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My first cruise was in 1998 when I was young (21), "dumb" college kid! My best friend, my sister and I sailed on the Carnival Sensation. We went into a brick and mortar travel agency to book our cruise - no online booking sites back then! We settled on the San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten 7 night cruise. We had NO idea what we were doing or what to expect. Online research wasn't much of a thing back then - if there were sites available (like Cruise Critic) we didn't know about them. We spent hours looking at every page and picture in the Carnival brochure magazine in preparation. Our cabin was an Interior at the very back of the ship on the Riviera deck. 

 

We got up at 2AM on embarkation day to drive two hours to the Nashville airport for our flight to Charlotte and then onto Miami. I told you we were dumb! Everything went smooth, but it was a long day! Luckily, we were young and were able to power thru! We had Carnival transfers and boarded the big coach bus to the port. I remember first walking onto the ship and just being in awe! It was like nothing I had ever seen before and I was immediately hooked. Being young, single and working for the airlines made it easy to take a lot of cruises throughout the early 2000's. I've slowed down a bit now that I'm married and have a young child - plus the hubby doesn't LOVE cruising like I do. But I'm booked on cruise #19 for October, 2022. It's a girls trip...and I can't wait! I think this will be the longest I've gone between cruises ever! 

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16 minutes ago, PhillyFan33579 said:


This is just my opinion, but you don’t know what you are missing if you only cruise on Carnival. I still have the most sea days on Carnival, but my days of being loyal to Carnival are long gone. There are too many different ships out there that I want to experience. The excitement of boarding a new ship for the first time is hard to recreate. It got to the point that we (my wife and I) were no longer excited when we boarded a Carnival ship, which led to us cruising more often on RCI and Celebrity. At some point in the future we will likely cruise on Mardi Gras, but for the forseeable future we have no plans to cruise on Carnival. 
 

In my book, the only worthwhile perk Carnival offers is the Diamond special event. That is definitely not enough to keep me loyal to Carnival. 

We have sailed Carnival, NCL and Royal. NCL felt much cheaper than Carnival to me, but we also do not drink much. I can see the lure of NCL if you like to drink, but I doubt we would try NCL again. Royal was awesome and probably my favorite line really, but not superior enough that I will pay a lot more to be on Royal. Royal entertainment was better, food a little better, process on ship (boarding, room service, buffet arrangement) ten times better than Carnival. Royal just did things better. Now the things that I missed from Carnival. Free food options outside the buffet and MDR. Everything on Royal costs extra and everything is more expensive onboard. The little events that Carnival does during the day. On a Royal ship there were giant blocks of time in which literally nothing organized was happening. That almost never occurs on a Carnival ship. Carnival really is the Fun ship, people are just always having fun, but it can also be the stand in line to do everything ship. I wish they would take some of the ideas from Royal and integrate them.   

 

Edit: Oh and the rewards program. Literally two cruises planned right on Royal will get you Platinum. I will be another 30 days at sea just to get platinum on Carnival and another 125 after that to get Diamond. If it was easier to obtain, they would get more loyalty from me. 

Edited by asalligo
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6 minutes ago, MistyRo76 said:

plus the hubby doesn't LOVE cruising like I do. 

My Wife also. She goes and I think she has a great time while there, but there is a lot about cruising she does not care for. So every time I want to book another, I get a sigh.  

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2 minutes ago, asalligo said:

My Wife also. She goes and I think she has a great time while there, but there is a lot about cruising she does not care for. So every time I want to book another, I get a sigh.  

i think it's the crowds that really bother my hubby the most. He enjoys the ports, the food, etc. But the crowds....he says he's turning into an old "curmudgeon". LOL

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18 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

And here I thought this thread was going to be about babies being conceived aboard a Carnival cruise...

 

I expected the same thing from the headline!

My first cruise was with my parents when I was 16 years old. I had a good time, but I think the important part is it gave me an idea of what to expect so I could talk my wife into going together 15 years later. We love cruising now.

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1 hour ago, MistyRo76 said:

My first cruise was in 1998 when I was young (21), "dumb" college kid! My best friend, my sister and I sailed on the Carnival Sensation. We went into a brick and mortar travel agency to book our cruise - no online booking sites back then! We settled on the San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten 7 night cruise. We had NO idea what we were doing or what to expect. Online research wasn't much of a thing back then - if there were sites available (like Cruise Critic) we didn't know about them. We spent hours looking at every page and picture in the Carnival brochure magazine in preparation. Our cabin was an Interior at the very back of the ship on the Riviera deck. 

