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Do Caribbean cruises make up the majority of American cruise line business?


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20 hours ago, SelectSys said:

Pretty varied.  I like land travel as well.  I am planning a trip to South America when things there are more open. My goal is to make a big loop around the Andes covering both the Chilean and Argentinian sides.   I also want to take a slower land trip in Japan and get back to Australia and New Zealand.  Mexico and the US both have many sites to see.  Canada too! My partner wants to do the "Camino de Santiago" for at least a couple of hundred km.  The list is long and seems to get longer every day... That's why I plan to retire once travel is more freely available. 

We have made it to all 7 continents and north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic, top of the Alps (Jungfraujoch) and the Dead Sea, Lhasa at 12,000 feet, traveled all the oceans and visited many of the world's national capital cities.  Spouse has a desire to get to Ulaanbaatar and ride the Trans-Siberian train, but we may have to pass on that.  We did live in Romania and Yugoslavia during their "Communist" periods and adopted a daughter from a Romanian children's home.  Life has been good to us.

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23 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Cruise lines themselves have come to the realization that cruising in the Caribbean can be repetitive and boring.  To compensate they created their own "fantasy islands" where people can get off the ship, drink, eat, shop and swim in relative safety.  Realistically, there is little new to see during repetitive visits to the same Caribbean ports.  Most are geared towards either shopping or sunbathing, the latter can be done onboard or by my pool at home.  Cruise lines have also shortened Caribbean cruises with few now going to the southern Caribbean islands unless its part of a canal transit.  The most fascinating Caribbean island we have visited is Devil's Island.

 

Today's relatively short flights to Europe offer a fully different world experience and one we much more appreciate over the Caribbean.  We last sailed south in February 2020 for a 2-night stay in NOLA for the Mardi Gras, then we didn't get off the ship in Cozumel or Grand Cayman.  Been there, done that.  For 2022 we have booked three cruises of which two are trans-Atlantics and the other a central Med/Adriatic.  There is always something new to experience in the towns along the Mediterranean.

 

ANYTHING can become repetitive and boring. Caribbean will continue to have massive interest no matter what. When you want to GROW your business as every large company does, you can't really grow the Caribbean. It is what it is. 

 

The private islands are a chance to take islands that would not otherwise be used, add a new option, and probably most importantly for cruise lines to capture new revenue because they own everything there. It is not for the "been there done that/I hate beaches and warm weather/I want to see the sistene chapel" crowd. It is basically a Caribbean convenience port that they hope you want to come back to again and again. Some people just want a convenient access to beach, pools, shopping, food, and drinks. Some people want to sight see. Some don't.

 

The Mediterranean offers some solid experiences for sure. Some people do those exclusively, some people alternate, some people can't afford it, some people don't see the same value in it. You aren't flying to Europe in 2-4 hours for $200 like you would US ports though. 

 

47 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Its not really all about the money...

 

Think positive:  you are now ready for an Africa safari.  We did 14 days in Tanzania and Kenya with Tauck and it was the best, most educational and fascinating trip ever.  Up close and personal with the "Big Five," Great Migration, Olduvai Gorge, Masai Mara river crossing, visit to a Masai village, hot air ballooning, etc.  And first class all the way to include  a "clamping" tent on the Mara River with full bath and shower.

001 African dawn breaking on the Masai Mara.JPG

065 Maasai women.  Harlee was taller....JPG

106 View of the Mara River from our tent.JPG

121 This Wildebeast Didn't Make It Across the Mara.JPG

127 Floating over the Masai Mara.JPG

136 One of his lionesses appraoched as we watched.JPG

DSC_1453.JPG

 

Not really sure what the correlation is here either. Sure this is a fantastic experience. One I do plan on doing one day. Not everyone has 10k+ and 2 weeks to blow. As with anything, even those who have that money and time also may not value it is as much. Sometimes, a short trip to get away for a few hundred bucks is exactly what you need.

 

Just because a Michelin star prix fixe meal might exist for $500 and it is "better", it doesn't mean I can't enjoy a $10 burger.

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On 4/9/2021 at 11:25 AM, clo said:

Again, so you can do any of those things during a few hours port call?


absolutely.

 

on caribbean port stops we have done:

 

1. full day ATV around St Martin

2. cavetubing in Belize

3. Swam with sting rays and dolphins in grand cayman

4. more catamaran/snorkeling tours than I can count


while I haven’t done it in a port stop (though have done in the caribbean), there’s plenty of time for ziplining, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, cento swimming, ruin visiting, parasailing, etc

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On 4/9/2021 at 8:32 AM, cruisemom42 said:

 

Unfortunately I not only am not a beach person but am also unathletic. I wouldn't have done half those things even when I was young enough not to know better. 🤣

 

While the islands offer some museums and cultural opportunities, they are not exactly plentiful on most of them. 


Europe is great for museum and cultural opportunities and the caribbean is great for beaches and adventure sports. One isn’t better than the other. Different strokes for different folks. Personally, I enjoy both. I wouldn’t go to the caribbean for museums just like I wouldn’t go to the med for beaches. But I enjoy both.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

You might — if you ever saw Myrtos on Kefalonia. — or St.Paul’s on Rhodes.


