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Beckey

The more I read - the more I think I made a mistake!

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In the words of that great American philosopher Rodney King – Why can’t we all just get along”? :D

 

 

My husband and I have put off booking a cruise for years mainly because of what I see on this board. When I think about vacation, things that come to mind are:

 

  • Relaxation
  • Good food
  • Meeting new people and exchanging stories
  • Doing fun stuff

Not:

 

  • Dear God, look what that guy has on. :cool:
  • Can I smuggle enough booze in my bag
  • Have I tipped the “who ever” enough
  • Am I dressed UP enough for the person at the table with me

 

Don’t get me wrong – we have been on some wonderful trips. We have no intentions of trying to smuggle booze in our luggage and our formal wear will be packed. :p

 

 

From what I have been able to learn – this is a BIG BOAT and there should be enough room for everyone to spread out (so to speak). What am I missing here – have we made a huge mistake. Some of the post on this board makes it sound like a very “snooty” vacation. I took a great deal of time picking out a cruise line I thought would match our personalities – we are in our 50’s - we enjoy a “good time” but have no use for a rock climbing wall. But I don’t want to be locked on a huge floating hotel with a bunch of folks that look down their nose at others. :eek:

 

 

If you don’t want to go to formal nights aren’t there other options?

 

Doesn’t the $10 a day tipping take care of that problem?

 

If you want a drink before dinner – they say you can bring wine right?

 

 

Don’t make me stress over something that should be the trip of a life time – please. :(

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Becky

I have cruised 3 times in the past and am booked 8-14 for another. I have yet a snobby person on any cruise. Maybe its because I keep my nose where it belongs. Although I dislike neckties, I always wear one on formal nights. I do see a few that disregaurd the formal nights by wearing casual attire. I pay little attention to them, focusing on the beautiful dress and gowns of the ladies and the tuxs and business suits of the gents. The cruise is what you make of it. Is the glass half empty or half full. If you keep a positive attitude, I think you will have the best vacation of your life. Each cruise is always better than the last.

Dick

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Beckey,

we'll be taking our 8th cruise in a couple weeks and let me tell you - you can be as "snooty" as you want to be! we've been on Carnival, Celebrity, NCL and now HAL... everyone i've been on i've seen the following (to address your points)

 

people in jeans and polo shirts in the dining room on Formal nights

people in tuxes and ballgowns on casual nights

people bringing their own wine, bottles, nips

people drinking out of said bottles/nips at the pool

people dishing out $8 for a cranberry and vodka at the pool

people skipping out on "tip night"

people handing over $100 bills to bartenders they've seen maybe twice.

 

i've always tried to take advantage of any wine offers they have on board - buy 3 get one free, etc. i also either tipped according to the booklets recommendation or what the auto-tip has been. if someone has given me extra service, i will tip them separately and give them a mention in the form you fill out the last day.

 

and yes, the boat is big enough to get away from the riff-raff and the snobs (with my apologies to the riff-raff and snobs). my husband and i have always taken the first day to scope out the ship for "our spot" - and have always met other couples similar to us that way. don't fear, you will find "your spot" and have a great time!

 

as with everything else, the trip is what you make of it. (and if you were trolling for an argument - you got the wrong person in me!)

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Likewise, Beckey. We've not met people on our cruises who are the sort who have been argumentative and bash-posting of late. Just read past those vicious posts and go on to the next one. And, above all, enjoy your hard-earned and well-planned cruise.

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Becky -- You sound just like me when I thought I really did not want to cruise. I resisted and resisted, found a bargain, decided to bite -- this was 4 years ago and we are about to take our 8th. All of the things you mention don't mean a thing. You would have to interact with EVERY passenger to find the things of which you speak. We love cruising. Have met nice people and pay no attention to the few who aren't. Don't particularly enjoy dressing formal, so we go to the Lido - happily, I might add. We've traveled world wide and you meet all kinds all over the world. So, until you convince yourself that you really want a cruise experience, don't go. But, I can assure you that once you cruise all of the things you mention are just miniscule overall.

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The last thing you should do is take this (or any other) board as representative of cruise ship reality. Cruise message boards = cruise ships onboard, the same way as soap operas = life as we live it.

 

It's the Cartoon Network in print. It's the SciFi Channel online. It's a few very knowledgeable people with equally very good advice hiding out in a crowd of "you can't please me and don't even try."

 

You just have to sift out the advice. The reasonable people will stand out. When people get overly concerned about smuggling alcohol on board, about not being forced to follow the dress code, about anything -- don't worry about it. You'll never meet them.

 

I've met the nicest people on board. Met a few duds in my life, as well as a very few objectionable folks; it's a big ship and I just avoided them. Besides, they make for great story-telling when I get back home!

