How was your first cruising experience

Questions from those who are new to cruising

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vulcanxh558
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How was your first cruising experience

Post by vulcanxh558 »

Hi all

Ive not been around for a while so have just come back to this forum as we have our first ever cruise booked for June. I cant seem to create a new topic in the 'new to cruising' section and only really wanted to ask how people found their first experience.
Last edited by Manoverboard on 30 Jan 2022, 11:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Manoverboard »

Hello and welcome .... I have raised the Topic for you, it is located in ' New To Cruising '

MobyModplod :wave:
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Last edited by Manoverboard on 30 Jan 2022, 12:15, edited 1 time in total.
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Mervyn and Trish
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

Welcome. Our first cruise was on Oriana in 1999 with my MIL who had cruised iin her younger days. We knew nothing about cruising but chose P&O because Mum had fond memories of Canberra.

We booked on price so chose the shortest available at the time, 9 nights to the Canaries. We also chose our outside cabins on price and realised why those nearer the bow are cheaper as we crossed the Bay of Biiscay in rough weather!

As we stepped into the atrium as we boarded we were gobsmacked by the scale and grandeur of iit.

To be honest my feelings were mixed after our first cruise. I could take it or leave it. But after our second to Iceland and the Fjords in a balcony cabin on Aurora we were well hooked and have done more than 20 cruises since. We love every aspect of it. Sea days, port days, travel, entertainment, dressing up for formal nights, being pampered.

We also love the idea of the stops being a succession of short taster breaks. One on that first trip was Madeira, to which we returned for snother look and now own 5 weeks of timeshare there, going back twice a year.

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Onelife
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Onelife »

Hi Vulcan,

Our first cruise was on P&O Oceana and we + daughter absolutely loved it, although it has to be said my wife isn’t so keen on cruising these days…which, incidentally is the reason I’m seeking a divorce ;) … please don’t tell my wife I’ve said that. :lol:

First Cruises are very special and I have no doubt you at the moment are experiencing what all first-time cruisers experience, which is the anticipation and excitement of what is to come.

You will absolutely love it.

Here wishing you calm seas… but even the rough ones can be interesting :shock: :)

Enjoy!


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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by CaroleF »

My first cruise was actually with Fred Olsen, a fly cruise to the Caribbean. It was our Silver Wedding and friends who had been on Braemar had really enjoyed it. My husband, an enthusiastic dinghy and big boat sailor previously wasn't at all sure about going on one of those 'big looking things'. However, we had a brilliant time, loved every minute. We were in what FO called a Balcony Suite which was really the same size as many other ships' balcony cabins. That was in 2003 and our next cruise was on P&O's Adonia, the sister ship to Oceana, now back with Princess. We had an aft mini suite and I'm afraid that did it as far as cabin choice was concerned. We loved the amount of space, loved being at the back looking over the wake. My husband was a lot more athletic than me and we found that being able to, on occasions, go on different excursions was really good. He could do the river rafting, the hiking, the kayaking etc and I could do the more sedate excursions. We then had lots to talk about when we returned. We did sometimes go on the same excursions of course. We did well over 30 cruises. If you'd told me we'd do that many after our first cruise in 2003 I would never have believed it. The highlight for my husband was the 65 nights we did on Aurora circumnavigating South America going from Southampton back to Southampton. He loved it, and was able to visit Machu Picchu on a three night P&O excursion, he absolutely enjoyed every minute.
Our last cruise was on Aurora again back in 2018 and of the current P&O ships she is my favourite.

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Stephen »

Hi vulcanxh558 and welcome to the forum

Our first cruise was a sixteen night cruise around the med onboard Oriana in 2006. Bit of a mixed bag really, not knowing where the best place to have a cabin was we booked the furthest most foreword balcony cabin quite high up. A big mistake on my part as we had some rough seas and I suffered with bad seasickness for a few days and convinced myself that never again would I cruise, but once I got over that I was hooked and we had a wonderful time. We have cruised thirteen times now with hopefully many more to come. :thumbup:

My advice is to try and book a cabin mid ships or as near as possible and if you are prone to sea sickness, or if you don’t know take some sea sickness medication for the few days or until you feel you have gained your sea legs.

