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The first time you boarded a ship.


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14 minutes ago, kalos said:

 

I forgot all about that feeling ,it's like a strange phenomenon,never to be repeated on any of our other cruises .:classic_unsure:

We both usually continue to have the strange feeling that we are still on a ship once we are home, even now after 30+ cruises.

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Our first cruise was back in the 90s around the Hawaiin Islands for our honeymoon.. Sounds idyllic but we hated it and didn't cruise for many years later. 

It was far too pretentious for us. 

We only gave it another go when Michelle's fear of flying got too much and now she can't fly anyway. 

Our second attempt was on Aurora and we have never looked back. 

Such a friendly, relaxing experience, so different to our first try. 

We are really missing cruising.. 

Andy 

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1 hour ago, Britboys said:

The first time boarding a ship was, like many above, for a special occasion, Tony's 40th birthday in 1995. We had a 'Grand Tour' around the USA, ending in New York, where we boarded the QE2 to Southampton. As Cunard say, it wasn't a cruise but a crossing. We had booked First Class, which really equated to Business Class, with Grill Class being First Class. It really did feel like the Golden Days of cruising to us. Every night was very glamorous and I still have a memory of seeing one 'mature' lady passenger dancing Ballroom in the Queen's Room, wearing a wired ballgown swishing her way around the floor. We got off in Southampton and for several days had problems gaining back our 'land legs' as it continued to feel like the ground under our feet was moving!

We had enjoyed it so much that 2 years later we boarded the beautiful Victoria in Southampton for a two week Med Cruise bearing the name "la Dolce Vita" to Spain, France and Italy. Once again, we had a fabulous time and met some lovely people. One couple I am still in contact with now and we met up for a short break in a Warner Hotel early this year.

We continued to cruise celebrating my 40th and Tony's 50th birthdays on a Princess and Celebrity cruise respectively. We also sailed on Arcadia as a 'honeymoon' cruise in 2006, after our Civil Partnership - which felt a bit odd as we were celebrating 20 years together that year too. By then cruising had become our preferred way to holiday.

I'm so grateful that we had a number of P&O cruises together as it gave me the courage to continue cruising alone after Tony died in 2012.

Yours was a very interesting story.

I have never met you but many

people on here talk very highly about you and I'm so sorry to hear Tony died 8 years ago.

Graham.

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59 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

We both usually continue to have the strange feeling that we are still on a ship once we are home, even now after 30+ cruises.

I often feel like that when we get off ship in ports but rarely now at the end of a cruise.

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 My first cruise was with my family and parent's to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2004 on Ocean Village.  None of us had cruised before and didn't know if we would like it so combined it with a week on land before a weeks cruise. We all enjoyed it. My father enjoyed it so much that they booked another cruise for the next year to go together with some friends, but he died a few months later. I went with my mother instead and have cruised with her on several other occasions. Oceana was our first P&O cruise  in 2012 and have sailed nearly every year since.  I still get that feeling of excitement when I see the ship before we embark! 

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9 minutes ago, purplesea said:

 My first cruise was with my family and parent's to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2004 on Ocean Village.  None of us had cruised before and didn't know if we would like it so combined it with a week on land before a weeks cruise. We all enjoyed it. My father enjoyed it so much that they booked another cruise for the next year to go together with some friends, but he died a few months later. I went with my mother instead and have cruised with her on several other occasions. Oceana was our first P&O cruise  in 2012 and have sailed nearly every year since.  I still get that feeling of excitement when I see the ship before we embark! 

+1.

We have loved all our cruises and if anyone asks which was your favourite I always just say Our Last Cruise.

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12 hours ago, grapau27 said:

 

We have loved all our cruises and if anyone asks which was your favourite I always just say Our Last Cruise.

 

The way things are going  if anyone asks which was our favourite I would be tempted to say ... The Next One :classic_smile:

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35 minutes ago, kalos said:

 

The way things are going  if anyone asks which was our favourite I would be tempted to say ... The Next One :classic_smile:

That's true although with social distancing and then mask wearing?.

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11 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

That's true although with social distancing and then mask wearing?.

