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What is it about cruising that got you hooked?


Jerel
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My first sailing was on the Enchantment, an after thought to my trip to the Kennedy Space Center. I never did much research or planning, other than enough to choose Royal over Carnival. Point is I didn't know what to expect, I went in knowing nothing.

I was completely blown away, the crew, the food, the entertainment, it was all very impressive.

But for me the big thing was the freedom. On our other land vacations we had to rent a car (no drinking) and spent much time going from attraction to attraction, very busy. But on the ship I had no keys in my pocket, no phone, and even no wallet! There was many things I could do onboard or even in port if I choose. I felt free to do what I want when I want. I could even get separated from my wife if desired (shhh).

 

So what was it for you?

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My first cruise experience was a blessing from heaven.   Being a performer in Miami, our group played many of the clubs around the area in the mid 70's.  Our agent booked us NCL ships for the summer...The Skyward, The Sunward, The Seaward, The Southward.  We transferred between each ship when coming back to Miami.  Was a wonderful experience.  After leaving the "music" business, I knew that I would always want to be "at sea".  Of course, everything was paid for including food/passage and we were paid to boot!    After that season was over, I knew that it would be a while before I would ever be able to afford that kind of luxury.  Now I can go on a cruise as much at the retirement budget will allow...and I would be aboard at every opportunity!   Nothing like the "good old days" at sea,   

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Enchantment of the Seas was also my First Cruise!!! I think what I enjoy most, is being able to go on the ship, and not have to worry, or stress, about normal things you would bring on Vacation. Where are we going to stay, what are we going to eat, what are we going to do for Fun? It's all on the Ship!!! All of the staff on the ship, does a wonderful job, to go above and beyond, to make you feel very pampered!!! Royal Caribbean is my Favorire Cruise line. I did try a few other lines, in between my last cruise with Royal Caribbean in 2007, and my upcoming cruise on May 15th 2016, on Allure OTS. I can pretty much say, from this point forward, I will only want to go on Royal Caribbean ships.

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My first time was a 4 year enlistment in the Navy on the USS Yosemite (AD19) 1974-1978.  Two Med cruises, 2 Caribbean and up and down the east coast.  Of course it wasn't the same but I liked being on the water.  After that my first was my honeymoon on a Carnival in 94.  Don't recall the boat but had a good time.  Took to 2012 to get to Royal, my wifes brother (Diamond Plus) talked us into the Oasis.  Been on a death spiral ever since.

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Always loved the water and had boats, when very young it was rowboats and small runabouts at our summer lake house. Then moved on the the ocean and having boats in and around Boston Harbor. So cruising was a natural extension to my activities on the water. But then I saw the great value and that everything was available to guest made it a winner. Now with much bigger ships, more ports and upgraded cruises it has become even better.

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I was raised in Massachusetts, on a lake, so water has always been a huge part of my life. My dad had two boats, a Cris-Craft (beautiful and powerful boat) and another smaller one. I was allowed to ride, drive, ski behind, whatever I wanted. That is where the love of the water comes in. I took my first cruise to Alaska in the mid 1990s. I remember it was with Princess but don't remember the ship. I fell in love right there. First with Alaska and next with cruising. The next cruise was two years later on RCCL to Alaska again. I love the freedom of cruising, back when I first cruised there were no phones, computers and fax machines. It was a vacation where I was powered down. Everything was included and you could take a year to pay for the cruise. I could de-stress and relax in many different ways and get to visit places I thought I would never see.

 

Since retirement I try to take a cruise every six weeks. Of course, the problem is the money to pay for it. But so far in 2015 I took a total of 7 cruises and because of surgery I haven't been able to cruise in 2016, but I have a cruise planned for every month from August through December 2016 and from January through May 2017.

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When I was young I had a shortwave radio and I would stay up late at night trying to hear radio stations from all over the world - and I heard many of them from the Caribbean.  I always dreamed about visiting those places, but never thought this lower-middle class kid from the midwest would be able to.

