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Tried and true vs. New things every time


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I was thinking about my last cruise (after all... good grief its 413 days until my next rc cruise lol... and I was curious how people cruise.   Do you tend to sail the same ships and do the same things each time? Do you stick to those activities on new ships?  Or is each cruise looking for totally different?   I know there are a million variables of itinerary, what the ship offers etc.  

   I know I tend to do the same things regardless of ship.  I have yet to try a class or activity on sea days because I'm always on the sky deck in the sun!  Anyway,  since I have a million days till I cruise again, thought I'd throw this question out there!   Jane

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Just now, HeWhoWaits said:

In general, we choose to try new itineraries so that we get to see more new places. There are some things on board that we tend to do regardless of ship, but in general it's play it by ear and explore the ship.

I'm finding I'm running out of Caribbean itineraries... trying out Europe for the first time next and I'd love to see Alaska!   Jane

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Since I'm still so new to cruising, I'm trying to pick an itinerary each time that gives new destinations and maybe a new ship class to try. The destinations are more important right now, so I don't have a problem re-sailing a particular class or even ship if it's going somewhere new.

As far as on-ship activities -- I completely forgot to check out trivia games or things like that when I was on my first cruise. I was too busy enjoying the balcony or the helipad, exploring the ship, or just relaxing with a beverage somewhere! But I will admit there were a few times I was looking for something to do and forgot that I should check the Cruise Compass for any activities.

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I like to sail the freedom class or smaller don't care for the megas at all love the casinos and the schooner bar I am a creature of habit so pretty much do the same thing if a port interests me I will visit it but I find the shops are pretty much the same no matter where you are to be fair its not that the islands aren't interesting but as a young lad I sailed most of the Caribbean on a family island hopper although back then the ports weren't so touristy if there is a chance for a real locals culinary experience I'm on it very quickly even then I spent most of my life in the florida keys where genuine ethnic food masterpieces abound due to the mixed culture I love the ships and what mother mother ocean does for the soul 

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I am guilty of falling into a cruise routine, meaning I end up following the same patterns of how I cruise and what I book.  I've been actively working at mixing things up and forcing myself out of my comfort zone to try new things.  As an example, I recall being reluctant to try 150 Central Park because I thought it would be too Froufrou.  Boy, was I wrong.

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In almost 30 sailings, I've only been on 3 ships more than once and one of those was a back-to-back sailing, so I'm not sure that even counts.

For us, the itinerary has become much more important than the ship itself and we're seeking new experiences while using the ship for our base of exploration. Sometimes, unfortunately, this means that we have to go with other lines as Royal doesn't always go to where we want to go. For example, we have an affinity for Europe as of late and have done some excellent cruises on the Radiance class ships to the Baltics and Norway/Iceland. However, to experience more of Norway this summer and wanting to go much farther north into the Arctic Circle, our only choices were Holland America or MSC. Next summer, we're doing a Barcelona to Venice cruise, which Royal doesn't offer with the stops we want, so we're going with Celebrity for that one.

If we do the Caribbean again, it will likely be the Southern Caribbean as we've visited the Eastern and Western Caribbean enough. And while we have taken cruises for the ships themselves, we found that the ship itself wasn't enough for us and that we've become itinerary-based people.

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1 minute ago, DocLC said:

In almost 30 sailings, I've only been on 3 ships more than once and one of those was a back-to-back sailing, so I'm not sure that even counts.

For us, the itinerary has become much more important than the ship itself and we're seeking new experiences while using the ship for our base of exploration. Sometimes, unfortunately, this means that we have to go with other lines as Royal doesn't always go to where we want to go. For example, we have an affinity for Europe as of late and have done some excellent cruises on the Radiance class ships to the Baltics and Norway/Iceland. However, to experience more of Norway this summer and wanting to go much farther north into the Arctic Circle, our only choices were Holland America or MSC. Next summer, we're doing a Barcelona to Venice cruise, which Royal doesn't offer with the stops we want, so we're going with Celebrity for that one.

If we do the Caribbean again, it will likely be the Southern Caribbean as we've visited the Eastern and Western Caribbean enough. And while we have taken cruises for the ships themselves, we found that the ship itself wasn't enough for us and that we've become itinerary-based people.

