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World Cruise


pmatawan
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Starting to plan a world cruise, probably for 2024. I would prefer to book on a cruise line like NCL because I enjoy the relaxed, anytime cruising experience.

Looks like most of the cruise lines that do world cruises are a bit more formal than NCL.

These are the cruise lines doing world cruises:

Oceania

Viking

Holland American

P & O

Cunard

MSC

Princess

Regent

Crystal

Costa

Seabourn

What are your thoughts and recommendations? 

 

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A world cruise has been on my bucket list for several years.  She Who Must Be Obeyed has no interest in being on a ship that long, so I'm going it alone.  That being said, a cruise line's single supplement figured into my matrix, as well as ports that I have not been to before.  As part of my research, I read a book written by a world cruiser "Chasing The Dawn - Traveling The World With P&O".

 

Having cruised on RCI, Celebrity, HAL, Princess, NCL, and Viking, I figured I would subscribe to conventional wisdom that says never do a world cruise on a line with which you have never cruised on.  However, being a tight-fisted Scotch-Irish hillbilly, the prices on those lines put me off - even with the loyalty program perks.

 

I finally settled on P&O - the price was within my budget, a good mix of ports, lots of sea days between ports,  tips included, a real promenade deck, self-serve laundries, low deposit, and a reasonable single supplement.

 

I guess my one piece of advice would be to make a chart of your wants and needs for an extended voyage  with all the factors that will help you narrow it down. 

 

Good luck!

 

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On 12/31/2020 at 9:55 AM, pmatawan said:

Starting to plan a world cruise, probably for 2024. I would prefer to book on a cruise line like NCL because I enjoy the relaxed, anytime cruising experience.

Looks like most of the cruise lines that do world cruises are a bit more formal than NCL.

These are the cruise lines doing world cruises:

Oceania

Viking

Holland American

P & O

Cunard

MSC

Princess

Regent

Crystal

Costa

Seabourn

What are your thoughts and recommendations? 

 

 

Your list of cruise lines includes everything from Luxury through to mega ship mass market lines. In selecting a World Cruise, may I suggest starting with a similar process we completed on completion of our first WC on Princess. We had sailed with Princess for almost 40 yrs, but vowed the 2015 WC was the last, as their standards and quality had dropped below our minimum expectations.

 

We created a detailed list of what we wanted in a new WC:

  • Ship size - we certainly didn't want mega ships, or something too small, as really small has less entertainment options. We settled on about 750 to 1,250
  • Ship type - we were looking for classic but newer ships that were specious, having excellent pax/space ratios.
  • Ship amenities - we were not interested in glitzy pool games, wave riders, water slides, etc. Nor are we interested in casinos, photogs, art auctions, shops overflowing into alleyways peddling inches of gold, etc.
  • Formal nights - we have always enjoyed formal nights, even when every night was formal. However, the trend for standards slipping and cruise lines not enforcing their standards have made it less enjoyable. Therefore, we opted for a preference of no formal nights, with the standard of smart casual being enforced.
  • Dining options - our preference is always traditional dining, but we had experienced anytime once, where it almost became a traditional experience. Also wanted a few alternative dining options other than buffet and MDR. Wasn't interested in nickle and diming charges for alternative restaurants. We also expect quality meals.
  • Kids - while World Cruises are generally an older demographic, we definitely didn't want kids aboard for the duration, or even a segment.
  • All-inclusive - our preference was to have almost everything included with the basic cruise fare - gratuities, drinks, dining, room service, ports fees & taxes, etc.
  • Entertainment - looking for a good selection of shows and guest entertainers, with quality lectures. Daily trivia - yes, but not interested in the plethora of pax participation games, where the winners get ultra-cheap bubbly.
  • Itinerary - must be Westbound, as we prefer clox going back most of the time, not ahead
  • Ports - lots of ports with multiple days alongside.

Once we developed our criteria, we knew mass market was of no interest, so we researched each of the Luxury/Premium Lines, short-listing to Viking & Oceania. We selected Viking, who met all requirements, except the traditional dining. However, on our 2020 WC with Viking we got the best of both, requesting the same waiters each evening, but sharing with different table mates.

