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dancingfish

Are cruises just not the best vacation options anymore?

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Trying to plan a cruise for hubby and I for his birthday and everytime I think I have a great itenerary i look at the reviews and it seems everyone hates the cruises! Are people just being jerks or is travel by cruise ship just not fun anymore?

 

We haven't cruised in over 15 years but had a great time on our last cruise to Alaska!

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Fun to some people is finding things to complain about.  I think a cruise is an excellent way to celebrate a B-day.   Go for your favorite itinerary.  Have a great time.  

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I think that most reviews are done by people who just aren't happy or they nit pick about things that are minuscule.  I think cruising is STILL fun, I don't get to do it often, however, when I am on a ship I make the most of it.   I think it still all depends on the type of person one is, if you're a glass half full type you might not have fun.   Its all about what you make of your cruise.  I love not cooking, being served in a restaurant, relaxing, seeing shows and unwinding for the week.  Its all about ME and relaxing LOL

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Everyone hates cruises? That in itself should make you suspicious of the value of the reviews. Everyone can't possibly hate cruises. Just reading on Cruise Critic should cause you to doubt that statement.

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OP hasn’t cruised in 15 years .

That was back when 10 million people cruised that year.

Cruise lines will approach 30 million this year .

Cruises are more popular than ever , just different , do to the size and amenities  of the ships now .

 

 

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Your post struck a chord.  I confess to sometimes posting negative issues pertaining to our cruises.  On the other hand, we have 5 cruises booked for the next 12 months (and might add more) so we obviously love our time on cruise ships.   The easy answer to your post is to say "don't pay attention to the negative reviews and comments because cruising is wonderful."  But that would not be entirely honest.  Yes, cruising is indeed wonderful which is why it is a big part of DW's and my life.  But there are also some things on cruises that are far from perfect.  So read the reviews, absorb the comments (both negative and positive) and act accordingly.  Despite having many issues with the mass market lines, DW and I still think it is one of the best ways to spend our time.  When on a cruise we immerse ourselves in the positive aspects and generally ignore or avoid the negative.  If a production show that we have seen 4 times (on previous cruises) sucks...we simply avoid that show and find some other entertainment on the ship :).  If we think the meat is lousy we will order the fish (or vice versa).  And if the cruise director makes too many annoying announcements we simply put on our noise cancelling headphones :).

 

Yes, there are some wonderful vacation alternatives to cruising and we like them too.  But there is so much to love about the cruise industry that the negatives cannot keep us away...although it can certainly alter what we book.  So my advice is read the reviews and comments, critically assess the negative and positive, and make a decision based on your own wants/likes.   Once aboard a ship enjoy the good things and try to avoid (or ignore) things that might not be to your liking.  There is plenty of time to be a critic on Cruise Critic after your trip..  But the time to simply have fun is when you are in vacation/cruise mode.

 

And we practice what we preach :).  I have been very critical of recent changes at Celebrity which have driven us to book several other lines.  But we still did a last minute Celebrity booking (for 2 weeks from now) despite the fact that this line has cut-back on many things that we used to like.  Our upcoming cruise was a bargain (price wise) and our expectations are that we will have a fantastic time.  There are some things which are not to our liking and we have/will make adjustments to avoid these issues.  But for those 10 days (this is a short cruise) we cannot think of anyplace else we would rather be.

 

 

Hank

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3 hours ago, dancingfish said:

Are people just being jerks or is travel by cruise ship just not fun anymore?

 

We haven't cruised in over 15 years but had a great time on our last cruise to Alaska!

Cruising is different now -- some people will still love it, other people won't like the changes.   Which category you fall in to will depend on what you loved about cruising before and what you expect about cruising now. 

 

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50 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

 And if the cruise director makes too many annoying announcements we simply put on our noise cancelling headphones :).

 

Hank

 

What do you mean if.  For me it is when the CD makes the annoying announcements.  😀😀😀

 

A lot of complaints are really not life changers.  Last cruise didn't have horse radish for the prime rib.  I like horse radish, but to me it was no big deal.  Others might go into a purple tizzy and complain.   Now, to be sure if they didn't have sour cream for the baked potato, then a mutiny would have been justified.   Just sayin.  

 

Just joshing.  I think you spelled things our pretty well in your post.  

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53 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

What do you mean if.  For me it is when the CD makes the annoying announcements.  😀😀😀

 

A lot of complaints are really not life changers.  Last cruise didn't have horse radish for the prime rib.  I like horse radish, but to me it was no big deal.  Others might go into a purple tizzy and complain.   Now, to be sure if they didn't have sour cream for the baked potato, then a mutiny would have been justified.   Just sayin.  

 

Just joshing.  I think you spelled things our pretty well in your post.  

No horse radish!  OMG, say it isn't so.  That might cause me to post, "why I will never cruise that %$^& line again.  But lets be honest here.  The reality is they probably had horse radish, but creamed it down with powdered cream  (is there such a thing?) and called it "real creamed horse radish."

