, spending two hours AT the airport undergoing check-in and security, then another two hours on an inter- or intra-country flight, and an additional hour getting into the city center or destination once you arrive is a pleasant vacation day... at least not versus going to sleep in your pleasant cabin and waking up at the next destination.)

 

The one other thing about cruises vs. land travel that I find highly enjoyable is the chance to just sit and watch the ocean go by on the occasional sea day -- which is something this Type A traveler needs every so often: a mandatory slow-down and relax day so that I can keep going. 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

For Antartica that  would be the case because that is the only way to access the place.  But a cruise ship isn't really a good choice if the primary reason of travel is just to visit ports/areas.  I think there must be something, some personal preference of some sort,  some anticipated onboard experience that is driving it other than just a means of conveyance.  

I think we got onto this theme because a poster was discussing the Spartan accommodations on a Hurtigruten (sp?) cruise hitting the Norwegian fiords.  I doubt many would ordinarily prefer that degree of simplicity - but it could be acceptable if the only means of experiencing that itinerary.

 

 While I generally prefer smaller ships with less rigid dress codes, I have often sailed QM2 as the preferred way of getting back to the New York area after visiting family in England.  (It also means I do not have to pay the UK’ s annoyingly absurd tax on outgoing flights - which they like to pretend exists to save the environment, but which is clearly just a revenue source).

Edited by navybankerteacher
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19 minutes ago, clo said:

I've not verified this but I believe the only (perhaps sensible) way to tour the Norwegian coast is by ship. And Hurtigruten's are pretty unique. IIRC on the RT they make 37 stops in 11 days, 24 hours a day, some just for a few minutes. They also pick up passengers that are just going from one port to another. But if one is doing the OW or RT you're doing it for the exquisite beauty. None of us seemed to tire of it.

 

BTW, and you likely know this, the big ships going to Antarctica can't disembark at all. That's how we 'discovered' Hurtigruten. Four hundred pax on that ship and we went ashore at four different locations and they took us out in zodiac-equivalents at other times.

 

I did know that from your previous post and was why I made the comment.   If drive by sightseeing, which can also be a very enjoyable experience,  is the objective then you make good points.   

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14 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

I think we got onto this theme because a poster was discussing the Spartan accommodations on a Hurtigruten (sp?) cruise hitting the Norwegian fiords.  I doubt many would ordinarily prefer that degree of simplicity - but it could acceptable as the only means of experiencing that itinerary.  

 

What you say makes sense to a point.

 

However, I'd argue that there are now quite a few larger ships offering more "luxurious" accommodations that are doing the Norwegian coastal route these days. Having said that, I would be all over the "experience" of doing that itinerary in one of the real, old costal ships of Hurtigruten, even at the expense of probably offering less in the way of space, food, and entertainment onboard (and likely at a higher $$$ as well....)

 

So mark me down as one who would prefer that degree of simplicity -- for the experience and historic aspects -- even if other means are available. 

 

Edited to add:  In fact, I'm looking into a Nile river cruise on one of the original old river cruisers as an upcoming travel opportunity:   https://www.steppestravel.com/us/boats/steam-ship-sudan/

Edited by cruisemom42
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20 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

As someone who travels quite a bit by both land and sea, I can only say that my cruises are driven primarily by itinerary (land trips too). I am happy as a clam to be on any cabin onboard -- inside is fine and location doesn't matter. While I do enjoy a good lecture, I also don't really care about entertainment; and while I do like and enjoy good food, it does not have to be the equivalent of a Michelin-star experience to attract me. There are other times and places were I can get that itch scratched.

 

I rather disagree that cruising isn't necessarily a good way to visit places -- maybe if you look at a Med cruise as a one-off trip it is limiting, but if it is a sort of yearly event book-ended by additional time on land, it can make sense. I have visited a lot of Greek islands for a day that allowed me enough time to enjoy and get the flavor of the place without an extended stay.  Another example might be the cruise I had booked for April (sadly canceled due to COVID-19) that circumnavigated several of Japan's islands during cherry-blossom season. I've already been to Japan twice for extended land trips, but this cruise was stopping in places that are not on the usual land routes and providing some very unique chances to view the cherry blossoms throughout the country at a time when travel on land, hotels, etc. are very crowded and expensive.

 

Another point in favor of cruising that doesn't necessarily relate to amenities onboard:  cruise ships travel primarily at night avoiding the long, boring bus or car drives or flights during the day that can eat up extra days and don't really add to the experience. (You can't convince me that spending an hour getting to a local airport, spending two hours AT the airport undergoing check-in and security, then another two hours on an inter- or intra-country flight, and an additional hour getting into the city center or destination once you arrive is a pleasant vacation day... at least not versus going to sleep in your pleasant cabin and waking up at the next destination.)

 

The one other thing about cruises vs. land travel that I find highly enjoyable is the chance to just sit and watch the ocean go by on the occasional sea day -- which is something this Type A traveler needs every so often: a mandatory slow-down and relax day so that I can keep going. 

 

 


I was pretty convinced that taking a cruise had to be more than just a way to get from point A to point B, but you make a very good point about it being an excellent way to do rapid-fire traveling involving brief looks at a lot of different places.  It certainly is more convenient than hitting an airport every day.    For us personally in addition to the conveyance, we do also enjoy the convenience of dining, music, atmosphere and other amenities.   But, sea days we keep to a minimum.  Most of our land trips involve a "base camp" location that moves every 4 or 5 days and then using Europe's excellent rail system to visit  multiple places.  

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4 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

Most of our land trips involve a "base camp" location that moves every 4 or 5 days and then using Europe's excellent rail system to visit  multiple places.  

 

Another great way to travel. I often base myself in a large city for a week or longer and take such daytrips as well. I love the train system in Europe -- and Japan's is similarly convenient.

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20 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

However, I'd argue that there are now quite a few larger ships offering more "luxurious" accommodations that are doing the Norwegian coastal route these days. Having said that, I would be all over the "experience" of doing that itinerary in one of the real, old costal ships of Hurtigruten, even at the expense of probably offering less in the way of space, food, and entertainment onboard (and likely at a higher $$$ as well....)

 

I've not looked at the itineraries of the bigger, non-Hurtigruten ships but IIRC we only had one day when we were in "open ocean." The rest of the time we were in view of land and it was just stunning. Some of us were downright silly. If there was a particular view off one side of the ship someone would certainly come into one of the lounges to tell us about it. We were on there oldest and smallest ship, built in 1965, and due to being retired from full coastal cruising at the end of this season.

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2 minutes ago, clo said:

I've not looked at the itineraries of the bigger, non-Hurtigruten ships but IIRC we only had one day when we were in "open ocean." The rest of the time we were in view of land and it was just stunning. Some of us were downright silly. If there was a particular view off one side of the ship someone would certainly come into one of the lounges to tell us about it. We were on there oldest and smallest ship, built in 1965, and due to being retired from full coastal cruising at the end of this season.

 

Exactly -- where some would rather have the more deluxe ship experience, others might make a different choice. Your Norway experience would greatly appeal to me.

 

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37 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Another great way to travel. I often base myself in a large city for a week or longer and take such daytrips as well. I love the train system in Europe -- and Japan's is similarly convenient.

Absolutely and that's the best way to do sightseeing especially in Europe

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