 

Of the cruise lines you listed, the closest to NCL are probably Princess, Costa and possibly MSC. However, you can also get the relaxed cruising experience with considerably higher quality at minimal additional cost.

 

While premium/luxury lines have higher base fares, you need to consider the total spend, as on mass market ships, in 4 months, you can experience a significant onboard spend. After completing a Princess and Viking World Cruise, the Viking base fare was about 50% higher than Princess, but once all costs were included, the Viking per diem cost was marginally cheaper.

 

Enjoy the planning and hope you find a WC that meets your expectations.

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On 1/6/2021 at 7:36 AM, SargassoPirate said:

She Who Must Be Obeyed has no interest in being on a ship that long, so I'm going it alone. 

 

Maybe she would consider joining you for a segment or two?  I have known couples who have done that and found that it worked for them.  

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15 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Maybe she would consider joining you for a segment or two?  I have known couples who have done that and found that it worked for them.  

 

That's a good idea and one that we considered, but it would require her to fly solo to and from the ports, etc, etc and she said it was too much work for a conjugal visit.  We survived when I did a 49 night  Around The Horn cruise several years ago, but she did fly to SF to meet the ship and we spent some time there before flying home together.  And to tell you the truth, we both value our alone time and do so without being lonely. If one of us wants to do something, we don't let the other hold us back.  

 

There will be no regrets here when it's time to take up the rockin' chair.

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Can anyone give me an idea of what percentage of world cruisers travel as a solo?

 

I’m a fairly young widower. I’ve travelled on many cruises as a solo, one for 24 days and want to do a WC.  Just don’t want to be the only one without a dance partner.

 

Joe

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11 hours ago, JoePatNYCT said:

Can anyone give me an idea of what percentage of world cruisers travel as a solo?

 

I’m a fairly young widower. I’ve travelled on many cruises as a solo, one for 24 days and want to do a WC.  Just don’t want to be the only one without a dance partner.

 

Joe

 

Can't remember about solos on our first WC in 2015, as with over 2,000 pax and segments we never did meet everyone, however I do recall seeing numerous solo meetings on the schedule.

 

On our 2020 Viking WC we probably had about 6 to 10 solos with 930 pax.

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20 hours ago, JoePatNYCT said:

Thanks Heidi.  Not too many.  The Viking WC looks fabulous.  Do you know if they charge a 200% single supplement?

 

Affirmative, Viking mostly charges the full singles supplement, except some TA's that aren't selling well. The 2022 WC only has 1 cabin remaining and the 2023 WC has about 12 to 15 cabins remaining.

 

Therefore, unfortunately they have no incentive to reduce prices closer to departure. On the 2020 WC, prices actually increased and perks decreased after we booked.

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On 1/10/2021 at 5:53 AM, SargassoPirate said:

 

That's a good idea and one that we considered, but it would require her to fly solo to and from the ports, etc, etc and she said it was too much work for a conjugal visit.  We survived when I did a 49 night  Around The Horn cruise several years ago, but she did fly to SF to meet the ship and we spent some time there before flying home together.  And to tell you the truth, we both value our alone time and do so without being lonely. If one of us wants to do something, we don't let the other hold us back.  

 

There will be no regrets here when it's time to take up the rockin' chair.

If she joins you on the last segment, I'll fly her out and take care of all the details.  Small nominal fee of course 😉

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On 1/17/2021 at 10:44 PM, JoePatNYCT said:

Can anyone give me an idea of what percentage of world cruisers travel as a solo?

 

No idea as to percentages, but on my world cruise on the Amsterdam as well as on the last segment of the previous world cruise, there were many solos.  More women than men is what I recall.  

 

On 1/17/2021 at 10:44 PM, JoePatNYCT said:

 Just don’t want to be the only one without a dance partner.

 

Will one find a dance partner?  Your guess is as good as mine.  In fact, the most fun dancing I have had is dancing with women whose husbands prefer not to do so.  

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Holland used to have dance hosts . Not sure if they do anymore. we met two different couples that loved to do a world cruise because the wife liked to dance and the husband did not, and the wives could find partners on the cruise.I do know that the 2023 Holland has several singles already booked and there are several who go every year, so HAL does do quite a few 'events' for singles.

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