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Were you a big ship cruiser who's switched to luxury?

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2 hours ago, wripro said:

You can't "switch" from ocean cruising to river cruising. They are two different animals. It's like saying I didn't like my last flight so now I'm switching to trains.

Of course you can!  You can't compare them, but you can switch from one thing to another because the first thing left you with a lot of bad memories or experiences.  I can't compare apples and oranges, but after I got my third gassy belly after eating an apple, I can switch to oranges when I want some fruit.  After a scary, turbulent landing on a plane, I've got such bad memories that I've decided to take the train for vacations from now on.  Etc.

 

Now, typically I wouldn't do that after 1 bad experience and I'd recommend against that, but I certainly understand switching away from one thing and on to something different that you believe will bring more benefits/make you happier.  In fact, probably better to switch to something totally different (from apples to oranges) to avoid the bad experience than to switch to something significantly similar (from mackintosh apples to red delicious apples). 

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3 hours ago, wripro said:

You can't "switch" from ocean cruising to river cruising. They are two different animals. It's like saying I didn't like my last flight so now I'm switching to trains.

huh? You can't switch? Who said that? The cruise police?:classic_blink:.....of course you can. I have 2 upcoming ocean cruises

booked and a river cruise-----my last cruise was a river cruise as well. I do both and I know they are going to be

different experiences----I love both of them.:classic_smile:

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3 hours ago, wripro said:

You can't "switch" from ocean cruising to river cruising. They are two different animals. It's like saying I didn't like my last flight so now I'm switching to trains.

Perhaps the better question would have been what are the positives and negatives when comparing ocean voyages to river cruising.

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3 minutes ago, Momma Rene said:

Perhaps the better question would have been what are the positives and negatives when comparing ocean voyages to river cruising.

There are ALOT of differences.....so in my opinion, it really is not even about negative and positive...it is just different.

Examples-----no casinos on a river cruise, so if you are a gambler? You are SOL......no "big shows" on a river

cruise so if you are into that, you are SOL.....if you want multiple areas to dine, again, SOL on a River cruise.

 

But if you want to see places where the boat docks right in town, that would be a River Cruise.....if you want

very small tour groups, that would be a river cruise, if you want a more intimate experience with very few

people (some have less than 150 passengers) that would be a river cruise.

 

The big ships offer multiple dining rooms, big shows, lots of people, large groups on tours, and so just giving

you some of the differences. 

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Oh......if you are cruising on a luxury line----example, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent......well, those ships

are much smaller than mass market but they are still larger than a River cruise...

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12 minutes ago, Lois R said:

There are ALOT of differences.....so in my opinion, it really is not even about negative and positive...it is just different.

Examples-----no casinos on a river cruise, so if you are a gambler? You are SOL......no "big shows" on a river

cruise so if you are into that, you are SOL.....if you want multiple areas to dine, again, SOL on a River cruise.

 

But if you want to see places where the boat docks right in town, that would be a River Cruise.....if you want

very small tour groups, that would be a river cruise, if you want a more intimate experience with very few

people (some have less than 150 passengers) that would be a river cruise.

 

The big ships offer multiple dining rooms, big shows, lots of people, large groups on tours, and so just giving

you some of the differences. 

Thanks for your reply.  After doing the NCL Haven, we determined that big ship cruising is not for us.  Hated the crowds, etc.  We are craving the intimacy of seeing the same people, great conversations and seeing the small towns that are not shoulder to shoulder sightseeing.  

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7 minutes ago, Lois R said:

Oh......if you are cruising on a luxury line----example, Crystal, Seabourn, Silversea, Regent......well, those ships

are much smaller than mass market but they are still larger than a River cruise...

Lois, I know you are a solo traveler like me and I'd like to add something for other solos. On a river cruise, you really need to reach out to your fellow travelers to make friends or find someone to eat with. The 2 I have been on had no special events for solos.I did make some good pals, though-I just kind of glommed on to a couple of different groups and I was never lonely! I'm looking forward to a Silverseas transatlantic(600folks) where I understand the staff sets up solo get-togethers/cocktail parties.

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37 minutes ago, skleeb said:

Lois, I know you are a solo traveler like me and I'd like to add something for other solos. On a river cruise, you really need to reach out to your fellow travelers to make friends or find someone to eat with. The 2 I have been on had no special events for solos.I did make some good pals, though-I just kind of glommed on to a couple of different groups and I was never lonely! I'm looking forward to a Silverseas transatlantic(600folks) where I understand the staff sets up solo get-togethers/cocktail parties.

Hi,:classic_smile: .I actually don't care about meeting other solo guests I mean ok, if I do but it is not a priority--

 

I have found the folks on my 2 river cruises have been VERY friendly---very easy to meet people and found multiple

people to dine with every night.  Having a solo get together? I don't even always go to them on an ocean cruise so

they are not an important factor (for me).  Yes, Silversea does reach out to their solo guests. And that can be

nice but I always look at the person--married, single, the status does not make any difference to me. If you are

friendly and want to chat? That is more important than marital status.

 

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Oh, I know what you mean, Lois. I'm just saying don't expect special events like on a bigger ship. My best pals were 2 30-somethings and their parents on one cruise and on the other 2 newly married ladies.Delightful combination of folks to share the trip with.

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Of course you "can" switch. You can do anything you want. The reason I out quotation marks around the word "switch" is that you are moving from one kind if product to a completely different one and they are not comparable so it''s not an appropriate comparison.