 

Hank

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Cruises remain an attractive vacation option. For us, repositionings are the best way to cross the Atlantic.  If we want to get away and have a no-stress week or so- especially sailing from a port near where we plan to be, spending time on a ship is great.

 

To the extent we enjoyed good dining, music we enjoy, and comfortable surroundings, we do not expect to find that on mass market lines.  We simply do not like the atmosphere and size on the larger ships, so we just have to be more selective.

 

So, while I suppose there was a time when cruising was “the best vacation for us”, the fact is that both we and the usual cruise experience have changed, it is now just one of several options.

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My husband and I just started cruising 5 years ago and honestly it's hard to go on a "regular" vacation for us anymore.  When you start adding up the cost of a hotel plus meals it's most likely going to cost more than the cruise fare.  Also we have a hard time making decisions about where to eat when we are on a "regular" vacation and going on a cruise eliminates that stress for us.  We've only done Caribbean cruises so far, we live where it gets cold and miserable in the winter and have to get away somewhere warm for a week in order to survive 😁 We love being able to see new places throughout the week that we are on the cruise and even if it's an island we've already been on, it's fun to find a new place on that island to explore.  I think if you have a good attitude and don't let little things bother you, you'll have a great time.  I always take the negative reviews with a grain of salt.  Some people just like to complain, or expect everything to be perfect on a cruise.  I always find it funny when people say the food was horrible and they could find anything to eat.  Most of the time the food in the dining room is better than the buffet, but I've never gone through the whole buffet and found nothing that was appetizing to me.  

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70 cruises and 8 more booked. The best bang for the buck against any vacation. Yes, we love cruising. Ya think?

MDR food vs buffet. In many cases the MDR has the same food offerings as the buffet for that day. Not talking about the same food that is offered every day at the MDR like steak. However, when we at at the buffet on the Harmony, we were told if we want anything from the MDR just ask for it and we will get it for you. That was a first for us. No cruise or ship is 100% for everyone. You cannot expect that. We only had one terrible cruise and that was recent. A new ship that needs a lot of changes. Some were so so and others great. We cruise only out of Florida because the wife does not like flying. We look foreword to every up coming cruise. We do out best to sail on ships we have not been on. New ships or totally refurbished ships. Some cruise lines we do not care for. others are excellent. That is our choice and not meant to degrade any of them. So pick a cruise that will be what you are looking for. many choices and destinations. Happy birth day and many more.

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1 hour ago, Irule7 said:

My husband and I just started cruising 5 years ago and honestly it's hard to go on a "regular" vacation for us anymore.  When you start adding up the cost of a hotel plus meals it's most likely going to cost more than the cruise fare.  Also we have a hard time making decisions about where to eat when we are on a "regular" vacation and going on a cruise eliminates that stress for us.  We've only done Caribbean cruises so far, we live where it gets cold and miserable in the winter and have to get away somewhere warm for a week in order to survive 😁 We love being able to see new places throughout the week that we are on the cruise and even if it's an island we've already been on, it's fun to find a new place on that island to explore.  I think if you have a good attitude and don't let little things bother you, you'll have a great time.  I always take the negative reviews with a grain of salt.  Some people just like to complain, or expect everything to be perfect on a cruise.  I always find it funny when people say the food was horrible and they could find anything to eat.  Most of the time the food in the dining room is better than the buffet, but I've never gone through the whole buffet and found nothing that was appetizing to me.  

THIS!

we could go to the beach and rent a condo for the week but after you add up everything it is cheaper to cruise. Not to mention I am not setting foot inside a kitchen or laundry room.

95% of the people who cruise love it. stick with those reviews.

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Cruises were never the "best" vacation option for us - they were simply an option and remain as such.

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We cruised in August 2017.

 

We hated it SO MUCH, we booked the same cruise, for the next year, in the same cabin.  Then got home and booked another one.

 

After the second, but before the third, booked ANOTHER one.  And onboard the 3rd, booked 2 more. 😄

 

Yeap, hate cruising.

 

But we still like land vacations also.  Both have their pluses and minuses.

 

Also, we cruise for the cruising.  The destinations don't matter.  We will find something to do.  If not, we can stay on board and enjoy the ship.  But we really prefer the sea days.  Many things to do and nothing to do. 😄

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Reviews are like noses, everyone has one and they all smell. I think the tendency is to write a review if something is perceived to have gone wrong but there are also positive reviews out there. We enjoy everything about cruising and find that it fits us to a T, at least for now. If I read a bad review I ask myself, "if this happened to us would it upset us" and usually the answer is no. 

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If cruising wasn't fun anymore, the cruise ships would be empty.  All of the reviews aren't negative. I have read many positive reviews.  Cruising isn't for everyone though.  Every cruise I have been on has been wonderful.  I think nearly anyone can have a good time if they have realistic expectations.

I used to work with somebody who complained nearly every time we went out to eat.  She always found something to whine about.  I thought the meals were fine.  I quit going with her because she was so negative.  Some people focus on the bad and they let little things ruin a meal, a cruise, whatever.  There are some things that are definitely worth complaining about, but most are not (to me).