 

We got up at 2AM on embarkation day to drive two hours to the Nashville airport for our flight to Charlotte and then onto Miami. I told you we were dumb! Everything went smooth, but it was a long day! Luckily, we were young and were able to power thru! We had Carnival transfers and boarded the big coach bus to the port. I remember first walking onto the ship and just being in awe! It was like nothing I had ever seen before and I was immediately hooked. Being young, single and working for the airlines made it easy to take a lot of cruises throughout the early 2000's. I've slowed down a bit now that I'm married and have a young child - plus the hubby doesn't LOVE cruising like I do. But I'm booked on cruise #19 for October, 2022. It's a girls trip...and I can't wait! I think this will be the longest I've gone between cruises ever! 

LOL- you're like the fifth person to mention the Sensation as their first cruise- it was mine as well. Maybe there was just something about that ship- I had the same feeling of awe though walking into that lobby. The glass elevators and glass domed space with sun pouring down through it. It was pretty mesmerizing for me having never been on anything larger than a ferry before that point. 

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6 minutes ago, Jasonsterling said:

LOL- you're like the fifth person to mention the Sensation as their first cruise- it was mine as well. Maybe there was just something about that ship- I had the same feeling of awe though walking into that lobby. The glass elevators and glass domed space with sun pouring down through it. It was pretty mesmerizing for me having never been on anything larger than a ferry before that point. 

Noticed that also. I know I chose it based on date and location as my first cruise. Needed something that fit my schedule close to where I was going already. That is usually what determines my cruises. Everyone can get off these dates. What fits in that calendar slot? 

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23 minutes ago, asalligo said:

Noticed that also. I know I chose it based on date and location as my first cruise. Needed something that fit my schedule close to where I was going already. That is usually what determines my cruises. Everyone can get off these dates. What fits in that calendar slot? 

LOL- I chose it because I could tour Tulum and swim with the sting rays, lol- I really liked those ports and especially wanted to visit Tulum. It was also a good price as I recall. 

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My first voyage on a ship was trans-Atlantic on Cunard's original Queen Elizabeth in 1967.  Too small for my comfort crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  We were moving from England to the US.  My dad and I (a pre-schooler) were in sick bay for jabs and then our cabin, both horribly ill with seasickness while my Mom went to the dining room, sat at the Captain's table and danced the nights away!

 

Forward to me as an adult on my first pleasure cruise, aboard Carnival's Fantasy.  It was horrible, too.  Big waves (14'), rocky and there was a slamming door audible in our cabin. That door slammed with every wave the ship encountered.  Hated it.   70,000 tonnes is too small!  But I knew there had just to had to be something that made cruise fans be so fanatical so we went again on a larger ship - and loved it!  If I can find an 8-day to book, I'll be platinum (my immediate goal).  My kids have introduced friends to cruising by coming along with us. 

 

We cruised in January 2020 for our wedding anniversary.  I am so thankful we got to enjoy that before this "pandemic-pause."  As John Heald writes, we will be back!

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1 hour ago, Out of Iowa said:

We cruised in January 2020 for our wedding anniversary.  I am so thankful we got to enjoy that before this "pandemic-pause."  As John Heald writes, we will be back!

We sailed on the Carnival Liberty March 9th, 2020 and I think it may have been our best cruise ever. People were cancelling due to Covid and the boat could not have been even 50% capacity and we paid under $400 for the two of us for a balcony for four nights booked literally the day before sailing. Cleaning all over the ship was fanatic and washy washy was serious. I felt safer than any cruise prior as I was a germaphobe long before Covid.

 

I never thought that the ship would sit idle for the next year and a half though. I left that cruise thinking I was going home to start looking for more cheap cruises. 

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Posted (edited)

Our first cruise was about 10 years ago on the Bahama Celebration line. A 3-day to Freeport our son and DIL talked us into to see if we would enjoy cruising.  We loved it but our next cruise wasn't until 2016 when we did a 7-day  on the Conquest for our 30th anniversary. As much as we loved that first little 3-day, the Conquest was a whole 'nother world of cruising.  It was a western route and we did all the dumb touristy first-timer things like going on excursions at every single port. Wore us out! But it was so worth it.  We now have our 6th and 7th cruises booked for next year including our 36th anniversary cruise heading to Alaska on the Miracle for 10  days and we just can't hardly stand the waiting.  That one was supposed to be our 35th anniversary this year but we all know what happened.  We also have our second cruise with John Heald booked in April for FFS#4.  Our last cruise before covid was FFS#3 and it was a real fun time.  

