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More cruises or more amenities?


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We usually get inside or OV depending on the deal, which we look for religiously. We are and must be 'budget' cruisers, and since we prefer at least 60 days per year, usually in 14 - 30 day sailings, we look for additions to our previous destinations. I love sea days, but since I spend very little non-sleeping time in cabin, insides are not a real problem. Exception: When we go to Alaska, we must have a view. God's own country, that. 

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We started cruising 30 years ago in insides, then moved up to balconies and minis. Several years ago we got some great upsells to full suites and now cannot go back. We book full suites for all cruises except for casino deals where we can get free balconies for 5-7 day coastal cruises. We cruise 25 to 35 days a year. Not last year of course 

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2 hours ago, voljeep said:

that was us - Pre-Corona - no problem with an aft inside - now, not so much

 

Our next booking isn't until July, and I'm having my doubts that we'll sail, but I have full faith in Princess to follow the rules to insure safety. By the time we finally cruise, everyone on board will have been vaccinated, and won't kvetch as they have in the past when asked to use hand sanitizer. I think we've all learned some good lessons during this pandemic. At least I hope so!

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Somewhat blushingly, I will confess that we have grown accustomed to the "Suite Life." 

 

We took our first cruise in 1976, and we loved it.  That being said, we do not cruise nearly as often as many here on Cruise Critic.  Not surprisingly for a young couple, our first cruise was in an inside cabin.  Mrs. XBGuy was one and done with that program.  Our next few cruises were in what I guess are described as Oceanview cabins.  In 2004 we had our first bacony cabin.  In 2011 we both retired and started cruising a bit more often--in balcony cabins.  We tried our first suite about three or four years ago (a short 5-day cruise), and there has been no turning back since.  

 

As I mentioned above, we are not as passionate about cruising as many others, here.  I think there was one 12-month period where we took three cruises, but, even post-retirement, there have been multiple years where we took no cruises.

 

We recently booked our next cruise for January 2022.  I have until October before I have to either pay up or pull the plug.  It all depends on the success of the vaccination program.

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Interesting topic, and I cruise once, sometimes twice a year.  I don't like to be on a ship for less than two weeks, usually cruise for 26-30 days and not to the Caribbean.  I did years ago in the 80s when I first cruised, 7 days and the Caribbean, not happening these days.  I don't care for the crowds, what cruising has become in the Caribbean.

 

Sailing by myself, insides many times, years ago suites a few times traveling with friends, didn't think it was that big of a deal.  I like Royal class because deluxe obstr. balcony cabins are a good deal for me compared to insides.  Being on board for 30 days, I do like having the little couch.   Sailing for itinerary now, a long cruise once a year works for me.   Amenities, don't particularly matter.

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We book6 to 18 months in advance, trying to get the longest cruise for the lowest price we can.  We have added Princess Plus to our bookings since we would spend more for what's included in P+ on our own.

 

We reduce our regular monthly credit card bill after each cruise with rebates, points-to-statement credits, big box shopping cards (used for gasoline), reduced regular expenses while we are gone, etc.  Right now we have 15 cruises booked with a total of over $12,000 in savings coming back to us.  Most of our air is paid with Southwest points, too.

 

I always look at the net expense when I book a cruise.

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Interesting topic.  We started in a balcony and have always done that or higher.  Only once did we do an Outside cabin and that was on Carnival with the kids.  Way to crowded.

 

When we did a 7 day out of LA for the West Coast, we did the mini suite.  Loved that we had a couch to sit on.  We were with 2 other couples and it was nice to meet for drinks and not have everyone sit on the bed.  We did the same ship for a 4 day to Catalina and we had a balcony.  I thought we are on a ship so great.  I really missed having a place to just sit in the cabin.

 

We are going on the Panama Canal Cruise in January 2022 (hopefully) and I told my husband, I only wanted a mini-suite.  My husband loves being on the balcony at all hours of the day and night. And sometimes I like the quite of just reading or getting ready and being able to sit comfortable.

 

So for me I think it will be longer cruises, bigger cabin.  Waiting in-between to sail.  We are both still working and have 2 college aged kids.  If we really can't wait a shorter cruise but nothing below a balcony. 

 

 

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Our first cruise was booked as an inside and we were given an upgrade to an OV. As a relatively young couple with two kids we booked several more inside cabins and kind of got used to them. When paying cruise and airfare for 4, not to mention taxis and shore expenses, inside was our budget. As we began cruising just the two of us we gravitated toward the OV, just wanted some light in the cabin.  This became our norm for about 20 years, taking one or two cruises per year.

 

Several years ago we were offered an upgrade to a balcony on a 10 day panama canal cruise for a ridiculously low fare - think it was like $150 pp. Snapped it up and really enjoyed having the balcony. Haven't gone back to an inside or OV since. For me, I see no need for a suite, would rather travel more and spend less per time - But, with the covid mess still out there, I will be booking balconies - want to have a place to get out of the cabin, get some air and sit in the sun.

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I'm a solo so single income / dbl price. That said, it used to be only OC. But I got a free bump up to a balcony once and now it's at least a balcony.  Frankly I don't care if it's obstructed. Next time I've got grandkids going & it's a mini-suite.  I want my own TV and to get some space if sequestered. But I've also got 3 booked in a balcony

 

My plan is 3 cruises a year + 3 city escapes a year. Retired 2018

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Yes everything has changed everything in my mind (after watching the livestreams of those last year on the Diamond in Japan.  In the past it was all about as much cruising for the best deals (all cabin categories, although mostly insides, 28 days once inside, no problem, lol).  But that was the past.  I don’t think I’ll ever go in anything less then a balcony again.  Needing something to look forward to, DH and I booked my dream cabin (that I’ve never had) Vista Suite for 10 days in Feb 22.  I know that will not become the “norm “ unless we win the powerball!  Doing my best to not book anything sailing before that.