 

Should have added ,when it's safe enough to do so without  the social distancing and then mask wearing:classic_smile:

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Our first cruise was paid for by my mother in law after my father had passed away. Her announcement at the dinner table that she was paying for the three of us to go on a cruise, well I nearly choked on a roaster. I had never been on a cruise ship, never flown and have a terrible fear of heights and huge objects. All the way to Southampton on the coach I was worrying about how am I going to get on this ship, do I have to walk along side it, climb ladders to get on board. The fear was awful. Imagine my delight when it was a covered walkway and the most brilliant experience, I absolutely loved it. The excitement we had exploring the ship, The Balmoral, the size and the cabins, talk about being hooked. We couldn't afford to go for a while but when my wife and I turned 50 we booked to go on a 2 week cruise to the med on the Azura, and we have continued each year since. My wife loves the heat of the med where as I love the cooler temperatures of Norway, and being the man of the house and head of the house hold I get to choose...so the med it is☹️

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My first cruise experience was a Mediterranean school cruise on Nevasa in the early 70s and I have fond memories of the excitement of visiting so many wonderful different places.

Over the years DH and I usually had land based holidays although we always enjoyed sailing and being on board boats. Friends suggested we try a cruise, but we didn’t think it would be for us! When I finally gave up work in 2012 we decided to give it a try. We chose 7 nights to the fjords on Adonia on the basis that at least we would be going to somewhere beautiful and a week would pass quickly if we didn’t take to life on board! Like many others we were immediately hooked and as soon as we got home we booked our next cruise for only a few weeks time - 20 nights on Arcadia to the eastern med. Since then we have cruised once or twice a year and are sincerely hoping that we shall be able to again someday. 

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We popped into Thomas Cook and half an hour later we came out having booked our first cruise to the Baltics just over 10 years ago. Didn’t know anyone who’d been on a cruise and all our friends thought that we were mad as cruising was for ‘old, posh folk’! By now, quite a few of our friends have also been hooked and we try to cruise 3 times a year - a main cruise and 2 shorter ones. But I have to say that I’ve been researching different types of holidays lately and we might try something different in future. 

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3 hours ago, Ardennais said:

But I have to say that I’ve been researching different types of holidays lately and we might try something different in future. 

We like the odd cruise, but are somewhat bemused by those that do no other sort of holiday.  (Obviously excluding those who cannot fly).

Cruising gives you a taste of different ports, but suddenly  descending on a small port with 2,000 or so other passengers  is not really giving you a full flavour of the destination.

 And, whilst we have had some lovely cruises on P&O,  we do find that being in a ship full of other Brits is a little samey.

Other lines with a more cosmopolitan passenger mix are more interesting. Obviously if Graham, Andy, Avril, Kalos etc were on our table, our opinion would be different. 

Sorry.

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53 minutes ago, wowzz said:

We like the odd cruise, but are somewhat bemused by those that do no other sort of holiday.  (Obviously excluding those who cannot fly).

Cruising gives you a taste of different ports, but suddenly  descending on a small port with 2,000 or so other passengers  is not really giving you a full flavour of the destination.

 And, whilst we have had some lovely cruises on P&O,  we do find that being in a ship full of other Brits is a little samey.

Other lines with a more cosmopolitan passenger mix are more interesting. Obviously if Graham, Andy, Avril, Kalos etc were on our table, our opinion would be different. 

Sorry.

Sorry about what?
 

Apart from cruising, we already do other types of holidays including self-catering, self-drive and the odd coach holiday. My ‘something different’ might be a rail based holiday to parts of Europe. 

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Just now, Ardennais said:

Sorry about what?
 

Apart from cruising, we already do other types of holidays including self-catering, self-drive and the odd coach holiday. My ‘something different’ might be a rail based holiday to parts of Europe. 

My mistake - I thought you meant a different holiday to cruising. It was not immediately apparent from your post.

A rail based holiday sounds fantastic - can you persuade my wife that it is a good idea please! 

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4 minutes ago, wowzz said:

My mistake - I thought you meant a different holiday to cruising. It was not immediately apparent from your post.

A rail based holiday sounds fantastic - can you persuade my wife that it is a good idea please! 

I’ve been ‘attending’ weekly presentations given by a well known travel company specialising in rail based holidays. Very informative. They do all the booking for you!

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8 hours ago, wowzz said:

A rail based holiday sounds fantastic - can you persuade my wife that it is a good idea please! 

 

Dear Mrs Wowzz, 

                                When walking through Cleethorpes don't you ever get the urge to jump on one 

of those trains to London . There you could catch the Caledonian sleeper train and wake up in 

the Scottish Highlands or maybe catch the Riviera Sleeper over to Cornwall.

I'm sure you would have a nice time and your Wowzz would like it too as he watched the world go by 

whilst drinking  a few beers from the  exorbitant priced menu onboard the train .