Anyway, I think a cruise is the best type of vacation for me.  My husband agrees.  There are so many great things about cruising that it would really take something horrible for me to think cruising was not fun.  Some ships are better than others.  Each line offers different things.  There is one particular ship we won't sail on again because of the theater and crowds, but we still had a great time.  We know more about what we like and the right size ship for us.

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On 5/13/2019 at 8:10 PM, ldubs said:

 

What do you mean if.  For me it is when the CD makes the annoying announcements.  😀😀😀

 

A lot of complaints are really not life changers.  Last cruise didn't have horse radish for the prime rib.  I like horse radish, but to me it was no big deal.  Others might go into a purple tizzy and complain.   Now, to be sure if they didn't have sour cream for the baked potato, then a mutiny would have been justified.   Just sayin.  

 

Just joshing.  I think you spelled things our pretty well in your post.  

 

Celebrity generally has Captains announcement in the morning and that’s it.

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On 5/14/2019 at 1:10 AM, ldubs said:

  Last cruise didn't have horse radish for the prime rib. 

 

I hope you got a full refund, and some sort of future cruise credit!!

 

Back on topic,. how right a cruise is for you surely depends on what you want from your holiday - if you like to meticulously plan where you'll be every day, spending 2 or 3 days in each place, you probably won't want a cruise...

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9 minutes ago, caffeine_demon said:

if you like to meticulously plan where you'll be every day, spending 2 or 3 days in each place, you probably won't want a cruise...

Well, that depends on what kind of cruise you're on.   A transoceanic cruise to a place where you'll do a planned land vacation might still be a terrific option.  It is for me 😉

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On 5/13/2019 at 4:48 PM, dancingfish said:

Trying to plan a cruise for hubby and I for his birthday and everytime I think I have a great itenerary i look at the reviews and it seems everyone hates the cruises! Are people just being jerks or is travel by cruise ship just not fun anymore?

 

We haven't cruised in over 15 years but had a great time on our last cruise to Alaska!

I would say that cruising has changed, and not for the better.  Before it was an intimate way to travel.  Nowadays with most of the midpriced cruise lines having ships that hold over 3000 people, people, myself included, feel that they are herded like cattle.  The food is definitely not as good and the service is not as personable.  At the ports, with that many people getting off of the ship, the destination is overcrowded and commercialized.   I use to love cruising.  I have been on over 60 cruises and now I prefer to travel differently. 

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On 5/13/2019 at 2:48 PM, dancingfish said:

Trying to plan a cruise for hubby and I for his birthday and everytime I think I have a great itenerary i look at the reviews and it seems everyone hates the cruises! Are people just being jerks or is travel by cruise ship just not fun anymore?

 

We haven't cruised in over 15 years but had a great time on our last cruise to Alaska!

Please don't fall into this trap!  Cruising is great.  I'm not the incredibly experience cruiser like some on this board (yes, I'm jealous), but I have 9 under my belt and another starting Sunday.  Every cruise has been great.  And EVERY cruise has had a fair number of annoyances.  The boarding process sometimes.  The disembarkation process sometimes (I'm looking at you Galveston!).  Sometimes the service at dinner a couple of nights.  Sometimes the entertainer that evening.  etc. etc.  But I can assure you, we always enjoyed ourselves.  As my wife says (and she's not alone):  You go to so many cool places and your hotel travels with you.  Except your hotel also comes with hoards of food choices and great entertainment.  

 

So then I read these negative reviews!  YIKES, I guess I must be stupid to enjoy myself.  But if you read in more depth, there seem to be two broad categories:  1)  Complaints about very specific things that 99% of us would consider minor and for this passenger, it was a trigger.  2)  Passengers who did little or no research.  So these reviews are full of statements like "If I had known that I would have to..."  Research and prepare.  Heck, the prep work is a huge chunk of the fun for us.  Watching you tube videos, reading Cruise Critic boards, reading Rick Steves' guides, and yes, reading reviews (but lots of them, to get some balance).  (And beware of those who bemoan "nickel and diming".  That's a subcategory of not being prepared.)

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On 5/15/2019 at 3:26 PM, dkjretired said:

 

Celebrity generally has Captains announcement in the morning and that’s it.

 

And following the Captain’s announcement is the CD who proceeds to (so it seems) read the entire daily program over the PA.

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We did our first cruise in 1990, a seven day Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean.  We had an inside cabin and I think the cost was about $1100 each.  In February we did a seven day on HA for less than $ 500.  

So cruises are cheaper and therefore not as special and luxurious.  But still a great vacation and we can go several times a year if we want.  Or do a four month world cruise next year!!!

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I don't know.  I don't want to over analyze what is still a good thing for us.  When I board a cruise ship I still have that feeling of being someplace special. We are a very tight family and gather frequently.  Most of the cruises we take are also group family cruises, so we have a special time enjoying being together.   

 

So to answer the title of this thread, I don't know if cruises are the absolute best vacations, but they are still pretty high up there among the best.   

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