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Anyone else a veteran of The Big Red Boat?


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It was our introduction to cruising back in 1994 after several days at Walt Disney World. At the time, it sure felt exotic to be cruising to the Bahamas. I think it was for 3 nights, and the last one was spent trying to outrace Hurricane Gordon back to port with no ship stabilizers being used. Plenty of rockin' and rollin' onboard as passengers staggered drunk-like or crawled on hands & knees to get around.

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The Big Red Boat was our very first cruise.  I think it was around 1997, give or take a year.  I remember cruising out of Port Canaveral, it was a 4 nighter, and we went to Nassau and Grand Bahamas.  Hooked us on cruising.

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Sailed the Oceanic twice! These were our first cruises also.  We weren’t sure how we would handle it, so we booked one of the (I think 6 or 8 ) suites. The cruises were 3 or 4 days, with the remaining days of the week long vacation spent at Disney World. Stayed at Grand Floridian once, and once in some Tree House suite.  Fond memories.

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My first cruise was 1996. Or maybe 1995.  I really don't remember other than it was a Thanksgiving cruise that my grandparents bought for their kids/grandkids.

 

So that's right during Premier's transition away from Disney, so I have no idea what ship that was.

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Omg yes! My husband and I sailed on the Big Red Boat for 4 days and then did 4 days at WDW! We had just graduated from college!  Our first cruise and for us hooked! We were in an oceanview cabin with a porthole, right below shuffleboard! Never again!!! We learned our lesson to find out what is above your cabin when choosing your stateroom. 

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   We were on the Oceanic in 1987. Our first cruise. I think it was a three day cruise with a four day stay at Disneyworld.

We had a cabin with a porthole. The beds were twin beds,one being on a wall across the cabin from the other bed. It was a large cabin as I recall

   Our luggage wasn’t delivered when we got to the cabin. I was very concerned about that and wanted my DH go to Passenger Services to check on the luggage. 

Newbie cruiser nerves,I guess. The luggage was delivered well before it was time for dinner.Crises avoided !

    It was an enjoyable cruise. 

    Since then we have taken numerous cruises. Most have been with Princess, but also on NCL,Cunard and Celebrity..

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My mom and I sailed the big Red Boat over Thanksgiving 1989.  I was 16 and she and I did a 4 night WDW and 4 night cruise.

We seriously underestimated how cold both Florida and the Bahamas can be in late November and my mom was seasick the entire cruise too (it was very rocky).

Those are pretty much my entire memories of it.  🤣

 

Didn't stop me from wanting to give cruising another try almost exactly 10 years later on another 4-4 split with WDW on the almost new Disney Cruise Line with my own kids.  That went much betterand we have been cruising ever since (in fact last year was the first year of his life that my now 22 year old was not on a ship....first world covid problems)

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Before sailing the Big Red Boat, we sailed on the Oceanic from NY to the Bahamas.  The view sailing on teh Hudsson river and the NYC skyline was awesome.  It was our first anniversary celebration.  Loved the all Italian crew and fantastic menus and midnight buffets. 

 

I remember that we had to reserve and pay for our lounge chairs.  Gambling was comprised of Bingo and horse racing at the pool deck and each horse had a nationality assigned to it.  Entertainment, other than 2-3 member combos, was mostly provided by the Cruise Director and staff.  One of the trio of bands that performed was the Maiorani trio.  I remember them very vividly they were very smooth and I have one of their LPs.

 

Can someone enlighten me,  on the last night of cruise there was a farewell show presented by teh CD and staff.  Some of it , at that time was a bit risque, as they made some of their movement in the skit one of the male performers kept touching the female's breast.  The entire skit was as funny as I ever saw one.

 

Memories.  Cherish them all.

 

Many years later, saw her in the Villefrance Harbor (France) and recognized her by the funnel and the Magrodome over the pool area.

 

So sad when I read that she was being scrapped.  

Edited by nelblu
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Yes!  1991, Starship Majestic.  I couldn't believe how huge she looked as we approached the port.  I think the stormy weather and rough seas added to the mystique of cruising; we were hooked.

When the line became Premier, we sailed on Rembrandt, Island Breeze, Sea Breeze, Ocean Breeze.  We loved them all.  We had two more cruises booked when Premier folded.  

 

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10 hours ago, nelblu said:

Before sailing the Big Red Boat, we sailed on the Oceanic from NY to the Bahamas.  The view sailing on teh Hudsson river and the NYC skyline was awesome.  It was our first anniversary celebration.  Loved the all Italian crew and fantastic menus and midnight buffets. 

 

I sailed on the Oceanic on the same itinerary in 1973.  Your comments about the Italian crew, menus, and midnight buffets:  Spot on!  The multi-course dinners, including an excellent pasta course, there was never an evening that I left the MDR hungry.

