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ArtsyCraftsy

First World Cruise booked ...

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what a deal on Regent's Single Supplement, that makes the decision a no brainer.  Have a wonderful time.

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Just  want to offer a bit of a contrarian position here...

 

While the all-inclusives sound wonderful, one of the benefits of doing a Princess or HAL is that you can pay for your trip incrementally. When we did our 2018 WC, we raided our stock account for the base fare, but all the extras came out of our regular household budget. We bought insurance on the base fare only, which was a savings over the higher priced cost of an inclusive. We booked our flights through Princess and got business class seats for only $800 for both of us. Our TA provided us with pre-paid gratuities, but we saved up and brought cash so we could give out extra tips. Our visas cost us a couple hundred. We did the applications online ourselves. We used points on our Visa card to pay for the pre-cruise hotel. We booked all the excursions before we boarded, picking and choosing  a few each month leading up to the cruise so they were all paid for ahead of time. We never had to wonder what we'd do in port. We were all set. We bought some internet minutes pre-boarding, but then we hit the Platinum loyalty level after the first segment and got 500 free minutes each for every segment thereafter. Our TA gave us a nice little onboard credit which covered our laundry (which will be complimentary the next time we travel with Princess and hit the Elite level) and other odds and ends. We're not drinkers, so we ended the trip with a little extra in our shipboard account, which was refunded to our credit card. 

 

All told, the trip was less than $50K (Full disclosure: we caught a heck of a sale. Our balcony cabin was just $16999 per person for the LA to Ft Lauderdale 94 day trip. I keep watching the fares, but so far, lightning has failed to strike twice.) But bottom line, there's nothing wrong with cruising a la carte. Our per diem expense was about $532 for both of us. Even if you think only of a sea day, where can you get a hotel room, three multi-course meals, and live evening entertainment for that? We had some excellent adventures, met some wonderful people and will go again as soon as we can. 

 

Hopefully without breaking the bank...

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8 hours ago, Aquadesiac said:

Just  want to offer a bit of a contrarian position here...

 

While the all-inclusives sound wonderful, one of the benefits of doing a Princess or HAL is that you can pay for your trip incrementally. When we did our 2018 WC, we raided our stock account for the base fare, but all the extras came out of our regular household budget. We bought insurance on the base fare only, which was a savings over the higher priced cost of an inclusive. ...

 

Sounds great!  As long as you know what you're getting into, and if it's in your budget, then why not?

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Posted (edited)
On 3/1/2019 at 6:06 AM, Aquadesiac said:

Just  want to offer a bit of a contrarian position here...

 

While the all-inclusives sound wonderful, one of the benefits of doing a Princess or HAL is that you can pay for your trip incrementally. When we did our 2018 WC, we raided our stock account for the base fare, but all the extras came out of our regular household budget. We bought insurance on the base fare only, which was a savings over the higher priced cost of an inclusive. We booked our flights through Princess and got business class seats for only $800 for both of us. Our TA provided us with pre-paid gratuities, but we saved up and brought cash so we could give out extra tips. Our visas cost us a couple hundred. We did the applications online ourselves. We used points on our Visa card to pay for the pre-cruise hotel. We booked all the excursions before we boarded, picking and choosing  a few each month leading up to the cruise so they were all paid for ahead of time. We never had to wonder what we'd do in port. We were all set. We bought some internet minutes pre-boarding, but then we hit the Platinum loyalty level after the first segment and got 500 free minutes each for every segment thereafter. Our TA gave us a nice little onboard credit which covered our laundry (which will be complimentary the next time we travel with Princess and hit the Elite level) and other odds and ends. We're not drinkers, so we ended the trip with a little extra in our shipboard account, which was refunded to our credit card. 

 

All told, the trip was less than $50K (Full disclosure: we caught a heck of a sale. Our balcony cabin was just $16999 per person for the LA to Ft Lauderdale 94 day trip. I keep watching the fares, but so far, lightning has failed to strike twice.) But bottom line, there's nothing wrong with cruising a la carte. Our per diem expense was about $532 for both of us. Even if you think only of a sea day, where can you get a hotel room, three multi-course meals, and live evening entertainment for that? 