 

People in Bombay are scrambling thru garbage dumps looking for scraps of food. Marines are being beheaded in Iraq. I recently spoke at the funeral of a friend who got blown up in Baghdad. I, personally, don't give a rat's @ for anyone whose biggest worry is getting alcohol on board, or if the Baked Alaska march is hokey or the Cruise Director is invisible.

 

The best way to have a great time is to get good advice here and forget the rest. That's what I do. The crew on board will answer all your questions and you will have a wonderful vacation with HAL -- the only line I have sailed with for 13 cruises (and three more booked thru 2005).

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Becky, believe me, you HAVE NOT made a mistake. I guarantee you'll find exactly what you are looking for on a HAL cruise. As Tomc and many others have pointed out in the past, only a tiny fraction of HAL cruisers are even aware of this board so don't be influenced by all the stuff you see here. Like Tomc, we've never had a bad experience in some 15 HAL cruises. Some of us here just like to bring up things for the sake of discussion but don't mean for them to turn nasty.

 

One word of advice in case you haven't seen it before---unless you will be at a table for two, request as large a table as you can get so as not to get stuck at a table for four with a couple that may be incompatible for some reason. The conversation is generally easier with more people to talk to and you meet more nice people. Stop worrying.

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Well put Tomc... The boards are not representative of onboard ship life but - if you separate the wheat from the chafe you can learn a lot and make the most of your trip. Also check the ports of call board for advice on planning your excursions.

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Beckey, you have not made a mistake. Tomc is 100% right on. So well put. If I had seen these boards before my first cruise, I'd be worried too.

 

We've been cruising since 1980. We have met some of our closest friends on cruises. We've cruised Royal Viking, Cunard, Regency, Celebrity, Windstar, Holland America to name a few. In the past year I've gotten some valuable information on these boards so I keep on reading. Some just have fun being negative, some (IMHO) are over critical.

 

I've never met a cruise I didn't like. And, in fact, with the exception of a few passengers in the distance, I've never met one single person on a cruise who I didn't have fun with.

I can't remember if anyone answered your direct questions. You can bring wine and you pay a corkage fee in the dining room. If you just want some in your cabin you still might be better off just pre-ordering it from Ship's Services. If you don't want to go to formal night, you can always choose alternative dining. But the truth is, HAL would prefer everyone dress for formal nights. But you won't be thrown overboard if you don't.;)

 

HAL and Celebrity are 2 of our favorites. There's nothing snooty about either one. We're just a little older than you and we've found that these lines have a nice balance of people in all age groups, but certainly in ours. So look forward to it and let us know how it went when you get back! I'm almost positive you will not be even a little disappointed.

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Well put Tomc... The boards are not representative of onboard ship life but - if you separate the wheat from the chafe you can learn a lot and make the most of your trip. Also check the ports of call board for advice on planning your excursions.

Bravo Jacqueline and Tomc, life is too short to worry about anything when you are on the cruise, 99% of folks here will do what they think is right and will not change their opinion about anything that got heated discussion here on this board.

We have taken 23 cruises for the last 5 years, we enjoyed all of them, and booked 2 more for 2004! IMO cruise give you the best value for travelling to other parts of the world. Enjoy and book your cruise!

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From the words of another Rodney,"We CAN get along if we put in a little effort." There will always be a variety of personalities. We make our own choices how to respond.

We have been on many HAL cruises and will continue to do so as long as we are able(two more are currently booked)

We choose how much to tip and to whom.

We don`t drink alcoholic beverages,but respect the right of those that do.

We don`t smoke,but respect their right also.

If drinks are smuggled aboard;that is none of our buisness.This is something they have to live with.

We have thoroughly enjoyed every cruise we have been on with HAL.

In the words of another great philosopher,"If it ain`t broke don`t fix it.

YOU HAVE NOT MADE A MISTAKE !

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Some of the post on this board makes it sound like a very “snooty” vacation. But I don’t want to be locked on a huge floating hotel with a bunch of folks that look down their nose at others. :eek: [/color][/size][/font]

 

 

Beckey - don't let the small group of regulars scare you. Sure they are snooty and look down their nose at others who dislike formal night or want to bring their own beverage on board. But you won't find many folks like them on board.

 

Most pax I have come across don't care what someone wear's. Don't care if they brought a bottle of their favorite beverage on board. I really don't understand why some folks here are so judgemental and worry so much about what others do. It doesn't affect them in the least. yet we still get silly comments like "people wearing formal and informal wear can not co-exist".

