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Megsmom1

After much discussion...

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We have decided to cancel our cruise on Mercury in Feb 07. I can't give you any one single reason, just an overall feeling of uncertainty on both my husband's and my part.

 

We have decided instead to try something COMPLETELY different and try cruising on Windjammer in the southern Caribbean.

 

Thank you all for all your information and feedback. I am sure we will be back...

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We have decided to cancel our cruise on Mercury in Feb 07. I can't give you any one single reason, just an overall feeling of uncertainty on both my husband's and my part.

 

We have decided instead to try something COMPLETELY different and try cruising on Windjammer in the southern Caribbean.

 

Thank you all for all your information and feedback. I am sure we will be back...

 

Someday I would like to go on a Windjammer cruise..have fun :o)

Els

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Me too! You come back and tell us all about it and I may very well follow your lead and do something different myself!
Well, with 112 people verses 2000+, I do think we are in for something quite different. Honestly the thing that intrigues me most is that "many people bring their bedding from their cabins and sleep out on the deck under the stars"! How cool is that?!!:o

 

PS: btw, where in NJ are you located? I am south, in Cherry Hill.

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Hi Cheryl!

We are in the same boat(so to speak) I am also looking at the Feb 7 Mercury to Mexico, but this forum is starting to scare me a bit. I should know better because there are many people who said NCL was horrible and never cruise with them but I have enjoyed all 3 of my cruises on NCL.

 

I think perhaps we started looking at the Mercury at a bad moment in time. Noro can strike anywhere at anytime and it happened to hit when we were starting to research. I have also read reviews from people who dislike the ports- but we've been to the Mexican Riviera before and I like it better than most Caribbean ports. I am still not certain about booking this cruise, I thought I was ready, and then I keep reading and change my mind. I really need to stop doing that!

 

Have fun on your Windjammer cruise--if things get much worse from the X crowd- we might be joining you:D

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Hi Cheryl!

We are in the same boat(so to speak) I am also looking at the Feb 7 Mercury to Mexico, but this forum is starting to scare me a bit. I should know better because there are many people who said NCL was horrible and never cruise with them but I have enjoyed all 3 of my cruises on NCL.

 

I think perhaps we started looking at the Mercury at a bad moment in time. Noro can strike anywhere at anytime and it happened to hit when we were starting to research. I have also read reviews from people who dislike the ports- but we've been to the Mexican Riviera before and I like it better than most Caribbean ports. I am still not certain about booking this cruise, I thought I was ready, and then I keep reading and change my mind. I really need to stop doing that!

 

Have fun on your Windjammer cruise--if things get much worse from the X crowd- we might be joining you:D

 

Hi Karen ~ I am sailing on the Galaxy, May 6th, and I have read reviews that the Galaxy is old and beaten up. I also read great reviews. I use tripadvisor quite often too to read up on hotel/resort reviews and many of times I doubted whether we should proceed with our reservation. I am glad we always did, because I have found out that we have liked all hotels and resorts. Sometimes one more over the other but we always had a great time.

 

Like you said Noro can affect any ship. I think people were upset that they were not told prior to boarding etc. There is a live thread from the current Mercury cruise that everything is wonderful.

 

Whatever you decide both cruises sound great ~ Els;)

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FYI, we've been on 5 Windjammers and loved them. But...they are so totally different from a traditional cruise that you should be very sure of what you want in a cruise before switching. Few choices of food which is OK but not great, very casual - mostly shorts and tees and bathing suits, sleeping on deck under the stars is delightful (unless you wake up with rain beating down on you and wet sheets - it happened to us several times and we just laughed - damply), wonderful beaches almost deserted in some places, ports where only small ships can get in and the list goes on. It's a blast and I just wish that my bum knees could still do the getting on and getting off of the ship when the water is choppy... We're thinking of doing the Amazing Grace which is not a sailing ship and, therefore easier to navigate around.

 

If you have questions...please ask.

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PS: btw, where in NJ are you located? I am south, in Cherry Hill.

 

We are from Nothern NJ...Teaneck to be exact.

 

karfest...I think you are right about the timing of looking at this ship because of all the discussions here on noro. We enjoyed the ship and the ports in spite of it all, but we would not book either the itin or the ship again and would look to a newer ship with a few more amenties and an itin with at least one or two ports we have not yet seen.

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Well, I hope karfest is right about the timing....we are booked to sail on mercury on 4/28. so we don't have the luxury of rebooking. This will be our sixth cruise and our first on X. I did'nt find this message board until a few days ago but and it's provided quite a bit of insight.