 

10 hours ago, nelblu said:

I remember that we had to reserve and pay for our lounge chairs. 

 

I don't remember that on the Oceanic, but, such a practice was common at that time.

 

10 hours ago, nelblu said:

One of the trio of bands that performed was the Maiorani trio.  I remember them very vividly they were very smooth and I have one of their LPs.

 

In the Italian Hall, a group called Formica and the Favolosi performed.  Excellent music and I also bought their LP.  This group's LP, somehow, has been posted online.  Maybe your group as well?

 

10 hours ago, nelblu said:

on the last night of cruise there was a farewell show presented by teh CD and staff.  Some of it , at that time was a bit risque, as they made some of their movement in the skit one of the male performers kept touching the female's breast.  The entire skit was as funny as I ever saw one.

 

I remember it was called London Pub Night.  I have enjoyed this show at least twice.  Once, I am certain, was on Sitmar's Fairwind.  Maybe the other time was on the Oceanic, I can't recall accurately.  Agree, the skit was truly funny!  

 

The Oceanic aka The Big Red Boat was a great cruise ship that has provided me with many memories as well.  

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I sailed on the Oceanic on the same itinerary in 1973.  Your comments about the Italian crew, menus, and midnight buffets:  Spot on!  The multi-course dinners, including an excellent pasta course, there was never an evening that I left the MDR hungry.

 

 

I don't remember that on the Oceanic, but, such a practice was common at that time.

 

 

In the Italian Hall, a group called Formica and the Favolosi performed.  Excellent music and I also bought their LP.  This group's LP, somehow, has been posted online.  Maybe your group as well?

 

 

I remember it was called London Pub Night.  I have enjoyed this show at least twice.  Once, I am certain, was on Sitmar's Fairwind.  Maybe the other time was on the Oceanic, I can't recall accurately.  Agree, the skit was truly funny!  

 

The Oceanic aka The Big Red Boat was a great cruise ship that has provided me with many memories as well.  

We also did, as a family of four in one cabin, the Disney/Big Red Boat and I believe we did 4 nights at Disney World and 3 night cruising to Nassau.  Did this itinerary a couple of times.

 

Also, the cabin was of decent size as compared what was sailing then as most of them were Transatlantic design and quite small rooms.  Before my kids were born, We had sailed/cruised from NYC-Nassau  on the Italian Line Leonardo Da Vinci and boy were the cabins quite small.

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7 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

The spoon looks more like a mini-shovel.  

I think the mini shovel spoons and the dangly charm spoons from the ships are some of my favorite, or the unique ones like the spears one for the Britannis. I also have a teensy fork, but it's not really a cruise ship, it's for a Canadian car ferry that's been scrapped, the souvenir fork is only 2 1/2 inches long. I also like the ones where the ship is etched into the bowl part of a spoon.

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I just came across two newspaper clippings from December, 2000, re the sinking of the SeaBreeze.  The Coast Guard rescued all 34 crew members, in very challenging weather, putting 26 men in the first helicopter, and the rest in the second.  It was called "one of the most dramatic rescues in the history of the Coast Guard".  The ship sank shortly after the last man, the Captain, was hoisted onto the helicopter.

We sailed on SeaBreeze in 1999.  It was an excellent cruise on a wonderful ship.  Some of the notes in my journal:

She was originally the Federico C of 1958, Costa.  We found a wrought iron "C" on the gate to the bridge.

My vegetarian dinner entree one night was a Leaning Tower of Potato.  Delicious.  I've never seen potato pancakes on a cruise since then; too labor-intensive.

The ship had a real feeling of being at sea.  Our cabin creaked nicely when seas were rough.

The swing band provided the best dance music before or since.

When we arrived at Roatan, Honduras, we overheard some other passengers saying "I'm pretty sure it's a movie set.  No real place looks like this".

Anyone else remember SeaBreeze?

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2 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

We sailed on SeaBreeze in 1999.  It was an excellent cruise on a wonderful ship.  Some of the notes in my journal:

She was originally the Federico C of 1958, Costa.  We found a wrought iron "C" on the gate to the bridge.

 

Never sailed on SeaBreeze, but was a visitor when she was Federico C and sailed from Port Everglades.  She had that "classic ship" ambiance when one walked through her public rooms and on her decks.  A vessel that looked like a "ship" as well.  

 

I remember her loss and that the few crew aboard her were saved by the USCG.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

My wife, two young daughters, and I sailed on the Oceanic in 1986.   It was the third cruise for my wife and I, and first one with kids.  What I remember most about the 'Big Red Boat' was our cabin seemed HUGE in comparison to the first two ships that we had been on (Norwegian Caribbean Line's 'Sunward II' and Carnival's 'Carnivale') .  I remember that was also the first time we had a porthole in our cabin!😉

The food was great, and the staff was amazing.  We really enjoyed that cruise.

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