Cruising for Fun, Not War

Capt MJ

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@OldRetSWO
Nice class cruise coming up - where are you going? I take it’s not one from the Alumni Travel brochures that come in. We always look at those, but haven’t tried one.

We invariably meet sea service people on our cruises. There is something immensely satisfying about setting Sea and Anchor detail from a comfortable spot with an adult beverage, or critiquing line-handling, pierside maneuvering or other shipboard evolutions.

Extra points to posters if you can cross-connect with The 🥓🥓🥓 Thread. This thread is meant as a place to relax and share past and future adventures, as a respite from serious conversations in the main forums.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
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We're going Liquordale to Cozumel via Bahamas, Jamaica and Grand Cayman.
Not an Alumni Travel organized outing. Some folks in my company were looking to do a cruise together and the class went and organized
something before we did. Although the overall number is not large for this our first cruise, we have four from my company and some others who are
longtime friends.
That said, I would guess that you know some of the people that are on the list.
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
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Oh and to be honest, my wife and I are cruise virgins and this is something that we've wanted to do for some time but other things
got in the way like doctors, work, etc.
 

Capt MJ

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Nice itinerary, different island groups. We like a sea day every few days, as we find a port-a-day too intense. We haven’t done any of the Caribbean via cruise ship. Too much sun management for me, though I miss watersports. I’ll be interested in how you find the experience, along with your evaluation of the cruise line and ports visited. Always fascinated by others’ reports.

For many long-time cruisers, once you find the cruise line that fits your style and budget, meets your quality cut, gets you places you want to go, it feels like seeing old friends, to return to that cruise line is like having a favorite hotel chain. You figure out if you like mega-ships with non-stop activity, or the <350 pax where they are not up on the 1MC every minute. It’s all about the fit; they all have their market segment.

We are off to British Columbia and Alaska for 2 weeks this summer. A bucket list item. Orcas, eagles, bears, national parks.
 
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Capt MJ

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With you on that. One of our favorite all-time cruises was on Cunard Sea Goddess I, 100 pax, as I recall. It now sails as the Sea Dream Yacht Club, with her former Goddess II sister. No evening shows, just a very talented piano bar artist. One blackjack table, no casino. Unbelievable staff:: guest ratio. Sigh. But we learned what we liked and found our niche. I’m a dedicated reader of Cruise Critic pro reviews and passenger reviews, though I sure don’t get as gabby there as I seem to do here. [emoji38]
 

OldRetSWO

USNA 78/parent 11/BGO for >25yrs
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My mom and sister have taken many cruises and strongly recommend the line we're going on. They just got back from a month long jaunt from Dubai to Hong Kong and enjoyed it.
My wife and I are taking this one but what we really want to try next is a river cruise in Europe.
 

Capt MJ

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River cruise, yes, bucket list item, so many itineraries. DH wants to do a Christmas market cruise. I think my chestnuts would freeze before I had a chance to eat them.

Good to know family members can give you honest reviews of the cruise line. Best kind of gouge.

We always book through that firm we all seem to have auto and property insurance with. Good discounts, good cruise-finder tool. I’ve been booking with the same guy for over 15 years.
 

Devil Doc

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There I was — waiting on the bus... and watching “Dream Cruises” on AWE channel as I keyboard this. My daughter and SIL did a Caribbean cruise for their honeymoon a few years ago. My wife and I have talked about a cruise for years but haven’t. She’s a long time skin cancer patient so we would probably do the Alaskan trip. I’ve told her for years to get a passport and we’ll go somewhere.

My daughter is a manager for a large global corporation with a boondoggle I mean conference in London this summer. She asked DW if she wants to go. Before the ‘s’ in yes came out of her mouth, she was online filling out the application for her passport. I guess I’ll stay home and watch the Travel channel.
 

Capt MJ

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Devil Doc, go old school and book psssage on one of Cunard’s Queens out of NY to Southampton, at least one way. Avoid jet lag, arrive rested, or go home in style and arrive truly refreshed back home. Cunard is truly an old-school liner service, point A to point B. Just a thought.

 

Devil Doc

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@Capt MJ thanks, this is more my cup of tea.

“They have consumed more than 8,400,000 cups of tea” from queenmarycruises.net

Hopefully they have coffee.
 

Capt MJ

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Virgin’s website is reliably and enjoyably cheeky. We have flown Virgin Air and liked it. It will be a good experience, I’m sure, and I will look forward to reading reviews. The ship’s names are fun, but at 2700 pax, the size is outside our comfort range. We have figured out over the years we like the smaller ships that can go pierside in smaller ports and not out on the hook and dependent on tender service and cooperative sea state. We were pierside in the Orkney Islands and the Shetland Islands on a cruise, and watched the bigger ships anchor outside the sea wall. It was too windy and rough (for civilian cruisers) to launch shore boats. They upped anchor and left.

It all depends on how you like to cruise, and it’s fun figuring that out.
 

justdoit19

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SAF cruise [emoji568] who’s in? I can see it now...no one knows who is who until the reception. Unless wearing a BaconUp shirt of course 🥓
 

A1Janitor

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I was on one of Norwegian’s large ships. Like 4,000 passengers iirc. Beautiful ship. Way too many people. And too many ports not enough days sailing ... which means the spa and casino are closed down too much.

I was on a Holland America ship - was excellent - did it before kids were born and wouldn’t bring kids. I think it had 2000.

Carnival - never again.

Royal Caribbean out of Baltimore - to Bermuda was one of my favorites. Smaller - like 900. Went to Bermuda so there was like five days at sea - and in port for like two days. Perfect time to go to the beach or go on jet skis, etc.

My father likes the more upper class ships - trans Atlantic, Mediterranean voyages - several weeks.
 

Capt MJ

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You bring up good points for developing a personal preferences cruise profile:
- sea days vs port call ratio preferred
- activities available, whether spa, casino, water sports, etc.
- kid-friendly or not
- nightlife
- all-inclusive (airfare, transfers, shore excursions, beverages, WiFi, tips and so on) or broken out in packages
- price points


There is a cruise line and style for everyone.
 

HCopter

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May 16, 2017
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I'm no expert, but here is what we have done:

Viking River Cruise - Paris to Normandy, July 2015
Viking River Cruise - Rhine Getaway, July 2017
Norwegian Dawn - Canada + New England, June 2019 - Comedian Jose Sarduy said he was a USAFA grad!! Anyone know him?

Bucket list: Viking Ocean - Viking Homelands, and walk the Narrows in Zion National Park (I know, not really related but those are my top choices!)

I prefer the river cruises so far. Not as many choices, and I like being told what to do, when to eat, what time to line up. Excellent for powering down to 20% operating capacity and just enjoy the vacation. I also liked they timed everything so you can eat on the ship for all meals!
 
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