 

Looks like the motto for this cruise is going to have to be: The worst day on a cruise ship is better than the best day at work.:)

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I found these boards just after I booked the NCL Sun. The reviews were horrible and I was so apprehensive about it that my usual "excitement" about a cruise was more like "terror" The cruise ended up to be fantastic.

 

There is alot of great information on these boards, but it is a little scary until you are around awhile and realize that everyone has different levels of expectations, taste, and tolerance.

 

We have not cruised on an "older" ship like the Mercury and really like having alternative restaurants- I'm not sure how well we'll adjust to traditional dining:eek:

 

But then, I sit back and think- what a dilemma, I can't decide if I will be HAPPY on a CRUISE...the rest of the world should have such troubles...

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Mercury is and will probably always be our favorite ship to cruise on - she is comfortable, cozy and beautiful. The service was outstanding and the crew friendly and gracious. That virus can strike any ship. Enjoy the trip.

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To each their own.....my Mercury cruise stands and I am so excited to sail on this lovely ship. Celebrity hasn't disappointed me yet, and I don't imagine they will in November.

 

BTW, the first cruise we ever took was a Windjammer many years back. We sailed on the Flying Cloud out of Tortola and we had a wonderful time.

 

Let me say this about Windjammers vs. Cruise Ships. It's like comparing tent camping to a luxury hotel. I'm not knocking tent camping......we've done more than our share of it while younger and when our children were young and we couldn't afford any other kind of vacation.

 

On the Flying Cloud there wasn't a single piece of furniture. We sat on benches or the floor (they did have padded mats to place on the benches and deck), while on deck and on the bed in our cabin....yep, not even a chair in our cabin. The dining room had 2 seatings to accomodate everyone (100 people on our ship), and the tables were booths, no chairs. There was one small bar, on deck, with a couple of stools around it. The food was served family style, and there were no choices, you had what the chef made that day....I think you could choose fish or meat. There was plenty of food, and it was good, but it wasn't fancy in the least.

 

Our cabin was so small that when I opened the suitcase to get something out (there were no drawers, just a small closet), there was no floor space. The beds were bunk beds, singles, with the bottom one slightly bigger than the top one. The lighting in the cabin was poor, the porthole so murky it was hard to tell if it was light outside, so it was difficult to relax or read while in there. Obviously no TV's. The ceiling probably wasn't more than 6 1/2 feet high.

 

The bathroom was extremely small and the shower head was on the ceiling of the bathroom, so when you showered the whole bathroom became the shower stall. Also, when you showered you had to hold a button in to get the water to come out, no choice of temperture, sometimes it was hot and sometimes it was cold, and when you let go of the button the water stopped....the Captain suggested you take showers with someone, so you could take turns holding the button in.

 

To be fair the negatives of the ship itself was cancelled out by the beauty of sailing around the British Virgin Islands. We sailed to some amazing little coves and islands and the snorkeling and scuba diving was great! My husband loved the day we anchored in a small cove and they let us swing off the yardarm out into the water. If you aren't a water person there would be nothing for you to do. No shopping, no bingo, no activities other than laying around and enjoying the sun and sea.

 

They usually had some decktop activities in the evenings.....like crab crawling races, but it was very low key and most everyone was asleep by 10 PM. No shows, no bands, no entertainment. One night people were asked to tell jokes, it was pretty bad. :)

 

They tell you that you can help sail but that's kind of a scam. One day they asked us to "help" them lift the sails and about 20 of us hoisted those sails up.....the next morning we saw one crew member do it by himself!! :) People could take the helm for a bit, but there really isn't anything to do there, just hold the wheel.

 

All in all, it was a fun vacation, but I wouldn't do it again. Especially at my age. I want comfort now.....I like being taken care of and somewhere nice to eat. I like watching the ocean go by on my balcony in a comfortable chair. Just as I am done with tent camping in my life, I am past Windjamming! :D

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Thanks for the encouragement and advice. We are still excited about the trip, maybe just a little more apprehensive about what we will find.

 

Maybe we can put in our 2 cents worth about the Mercury and the X experience.

 

Pete

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Pete. you are going to have a wonderful cruise. People who run around like Chicken Little thinking the sky is falling, are making themselves upset. Even a near perfect cruise is going to fall short of the mark for some folks....if you go with a sour attitude it shouldn't surprise anyone, least of all yourself, when you have a terrible time.

