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Ahhh, yes the Big Red Boat! We were on the Oceanic. That was our first cruise and the last BIG family vacation. That was in 1986 we've been hooked ever since. I wish I had a camera to take the picture of my boys jaws dropping as the saw the ship for the first time! It was priceless!!! :D

That vacation included our flight, 4 nt cruise, rental car, 3 day tickets to WDW, hotel......my boys still talk about it and love to look back at the pictures.

 

That cruise really wasn't the greatest, but since it was our first cruise we didn't know any better. Our cabin was tiny, two sets of bunks, with 2 bathrooms. It was the most foreword cabin on deck 3 in the bow of the ship, the cabin was almost cone shaped being so far foreword. If you wanted to take the suitcases out from under the bed, everyone had to go out in the hall. :D :eek: :D It was hysterical to say the least, but none of us comlained. I remember my younger son age 14 at the time, said he couldn't get over how much fun he was having, snorkling at Salt Cay, the teen club and the BBQ lunch on the island. Our older son 17 at the time was more into the girls and we harldy saw him! ;)

 

It was one of the best vacations ever and we treasure that quality family time. They grow up too fast and time gets away, now with families of their own, I hope they too can create that same kind of memory.

 

***

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Another one here whose "first time" was on the Big Red Boat (though I cannot say which one). I believe it was in 1987, and it definitely turned my sister and I on to cruising. It was the only vacation we ever took as a family (sis and I were shipped off to summer camp, which we loved, every year instead), and we loved it.

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:D This was our first cruise. It was a 3 day cruise Walt Disney combo honeymoon in 1988.We were on the oceanic. I was sea sick the first night. After that we had a great time. I also celebrated my 22nd. birthday. Thanks to cruise critic I know now to to take dramamine with us this cruise. We also are taking our 13 and 8yr. old children. Our 13yr. old is going to wear the t-shirt I got on from our snorkling trip:rolleyes:

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:D This was our first cruise. It was a 3 day cruise Walt Disney combo honeymoon in 1988.We were on the oceanic. I was sea sick the first night. After that we had a great time. I also celebrated my 22nd. birthday. Thanks to cruise critic I know now to to take dramamine with us this cruise. We also are taking our 13 and 8yr. old children. Our 13yr. old is going to wear the t-shirt I got on from our snorkling trip:rolleyes: at salt cay.

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The Oceanic was also our first and only cruise. We did the cruise / Disney trip for our Honeymoon in April of 1989. We always said we wanted to go again. Now after all this time I am taking our 11 year old son on the Pearl. My DH is staying home and I wish we hadn't waited so long. I have decided I'm not going to wait so long for my next cruise. I told my son it will be exciting to see the difference between that Big Red Boat and the Pearl.

Mel

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I worked aboard Premier Cruise Line from 1987 - 1991 including the Inaugural Seasons of the Star/Ship Atlantic and Star/Ship Majestic, but also served aboard the Star/Ship Royale and Star/Ship Oceanic.

 

The Royale was the 1st Premier Cruise Line vessel. A partnership was struck with Disney to become the 'Official Cruise Line of Walt Disney World'. The characters and escorts aboard ship were Disney employees from the park and rotated every 2 weeks (4 cruises). Premier was not owned by Disney, in fact they were owned by Dial Corp (who also owned Greyhound). Premier Cruises was the brainchild of Bruce Nurenburg and Bjorner Hermanon, both of NCL (and the failed American Family Cruises and Scandinavian World Cruises). Premier Cruise Line brought family cruising into the mass market of cruising with organized programs, specialized staff and facilities specialized for and even exclusive to children. However, the product also accomodated adults with casinos, some adult venue entertainment and a relatively fine dining experience for exceptional values.

 

When the Royale left the fleet, the Atlantic (now MSC's Melody) joined the Oceanic (and is still named Oceanic with Spain's Pullmantur today). Both Oceanic and Atlantic were former Home Lines ships, the Royale was Costa's Frederico C. The Oceanic and Atlantic were the largest, most sophisticated ships sailing the 3/4 day Bahama run at that time (Emerald Seas, Sunward II, Carnivale & Mardi Gras were the competition).