You first cruise is the one you will always remember and I am sure you will have a wonderful time.
Last edited by Stephen on 30 Jan 2022, 13:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Manoverboard »

We will all have diverse memories but I recall that my first concern on our first cruise in 1997 related to liking else hating the idea of dressing up like a penguin ... soon got the hang of it and even looked forward to the formality on subsequent cruises.
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Onelife »

Manoverboard wrote: 30 Jan 2022, 14:06
We will all have diverse memories but I recall that my first concern on our first cruise in 1997 related to liking else hating the idea of dressing up like a penguin ... soon got the hang of it and even looked forward to the formality on subsequent cruises.
It's the only time I've ever seen Stephen looking presentable ;) :)

I'm with you Mob, old traditions still have a place with cruising in my book but unfurtunatly the tide is turning against them.

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Onelife
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Onelife »

Hi Vulcan,

Just to let you known members on this friendly forum don’t ask inappropriate questions :thumbup: …so which cruise destination have you booked? :)

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by allatc »

First "taster" was on City IT. A 2 night cruise where IT companies invited potential customers for 2 days of intense sales pressure.
Thought to myself, without all this sales stuff I could quite enjoy this.

First "proper" cruise was on Aurora in 2000.
We arrived at our assigned dinner table to be greeted by "Hello you must be Fred and Sybil" (names changed to protect the innocent)
No, sorry that's not us.
Immediately hand waving in the air to summon the maitre d.
"These people aren't supposed to be on our table, we are expecting Fred and Sybil"
Aside to SWMBO - "Never mind dear, if it can't be changed we can put up with you"
Maitre d : "Would you mind changing tables"
Us : "Absolutely not"
So we decamped to the next table and met up with 6 really friendly people some of whom we have maintained contact with to this day.

A few days later we are in the Crows Nest, I go to get some coffee.

Lady comes stomping across the room to our table.

Picture the snotty voice tone :" YOU ARE VERY FORTUNATE TO BE CRUISING AT YOUR AGE" (we were in our early fifties)
SWMBO (in sweet tone) "Yes we are"
Lady stomps off in a huff.

The rest of the cruise passes without further incident.
Fortunately it didn't put us off cruising and we have now done quite a few and met some really nice people.
Attitudes have changed over time and I think it's unlikely that a scenario such that described would happen now (I sincerely hope not anyway)

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Kendhni »

Our first cruise was on Carnival Elation in 1998 doing the Mexican Riviera (out of San Pedro).
The good lady has relations in LA and we used to visit for 3 weeks at a time. As soon as we land the ritual was to go straight to the travel agents to find out what last minute deal she had managed to find for us. The previous time we got a week in Hawaii for $199, this time it was a 7 night cruise on a new ship going out the next day ... I think it was $249.

I was not happy. I hated the thought of being held captive on a little boat for a week with a load of old people ... in the end I agreed as long as I did not have to dress up. When we got to the docks in San Pedro I was amazed at the size of the ship (I actually thought I was looking at the port building and the Elation was hidden behind it). I was that much in awe I made a mistake and accidentally tipped the stevedore $50 instead of $5 (damned American notes all looking the same ... not a bit of wonder he acted like he wanted to have my children). When we got on board and I saw the atrium I stopped dead in awe at the size and glass lifts going up and down ... unfortunately the chap behind was also in awe but he didn't stop and sent me flying.

It was a good range of ages on board, fantastic food, fantastic fun and I was hooked. Our cabin steward was Joseph and I still rate him as the best steward we have ever had. There was also an issue with a hairdryer, but that is a story for another day.
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Manoverboard »

Reminds me ...