 

We had a Princess cruise a year and a half ago that was the worse cruise we have ever had, Princess screwed us over good before we left....but we put it behind us, got on that plane with a smile on our faces and we ended up having a good time. We didn't dwell on the problems, and there were many.

 

It taught us a valuable lesson....even a bad cruise can be a wonderful vacation!!

 

Of course, I doubt we will ever cruise with Princess again.....2 strikes (our first Princess cruise was also plagued with problems) and you're out in my game!! :) I'll be sticking to Celebrity and Royal Caribbean for the most part, they really have treated me famously!

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Well, I hope karfest is right about the timing....we are booked to sail on mercury on 4/28. so we don't have the luxury of rebooking. This will be our sixth cruise and our first on X. I did'nt find this message board until a few days ago but and it's provided quite a bit of insight.

 

Looks like the motto for this cruise is going to have to be: The worst day on a cruise ship is better than the best day at work.:)

 

Make sure you come back and give us a fair and balanced review. :D

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We have decided to cancel our cruise on Mercury in Feb 07. I can't give you any one single reason, just an overall feeling of uncertainty on both my husband's and my part. We have decided instead to try something COMPLETELY different and try cruising on Windjammer in the southern Caribbean.

 

Weird. I assume you cancelled your cruise because of all the negative publicity caused by the virus. I trust you know every ship can get hit by a virus? Including Windjammer?

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Re the Mercury: I envision this ship to be as clean as a hospital...after all the bleaching and cleaning. I would not hesitate to sail on her. She is one of my favorite ships.

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Weird. I assume you cancelled your cruise because of all the negative publicity caused by the virus. I trust you know every ship can get hit by a virus? Including Windjammer?

 

I can't speak for every Windjammer ship but the one we were on wasn't all that clean. Everything is very old (that's the point of Windjammer....old sailing vessels.) The main construction material of the ships is wood, little if any chrome or stainless steel. Most of the guardrails and handrails were painted. There is very little of the type of cleaning going on that I have seen on large cruise ships.

 

Bacteria doesn't live very well on shiny metal objects. This is why stainless steel is the primary choice for commercial kitchens and handrails on stairways. But on items like tile, wood, painted wood, sponges.....anything porous, bacteria lives and thrives.

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Well, I hope karfest is right about the timing....we are booked to sail on mercury on 4/28. so we don't have the luxury of rebooking. This will be our sixth cruise and our first on X. I did'nt find this message board until a few days ago but and it's provided quite a bit of insight.

 

Looks like the motto for this cruise is going to have to be: The worst day on a cruise ship is better than the best day at work.:)

 

I'm also on the April 28 sailing. I'm sure we're going to have a wonderful cruise. We have a great group of cruise critic folks on this cruise. We'd love to have you join our rollcall, here's a link:

Mercury April 28, 2006 - Cruise Critic Message Boards

 

Terri

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Hi Cheryl!

We are in the same boat(so to speak) I am also looking at the Feb 7 Mercury to Mexico, but this forum is starting to scare me a bit. I should know better because there are many people who said NCL was horrible and never cruise with them but I have enjoyed all 3 of my cruises on NCL.

 

I think perhaps we started looking at the Mercury at a bad moment in time. Noro can strike anywhere at anytime and it happened to hit when we were starting to research. I have also read reviews from people who dislike the ports- but we've been to the Mexican Riviera before and I like it better than most Caribbean ports. I am still not certain about booking this cruise, I thought I was ready, and then I keep reading and change my mind. I really need to stop doing that!

 

Have fun on your Windjammer cruise--if things get much worse from the X crowd- we might be joining you:D

 

Relax!!! We sailed on Mercury last year and my DH just returned from NCL Sun. He said while Mercury was a bit more upscale he enjoyed Sun very much... Mercury does have better food in main dining room, and also you can have omeletes made to order and some other nice things.

 

Have fun on Mercury.

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Hi All,

We were on the Mercury on April 7th 2006 and had a wonderful time. The ship showed a few signs of wear, but was nothing to speak of. The crew was great. I am sure they were very overworked from the last cruise when they were doing all the bleaching, but our cruise was fantastic. Now you will probably read other reviews with a different opinion, but for us at least, X did not let us down. I also like most of the ports. Did not care too much for Acapulco, it was like Jamaica, IMHO if you have ever been there, but besides that, we loved the ports.

Sherry

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