I wouldn’t go to Europe for a beach. It’s a much longer/more expensive flight when there are wonderful beaches much closer to the caribbean. There may be a handful of nice ones. But nowhere near as many as in the caribbean. Antigua by itself has over 300 beautiful beaches.

Edited by sanger727
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17 hours ago, sanger727 said:


I wouldn’t go to Europe for a beach. It’s a much longer/more expensive flight when there are wonderful beaches much closer to the caribbean. There may be a handful of nice ones. But nowhere near as many as in the caribbean. Antigua by itself has over 300 beautiful beaches.

Agree the length and more important the cost of flights to Europe limit our European cruises, we fly business or first class so flight can cost more than a cruise. 

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17 hours ago, sanger727 said:


I wouldn’t go to Europe for a beach. It’s a much longer/more expensive flight when there are wonderful beaches much closer to the caribbean. There may be a handful of nice ones. But nowhere near as many as in the caribbean. Antigua by itself has over 300 beautiful beaches.

Of course not -- and I would never cruise to the Caribbean for a day at St. Thomas. 

 

My point was that, if you are in the Med, there are beaches worth visiting.

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On 4/9/2021 at 10:25 AM, clo said:

Again, so you can do any of those things during a few hours port call?

 

On 4/9/2021 at 10:54 AM, capriccio said:

I'm not 2wheelin but here's my response...

 

Most Caribbean port stops are longer than a 'few' hours arriving in the early morning and departing in the late afternoon.

 

While we live on the beach in South Florida, we aren't really 'beach' people.  In the Caribbean we have done

  • zip-lining
  • an island tour with a group on a 'trike' (3 wheeled vehicle)
  • an independent island tour on a golf cart
  • a group tour on Segways
  • took part in an 'America's Cup' sailing race
  • did tours including multiple snorkeling stops. 

We've also taken island tours that visited historical sites, lovely gardens, and scenic views. The only island where we now stay on the ship is Princess Cays when traveling alone.  Next year we hope to have a stop there with our kids, their spouses and our grandchildren and we will disembark and, I'm sure, have a great time.

 

On 4/10/2021 at 6:08 PM, sanger727 said:


absolutely.

 

on caribbean port stops we have done:

 

1. full day ATV around St Martin

2. cavetubing in Belize

3. Swam with sting rays and dolphins in grand cayman

4. more catamaran/snorkeling tours than I can count


while I haven’t done it in a port stop (though have done in the caribbean), there’s plenty of time for ziplining, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, cento swimming, ruin visiting, parasailing, etc

Thanks to those others who replied. I have been offline for a few days. As mentioned, most stops are all day and all of those things can be done there. I loved Dominique for zip lining although I have done it many places. It is combined with obstacles such as cable walking and swing bridge type rope course. The final obstacle was a Tarzan like rope swing from a stand over to where you let go and grabbed onto a cargo net and climbed to the top. I was just under 70 when I did that along with my husband.

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My first cruise was to the Caribbean on Carnival. Ghastly experience and one I will not repeat. If I need the Caribbean I will go to an AI. Frankly, if I need a beach I'd just as soon go to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Shorter flight, familiar environment and we are not beset by hawkers at every passing moment. 

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6 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

 

 

... As mentioned, most stops are all day and all of those things can be done there. ...

Actually, most stops are not "all day".   Typically you get off the ship by close to ten AM and need  to be back on board usually before five PM.   Sure, you can do one or two things while in port -- but you do have to pick and choose.

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1 hour ago, K32682 said:

My first cruise was to the Caribbean on Carnival. Ghastly experience and one I will not repeat. If I need the Caribbean I will go to an AI. Frankly, if I need a beach I'd just as soon go to the Gulf Coast of Florida. Shorter flight, familiar environment and we are not beset by hawkers at every passing moment. 

I moved to the Gulf Coast (Ft Myers area) 37 months ago.  I couldn't go to the beaches or fish for 24 of those months because of red tide toxic issues.

 

There are some beautiful beaches down here, Barefoot, Dog and Lovers Key are some of my favorites, but breathing toxins is not fun. The only beach I really don't like, since it reminds me of Orchard Beach in the Bronx, is Ft Myers beach itself.  The water at Ft Myers is typically brownish due to the mix of fresh water from Lake O coming down the Caloosahachie River and mixing with the saline Gulf water.

 

And it you go to the south Atlantic side of FL, you may find the beaches there have increasing amounts of seaweed on the beach and in the water.

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2 hours ago, evandbob said:

I moved to the Gulf Coast (Ft Myers area) 37 months ago.  I couldn't go to the beaches or fish for 24 of those months because of red tide toxic issues.

 

There are some beautiful beaches down here, Barefoot, Dog and Lovers Key are some of my favorites, but breathing toxins is not fun. The only beach I really don't like, since it reminds me of Orchard Beach in the Bronx, is Ft Myers beach itself.  The water at Ft Myers is typically brownish due to the mix of fresh water from Lake O coming down the Caloosahachie River and mixing with the saline Gulf water.