 

Shortly after the Atlantic was introduced, Premier purchased Princess Cruises Sun Princess (the 'original' Love Boat) and rebuilt her as Star/Ship Majestic. In conjunction with the new addition, Majestic's smaller size and shallow draft was purposeful to a new itinierary to the Abaco family out islands. "Abacodabra! There's Magic Aboard!" was born. In a specially dredged basin, Majestic was anchored at Great Guana Cay and shuttles were run to the habited islands of Treaure Cay, Man-O-War Car and Green Turtle Cay. Great Guana was the focus and it was beyond any other out island experience at that point in time. However, it was fragile to weather and Majestic was too often diverted to Nassau, disapponting guests. This was also when the 'Big Red Boat' logo and marketing campaign was conceived. Most crew balked about being referred to as the Big Red Boat, but indeed many passengers knew not which ship they were on other than the RED one.Majestic was eventually moved to Tampa for short Mexican cruises as the cost in the Abacos was exceeding the benefits.

 

Premier also lost the Disney partnership, as mentioned, Disney decided to venture into it's own cruise company. Premier partnered with Looney Toons / Warner Bothers in keeping the family market draw and a similar product. But the market was changing, new large ships were being deployed into the short cruise market, and cruise companies modeled family and children programs after the Premier formula. Premier's older ships could no longer compete. Premier was loosing it's niche and revenues dropped. Majestic left the fleet (becoming Flamenco and now New Flamenco - and no longer red hulled). Then Atlantic was turned over to MSC and still runs as Melody (also white hulled). Only the Oceanic remained.

 

Premier then partnered / merged with Dolphin cruises to now include the 'Breezes' as well as the Seawind Crown. Premier's identity was scattered amoungst older ships with an array of styles. The Big Red Boat campaign continued and SOME of the ships were renamed, some maintained original names and some carried both. The Eugenio C was added as another Big Red Boat as was the Rotterdam (to become Rembrandt after an outcry NOT to turn the beloved Rotterdam into another Big Red Boat). But still the product identity floundered, as did revenue and the increasing fuel cost and maintenance of an old fleet of ships.

 

Premier went belly up, ships were seized and some were purchased while others were laid up and eventually scrapped. Rembrandt, was purchased by a Rotterdam company and is still in restoration to her original Rotterdam condition and will be permantently be berthed in her namesake port as a museum, training center and accomodation novelty. Oceanic still sails for Spanish cruise company Pullmantur (now owned by Royal Caribbean International) and her future beyond 2010 is uncertain. Atlantic sails as Melody, Majestic is New Flamenco. The Dolphin cruise contributions Oceanbreeze, Island Breeze, Seawind Crown have all been scrapped (as was the Dolphin IV) and the ship that started Premier, the Royale, became Seabreeze prior to the merger and sunk off the eastern seaboard during the financial foundering of Premier.

 

In it's day, Premier was a hallmark, innovative, good value, great quality, energetic and a trailblazer. Every cruise product I worked for afterward, and every cruise product I sail today, I can see seeds planted by Premier Cruise Line.

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Hi Tampa Mike . It couldn't have been said any better.We cruised on the BRB 4 times 2 on the Oceanic one on the Atlantic and one on the Majestic .From 1990 to 1998 . In may of 1991 we did back to back cruise on the Oceanic 3 day"s and 4 days on the Majestic to the Abaco"s .That was the best ports we ever done in the Bho. . Maybe you were on one of those cruises . The other 2 cruise was as part of B2B cruises .My boys were young then .The last time we did the BRB was on the Alandtic.On that cruise is when Disney was coming out for sure !! The long faces on the crew that cruise .They saw the end nearing!We love the BRB alot .Always had a great time .As good as the Disney we did outside of the ship!! We also did the American family cruise and like it alot !! But i could see where it wasn"t going to work !!We just got off the Noordam 11 days round trip from NYC .Love it .I think the best HAL of the 7 we have taken .Alot of people were mad that HAL was leaving NYC for wintertime cruises !!

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Hi Tampa Mike . It couldn't have been said any better.We cruised on the BRB 4 times 2 on the Oceanic one on the Atlantic and one on the Majestic .From 1990 to 1998 . In may of 1991 we did back to back cruise on the Oceanic 3 day"s and 4 days on the Majestic to the Abaco"s .

 

Mr Veendam,

 

I was aboard Majestic in May of 1991. During that time I believe I was Shore Excursions Manager, and managed the Dolphin Program.

 

I will also be sailing Veendam for a few weeks in May. I was aboard her the few weeks after Thanksgiving this past fall.

