Jump to content

How did you pick your first cruise?


Recommended Posts

I know this has been asked before, but not for quite awhile. And it has always elicited interesting answers.

 

In late 2001, I said to DW, our 25th anniversary is coming up next summer, why not try a cruise. She thought that sounded interesting. I suggested Bermuda as we could drive to NY City to catch a cruise there and would not want to fly. (Who at that point wanted to fly!) She said no. (We have since cruised to Bermuda.) She suggested Alaska. And now it was my turn to say no. (We have since cruised to Alaska.)

 

I now sent away for a brochure from a travel agency I had seen advertised in our local newspaper. (The brochure was rather limited because it only had cruises from Royal Caribbean, and possibly Celebrity, though I am not sure of that. But, that did not really enter my mind at the time.) There was a Western Mediterranean cruise from Barcelona to Barcelona. It included Rome and Florence (actually the ports for them of course), and I knew as an art teacher she would LOVE  that. And that is how we found and booked our first cruise.

 

Looking forward to interesting stories from others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think I chose it...the TA did.  Or recommended it.  In 1972, I wanted to go on a 'different', exotic, adventurous vacation.  One that didn't involve going home.  (of course, I did have to go home...to leave the cat with them.)  I was living in NYC, religiously read the Sunday travel ads.  Decided on a cruise, went to an agency, and ended up on a 10 day cruise to the Caribbean.  EM

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cheapo solo cruise on Carnival's only non smoking ship back in 2003 to a western itinerary of Cozumel, Cayman, Roatan and Belize - all places I've returned to on land vacations.  I still talk about my excursion to San Pedro Isle "La isla bonita" as one of my favorites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We received an entirely unsolicited flyer in the mail from Princess.  The offer was for a seven day cruise in a veranda cabin at, what seemed to us, an unbeatable price even though it was in USD.  Without having ever contemplated taking a cruise and with the onset of winter we called the 1-800 number and made arrangements for a week in the Caribbean.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We started cruising back in the 1980's. At that time we smoked cigarettes, and the brand we smoked offered a 7 day cruise for a certain number of seals off packs of cigarettes.  It took us a whole year to scrounge up enough to get passage for two.  The ship was the Costa Riveria in an inside room with the beds in a "L" shape and the closet was covered by a curtain with the top half for hang-ups and the bottom half drawers. One dining room only (no buffet) and everything was served family style. Only other food available was pizza and you got the whole pizza.  One night of the cruise was toga night.  You HAD to wear a toga to dinner or you were not allowed in the dining room.  (No room service, so if you did not come to dinner you had to wait until the midnight buffet where you could easily get a complete meal). Everyone got a sheet and an instruction card on how to tie the toga with some options. 

 

One small pool on the aft with no shade.  Skeet shooting off the aft. Everything bought required cash payment. Left from Miami (where EDGE terminal now is) and everyone threw streamers.

 

BEST CRUISE EVER (because it was the first)!

costariviera.jpg

1st Cruise - Costa (1).jpg

1st Cruise - Costa (11).jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My earliest cruises, as a child, were chosen by my parents - so they do not count.  The first one I chose was on the Marco Polo from Istanbul to Athens - I happened to be leafing through a magazine while waiting for a dentist’s appointment and noticed an article about Kanakkale - the port for the ruins of Troy —- which I had always wanted to see since reading the Iliad years earlier.  At the end of the article the itinerary was mentioned —- it sounded great - Istanbul, Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Ephesus — all on the same itinerary which offered a chance to visit Troy .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, my first cruise was on the then Nordic Empress to celebrate my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary. Their treat. I was still in high school. They did a cruise again for their 55th, but as I was fresh out of college, I couldn't go. They went on a cruise with my dad for their 60th, I think that might have been one of their last cruises. It just got too hard for them afterwards. Grandma passed a few months after they celebrated their 70th. Grandpa passed last year.

 

Anyways, I had always wanted to cruise again, but as a single, it wasn't worth it. So, for our honeymoon, we decided to take a cruise (after a few days visiting the mouse). At the time, I was active in another travel forum (no longer around) where I discussed options. Once I knew what we wanted, got in touch with a TA (via that forum) and booked the trip. It was just an Eastern Caribbean on Princess, but it was wonderful. We have since done Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean, Alaska, and Bermuda. I'd love to do the Mediterranean, but my wife is not a fan of long flights. 