 

Fast forward many years, and my soon-to-be wife and I couldn't really figure out what to do for our honeymoon.  A local travel agent saw our marriage announcement in the paper, and sent us some materials.  We met with her, and wound up booking a cruise...that went to some of the islands I had listened to on that old radio. 

 

We were hooked by the ease of travel by cruising, and being able to sample so many different cultures and foods and music...  And fortunately my wife tolerates me when on the islands I ask the taxi driver to pull over for a moment so I can take a photo of an old radio station tower.  

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When I was young I had a shortwave radio and I would stay up late at night trying to hear radio stations from all over the world - and I heard many of them from the Caribbean.  I always dreamed about visiting those places, but never thought this lower-middle class kid from the midwest would be able to.

 

Fast forward many years, and my soon-to-be wife and I couldn't really figure out what to do for our honeymoon.  A local travel agent saw our marriage announcement in the paper, and sent us some materials.  We met with her, and wound up booking a cruise...that went to some of the islands I had listened to on that old radio. 

 

We were hooked by the ease of travel by cruising, and being able to sample so many different cultures and foods and music...  And fortunately my wife tolerates me when on the islands I ask the taxi driver to pull over for a moment so I can take a photo of an old radio station tower.  

Off topic but radio related:  Back in '75 I was a 15 year old kid with a ham radio license (my dad was into it big time).  We returned to school after Christmas/New Years for 2 days and were blasted with a snowstorm (no, not Tejas, I grew up in coal mine country).  Anyway, we were out of school for over a week.  It was so bad that going outside had lost its appeal, so I started searching the airwaves.  

 

I started conversing with someone via CW (morse code) and it turned out that he was barely 18, was in the Air Force, and was sitting underground in Thule, Greenland.  Radar station on the DEW line I suspect.  Hadn't seen daylight for weeks!  He was making radio contacts in his off time.  We "talked" for a bit and discovered that they had a "Battleship" game in the rec room.  We must have played dozens of sessions of that game over the next few days!

 

To this day I have visiting Greenland on my bucket list.  May have to sail Hurtigruten if the lottery gods bless me!

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When I was almost 10 in 1996 my family went on on a big Christmas family cruise. It wasn't on Royal it was actually on Costa before Carnival bought them. It was an old style ship with a huge main dining room and big huge midnight buffets. IT was an Eastern Caribbean cruise and i remember that first time I went to St. Thomas and thinking wow is this Ocean really beautiful. We all had a great time and ever since then I have been hooked and obsessed with cruises.. We tried out a bunch of different lines including Celebrity before Royal owned it but finally in 2005 I went on my first Royal Caribbean ship and I have never looked back

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Disconnecting from the "real" world ... no phone, no email, no texts, no newspapers and since there is crap on TV no TV so no news there either.

 

Pretty tough to get that disconnected any other way .. think about how many TV's you see with crawl bars running, how many conversations you "overhear" about the latest bad thing in the world, etc.

 

Personally I would be happy to pay to have them NOT upgrade the internet connections aboard ship to keep people from trying to give me updates from the real world.

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My first "cruise" was on the ferry MS Georg Ots from Tallinn, Estonia to Helsinki, Finland. I loved the experience, but didn't realize I could do that overnight despite my fascination with the QE2 and the Australian liner, Canberra. My next "cruise" was many years later with my family on the ferry Ulysses from Holyhead, Wales to Dublin. I paid a little extra for first class, and that was what convinced my wife to go on a cruise eventually. Maybe it was the smooth as glass Irish Sea that day, the service on the ship, the Guinness, I don't know.

 

A couple years later, we were on a water taxi in the ICW in Ft Lauderdale, and we came upon the Oasis in port. I was awed by her, so a few months later, we boarded the Enchantment for a four night cruise, and ever since then, we've been obsessed -- just look at my YouTube play history. At least that's what my kids would say. My obsession, however doesn't prevent them from their excitement about boarding Freedom 35 days from this writing.