 

If you had booked a lowest level balcony cabin on our 2019 Oceania world cruise, you would have paid $52,000 (pretty close to your Princess price) for 161 days...which is only about $304 per day. These items are INCLUDED in the basic cruisefare: the most fantastic food on a ship; first class round trip airfare; choice of 36 shore excursions per person OR $3,600 per person onboard credit OR beverage package; free prepaid gratuities; free unlimited medical care; free unlimited internet; free unlimited laundry services (wash, dry, pressing); 5 shoreside events; free visa package through a company that does them for you; free luggage delivery service for 2, 50-pound pieces round trip; 1 pre-cruise night in a luxury hotel; and airport/hotel transfers at embarkation and debarkation. We have also received gifts and great parties and dinners. 

 

We felt that Oceania's value was the best of the 10 cruiselines we compared. And we're Platinum (just 1 more cruise to be Elite) on Princess.

 

BTW, if you qualify for Elite on your next cruise, you won't get Elite benefits until the NEXT cruise after the qualifying one. 

 

One thing I love about Oceania is that you get the benefits of your next level ON the cruise where you qualify. So we qualified as Gold level on this world cruise so we got the nice benefits now ($250 obc each, $230 spa credit each, $1,000 obc for gratuities refund and free flight changes).  Oh...and all Oceania specialty restaurants are no charge, unlimited free soda pop and bottled water and espresso drinks and teas and juices, free shuttles to city centers, and free Artist Loft workshops.  This is why the value we got is wonderful!

Edited by Go-Bucks!

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2019 at 9:51 AM, Aquadesiac said:

Is that $52K for two or each?

 

Each...but subtracting on all the things that are necessary (hotel, transfers, internet, laundry, medical, airfare, etc), which are another $22-27K, it makes the base about $25-30K. Divided by 161 days is $155-186 per day per person.

Edited by Go-Bucks!

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Yikes:  if I went to my husband and suggested a cruise at $ 52K each that would have been the end of the discussion.  I had a neighbor rave about Oceania and her idea of a great deal was $ 80,000. We simply cannot afford that.  So with some trepidations we are going with Costa for $17,500 per person including a wine and beer package.  I know you get what you pay for and I'm sure this will be a more basic European trip, but it's what our budget can afford.  Better than not going at all.

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Just now, LynnTTT said:

Yikes:  if I went to my husband and suggested a cruise at $ 52K each that would have been the end of the discussion.  I had a neighbor rave about Oceania and her idea of a great deal was $ 80,000. We simply cannot afford that.  So with some trepidations we are going with Costa for $17,500 per person including a wine and beer package.  I know you get what you pay for and I'm sure this will be a more basic European trip, but it's what our budget can afford.  Better than not going at all.

but isn't your cruise  only 3 months ??

Oceania is a full 6 mths  & includes many things 

yes  you need to compare  apples to apples 

 

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18 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

but isn't your cruise  only 3 months ??

Oceania is a full 6 mths  & includes many things 

yes  you need to compare  apples to apples 

 

 

But for some it's not the per diem, but the overall bottom line.  And many, including myself, don't want to spend 6 months on a ship.  I think once I've tried 4 months, perhaps I'll change my mind, but wouldn't want to commit to such a long cruise.

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LynnTTT--I"m sure you and your husband will have a grand adventure! When do you set sail and what port are you most looking forward to visiting?

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22 hours ago, LynnTTT said:

Better than not going at all.

 

I agree!  You'll have an excellent trip if for no other reason knowing that it is trip that does meet your budgetary requirements.

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On 3/8/2019 at 4:53 PM, LynnTTT said:

Yikes:  if I went to my husband and suggested a cruise at $ 52K each that would have been the end of the discussion.  I had a neighbor rave about Oceania and her idea of a great deal was $ 80,000. We simply cannot afford that.  So with some trepidations we are going with Costa for $17,500 per person including a wine and beer package.  I know you get what you pay for and I'm sure this will be a more basic European trip, but it's what our budget can afford.  Better than not going at all.