 

 

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We only cruise a couple of times a year and always do a full suite.  Once I retire we will cruise more often and book balconies or mini-suites.  We enjoy the quiet time of the cabin, but want to at least have natural light and fresh air.  If the only option was an inside we would do a non-cruise vacation instead.

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21 hours ago, sprinkles said:

Yes everything has changed everything in my mind (after watching the livestreams of those last year on the Diamond in Japan.  In the past it was all about as much cruising for the best deals (all cabin categories, although mostly insides, 28 days once inside, no problem, lol).  But that was the past.  I don’t think I’ll ever go in anything less then a balcony again.  Needing something to look forward to, DH and I booked my dream cabin (that I’ve never had) Vista Suite for 10 days in Feb 22.  I know that will not become the “norm “ unless we win the powerball!  Doing my best to not book anything sailing before that.

 

 

I'm thinkin' you'll love the suite experience  😉

Edited by c-boy
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I've always done at least outside.  Thrilled to have a porthole on my first cruise, slowly moved to a balcony.  My first Princess cruise was upgraded to a suite.  Been mainly in a suite since.  I go back to minis depending on price difference.  I don't think I could do an inside cabin.

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My husband is claustrophobic, so no insides for us.  It wouldn't be so bad during the day, but if he woke up feeling panicked, he wouldn't't want to get fully dressed to leave the cabin, so it is balcony or mini for us.   We do one or two trips each year.  Other travel time is to family across the country or Ireland.

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:31 PM, CruiseMrB said:

Assuming you actually had a cruising budget, would you rather go a little more often and get a smaller (possibly interior stateroom) cabin or would you prefer to go a little less frequently but have more amenities (say, up to mini-suite level or so.) Does the uncertainty of our current circumstance play into your decisions?

 

I'll report my preference in a comment in the thread because I don't want to influence the conversation.

I am an interior room cruiser. I like to sleep to noon in a pitch black room. amenities on princess is pretty ample already.  

 

Something that ppl don't mention very often is that rooms with balconies or even just a window are significantly hotter than the rooms on the interior. I have had interior rooms when my other party members have had balconies or better on the same cruise ship. My room is always way cooler. It's a big deal for me, esp when going to hotter places like the carribeans where I am melting

 

 

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After hearing the stories of cruisers that were "quarantined" in their cabins, I told DH we would never book less than a balcony again.  We have done everything from insides to a suite, but I couldn't imagine not being able to step outside for fresh air.  The fear of being "trapped" in an interior or OV cabin for any length of time scares me!

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It depends on where we're going.  I don't mind interior if we're in the Caribbean, in many ports, and out in the sunshine while on the ship.  In that case, I'd much rather have more days.  If, however, it's a "slower" cruise (like Alaska) where the scenery is much of the draw, I'd rather snuggle up in a blanket on a balcony.

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On 1/10/2021 at 2:43 PM, Astro Flyer said:

More days in a less expensive cabin is our preference. We aren’t in our cabin much.

 

For a couple of years I berthed in a Navy interior three bunk high berthing space on an aircraft carrier so even a cruise ship’s interior cabin is luxurious to me. ☺️ 

 

Ditto your preferences and your experiences!  I even include a "DO NOT UPGRADE!" comment. After retiring from the Navy in '96, I SWORE I'd never get on another ship... EVER. Now I'm addicted. What boats were you on???

 

My cabin is used ONLY to sleep and shower. The ship, the people, and the ports are why I cruise. Almost never book anything less than 14 nights, with a goal of four cruises per year.

 

I got upgraded (stuck!) in an Ocean View cabin a couple of times... and could NEVER adjust the curtains properly to get it dark enough to sleep late! 

 

Just made my first post-Covid reservation... and hit my goal of under $50pp/per night!

 

I absolutely love...LOVE...*L*O*V*E*  INTERIOR CABINS... and their prices!

 

 

Edited by teecee60
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20 minutes ago, teecee60 said:

 

Ditto your preferences and your experiences!  I even include a "DO NOT UPGRADE!" comment. After retiring from the Navy in '96, I SWORE I'd never get on another ship... EVER. Now I'm addicted. What boats were you on???

 

My cabin is used ONLY to sleep and shower. The ship, the people, and the ports are why I cruise. Almost never book anything less than 14 nights, with a goal of four cruises per year.

 

I got upgraded (stuck!) in an Ocean View cabin a couple of times... and could NEVER adjust the curtains properly to get it dark enough to sleep late! 

 

Just made my first post-Covid reservation... and hit my goal of under $50pp/per night!

 

I absolutely love...LOVE...*L*O*V*E*  INTERIOR CABINS... and their prices!

 

 

A couple of years on the USS Midway (CVA-41) as an airdale hooking up aircraft to the starboard cat. Thankfully the ship wasn’t scrapped & can visit it in SD. Our berthing space was under the flight deck’s LZ & AG so no sleeping was possible until the 12 hours of flight ops ended on Yankee Station during two WESTPAC deployments.

 

I joke about how on a cruise I get treated like an officer & not as enlisted. ☺️
 

Thank you for your service during your Navy career...you definitely earned the Princess Military Benefit that they so generously provide to nearly all of us veterans. 🇺🇸

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We prefer to have at a minimum a balcony.  If we can get a mini at a reasonable cost, then we go with the mini because the extra room in the cabin is nice.  Since we still work, we are limited on the number of trips, so no concern of frequency vs. amenities.  Need as many amenities as we can get since we can only travela  few times a year.  That may change once we are retired.  Will probably go for best cost, but still prefer a balcony for viewing entry and exit of ports.

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