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We used to cruise on RCCL and HAL until the ships got too big  (over 1500 ). I can't imagine being on the new giants and would not cruise on them ( well, maybe if we got a free vacation). We have been on river cruises in Europe several years ago and loved them but three was enough.  Then we discovered Windstar. Wow...our own yacht ! We only had to share it with 148 other people. And the sails..a whole new experience... Now, the Windsurf (appx 320 pgs) is our favorite.  We have also cruised with Regent in the Med. They are great too. Very organized tours. Liked the all inclusive and business air to Europe. Getting too old for coach!. 

 

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7 hours ago, honumaui said:

We used to cruise on RCCL and HAL until the ships got too big  (over 1500 ). I can't imagine being on the new giants and would not cruise on them ( well, maybe if we got a free vacation). We have been on river cruises in Europe several years ago and loved them but three was enough.  Then we discovered Windstar. Wow...our own yacht ! We only had to share it with 148 other people. And the sails..a whole new experience... Now, the Windsurf (appx 320 pgs) is our favorite.  We have also cruised with Regent in the Med. They are great too. Very organized tours. Liked the all inclusive and business air to Europe. Getting too old for coach!. 

 

I keep looking at Windstar but have yet to sail with them.  My last few cruises have been on either a river cruise and

I have been sailing with Silversea.   I agree with you about the small ships and as for the airfare? LOVE IT...they

run promotions for Business class and it is awesome:classic_biggrin:.   Actually, I sail this Thursday on SS's WIND---only holds

300 guests.  Going to the Caribbean...…...can't wait:classic_biggrin:

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On 1/4/2020 at 5:57 PM, skleeb said:

Oh, I know what you mean, Lois. I'm just saying don't expect special events like on a bigger ship. My best pals were 2 30-somethings and their parents on one cruise and on the other 2 newly married ladies.Delightful combination of folks to share the trip with.

In 2014 I took a river cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam with Tauck, and a varied selection of local musicians, and dancers, were brought on board at various stops, and in Vienna a gala dinner, and entertainment, in a Palace was included.

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On 1/3/2020 at 12:50 PM, wripro said:

You can't "switch" from ocean cruising to river cruising. They are two different animals. It's like saying I didn't like my last flight so now I'm switching to trains.

Laughing, wripro; am planning a trip to visit family and actually was shopping a train trip rather than fly.

 

 

Carolyn

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21 minutes ago, editor@cruisecritic said:

Laughing, wripro; am planning a trip to visit family and actually was shopping a train trip rather than fly.

 

 

Carolyn

Glad you had a chuckle.

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We're 4-star Mariners on HAL, Elite on Celebrity, usually stay in suites. We got spoiled by the Prinsendam and really prefer SMALL ships, which are non-existent in the mainstream lines anymore. So we're transitioning to Oceania, Azamara--not true luxury, they say, but at least smaller.

 

Our TA said, well, the expedition ships are small. But we like to eat really good food, ideally listen to some live music, dress up a little, visit the spa... Expeditions don't seem to have those features. Then she said Windstar. Again, we don't want to be barefoot-sailboat silent. We considered Tauck (Ponant) but it sounds like it might be TOO sedate--and I say that as a fan of Holland, lol.

 

A good balance for us has also been river cruising; Avalon has an in-house musician aboard, so there is music in the evenings. They once brought on a German rock 'n roll band--it was so much fun!

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In looking for a cruise to Alaska, I wanted something small that could go to ports larger ships did not, but I also didn't want "bunk" beds or cafeteria meals.  So I had settled on a Regent cruise.  But before I layed out the dollars for Regent I wanted to be sure DH enjoyed cruising since he had not done a cruise before.

 

So we took a HAL cruise with a organization he belonged to and it was very nice, but at times things were chaotic, but still nice and DH loved it.  We have gone on a couple more HAL cruises with this group.

 

So we went on an Alaskan cruise with Regent and got hooked on Regent (5 cruises so far, a couple booked)  One of our first surprises  with Regent was at our hotel prior to the cruise.  We arrived 2 nights before the cruise, and that first morning went to breakfast in the dining room and charged to our room (this was all on our own, I thought). Later that day a Regent rep showed up in the lobby and we met with her to find out how / when we would get to the ship.  At that time she told us that Regent had reimbursed our breakfast and told us where  breakfast would be the next morning.  After the itinerary, Regent is our choice for cruise line.  We have also done Ponant to Antarctica and it was a nice, small ship experience and very good food.  We have also done Azamara to Cuba which was also nice. 

 

While Regent is our preferred go to (after itinerary) we are doing a Black Sea cruise with Azamara.  Their intensive cruises of a country or area is what keeps them on our list.

 

With Regent there are not the lines for food, the chaos in the dining room, or the extra charges for everything.  There is prompt room service served with a table cloth, nice uncrowded friendly lounges, table clothes in the breakfast and lunch buffet, table beverage service for the breakfast and lunch buffets. You won't have the horrible waiting for disembarkation but you will have Regent reps helping you get where you need to go once off the ship along with plenty of baggage handlers.  We have high expectations for our cruise experiences now.

 

A good example of expectations between someone who enjoys the larger ships (over 1500) and our expectations was several years ago a friend asked if we wanted to go on a river cruise with them.  Neither of us had done one before.  She selected Scenic which was a good choice. For 4 months prior to our sailing, she kept asking where are the luggage tags, she was very concerned we had not gotten luggage tags, not even thinking that a small ship/river boat can handle luggage without special tags, which we see quite often.  And that was just the beginning of surprises for our friends:  restaurant staff helping you with your plate during a buffet, no rushing to be first at an exhibit or meal, crew helping you with carryon bags when you first embark and escorting you to your cabin, luggage waiting for you in your cabin, room service, and of course no extra charges.

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