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I'm actually lucky that I DID get hooked (did I really just say that ???).  The first 2 cruises I took (Carnival and NCL) were really not much fun at all.  I was sort of "forced" onto my first Carnival cruise with a bunch of women that I didn't know.  Long story...but I had an ok time.  VERY short Bahama weekend cruise on the Elation.  Even THEN it was an OLD ship.  I think the whole trip cost me around $500, including airfare.  I shared an inside cabin with a woman I had never met.  She turned out to be a very nice lady.  I think we were the only 2 people on the entire ship that did not get seasick.  Lucky pairing.

 

The NCL Sky was a few years later.  It was just ok.  I traveled with DD, SIL and some friends.  No significant other at that point.

 

I dragged Dan (finally found a MAN !!) onto a short trip on Grandeur, then sailing out of Tampa.  He did NOT want to go.  His mother (a world class, world traveler) is not fond of cruising and she assured him that he would not be, either.

 

She was wrong.

 

TOGETHER, we found our destiny.

 

I think the reason that we enjoy cruising SO much is a combination of what the PP's have said.  Freedom to do what you want, when you want.  Everything you want and need right at your fingertips )or footsteps, actually).  The kind of service that you will never find on land.  ...and you don't have to cook !  ...or clean up the kitchen !

 

We have evolved over time.  Originally, we went for the ports.  We chose our cruises based on the itinerary...visiting ports we had not visited in the past.  Over time, we began to realize that we really didn't care WHERE we were going, but that the journey was the most important thing and that we just really liked being on the ship(s).

 

So...why do we cruise ?  Because we can !

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As a relatively new cruiser, since my first cruise ever was on board Quantum of the Seas for her first NYE cruise 2014 into 2015, I can say that I simply say that I fell in love with EVERYTHING. As some folks mentioned already, the freedom to do whatever it is that you wish from eating to drinking, to participating in activities to going to shows or even just doing NOTHING while relaxing on your balcony or in your stateroom. Plus, I LOVE being able to "log off" from the real world, social networks and basically be "off the grid" for a while. 

Funny thing is I had no idea I would get hooked on cruising. With the way cruising is portrayed on TV and in movies, I always thought cruising was more for the retired group. As a now 30 year old husband and father, I am happy to know that I was wrong because I could literally cruise all year long lol.   

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Similar to other posters here, I had no idea I'd get hooked on cruising... especially in my mid-20s. I went on my first cruise on Liberty of the Seas in January 2015, and I was obsessed from then on. I went with my now-fiance's family, and they had been on many cruises as a family in the past. I had absolutely no idea of what to expect going in to it, but I fell in love with the freedom of being able to do whatever I wanted, and be able to disconnect from everyday life for a while. It was the most truly relaxing vacation I had ever taken. I'm pretty type-A and feel the need to plan the details of EVERYTHING, but cruising helps to take away some of those stresses. I also love the idea of being able to see many different parts of the world on a single trip, and having your own 'space' to come back to after a long day of exploring. I've been on two additional cruises since my cruise on Liberty last year, and I have many more scheduled. Looking forward to many more adventures at sea!

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My husband and I were invited to go with my parents on a cruise for our second anniversary and we've been hooked ever since. We love the idea of unpacking once and being able to visit many countries. And cruising allows us to unplug- no cellphone or internet usage for us! We enjoy family time - which is another reason cruising will always hold a special place for us.

Between our second and third cruises we tried IVF twice with no success. We were done trying so we decided to go on another cruise. Apparently that cruise was very relaxing because we came back pregnant with our daughter.

This will be our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and we can't wait!

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Funny thing is I had no idea I would get hooked on cruising. With the way cruising is portrayed on TV and in movies, I always thought cruising was more for the retired group. As a now 30 year old husband and father, I am happy to know that I was wrong because I could literally cruise all year long lol.   

 

I was kind in the same boat, so to speak.  I was a little concerned about 'being bored' on the ship (and our first was on Carnival Fascination, hardly a large ship, I think it may have been converted into one of Oasis' lifeboats since then... but a decent size ship by that day's standards).  I remember getting off the plane in San Juan and getting blasted in the face with hot humid air; seeing real live palm trees - PALM TREES! - for the first time; being driven by the bus driver at incredible speeds through town as we were, literally, the last people to get to the ship; and then finally we saw the ship. It was, by far, the biggest machine I had ever seen.  Once we boarded the party atmosphere started and I knew this wasn't a cruise for old people....