 

If your cruise is for 90 days (as Lynn mentioned) then at $17,500, the cost per person per day is $194.  If you got the cheapest cabin on Oceania, it would be about $35,000 for 180 days, at $194 per person per day...exactly the same!  You can do just a few segments on our world cruise so the overall cost and time commitment would be less, but they don't give all the great perks unless you do the whole world.

 

I realize that some people don't want to be gone for 6 months, but some of our fellow passengers must really love it because they've done this same world cruise for 4 yrs in a row!  We're loving it too...we've been gone almost 6 weeks and the time is flying by.  Best wishes for whatever you choose to do!

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Balance really is the key to everything. While part of me would love to escape and do the whole 245 on Viking in 2020-21 if I could afford it, at the same time, I don't think I could bear to be away from my friends  and family, my church and my whole "land life" for that long. I guess that's why per diem costs are really secondary because, of course, they'd be less on a longer voyage. Everyone needs to figure out for themselves what fits with their lives and budgets. Then throw themselves into the adventure with abandon and Emily Dickinson's advice in their ears. "The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience!"

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20 hours ago, Aquadesiac said:

Everyone needs to figure out for themselves what fits with their lives and budgets.

 

Of course....and cruising isn't for everyone either.  My parents took one cruise and hated it.  That's why it's great that there are so many travel options available.  Whatever floats your boat!  (Pun intended).  😂   🛳️

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Agreed! That's why the DH & I love to pull our little camper around from time to time. However, nothing compares to the total pampering of a cruise vacation!

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On 3/12/2019 at 3:08 PM, Aquadesiac said:

Agreed! That's why the DH & I love to pull our little camper around from time to time. However, nothing compares to the total pampering of a cruise vacation!

So true, when we hitch up the 5th wheel, I have to drive, but on a cruise, someone else gets to drive, make dinner, do dishes, etc. Life is grand aboard a ship.🙂

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Posted (edited)
On 3/13/2019 at 3:39 PM, Heidi13 said:

So true, when we hitch up the 5th wheel, I have to drive, but on a cruise, someone else gets to drive, make dinner, do dishes, etc. Life is grand aboard a ship.🙂

 

It's SO grand that after 6 months of this pampering I'm not sure how I'll be able to function at home without two room attendants, a butler and a chef!  ☺️

Edited by Go-Bucks!

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So true! What a pity my secret royal status is only recognized when I'm on a cruise ship!

 

 

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We are happy we booked this Costa Deliziosa world cruise for 2020 cruise, but I do have a few concerns:

--the itinerary has been changed slightly, but not for the better for us- they dropped Corfu and Haifa and replaced with Messina and Bari.  Two Italian ports- been to Messina and not much interested in Bari.  Now I feel like I have to keep checking

--reviews aren't great. Period. But some of the issues don't concern me- too many Europeans, shows aren't geared to English speakers, etc

-anytime dining is not an option in the MDR and we can't choose our seating- I think early will be 7:30 and late maybe 9:30.  Or maybe 7:00 and 9:00.  And my husband doesn't like to eat in the buffet for dinner.  We'll adjust

--includes 15 excursions, but I suspect it will mostly be bus tours or shuttles from port to town

--Basically we like the itinerary- includes an overnight at Easter Island- hopefully the weather will cooperate.  Haven't been to Japan or South Korea,  Son lives in Thailand so we'll get a short visit with him, 

-- It's Italian and includes wine and beer with lunch and dinner!!!!! How bad can that be??

At $ 17,500 each we think we can keep the total to less than $50,000 which fits into our budget.

Would love to see more reviews of the world cruises on this or other Costa ships

 

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Just now, LynnTTT said:

At $ 17,500 each we think we can keep the total to less than $50,000 which fits into our budget.

Would love to see more reviews of the world cruises on this or other Costa ships

 

What other expenses  do you have  besides  excursions  which  you can work around if the budget is tight?

Airfare included?

VISAS?

laundry?

Luggage shipping or airline fees?

Gratuities?