 

At this point, its been two years since our last cruise (we normally cruise last week of June to celebrate our birthdays (two days apart)). I'm waiting for cruising to have been started with no issues before booking another one. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh boy, our first cruise is not very interesting at all.    It was three nights on an RCI cruise ship.   San Pedro to Ensenada to San Pedro.  Inside cabin.   We decided to give it a try because of the very low cost.  That was back in the day when the gratuity envelopes were passed out on the last day.  The cruise line provided recommended guidelines on how much to tip each position.   Mrs Ldubs made sure we had the correct combination of bills to divvy up.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first cruise was a pure coincidence.

In the last century, cruises were not widespread in Europe and in particular not in Denmark. I had never actually thought of going on a cruise.  
I traveled a lot for business and earned more airmiles than I could use - in 1996 I got an offer from my airline with a VIP offer on a 7 night East Caribbean cruise with the world's largest cruise ship ‘Sovereign of the Seas’ from Miami.  I combine with family visits to Orlando.  
It has meant quite a few more cruises over time and a great opportunity to visit family in Orlando.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A co-worker of DH had just come back from a cruise and raved about it.  We went to our local TA and talked to her and she booked us on a 7 day cruise to Alaska round trip from Vancouver.  She threw in some OBC and there was a bottle of wine in the cabin from her.  We had a great time, even got to visit the bridge on a tour.  That was in the spring of 2001, things changed that September about access to the bridge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1991, there was a total eclipse of the sun that followed a path through Hawaii, across the ocean, then across Mexico. I wanted to see it. My first thought was to go to Hawaii, but my DH said maybe we could find a cruise to go on and see it. We could! The Carnival Jubilee was in Mazatlan on eclipse day, so we booked a cabin. We had a wonderful eclipse viewing on the ocean somewhere out from Mazatlan, since it was clouded over on land.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had wanted to take a cruise for many years. But since DH spent many months each year at sea on a naval ship, it was the last thing he wanted to do on his vacation. At last he had a shore posting, and bless his heart, offered to take me on a cruise for our 30th anniversary. We visited our local TA (we still use him- he's a gem), and in no time at all we were booked on an Eastern Caribbean cruise on the QE 2. And DH was hooked. Many more cruises have followed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 My first cruise was in 1987 on the Carnival Mardi Gras which sailed from Ft Lauderdale and went to Nassau then Freeport. I was solo because the Mrs couldn't decide IF she was going or not. She had seen the Loveboat TV show and was under the mistaken belief that EVERYBODY who was anybody had to be seen 'lounging' by  the pool. I told her I didn't know since I'd never been on a cruise , but I was going with OR without her but I'd love to have her go. Well, after deciding she didn't DARE expose her body in a swimsuit, I called the 800 number I'd found in the travel section of the newspaper and asked what cruises were available for that week I'd scheduled at work for vacation I'd never considered a cruise but, to me, it sounded like fun and it was a blast. 

 

Mac

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Started in the early 1990's out of San Pedro (a quick drive) on Azure Seas and quickly went onto Viking Serenade....we were addicted RCI had us...no going back !!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, ldubs said:

Oh boy, our first cruise is not very interesting at all.    It was three nights on an RCI cruise ship.   San Pedro to Ensenada to San Pedro.  Inside cabin.   We decided to give it a try because of the very low cost.  That was back in the day when the gratuity envelopes were passed out on the last day.  The cruise line provided recommended guidelines on how much to tip each position.   Mrs Ldubs made sure we had the correct combination of bills to divvy up.  

OP here, we also had those gratuity envelopes on the first cruise I described. It is so much more convenient now to have them just add the tips to the folio. (And it would have been even more convenient on our cancelled 2020 summer cruise that had tips included.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My husband was stationed at the US Embassy Athens in the late 90s.  One of the Greek cruise lines, whose name escapes me, was having trouble filling their relatively small and old (compared in US) ships.  They offered personnel at a number of Embassies (European countries and the US) a greatly reduced fare - $80 per person for a 5 night cruise!.  We joked that they figured we all knew how to eat with lots of different cutlery and glassware plus many of us were multi-lingual!  Port stops were Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Patmos and Ephesus and the ship's tours we took for Patmos and Ephesus had English speaking groups.  We had an inside cabin and the ship wasn't fancy but it was a wonderful cruise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

October 1976--honeymoon.