 

Leaving what in my mind was like a third-world airport and having that rush of hot hair in my face really left an impression, but what sealed the deal for me was waking up the next morning and peeking out the window from the cabin.  We were docked in what I think is now the Havensight port in St. Thomas.  It was raining just a little bit, and I saw the USVI flag flying, and more palm trees.  I was hooked.

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What a fun thread, I've enjoyed reading all of your first cruising experiences and why you enjoy it. 

 

I have wanted to cruise since watching the Love Boat as a child, LOL. Years went by as we started a business and life happened. We had booked cruises on the Freedom several times but had to cancel due to family emergencies, each time a week before the cruise. Finally, our first actual cruise was on Explorer of the Seas to Bermuda from Cape Liberty in 2010. From the moment we drove to the terminal and saw the ship I was hooked. The crew was awesome, I loved the shows, and Bermuda was perfection to our eyes, it was everything I had hoped for and more! I love that it is fairly inclusive and that I don't have to travel to each destination by plane, just hang out in our floating hotel as we sail to the next location.

 

It's nice that it is only a 4hr drive from our home in MA to the cruise port if we want to sail from Cape Liberty, as it is easier for me to find time to cruise without having to take extra days traveling to go to FL. It's hard running a trucking business and being away from home on a cruise for more then 7 days with the pricey & spotty internet connections we have had in the past, so I'm looking forward to trying out Voom - hoping it will allow us to work from the ship so we can try out a longer cruise  :)

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My first cruise was on "Sovereign" back in '07.  It was a gift from my mother to myself, my sisters and all of our kids.... The next one was in '09 on Navigator.  I guess what sealed the deal was the feeling I got crossing the gangway onto the ship ..... Knowing that the stresses of life are on one end and I was going towards the other...... Knowing, that if only for a few days, it's all about me, no schedule, no transportation (unless you call an elevator a form of transportation) and the ability for every member of my family to create their own vacation completely different from yours.  Also, I've never slept better than when I was on a cruise (I guess the gentle rocking acts like a cradle)....

 

As the years progressed, and financial / relationship stresses took their toll, I'm ecstatic to now know there's another cruise on the horizon with my bride of 3 years.  We've never had a honeymoon plus this is a marquee birthday year for her, so, after some prodding and explaining to her how a cruise makes sense from a financial point vs, going to a regular beach like Myrtle Beach, she has decided to "go for it" --- Knowing that Bermuda has been on her "bucket list" and that we live in Maryland (the far western end that's closer to Pittsburgh vs Baltimore ... GO RAVENS!!!) --- Being able to take advantage of Grandeur out of Baltimore was the logical choice, we can leave the house at 7:00 and be at the port by 10:00.  I know it's early, but I believe in allowing extra time because you never know what's going to happen on I-70,  plus, going in September after the kids are back in school is a positive for her too.  We don't have kids plus mine are grown up.  I just pray the weather cooperates, that's the only thing out of my control.

 

As we board, I'm going to let her set the pace, the newness of the experience, I want her to fall in love with it the way I have and I have enough faith in the crew of Grandeur and Royal Caribbean in general, that she'll be hooked.  This will make booking the next one a heck of a lot easier.  I'll even promote the benefits of booking it while on board and scheduling it out enough to make paying for it very easy.

 

Counting down the days (150) ---

 

Mark

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Like many who grew up during the '70s, The Love Boat had a huge impact on my desire to take a cruise. It portrayed a glamorous vacation experience like none other. So when I was looking to take a trip to propose, I was considering going to San Francisco. However, when at the TA, I came across an add for a last minute cruise deal on Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade. From there, despite the outward appearance of the ship, I was hooked. The wood and brass of the ship, the Viking Crown Lounge, the dining, etc. had me hooked. Of course, I wish I knew what I knew now . . .