 

Thats ridiculous I say. We are all individuals. Who cares what someone wears. I don't judge someone by their clothing - and my experience is most people don't. Unfortunately there are the handful that do - and they certainly let you know it here. Trust me - don't let it bother you - you will still have a great time on vacation no matter what cruiseline you sail on

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The first 4 things you listed is what you will get. The 2nd 4 things you listed you will not get because you are not looking for that. You sound like the glass is half full personality so you will do fine on your first cruise. The first one usually is your most impressive since it is all so new to you. You either get hooked or not. Two type of people: cruisers and noncruisers. Noncruisers are the ones complaining here that for some reason that keep going back for more punishment to their well being. I bet they have high blood pressure and mulitple failures in life too. If you are indeed a true cruisers you overlook little things like what others wear, who is drinking from their own bottle of booze or a few line breakers, chair hogs, slobs and snobs.

Everyone is right. What you read here is a small percentage of the ones who do a cruise. On the average ship of 2000 on any given week of the year you will have about 50 online cruise chatters. That's 2 1/2% of say this group.

Of that 2 1/2 % only about 1/4 of them are the glass is half empty crowd that will complain when the steward forgot to fill their ice bucket one day out of 7 or they ordered a well done steak and it came medium. A cruise is the ultimate vacation once you find out what it is all about. My advice is for everyone at sometime in their lifetime do at least one cruise. Do the first one then you will know if you will go back or not but no harm in taking the plunge for the experience to at least say "been there, done that, got the Tshirt".

What you do learn here are valuable tips you can't find anywhere else.

Like you learn this past month that the corkage fee increased from $10 to $15 with tip added or something like that. So you decide is it really worth bringing my favorite 2BuckChuck bottle of wine with me when it will cost me 4 times as much to drink it at my table. You can still drink it in your room for $2 (bring your own corkscrew) or you can decide to preorder the house wine for less money and a whole lot less hassle then bringing your own bottle.

Have you ever had a bottle burst in your suitcase? It does happen. You learn here tips on excursions that can save you money. Tips on where certain things are on the ship you otherwise might miss on your own. Certain food items that are better than others. You can't always go by things like this show was awful or that cruise director was horrible because when you go your week those people may not be there since the ships change over entertainment from time to time. Same goes for having a bad waiter or steward. There are a few new unexperience staff on every ship every line.

Odds are you won't get that same person or entertainer so why worry about it. I could go on with tips and tidbits about your cruise but you see I don't know who you will get or will see your week. Read the posts in this way to learn not be leary or afraid of unpleasant things to happen your week.

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From what I have been able to learn – this is a BIG BOAT and there should be enough room for everyone to spread out (so to speak). What am I missing here – have we made a huge mistake. Some of the post on this board makes it sound like a very “snooty” vacation.

You didn't make a mistake. I too am new to HAL - not new to cruising though and have sailed on various cruiselines. As someone who's participated on different cruise boards for many years now, the same hot-topic debates happen all the time. Don't take them literally as a representation of the people and experiences you will find onboard. As far as the "snooty" part of this board.. I too was taken a bit at first. Then I realized it was just a few selected individuals who I think don't realize they are coming across that way or don't care if they do. I highly doubt I'll run across such individuals onboard. Maybe on Crystal lines. but not on HAL which I think is just another cruiseline more catered to adults - not to the elite. So.. you shouldn't worry. There are still a few others that pop up now and then that are among the "average joe cruiser". I can say that of the people I've been talking to online that are going on my particular sailing.. none of them come across as some "elite" class of cruiser. All seem genuinely nice people I would enjoy sailing with.

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Beckey,

 

Like the others have said, you have definitly not made a mistake. A cruise, on a HAL ship in my opinion, in the best vacation you can have. On board, it feels very laid back and relaxed. People really do not worry about all of these silly things we chatter on about here. When I step on to a HAL ship it's like coming home. I feel welcome. When the ship pulls away from the dock, for the first time, I feel every muscle in my body relax as I leave all of my problems on shore.

 

If you have not been on a cruise ship before, you probably do not realise how large it is. The first time I saw one I was amazed. It is a large building that moves. HAL ships are large and have the added advantage of being very uncrowded. There are people around, of course. The space is divided up into lounges and nooks and it is amazing how cozy and private it can feel. There are also spaces for large group activities if that is your choice. The ship is really that big.

 

I have rarely met a person I didn't like. I have never met a person who is consumed with the issues discussed on these boards. I have established some good friendships.

 

As I read these message boards, I read a lot of postings written with very broad strokes, painting a picture of a carnivalesque atmosphere that I have never witnessed on HAL ship. There are no fashion police, there is no one forcing anyone to pose for or buy photographs and no one to my knowledge is being embarassed for having brought anything on board or for any reason at all. HAL really does have a lot more class than that.