 

If you google  Costa  world cruise  you should come up with a couple of hits 

 

 

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4 hours ago, LynnTTT said:

We are happy we booked this Costa Deliziosa world cruise for 2020 cruise, but I do have a few concerns:

--the itinerary has been changed slightly, but not for the better for us- they dropped Corfu and Haifa and replaced with Messina and Bari.  Two Italian ports- been to Messina and not much interested in Bari.  Now I feel like I have to keep checking

--reviews aren't great. Period. But some of the issues don't concern me- too many Europeans, shows aren't geared to English speakers, etc

-anytime dining is not an option in the MDR and we can't choose our seating- I think early will be 7:30 and late maybe 9:30.  Or maybe 7:00 and 9:00.  And my husband doesn't like to eat in the buffet for dinner.  We'll adjust

--includes 15 excursions, but I suspect it will mostly be bus tours or shuttles from port to town

--Basically we like the itinerary- includes an overnight at Easter Island- hopefully the weather will cooperate.  Haven't been to Japan or South Korea,  Son lives in Thailand so we'll get a short visit with him, 

-- It's Italian and includes wine and beer with lunch and dinner!!!!! How bad can that be??

At $ 17,500 each we think we can keep the total to less than $50,000 which fits into our budget.

Would love to see more reviews of the world cruises on this or other Costa ships

 

Did they give you a reason for dropping Haifa and Corfu? I was wondering if the bombs sent toward Tel Aviv today have anything to do with that. Sad about missing Corfu. We went there on our Princess 2018 WC as an alternate stop when we were unable to tender in to Santorini. Corfu is charming and the residents so very happy to see us come.

 

As far as looking for reviews,  keep in mind that people are as happy or as disgruntled as they choose to be. Your mileage will surely vary.

 

But If you're still looking, I would suggest you check out the Cunard Queen Victoria & Queen Mary 2021 WC's. Those start at about the  $17,500 you're planning to pay Costa. Where are you embarking? You may find a savings in airfare depending on where you hop on and off. But Cunard isn't going to Easter Island, Japan, South Korea or Thailand, so that may be a non-starter for you.

 

Whatever you decide, this will be a wonderful adventure. I always try to approach travel without pre-conceived notions of how it will go.  That way, I'm always surprised and usually delighted!   

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15 minutes ago, Aquadesiac said:

Whatever you decide, this will be a wonderful adventure. I always try to approach travel without pre-conceived notions of how it will go.  That way, I'm always surprised and usually delighted!   

 

For each trip that I take, I do have a positive expectation for that specific trip.  I realize that "blips" may occur during my experience and I factor that into my thinking.  Always, I return home and am thankful that I spent the money and time for my adventure.  Was everything 100% perfect?  Sometimes, yes.  Sometimes, no.  Would the "nos" prevent me from traveling again?  Absolutely not!

 

As the previous poster stated, expect this world cruise to be the adventure of a lifetime regardless of what ports might be missed or whatever "blips" take place during the cruise.  Being flexible, being open-minded will help you have a great travel experience!

 

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I’m lurking! 😎

Cunard QE 11 has a World Cruise, very reasonably priced. Jan. 2020

That said, itinerary is very important. Weve done a considerable amount of cruising so new ports make a difference. As an older person a port intensive cruise is not as attractive as it was a decade ago. 

Cruising is subjective, each to their own. However, a comfortable bed and pleasant dining companions can make an enjoyable cruise, plus interesting lectures  are more important to us than the stage shows. 

Ann

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8 hours ago, rtdiva said:

I’m lurking! 😎

Cunard QE 11 has a World Cruise, very reasonably priced. Jan. 2020

That said, itinerary is very important. Weve done a considerable amount of cruising so new ports make a difference. As an older person a port intensive cruise is not as attractive as it was a decade ago. 

Cruising is subjective, each to their own. However, a comfortable bed and pleasant dining companions can make an enjoyable cruise, plus interesting lectures  are more important to us than the stage shows. 

Ann

Glad to hear someone else enjoys sea days and considers the ship itself a destination! A new port every day gets tiring in a hurry for us. 

That said, I am looking for more new ports that repeats. But even if it's someplace we've  been before, there's usually something we wished we'd done the previous time. 

 

Can anyone who's done a Cunard cruise speak to the cost and quality of their ship's excursions?

 

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Recalculating!

The ship is the Queen Mary r/t New York. Jan. 2020

Ann

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