We are doing Holland America in September on an inside passage.  For us it was a timing thing, we will be in Vancouver at a conference and decided to take a cruise after and HA was the only one at the time.

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I am all about trying new and different.  It's one of many things I like about Royal - variety across the fleet and with itineraries. 

Venturing out more next year, longer cruises, some abroad.  I've got a 10, 12, 13, 14 and 16 night cruises booked, on top of 3, 4, 5 & 7 nights.  Those are Alaska, Asia, Bahamas, Caribbean,  Cuba, Hawaii, New Zealand and Panama Canal.  Looking at Norway, Med and/or Greece in 2020.

I like doing things differently.  Only sailing OA or QU class would get old for me.  I love those ships, but I equally love smaller ships. 

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Just now, arebee said:

We are doing Holland America in September on an inside passage.  For us it was a timing thing, we will be in Vancouver at a conference and decided to take a cruise after and HA was the only one at the time.

I haven't sailed HAL in years, but am looking forward to the Koningsdam next month. Overall, they offer a good, low-key cruise product and they were actually the line where my child became hooked on the kids' clubs even though he had been on a couple of Disney cruises prior to this.

I'm sure you'll have a great trip. We did the Inside Passage on the Oosterdam and had a blast.

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We chose to start off cruising a small ship and then work our way up.  We cruised Brilliance, then twice on Liberty as really like the size and price but with different itineraries, then finally on Harmony.  We are headed back to the slightly smaller ships with Independence and Adventure being up next.  Mostly due to price as we could sail during Thanksgiving and spring break on those ships for the cost of one spring break Oasis class cruise. 

All of our ships have had slides, that has been the must for the family. While we do try at least 1 new thing a cruise, I think we fall into the same basic routine every cruise.  There are so many things we've never done...bingo, trivia, classes, casino and more.  

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@twangster I'm a huge advocate for Norway. It truly is a spectacular cruise and traveling through the fjords is unbelievable.

I actually had little interest in the Med until we found a killer deal on a winter cruise this past January. Our interests had largely been Northern Europe and the British Isles. However, we fell in love with the Med on this trip, which is why we're doing the Barcelona to Venice cruise next summer. Better yet, there's only one repeat port.

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3 minutes ago, DocLC said:

I haven't sailed HAL in years, but am looking forward to the Koningsdam next month. Overall, they offer a good, low-key cruise product and they were actually the line where my child became hooked on the kids' clubs even though he had been on a couple of Disney cruises prior to this.

I'm sure you'll have a great trip. We did the Inside Passage on the Oosterdam and had a blast.

We're on Nieuw Amsterdam. 

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Just now, DocLC said:

I actually had little interest in the Med until we found a killer deal on a winter cruise this past January. Our interests had largely been Northern Europe and the British Isles. However, we fell in love with the Med on this trip, which is why we're doing the Barcelona to Venice cruise next summer. Better yet, there's only one repeat port.

This is the experience I am aiming for.  Try some cruises in different regions more than just to sample the region but hoping to see what areas deserve a repeat visit with more awareness of likes/dislikes.

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2 minutes ago, DocLC said:

@twangster I'm a huge advocate for Norway. It truly is a spectacular cruise and traveling through the fjords is unbelievable.

I actually had little interest in the Med until we found a killer deal on a winter cruise this past January. Our interests had largely been Northern Europe and the British Isles. However, we fell in love with the Med on this trip, which is why we're doing the Barcelona to Venice cruise next summer. Better yet, there's only one repeat port.

I've done 2 six month meds when I was in the navy, I know its not the same thing but I've been to a lot of the ports and we get to stay for a while so you get to do some good site seeing.

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I've only picked my own cruise once (Anthem, Oct 2018), every time I've been on a cruise it's because someone else wants to go and has invited me. Personally I like a new itinerary. My upcoming Harmony (26 days!!!) is two places I've already been and one I've never cared to go to but I'm excited to be on Harmony. My choice would switch things up a bit but it doesn't have to entirely be different.