 

People on message board often have their own agendas. Some just seem to enjoy bashing HAL right now. Some people just like to do that. Some people think that seeing something negative means that they are smarter than other people who don't see it. They somehow think that others are fools or something like that. (This is a general statement, not directed at any individual)

 

Don't mind them. HAL has been in business for a very long time and has many satified customers with tastes just like yours, including me. You will have a good time.

 

Relax and enjoy yourself. Have a wonderful cruise.

 

Linda ;)

 

No flames, please

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Definitely not a mistake - take everything someone says on this board with a grain of salt. They are speaking from THEIR experience and perspective, whereas you may view the same experience differently.

 

Before our first cruise, which was to Alaska, someone on this board warned us that the ship may be creaking and making noises as it adjusted to weather, because it was the first Alaskan trip of the season. Did this put us off? NO WAY. We went and had a great time and there was no creaking that we noticed. So, each one views things differently and the people on this board are just a small percentage of those that sail away on a cruise.

Have a great cruise! I am sure you will love it.

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Remember that there are thousands, and thousands that cruise every week. This board is a very, very small sampling. Remember, people who had a great trip don't complain, the few that have a problem feel they have to tell everyone else about it.

 

I think some go on board the ship looking for negatives just so they can post about it. Remember there are no group activities you HAVE to participate in. I go on vacation with my wife, not 2000 friends.

 

People posted many negatives about the Norway, we found it quite nice. Book a cruise and enjoy. Our 15th cruise coming up this fall.

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I don't think you've made a mistake (unless it was waiting so long to book your first cruise!). We're in our early 50's and started cruising 18 years ago. We have enjoyed all 12 of our cruises except one (we are just not Carnival people). We've met lots of interesting people, seen some great places, and find it the most relaxing type of vacation we can take. These boards can be very helpful in answering questions from those that have taken similar cruises but I find it best for me to avoid the long threads on the "hot" topics.

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Hi!

I like coming to these boards for the main purpose of gathering information that I need for upcoming cruises. I will tell you that I have learned so much from the folks who post here! Use the boards as you need them and after your cruise come back and "listen" to all the excited people getting ready for their "trips of a lifetime."

 

I too was nervous about cruising and snobs...but we quickly overcame our fears and have gone on three cruises and have another one booked. They are the best vacations imaginable and just go and ENJOY!! There really is something for everyone--we took four generations last summer and it was wonderful!!

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Beckey,

 

Based upon what you've written, I agree with most of the rest that you'll have a wonderful time! Go and enjoy yourself and don't worry about any of the nay-sayers or the factionalism one might find here.

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Beckey, Go and enjoy your cruise..you'll LOVE it. Also remember one very important thing.

 

I can guarantee you that ALL of the people on this board who seem to be griping and moaning will NOT be on the same cruise with you at the same time if at ANY time!:D

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Beckey, Go and enjoy your cruise..you'll LOVE it. Also remember one very important thing.

 

I can guarantee you that ALL of the people on this board who seem to be griping and moaning will NOT be on the same cruise with you at the same time if at ANY time!:D

And even if they are, Beckey, remember that each and every one of them has cruised a gizillion times and they just keep doing it so it can't be all that bad!!!!!! You will have an amazing time. You can hold me to that and come and get me if I'm wrong. That's how sure I am. Godspeed and bon voyage:)

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You will have such a wonderful time with your husband you won't even notice the other passengers. When we have shared tables for dinner, we have gotten to know those cruisers, but for the most part we are on vacation to be with one another or with the children, not to worry about anyone else onboard. If I chat with someone on the elevator, thats fine. If they are nice, all the better, but if they are not, I probably wouldn't run in to them again anyway. It isn't like the freshmen mixers at college where you end up paired with a stranger, you'll be with your spouse and any amount off contact with other passengers is totally up to you. If someone comes to formal night in a muscle shirt and shorts, may they enjoy the fine meal every bit as much as my husband and I will in our formal attire. Other people's clothes don't affect my vacation at all.

You will have a wonderful time.:)

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If someone comes to formal night in a muscle shirt and shorts, may they enjoy the fine meal every bit as much as my husband and I will in our formal attire. Other people's clothes don't affect my vacation at all.

 

:) :) :)

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It's the Cartoon Network in print. It's the SciFi Channel online.

 

People in Bombay are scrambling thru garbage dumps looking for scraps of food. Marines are being beheaded in Iraq. I recently spoke at the funeral of a friend who got blown up in Baghdad. I, personally, don't give a rat's @ for anyone whose biggest worry is getting alcohol on board, or if the Baked Alaska march is hokey or the Cruise Director is invisible.

 

).

Well said!!

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