Ours was a Christmas Cruise in 1997 and the table steward was called Jesus ... no kidding :thumbup:
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by towny44 »

Our first cruise was a 4 nighter in an inside lower deck cabin to the Bahamas on Carnival Carnivale, an old ocean liner from Canadian Pacific, and it was spring break. No glitz very little glamour and no gjass lifts and no atrium, our steward was also called Joseph from Jamaica, who was built like a line backer and had to duck as he came into our cabin. Needless to say he got a full value tip from us, which was constantly drummed into use by the cruise director at every occasion he had the Mike in his hand.
But we must have enjoyed it because we have now done over 30 cruises.
John

Trainee Pensioner since 2000


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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Ranchi »

My first cruising experience was of Canberra in 1985 ( my wife can go a good quarter century before that.) We drove up to Southampton from Torquay and I decided not to take the main roads- a poor decision! We had to go to Duke’s Keep ( the P&O offices in Southampton ) to collect our boarding documents. We boarded just after mid day and went for lunch at about 1:00 -Lord Clive curry, I recall! We were wandering the upper decks when we saw an officer and asked if we could go on the bridge. ‘Of course he replied- tell them the Capt said it was OK’. (It was Ian Gibb. The ship gradually began to fill up and all too soon the tannoy announced ‘All persons not sailing are to go ashore.’ Off we trudged but we waited at Mayflower to listen to the band (RM) and watch the ship sail. What a dispiriting feeling to see the ship sail with you on shore. We made sure it didn’t happen again and in ‘86 we made sure we were on board as we have been almost every year since.
Perhaps I should have mentioned that the visit was arranged by my fil who had served with P&O for close to 40 years. On our ‘86 cruise he arranged for me to visit Canberra’s engine room which was an experience!


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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Bensham33 »

My first cruise was on Thomson Spirit. I got a late booking and had a week in a hotel in Majorca and the second week was a cruise. It was brilliant and I was hooked. I will never forget my first sight of a cruise ship. It looked enormous and I got goose bumps. I had an inside cabin but my cabin door was next to a flight of stairs that took me to the prom deck. Everything was great, the food, the entertainment the service. It was another world having been brought up on Butlins and caravan holidays down at Bognor. No other holiday compares.

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barney
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by barney »

My first cruise was Castell Felice
Sydney to Southampton
1968
Family returned from Australia after immigrating in 1963
Among others, Tahiti, Acapulco, Panama, Curaçao.
What a joy for a kid.

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by oldbluefox »

First cruise was Saga Rose just for a week up to the fjords.
Living for many years in the Fatherland we were very accustomed to overnight ferries and the thought of being cooped up on a ship like that filled me with dead, so a week was felt to be long enough.
The organisation of Saga was superb. We travelled down to London on the train, gave over our luggage and were then transferred by coach to Dover.
It seemed the fun and games started on the coach. It was a red hot day so the driver had the air conditioning on. Very soon a lady complained that she was cold and would he switch the aircon off. He wasn't happy with the idea and very soon we were all sweltering so he told her it was unsafe to be driving in those conditions and put the aircon back on, to which she put her coat on, her headscarf and her hood up leaving us thinking that we might have made a massive mistake. However we never saw her again and had the most wonderful time.
Although Saga Rose was only about 28k tonnes she looked big to us and was full of mahogany and polished brass and was so plush. For that week we were treated so well, ate so well and were entertained so well we were simply hooked.
The next ship was P&O Oceana and she looked massive. and we have cruised ever since.
We're out! :clap:
Get over it!!

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Jan Rosser »

I have two "first" times. The first time with my late husband was a Thomson ship - it was a cruise and stay - flew to Majorca and cruised for a week around the Mediterranean the second week a hotel in Sorrento. The ship was all brass fittings and wood panelling - an inside cabin with a full size bath and shower and a steward who seemed to know every time we left the room as when we returned the loo paper roll had been folded into that V thing they do - found it quite amusing. It was 1999 the year after Paul had his first heart attack and he was waiting for bypass surgery so not in the best of health but we enjoyed it enough to continue to cruise right up until 2006 when he died principally with P&O but Celebrity was a favourite of ours. The week in Sorrento was fabulous - the hotel looked out over the sea - beautiful views and the food was amazing!