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Hi wow you were on the same cruise . The Majestic was a very small ship .But we had a great time .Also on that vacation it was the first time we were on the Oceanic since she left Home Lines . Having cruise on her a few times .Do you remember having the night time show's on the beach with the Majestic in the back round !!We have video"s of us with my son who was 6 months old at the time floating in the water in a tube !! We love that island .And yes we would have been very disappointed if the ship could not have made it to the Abco"s !! Also on the Oceanic we did Blue Lagoon island .At that time it was free .You didn"t have to buy it like we did on latter cruises on the BRB.Also a great out island .One of our favorites !! The B2B cruises we did on both was was made a great 7 day cruise !! I would do it again today if offer !! I love the Veendam i had lunch on her in NYC this past fall in NYC.Been on her 4 times !! She still looked great !! We may do a full Pamma canal cruise on her in 2010 if they offer it ! You know i just had maybe the best cruise i ever had on HAL on the Noordam .I love anytime dinning . I also found the food in the main dinning room to be the best i have ever had on HAL .Now it was always good before. But i did fine it on the bleand side. Not on this cruise .Maybe some of the best meal"s i have had on any cruise in some time !!I also remember we would stay a few day's after our cruises on the BRB in Port Car. i would head over to jetty park to see the ship go out !! I love that park .Have a great time on the Veendam.

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Majestic's 'Abacodabra' cruise was one of the most unique I have encountered, but when the weather cooperated. It was a very difficult cruise to work, but we took pride in setting the bar higher for the Out Island experience.

 

The nightime island show and bar-b-que was magical indeed. The passengers were rallied up to rescue the 'wench' kidnapped from the dining room by the roque pirates (i.e. cruise staff). Then they were tendered ashore to rescue the 'wench', enjoy a show and nightime festivities. Except for the mosquitos, it was paradise. I have many pictures of Majestic at anchor, especially at night all lit up from a torch lit beach. The Island Show 'headliner' was Marvin Hemfield (DAY - OH!) with his signature enourmous buccaneer hat. That was followed by the Junkanoo parade to the pavillion for an evening of dining, dancing and games under the stars. Even the crew joined in (there was nowhere else to go). The large tender 'Treasure Queen' circled the ship at night, Caribbean band playing and rum punch flowing.

 

I would return to my cabin each night, completely exhausted. But it was worth it.

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Hi check this out i found it on youtube . It"s not us . But we did do the Starship Oceanic along with the Costa Romantic as back to back cruise in Feb. of 1995 !! My 2 boy's were the same age as the 2 girls !! They had a ball.

 

 

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That UTube slideshow is from the Atlantic, post Disney days when Warner Brothers was aboard (Looney Tunes). They were in a Lounge Deck Cabin and the show was "Legends in Concert' which was only on Oceanic and Atlantic.

 

The tender shots are of the Calypso.

 

I had left Premier by then (April 92) and was then aboard Royal Cruise Line's Crown Odyssey.

 

FYI, I was aboard Majestic when you sailed in May of 1991. I was also aboard Majestic when she burned in July of 1991. We had the lifeboats loaded and were about to lower away when the engine room fire was brough under control. We were adrift for 2 days and towed back to Port Canveral with no power, a fully loaded sailing. That experience I am sure is still in the minds of many former junior cruisers.

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Wow i"m just sitting here reading this .It"s like it was yesterday for me !! My first son on that cruise is going to the Navy academy later this year after graduate .He would someday like to make Cap. on a cruise ship .He and his brother has been on over 20 cruises .He"s 17 now .He loves going on cruises .not so the younger son !! Yes i remember now that fire.Boy that must have been scary !! I really like Legends in concert !! I wish more cruises lines would use it too insted of the same old shows!! Great everytime we saw it on BRB !! We alway got the tuck in at night for the boy"s on all our BRB cruises !! And the breakfast with them too !! All & All i think it was as good as Disney is today !! The cruise .You guy"s did a great job . You know after 70 cruises .I still remember the Majesty & Oceanic cruise as being great !!! I belong to the Worldship port of NY branch .And telling them i was taking the family on the BRB .You should have saw there faces !! I would alway get how could they do that to the Oceanic!! I still love her .And hoping we can get on her with Pullmenta cruises before they take her out of service .A friend of mine did her last summer and said she"s uin good shape for her age !!