All but the very first one have been on Carnival.  We'll probably eventually try a different line but so far we have found the best deal at the time we wanted to go was Carnival.  And we are SUPER pumped to live in Orlando and soon to have the Mardi Gras just a quick drive away.  I plan to make good use of that ship! 

 

Edited by originalgeek
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7 hours ago, Jasonsterling said:

LOL- you're like the fifth person to mention the Sensation as their first cruise- it was mine as well. Maybe there was just something about that ship- I had the same feeling of awe though walking into that lobby. The glass elevators and glass domed space with sun pouring down through it. It was pretty mesmerizing for me having never been on anything larger than a ferry before that point. 

I wish i could say we had a sophisticated reason for choosing the Sensation! lol But as I said we had no clue what we were doing. We picked a week that worked for us and I think we chose the cruise on the Sensation mostly for the ports. But you are right...there was something about her at that time! She hooked us good! 

 

My last cruise, in 2019 to Cuba, was on the Paradise. I hadn't been on a Fantasy Class ship in a good 10+ years. But it sure brought back memories of past cruises on that class of ship. Felt very familiar! And I really enjoyed our time on the Paradise. Didn't miss the newer bells and whistles too much! 

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Our first cruise was a 3 day on the Holiday in 1996.  She was pretty old and tired then but we loved it.  Everything was so amazing to us.  I feel sorry for people who have never seen a midnight gala buffet.  We were hooked.   43 cruises later and it never gets old.  Covid has been canceled 2 cruises for us but we are hopeful the 3 we have booked this year will sail. 

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12 hours ago, nycruise1 said:

Though the first cruise was before they were born back in 1992 on the Holiday. 

 

Our first cruise was also the Holiday in 1992! We immediately fell in love with cruising. It was a gift from my parents and we had an oceanview cabin - we thought the whole thing was pure luxury!  

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5 hours ago, SRQbeachgirl said:

 

Our first cruise was also the Holiday in 1992! 

Leaving Miami May 3 to Cozumel/Grand Cayman/Ocho Rios?  I have a spreadsheet that tracks all this.  Bob Hamill was the cruise director and he did a show with a dummy.  I remember pulling up at the dock thinking that ship is huge!

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17 hours ago, Out of Iowa said:

My first voyage on a ship was trans-Atlantic on Cunard's original Queen Elizabeth in 1967.  Too small for my comfort crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  We were moving from England to the US.  My dad and I (a pre-schooler) were in sick bay for jabs and then our cabin, both horribly ill with seasickness while my Mom went to the dining room, sat at the Captain's table and danced the nights away!

 

Forward to me as an adult on my first pleasure cruise, aboard Carnival's Fantasy.  It was horrible, too.  Big waves (14'), rocky and there was a slamming door audible in our cabin. That door slammed with every wave the ship encountered.  Hated it.   70,000 tonnes is too small!  But I knew there had just to had to be something that made cruise fans be so fanatical so we went again on a larger ship - and loved it!  If I can find an 8-day to book, I'll be platinum (my immediate goal).  My kids have introduced friends to cruising by coming along with us. 

 

We cruised in January 2020 for our wedding anniversary.  I am so thankful we got to enjoy that before this "pandemic-pause."  As John Heald writes, we will be back!

Congratulations on overcoming the early Cruise Blues. Many of us have had to overcome the same phobias and obstacles. Also Congratulations on that upcoming Platinum Achievement. 

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10 hours ago, nycruise1 said:

Leaving Miami May 3 to Cozumel/Grand Cayman/Ocho Rios?  I have a spreadsheet that tracks all this.  Bob Hamill was the cruise director and he did a show with a dummy.  I remember pulling up at the dock thinking that ship is huge!

 

Same itinerary, but departed June 27. That ship was practically the biggest thing I'd ever seen! It would be a baby now compared to the new ships.  

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51 minutes ago, SRQbeachgirl said:

 

Same itinerary, but departed June 27. That ship was practically the biggest thing I'd ever seen! It would be a baby now compared to the new ships.  

We have come a long way. I am hoping that the Mardi Gras will satisfy our full Cruising desires. 

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