 

And it you go to the south Atlantic side of FL, you may find the beaches there have increasing amounts of seaweed on the beach and in the water.

 

Red tide hasn't been an issue in my usual Pinellas County haunts during the winter. 

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3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Actually, most stops are not "all day".   Typically you get off the ship by close to ten AM and need  to be back on board usually before five PM.   Sure, you can do one or two things while in port -- but you do have to pick and choose.

 

My reading was not that all of these things could be done in a single day but that IF one wanted to do one of the things, there was enough time to do so during a normal cruise stop. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, 2wheelin said:

 

 

Thanks to those others who replied. I have been offline for a few days. As mentioned, most stops are all day and all of those things can be done there. I loved Dominique for zip lining although I have done it many places. It is combined with obstacles such as cable walking and swing bridge type rope course. The final obstacle was a Tarzan like rope swing from a stand over to where you let go and grabbed onto a cargo net and climbed to the top. I was just under 70 when I did that along with my husband.

I wish we had a "wow" emoji!

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Posted (edited)

We are in our late 60's.

 

We did our first zip line in Boquete, Panama two years ago.   Loved it.  Our issue prior to that was safety of the operation.   

 

Enjoyment of flying over the trees quickly overtook the initial fear of the push off. 

 

Not certain that DW will do it next time we are in Boquete but I would certainly have a go.  Why not?

Edited by iancal
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We have lost track how many cruises we have done sometime ago, know well over 60 on 9 different cruise lines.  I recall we started cruising as a couple (my dh had cruised prior in Europe) in the Caribbean, on RCCL Song of America when it was new about l982.   I count from memory about 7 cruises in the Caribbean on Sitmar,  Princess, HAL, NCL, RCCL, Celebrity.  It was about l989 we did our first cruise from a European port, Venice to London on Royal Cruise Line, Crown Odyssey.  We were hooked from that point on did too many cruises to count in and out of Europe, Mediterranean and Middle East plus a number TAs on Princess, Cunard, Crystal and Celebrity.   We have done only one cruise to Hawaii, Alaska, North East/Canada and Panama Canal, but many to Mexico from our home port of San Francisco.   At this point we are content to go to Mexico round trip, may do another Caribbean just because we enjoy warm weather ports.  Last time we were in the Caribbean, we took 2,  7 day cruises, one on the Ruby Princess and one on a new Celebrity ship to compare the two lines.  Princess won out IMHO.

 

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On 4/10/2021 at 4:51 PM, sanger727 said:


I wouldn’t go to Europe for a beach. It’s a much longer/more expensive flight when there are wonderful beaches much closer to the caribbean. There may be a handful of nice ones. But nowhere near as many as in the caribbean. Antigua by itself has over 300 beautiful beaches.

 

I wouldn't go anywhere for a beach - not even 5 miles.  But I am definitely not a beach person.  After 5 minutes on a beach lying uncomfortably on the sand or slightly more comfortable on a beach chair, I am bored stiff and ready to leave.  I do recognize but do not understand that some people just love beaches.  Different strokes etc.

 

DON

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Posted (edited)

Pre retirement many of our cruises were in the Caribbean.  Post retirement they are very much in the minority. 

Edited by iancal
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3 hours ago, donaldsc said:

 

I wouldn't go anywhere for a beach - not even 5 miles.  But I am definitely not a beach person.  After 5 minutes on a beach lying uncomfortably on the sand or slightly more comfortable on a beach chair, I am bored stiff and ready to leave.  I do recognize but do not understand that some people just love beaches.  Different strokes etc.

 

DON

Agree, not only bored, but my head melts. But DW loves beaches, and is a swimmer. And she also likes to stay in the sun. She likes the visits to the dermatologist way less.

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16 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

She likes the visits to the dermatologist way less.

I just had something removed from my face in spite of staying as much out of the sun and always wearing sunscreen. I was told it probably resulted from tanning in my teens and early twenties.

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9 minutes ago, clo said:

I just had something removed from my face in spite of staying as much out of the sun and always wearing sunscreen. I was told it probably resulted from tanning in my teens and early twenties.

She visits the dermatologist next week (check book and later a lab fee). And in the same week the foot doctor (credit card and later a lab fee) and the dentist. At least if the dentist turns out to be just a checkup with nothing wrong, the insurance pays 100%. I get to see the dentist tomorrow.

 

And the dermatologist is despite she slathers herself with sunscreen.

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23 hours ago, clo said:

I just had something removed from my face in spite of staying as much out of the sun and always wearing sunscreen. I was told it probably resulted from tanning in my teens and early twenties.

I have had two small cancers removed from the left side of my face in the last 18 months.  I wondered if my driving north during my afternoon commute for too many years played any role.

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3 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

I have had two small cancers removed from the left side of my face in the last 18 months.  I wondered if my driving north during my afternoon commute for too many years played any role.

Makes sense. Mine was right in the middle and almost on the tip of my nose.

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