You would get to use the train stations first class lounge where you can help yourself to Nescafe and 

a packet of Twiglets.

 

Kind regards  Kalos 

                                           (Not sure the above will work but it's worth a try :classic_unsure:)

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‘The Oldie’ magazine has an advert for cruising in England by englishholidaycruises dot co dot uk (haven’t put a direct link for fear of offending CC rules)

4* hotel boat

covid secure

world class tours

traditional meals

ensuite cabins

low deposit

covid insurable 

it says 

 

“Take a Serene and Secure Staycation”

ABTA member

 

i haven’t got as far as looking at the website but have posted in case it might suit anyone

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52 minutes ago, kalos said:

 

Dear Mrs Wowzz, 

                                When walking through Cleethorpes don't you ever get the urge to jump on one 

of those trains to London . There you could catch the Caledonian sleeper train and wake up in 

the Scottish Highlands or maybe catch the Riviera Sleeper over to Cornwall.

I'm sure you would have a nice time and your Wowzz would like it too as he watched the world go by 

whilst drinking  a few beers from the  exorbitant priced menu onboard the train .

You would get to use the train stations first class lounge where you can help yourself to Nescafe and 

a packet of Twiglets.

 

Kind regards  Kalos 

                                           (Not sure the above will work but it's worth a try :classic_unsure:)

Thanks Kalos

I showed your letter to Mrs W. All was going well, until you mentioned Twiglets. As a refined lady, Mrs W only eats Pringles, so unfortunately the train journey has hit the buffers.

Thanks for trying.

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10 hours ago, wowzz said:

We like the odd cruise, but are somewhat bemused by those that do no other sort of holiday.  (Obviously excluding those who cannot fly).

Cruising gives you a taste of different ports, but suddenly  descending on a small port with 2,000 or so other passengers  is not really giving you a full flavour of the destination.

 And, whilst we have had some lovely cruises on P&O,  we do find that being in a ship full of other Brits is a little samey.

Other lines with a more cosmopolitan passenger mix are more interesting. Obviously if Graham, Andy, Avril, Kalos etc were on our table, our opinion would be different. 

Sorry.

No need to be sorry wowzz, I love a debate😉, but I think you'll find Graham does use different cruise lines.

As you you say, we all  have different reasons for holidaying as do we. Ours is  that we are unable to fly nor drive now through medical reasons, so it has to be cruises from Southampton. We've travelled Asia extensively over the last 22 years from Sri Lanka to Bali so have seen very little of Europe until cruising, so for us it is all new. We love the smaller more relaxed ships with a comfortable atmosphere. P&O was our first cruise line and it suited us. We've never been the kind of people who enjoy the glitz and glamour of the other cruise offerings, and yes, we have tried. It might give you a clue if I tell you that we have never even considered visiting America, we much prefer the calmer and gentler countries and people of Asia. Some like the cruising styles of the bigger cruise lines, we don't, but I  also have to say that we have met many cruisers on P&O from different countries. We all have different ideas on what our holidays mean to us,  we're a diverse bunch, which is a good thing or we wouldn't have anything to discuss😁

Avril

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It took 12 years for us to fall in love with cruising.  Our first cruise was a Bahamas 4 nighter out of Port Canaveral in 1992 on CCL's Carnivale, which had started life in 1955 as Canadian Pacific's Empress of Britain.  We had a low grade inside cabin which was quite tiny, and very noisy when berthing, but had an adequate en suite.  My abiding memory of that cruise was constantly being reminded by the cruise director about how much we should tip and to whom.

Our 2nd venture was a 7 night Med cruise out of Palma on Thomson's Emerald in 1997, this time we had an obstructed OV, a reasonable sized window but set rather high and almost totally blocked by a lifeboat. Thoroughly enjoyable with very good evening entertainment, the food was up to the best of normal package tour holidays, and the shore excursions were the typical Thomson fare. The main memory of this was the mishap in the fuel loading as we were disembarking which resulted in a significant list and a hurried disembarkation, while they evenly redistributed the fuel into the correct tanks.

Our 3rd cruise was a 14nt cruise and stay holiday to Phuket, again with Thomson, but on Star Cruises Superstar Gemini, a sister ship to Fred's Braemar, in 2000. This was our first internet booking, with a company I think was called KruizConnect or similar, where we snagged a great bargain at about 60% of the Thomson price.  Back to an inside cabin, which was no smaller than the OV ones opposite us, but considerably cheaper, lots of Chinese on board who spent most of the time in the casino, or eating, but even this 7nt cruise was overshadowed by the 7 nt hotel stay in a rather nice 5 star hotel on the outskirts of Patong.