 

About a month and a half prior to our wedding, we started thinking about a honeymoon.  Mrs. XBGuy had, pretty much, planned everthing out but that.  We talked about it for a couple days, when one of us--more than likely, it was her--suggested a cruise.  Neither of us had ever been on a cruise, and we did not know anybody who had.  

 

The following Saturday we drove over to a local travel agent.  Can you believe it?  In those days, you could drive to a local business, walk in, and sit down with somebody who could give suggestions on what kind of vacation to take and, then, set you up completely.  What an awesome concept.  I do not think we were in that office for more than an hour and we were good to go--7-day Western Caribbean cruise on Norwegian Caribbean Line's MS Southward, airline reservations, pre-cruise hotel room in Miami and ground transportation in Miami all included.

 

It was great.

 

Note to @woldridge our second ever cruise was around 1982 on the Costa Riviera.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our first cruise was in 1973.It was a special year birthday for me and my wife wanted to do something that we never did before,A friend knew a woman who was a TA and suggested that we go to see her .We went and she suggested a cruise from Manhattan to Bermuda on a Greek line .

The price for both of us including all taxes was $699.00 for a 7 night cruise.We booked the cruise for my birthday month,July.A few days before the cruise was supposed to leave the ship broke down and could not cruise.The TA said she could give us a full refund or book the identical cruise on another ship.We opted for the latter and we sailed on the Cunard Ambassador.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the 1970s there were not a lot of cruise options for young couples on a tight budget.   We walked past a travel agency (remember those?) in a mall and they had a NCL poster showing the Sunward II which was doing 3 and 4 night cruises out of Miami.  We walked in a booked a 4 night which was the beginning of my passion for ships and the sea.  Now, having spent far more then 3 years (total cruising time) on many cruise ships/lines the passion remains unabated.

 

Hank

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is one of 2.  I can't remember which one was our first. 

 

I was retired and my wife was still working.  I was on the internet not looking for anything special and saw a great deal for an Antarctica cruise on the Hutigrutin Fram.  There was only limited space at the low price.  I called her at work that day and told her that I was booking us on an Antarctica cruise.  She said "WHAT!!!" and then OK.  The rest is history.

 

or as I am not sure which one first

 

Again - random internet wandering.  I came upon a link to the Maine windjammer Lewis R French which is a pure sailboat built in 1871 and is a National Historic Landmark that held 22 passengers.  Again, she took a bit of convincing but she agreed.  Again, the decision was totally unplanned until we booked it.

 

Both of them were some of the best cruises we ever did.  I'll bet that an Antarctica cruise or a Maine windjammer cruise are unusual even for CC as first cruises.

 

DON

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, XBGuy said:

 

The following Saturday we drove over to a local travel agent.  Can you believe it?  In those days, you could drive to a local business, walk in, and sit down with somebody who could give suggestions on what kind of vacation to take and, then, set you up completely.  What an awesome concept.

 

That can still be done but I guess that very few does it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

We collected all brochures our TA had from cruiselines and looked through them. NCL had the best priceinformation in their brochure so we narrowed it down to them. Their Freestyle concept also helped with our decision to choose NCL.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My parents had been avid cruisers and were always encouraging my husband and me to go on one.  So for our 25th anniversary, that's just what we did.  We chose a 7 day Alaskan cruise and enjoyed it thoroughly, so much so that we knew that any cruises after that would consist of at least 10 days as we didn't want to get of the ship after only 7 days.  

 

Barb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An advert in the paper offered a door to ship cruise to the Caribbean. That meant no worries about transport, as the TA's staff picked us up and took us to the coach for Manchester airport.

The line was Princess, which we'd not heard of... and then we remembered ...

When we lived in Yorkshire, a local mill discovered a way of screen printing on fire-retardant linen. We all used to buy their seconds of fabrics from the mill. 

One day we read that the firm had landed a contract with a US cruise line called Princess, to refurbish all the fabrics on their ships.

When we stepped on board Sea Princess, I recognised many of the curtains and bedspreads...

Over the years the firm added  more of Carnival's fleets to its books.

I still have their blinds, and some curtains, one from the QE2,  each with a slight slip from the screen printing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...