The second "first" time was on my own on Oriana - took the plunge - I knew the ropes and opted for club dining on a table of 8 so guessed - rightly - that I would get on with some if not all of them. I met a lovely older lady who was a widow like me and was cruising with a friend and she took me under her wing - we went ashore together and the theatre and I still keep in touch with her and quite by chance bumped into her on a cruise a few years later and it was delightful to see her again. I did a cruise the following year on my own on Azura and met John and Pauline unfortunately not until the end of the cruise or we could have spent more time together.

I was fortunate to have friends who my husband and I cruised with and I continue to holiday with them but my youngest son and family now have the cruising bug and I regularly travel with them too.
Janis

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by screwy »

towny44 wrote: 30 Jan 2022, 22:05
Our first cruise was a 4 nighter in an inside lower deck cabin to the Bahamas on Carnival Carnivale, an old ocean liner from Canadian Pacific, and it was spring break. No glitz very little glamour and no gjass lifts and no atrium, our steward was also called Joseph from Jamaica, who was built like a line backer and had to duck as he came into our cabin. Needless to say he got a full value tip from us, which was constantly drummed into use by the cruise director at every occasion he had the Mike in his hand.
But we must have enjoyed it because we have now done over 30 cruises.
Towny. I believe that the Carnivale was later renamed the Topaz, operated by Thomsons.?
This was our first Cruise. We did a cruise and stay from the Dominican Republic. The cabin was very rudimentary but the cruise itself was enjoyable. Our second was on an air tours cruise. We first cruised with P&O in 2012 ( Ventura) Carribean. 12 more have followed and loved everyone.
Mel

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by oldbluefox »

screwy wrote: 31 Jan 2022, 18:04
We first cruised with P&O in 2012 ( Ventura) Carribean. 12 more have followed and loved everyone.
You soppy old romantic 😂
We're out! :clap:
Get over it!!

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screwy
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by screwy »

Goes with the name.!
Mel

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Stephen
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Stephen »

screwy wrote: 31 Jan 2022, 19:03
Goes with the name.!

:lol:


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vulcanxh558
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by vulcanxh558 »

Manoverboard wrote: 30 Jan 2022, 11:59
Hello and welcome .... I have raised the Topic for you, it is located in ' New To Cruising '

MobyModplod :wave:
.
Thank you, sorry its taken a while to reply, work gets in the way.


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vulcanxh558
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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by vulcanxh558 »

Onelife wrote: 30 Jan 2022, 16:21
Hi Vulcan,

Just to let you known members on this friendly forum don’t ask inappropriate questions :thumbup: …so which cruise destination have you booked? :)
Marella Discovery 2 in June and going to The Med for 2 weeks. Its our 3rd attempt at it, the other 2 were cancelled due to Covid restrictions.

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by Happydays »

Our first cruise was 31 January 1999, funny how I can remember the exact date. It was Costa Romantica two weeks in the Caribbean and I couldn't believe how good it was everything was wonderful and the midnight buffets were in a league of their own :D
We have now done over 30 cruises mostly in recent year pre-civid doing two a year mostly on P&O but also Princess, Fred Olsen and repeats with Costa.
Have a great time


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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by macca1914 »

Our first cruise was October 2021. We had no idea what to expect to be honest. All we heard was the usual it's full of old people. We're early 50's definitely not old. We went on the Norweigian Epic and really liked the laid back feel to it all. We sailed around the Med from Barcelona and what struck me first was the size of the ship. I was also not expecting the entertainment or food to be as good. However the staff is what I remember most. They were incredible despite Covid. It was a great experience.

Since then we went to the Norweigian Fjords in April 2022 on P&O Iona and have a Greek Isles trip on the Regal Princess in August 2022. I've also convinced some friends to do it also. The tips on here and elsewhere really helped. We now call ourselves cruisers

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Re: How was your first cruising experience

Post by xmaslisa »

Our 1st was Aurora in September 2006 USA &Canada AMAZING wouldnt travel any other way now… have finally booked our first one since 2014 and with 2 kiddies who will be 7 &5 when we go…😬

not for another 2 years tho… to the med on Arvia testing out their conservatory mini suites

207 days til Christmas! 🎅🏼

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