However our next foray was a 10 nt Western Caribbean cruise with a partial Panama Canal transit on Princess Cruises Coral Princess in 2004, at that time only just 12 months old.  Initially I had booked an inside cabin but since Pauline would be 60 while on the cruise I decided to push the boat out and changed it to a balcony cabin.  Not a particularly auspicious start as Coral Princess had to undergo a deep clean before we boarded, we knew little of Norovirus then, resulting in long queue's in a very hot check in shed in Port Everglades.  However once on board we were hooked. I know many of you on here don't like glitzy wow factors, and consider many modern ships to be floating blocks of flats, but for us our previous 3 cruises had been in floating hotel bedrooms, very enjoyable holidays but nothing special, but Coral Princess was totally different. She was a floating palace with an Atrium to set my heart racing, luxurious dining rooms serving food of a standard we had never experienced in any package holiday we had been on, and splendid entertainment lounges and bars, with shows far exceeding even the top Thomson Med hotels.

For us that was it, we went from predominantly land based holidays, with an occasional cruise, to trying to do 2 or sometimes 3 cruises a year.  We still did the occasional Saga overseas tour, and other holidays in Spain, and further afield, but cruising was now top of our list, and since Pauline's stroke they have become our only overseas holidays and we only hope this darned Covid will soon be defeated so we can enjoy a few more years of cruising.

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12 hours ago, wowzz said:

We like the odd cruise, but are somewhat bemused by those that do no other sort of holiday.  (Obviously excluding those who cannot fly).

Cruising gives you a taste of different ports, but suddenly  descending on a small port with 2,000 or so other passengers  is not really giving you a full flavour of the destination.

 And, whilst we have had some lovely cruises on P&O,  we do find that being in a ship full of other Brits is a little samey.

Other lines with a more cosmopolitan passenger mix are more interesting. Obviously if Graham, Andy, Avril, Kalos etc were on our table, our opinion would be different. 

Sorry.

I can certainly understand why some solo travellers choose to only cruise. Even though I am a fairly confident, outgoing person, I wouldn't feel comfortable going off somewhere on my own for a couple weeks. A cruise gives a guarantee that you will be able to meet and socialise with others, solo or otherwise and makes for a very relaxing way to holiday.

I do have a few non-cruise holidays on my bucket-list though - a tour of the Golden Triangle in India (with a friend keen to do the same), A safari in Africa and maybe a trip to Petra and Lebanon. The last two I would book a group tour with a reputable operator. Even then, I can understand why that sort of thing might be too daunting for some solo travellers.

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Our first was just 4 years ago on Independence of the Seas. 14 nights around the Med from Southampton. We had no idea what to expect .I wasn't overly keen but my OH wanted to give it a go . The whole experience was just amazing and we were hooked almost immediately. I can remember parking the car about 100 yards from the terminal and someone coming to collect the cases from the boot and thinking this is incredible. Half an hour later we having a drink on Deck! Walking into the Royal promenade on Indy for the first time was just mind blowing.

From that first morning in Southampton we have been hooked , I think we have had seven cruises since and even a River Cruise.

 

We still have land based holidays, as I still like to park myself on a sun lounger for a week in the Sun occasionally.

 

Can't wait to get started again!

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We were in Madeira over new year in 1996, we noticed all the ships while walking around the harbour and started wondering whether it would be our thing. We thought we would give it a go and booked on Seawing the following summer for a week in the Med. Even though we had a bad storm and Mrs YP was ill we were hooked. We did a few Med cruise and stay holidays before spreading our wings and travelling further afield. We retired over three years ago and booked a 35 night round trip to the Caribbean  which we loved and have done several times since. We love the longer cruises from the UK and not having to restrict luggage and deal with airports and flying. We were doing our first grand tour to the Far East in March then Iona to the Fjords in June. I would like to think we will be back cruising next year but am not too hopeful the way things are going.

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What a great thread. Something that has just occurred to me is that no matter what ship was our first, many of us share that same feeling of being 'blown away' stepping on board for a first time or maybe on a ship that is new to us. Bobblehat above mentioned that feeling on IotS, a ship of some 155,000 tons. I got that feeling on QE2, a mere 70,000 tons - and again 2 years later when boarding P&O's Victoria, a tiddler at under 30,000 tons. Whatever our tastes in ships and cruise lines we share that undefined feeling...

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