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new ships and itineraries for my wife and I whenever possible.    now that being said, our upcoming (in 321 days) cruise, we are doing an itinerary we've done before but chose it as we are bringing 2 couples with us who are new to Royal and we love Roatan and Belize out of Galveston.   Hoping everyone else gets hooked as well.  While we loved our cruise on Carnival Breeze, wife and I just loved Royal more ? and are always looking for new loyal royal's to join us!  

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Our November cruise will be the third out of our 4 sailings that will have St. Thomas and St. Maarten as stops.

I really love them both and am still excited to go there, but my wife wants new ports and I'm relatively sure I literally heard her eyes roll 

when I told her I wanted this one.  I had to sell Nassau big-time!  

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We have been on 20 RCCL cruises and have been on Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean.  We are lucky to live in Central Florida and to date we have only cruised from Florida ports.  I like to pick different ships and different ports, but we have also repeated ships and ports.  I typically book 18 months to 2 years out to get the best prices and the cabin that I want.  We are starting to finally branch out of the Caribbean next year.  In 2019, we are doing a cruise from Sydney, Australia in March, and the Canada/New England cruise in October.  We are talking about Europe for 2021.  Onboard we are lazy cruisers.  I am there to relax.  We will see shows on the bigger ships, but typically not the smaller ones.  No trivia, bingo or things like that.   The ship is always one of the destinations for me.  

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In the beginning, we were creatures of habit and cruised with TUI cruises three times. I like the laid back atmosphere and long port times. Regarding itineraries, we're the total opposite - repeating itineraries is our pet hate. Our usual vacation is by motorhome, so we've already seen quite a bit of Europe - no reason to cruise there. The only European cruise we're still planning is a Norwegian fjords cruise - we've already seen it by motorhome but would like to have the different perspective from the ship.

This type of thinking is what led us to use cruises to try new ships - the TA for Symphony was chosen because we thought it was stupid to do a Mediterranean B2B to have enough time to fully experience the ship. Our post-TA-cruise in the Caribbean with Princess was chosen for the itinerary. If we like the Caribbean (and if I don't suffer a mental breakdown from the intercontinental flight home ?) we might be back for more Caribbean cruises - and possibly an Alaska cruise later. But I guess once we've seen what there is to see we have to think about different ways of cruising. Maybe get the motorhome to the Med, try out a new ship just for the ship experience and follow up with 2 weeks motorhome vacation to really experience the country.

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35 minutes ago, Neaxan said:

Our post-TA-cruise in the Caribbean with Princess was chosen for the itinerary. If we like the Caribbean (and if I don't suffer a mental breakdown from the intercontinental flight home ?) we might be back for more Caribbean cruises - and possibly an Alaska cruise later.

 

Yeah, the flights are the worst part. We're in California, so to get a direct flight, we have to leave about 6 hours before our flight and then spend another 10-11 hours flying. And if we connnect, we're usually spending 24 hours by the time the traveling is done. Definitely not fun especially with the time changes.

We're going to Sydney in December for a New Zealand cruise and I'm dreading the flight (15-17 hours) and the massive time change. Plus, we lose a day going, but get the day coming back which I know will reak havoc on my body.

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Although we book different ships and itineraries our cruise routine starts out the same.  I research to death precruise everything I can find on the ship, ports, past cruise compasses, etc.  We then try to board as early as possible, grab a drink and start exploring the ship.  Grab some lunch then wait for the rooms to open up.  Prior to going to the room my wife and I make our last calls and follow up on emails.  When we get to the room we both turn off our phones and lock them in the safe usually with a little silent toast to being on a cruise again.  Both of our jobs require us to be really connected.  So we let it be known that the cruise is our time.  We tell the family and office how to reach us in an emergency by ships phone but our cell phones are on lock down.  From that point she breaks out the highlighter to mark up the cruise compass while I put my feet up on the balcony.  Even though we buy the drink package we usually still carrry on wine.  It is nice to just sit and enjoy some wIne until time to go to the safety lecture.  We both like to plan but we've found each cruise develops as you go along.   Sometimes the casino is being generous so we spend more time there.  Other times we find one of the bars just has the right combination of music and service that we keep coming back.  The only bad thing on a cruise is inevitably your countdown clock begins at some point that the cruse will be ending.  Maybe someday I can afford to just make them back to back, to back.....