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Like many who grew up during the '70s, The Love Boat had a huge impact on my desire to take a cruise. It portrayed a glamorous vacation experience like none other. So when I was looking to take a trip to propose, I was considering going to San Francisco. However, when at the TA, I came across an add for a last minute cruise deal on Royal Caribbean's Viking Serenade. From there, despite the outward appearance of the ship, I was hooked. The wood and brass of the ship, the Viking Crown Lounge, the dining, etc. had me hooked. Of course, I wish I knew what I knew now . . .

The love boat did have a major impact upon cruising, it in fact is what made Princess Cruise Lines, before the TV show came out it was questionable if the company could even stay in business. One interesting thing about the TV show and its impact was what happen when the show was on the ship with passengers. Passengers really want to see that but quickly learned the popular areas like the pool bar were closed to cruisers due to filming. Pay a lot of money and have access to only about 2/3 of the ship. Also the interaction between crew and guest is something that cruise lines never allow. (Romantic Private Activities).

 

But I do really like the classic features like wood and brass. My Uncle was a interest man and he collected  many things, he had a big interest in the S.S. United States, and had many items from the ship. Among his purchases were the Captains Cabin Furniture which he had restored,  displayed in his office and the original ships model, in his home. I would look at that model over 8' in length and very detailed. I would look at that model and wished the ship was still sailing the World. A interesting purchase from the ship was the steam whistle, that was mounted atop his business and was sounded every July 4 th or on special days. Then it was someday I will go on cruise ships,  40 years later it is several times a year. I get on a big new Royal ship and it takes your breath away, but I still miss the old classics of trans ocean liners. 

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We just finished our first cruise. The honeymoon we never had, taken as a 43rd anniversary celebration. I knew we'd have a wonderful time and I was sick with excitement each time I added an element to the cruise planner, running into the living room to let my hubby know the next detail I had added to the upcoming cruise. I was nervous about getting seasick,finding my way around, feeling like I was in a tuna can in the interior stateroom, etc. What I didn't anticipate is how MUCH we would adore the cruise experience. One unpacking, multiple ports to visit, come back to luxury and impeccable service and food. One day as we sat on the deck looking out at the awesome ocean color we had never seen before, we realized we had also found our destiny. We found the hobby we can both obsess about. He loves sports, I love quilting and flowers but together we are crazy cruisers!! The only thing holding me back is the money, but even with that said, we've already booked two up coming cruises in our anniversary month. Of course we started at the top with Royal Caribbean, so we will always stay with them, when possible. Our next two cruises , of course, have a balcony. If money didn't allow for a balcony, I'd gladly take the interior stateroom as it was lovely, but as it is, with each booked cruise, the room got higher on the boat and the balcony larger. :-D

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dejagatkins,

 

Like you, I have sailed in a few interior cabins and I actually like them. I have problems sleeping at night and there is complete blackness in an interior room. But, I would much rather have an ocean view room. I just want to see the water. 

 

My TA has a group Alaskan cruise in May 2017 and asked if I wanted to go, the more the merrier, so I booked because it was so cheap, especially since I am a solo cruiser and she put me in a Virtual Reality Balcony on the Explorer OTS. She is more excited then I am, she wants me to take a million pictures. I told her I hope you can shut the dang thing down at night so I can sleep, HAHA!

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I hope you can shut the dang thing down at night so I can sleep, HAHA!

I love the virtual balcony room ! You can shut it off but there is still the LED "glow" so they have curtains that you can "shut" over the monitor to black out the room. I think you will really like the virtual room. For the money, an excellent value !

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looking forward to seeing your sign on the Port Everglades webcam or Billy's scope! I bet you will be inundated with screenshots!

Thank You Very Much.

I am SO EXCITED!!!! Got a Confirmation from Port Everyglades Hi Cam, they got my Wave request.

So I will proudly be representing this Awesome site, with my Sign 😊

I will also have a lot of fun sharing my Cruise with others, with Periscope.

And we have a Great Roll Call Group, looking forward to meeting all of them!!!

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We took our first cruise in Feb 1986 on the Song of America for our honeymoon. We had such a great time that we went back for our first anniversary. We brought our frozen wedding cake top with us. The dining room staff kept it and served it for us on the exact night!

 

We've been cruising ever since and our kids are cruise lovers as well!

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