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I took my family on what was supposed to have been my honeymoon cruise in June 1999. Wedding was called off by the fiance, I had already paid for the cabin which was and oceanview that slept 5. I had my dad to pay the 5th person fee, took the fiance off the reservation added dad and stepmom. This cruise hooked the daughter and I on cruising. She had her 10th birthday on the ship. She decided one day that she didn't want to do what the kids group was doing so she went back to the cabin of course we were not there so she sat in the hall at the door and cried until we found her. I spent the entire cruise quesy and the time after Blue Lagoon island sunburnt. My husband treated us to our second cruise for mine and his first anniversary, his son's graduation/18th birthday and my daughter's 14th birthday. We went to the Bahamas again via RCCL Majesty of the Seas. Still we are both hooked unfortunately I am on disability and a recent widow so can't afford to cruise as we would like. We will be cruising in July for her belated graduation gift before she leaves for college. After she finishes school and is making money maybe she will see fit to take mom on cruises with her dime. Still the BRB has great memories.

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We were on the Oceanic in 94, and that was my first cruise. I remember that the room was cramped and I slept on the top bunk the first night and I got sick. While I know the ship was small it still seemed SOOOO big! I look at the pictures today and I think wow thats nothing compared to today's ships! But it was one of the only family vacations we took before my parents got divorced!!

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I was on the BRB in Dec of 96 for a Nascar cruise, I was 17 years old at the time. I was on the BRB once before this cruise. I had a great time. I am a Looney Tunes fan, so this cruise fit well with me.

I miss the looney tunes.

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We took our kids on a "grown up" cruise years ago. Our ship was berthed next to the Big Red Boat. When it left port, its whistle blasted notes of the tune, "When You Wish Upon A Star". One sad look from my kids told me us that Mom and Dad had picked the wrong ship for kids to be on.

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Its funny you mention the horn. I do not remember much from that cruise. But I do remember that! And I remember the white plastic cups that hat the big red boat logo. Looking at someones pictures I still cant believe how we thought that ship was big.

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I was on the Oceanic many times back in the 1970's.....it was quite teh ship & teh food & service was tops....last time I saw her was 3 years ago in Barcelona....a classic - she still looks modern & beautiful...altho its not Home Lines....a wonderful ship & the first to have the magradome over the pools....the ship was originally built to do transatlantic crossings with 2 classes.

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Didn't realize that there are two threads for this topic.

 

As posted on the other site, we had our first cruise on the Star/Ship Royale and it only gave us a huge hunger for more cruises.

 

Great experience for my DH and me.

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My first cruising experience was with Big Red Boat. I don't remember which ship but I do remember visiting Nassau as one of ports and the ship had no stabilizers. It was during the time when Disney stopped partnering with them. After Big Red Boat's decline, my family and I switched to Carnival. We've been cruising with them ever since.

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My first cruising experience was with Big Red Boat. I don't remember which ship but I do remember visiting Nassau as one of ports and the ship had no stabilizers. It was during the time when Disney stopped partnering with them. After Big Red Boat's decline, my family and I switched to Carnival. We've been cruising with them ever since.

 

 

Big Red Boat was not our first cruise, but it was the 1st cruise we took our daughters on. Part of a Disney package, 3 nights at Disney and 4 night cruise. Our daughters now 36 and 41 still talk about it. In fact this Christmas we are all going on RCCL Liberty,, the daughters, son in laws, and grandkids. Making more memories!:)

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Our first cruise on Premier Cruise Lines Big Red Boat Star Ship Majestic, in 1991. This photo was taken from their private island, Great Guyana Cay, once we got off the tender. I'll never forget the hard chocolate ship cookies... However, the rest of the cruise was really wonderful! It was my first time at age 11. I've been hooked ever since...

20190207_192126.jpg

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Originally ordered by NCL, with a planned name of MV Seaward. The building yard experienced financial difficulties, so she was purchased by P&O during construction and launched as the Spirit of London. When P&O purchased Princess Cruises, she was renamed Sun Princess, although affectionately known as "Fun" Princess by those of us that worked on her.

 

Her sister ship was the NCL vessel MV Southward, but they had different funnels, with the SoL being launched with a more traditional P&O funnel.

 

Sold to Premier Cruises in the late 1980's. 

 

She was abandoned by owners and finally sank off a Thailand port a few years ago. I believe she is still lying on her side and awaiting salvage.

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