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5 hours ago, DocLC said:

I haven't sailed HAL in years, but am looking forward to the Koningsdam next month. Overall, they offer a good, low-key cruise product and they were actually the line where my child became hooked on the kids' clubs even though he had been on a couple of Disney cruises prior to this.

I'm sure you'll have a great trip. We did the Inside Passage on the Oosterdam and had a blast.

I have 114 days on Holland. I love the smaller ships. We did a 14 day Alaskan cruise on Amsterdam.

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6 hours ago, henrysea13 said:

I like to sail the freedom class or smaller don't care for the megas at all love the casinos and the schooner bar I am a creature of habit so pretty much do the same thing if a port interests me I will visit it but I find the shops are pretty much the same no matter where you are to be fair its not that the islands aren't interesting but as a young lad I sailed most of the Caribbean on a family island hopper although back then the ports weren't so touristy if there is a chance for a real locals culinary experience I'm on it very quickly even then I spent most of my life in the florida keys where genuine ethnic food masterpieces abound due to the mixed culture I love the ships and what mother mother ocean does for the soul 

I grew up in Jamaica. I have been to 95% of the islands. It never gets old.

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36 minutes ago, Sweety said:

I have 114 days on Holland. I love the smaller ships. We did a 14 day Alaskan cruise on Amsterdam.

We are lowly 2 Star Mariners, but I'm looking forward to the K-Dam as it seems to be leaving towards the Celebrity styling. However, I adored the Maasdam and it was the perfect size for sailing from Montreal to Boston. 

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5 hours ago, twangster said:

I am all about trying new and different.  It's one of many things I like about Royal - variety across the fleet and with itineraries. 

Venturing out more next year, longer cruises, some abroad.  I've got a 10, 12, 13, 14 and 16 night cruises booked, on top of 3, 4, 5 & 7 nights.  Those are Alaska, Asia, Bahamas, Caribbean,  Cuba, Hawaii, New Zealand and Panama Canal.  Looking at Norway, Med and/or Greece in 2020.

I like doing things differently.  Only sailing OA or QU class would get old for me.  I love those ships, but I equally love smaller ships. 

Can you adopt me?  So jealous!  Jane

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3 minutes ago, DocLC said:

We are lowly 2 Star Mariners, but I'm looking forward to the K-Dam as it seems to be leaving towards the Celebrity styling. However, I adored the Maasdam and it was the perfect size for sailing from Montreal to Boston. 

I always wanted to do that one. The Rotterdam was my favorite ship.

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27 minutes ago, Sweety said:

I always wanted to do that one. The Rotterdam was my favorite ship.

There's lots of love for the Rotterdam on the net and among the line's fans. I wanted to do the P'dam, but without a kids club it was a no go. 

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10 hours ago, DocLC said:

In almost 30 sailings, I've only been on 3 ships more than once and one of those was a back-to-back sailing, so I'm not sure that even counts.

For us, the itinerary has become much more important than the ship itself and we're seeking new experiences while using the ship for our base of exploration. Sometimes, unfortunately, this means that we have to go with other lines as Royal doesn't always go to where we want to go. For example, we have an affinity for Europe as of late and have done some excellent cruises on the Radiance class ships to the Baltics and Norway/Iceland. However, to experience more of Norway this summer and wanting to go much farther north into the Arctic Circle, our only choices were Holland America or MSC. Next summer, we're doing a Barcelona to Venice cruise, which Royal doesn't offer with the stops we want, so we're going with Celebrity for that one.

If we do the Caribbean again, it will likely be the Southern Caribbean as we've visited the Eastern and Western Caribbean enough. And while we have taken cruises for the ships themselves, we found that the ship itself wasn't enough for us and that we've become itinerary-based people.

I totally agree with Doc.  We aren't huge cruisers like many of you (we've been maybe 10 times) but the Itinerary always drives the choice.   Best by far: Barefoot Cruise to the very, very southern Caribbean with 35 people on board.  That cruise line is now defunct (for safety reasons) but talk about small ports.  We are doing southern Spain for the first time on Indy in August.

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