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Which World Cruise do you recommend?


islandwoman
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17 hours ago, gkbiiii said:

So what is the general take, on Royal Caribbean's nine month cruise?  As a Diamond Plus, I can see many booking it for a status upgrade and the prestige (in Royal Circles) of being on it, full cruise.

 

Having completed 2 World Cruises on a mainstream mega ship line and a premium line, I can't imagine experiencing RCCL for 9-months. 

 

Since it is highly unlikely they have fully sold the ship for the entire 9-months, they require multiple segments to fill the ship. Depending on the percentage of World Cruisers, it has the potential of becoming a series of B2B cruises, with each being different, depending on the pax and segment length. This was our experience on Princess, when < 25% of the pax were on the entire trip. 

 

On the premium line, they routinely sell the entire ship for a World Cruise, so once it departs, all pax are on for the duration. This also has the potential for negatives, but in our experience it was only positive, compared to the segment cruise.

 

The nickle & diming of mega ships could be a significant challenge on a 9-month cruise, having to manage a budget. Without carefully managing your onboard account, you could be faced with substantial costs at the end of each billing period.

 

World Cruises are also a very special type of cruise, which cruise lines take time to learn. I am not aware that RCCL have completed a World Cruise before, so are the new kids on the block. I certainly wouldn't sign up for a 9-month cruise, if I have no background research on how they step up the experience from their basic cruises. 

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17 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Having completed 2 World Cruises on a mainstream mega ship line and a premium line, I can't imagine experiencing RCCL for 9-months. 

 

Since it is highly unlikely they have fully sold the ship for the entire 9-months, they require multiple segments to fill the ship. Depending on the percentage of World Cruisers, it has the potential of becoming a series of B2B cruises, with each being different, depending on the pax and segment length. This was our experience on Princess, when < 25% of the pax were on the entire trip. 

 

On the premium line, they routinely sell the entire ship for a World Cruise, so once it departs, all pax are on for the duration. This also has the potential for negatives, but in our experience it was only positive, compared to the segment cruise.

 

The nickle & diming of mega ships could be a significant challenge on a 9-month cruise, having to manage a budget. Without carefully managing your onboard account, you could be faced with substantial costs at the end of each billing period.

 

World Cruises are also a very special type of cruise, which cruise lines take time to learn. I am not aware that RCCL have completed a World Cruise before, so are the new kids on the block. I certainly wouldn't sign up for a 9-month cruise, if I have no background research on how they step up the experience from their basic cruises. 

I agree with you, which is why I won't do Costa or MSC.  Princess & Holland also seem the same way.  Oceana does seem like a good option, but for the money, the top choice to me, is Cunard's QM2.  A balcony on their 2025 full World Sailing, from Ft Lauderdale, is $43,000+, which is half or less than what Premium & Luxury lines are charging.  I could spend another $35,000 and still be ahead: plus QM2 is a Liner , famous grand vessel, the world over.

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22 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Having completed 2 World Cruises on a mainstream mega ship line and a premium line,

 

Will you please tell us which mainstream mega ship and premium line you sailed on your two world cruises?

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41 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Since it is highly unlikely they have fully sold the ship for the entire 9-months, they require multiple segments to fill the ship. Depending on the percentage of World Cruisers, it has the potential of becoming a series of B2B cruises, with each being different, depending on the pax and segment length. This was our experience on Princess, when < 25% of the pax were on the entire trip.

This was my experience on Princess also.  But from the other side.  DH and I wanted to sail Ft. Lauderdale to Alaska.  The cruise that we found from FLL was the last segment of a world cruise.The World Cruise ended in California, but the ship continued on to Alaska. In the MDR, we were seated with two women who were on the entire world cruse.  Wonderful, I thought!  This is my chance to learn about a world cruise!  Wrong 🙁  Almost every dinner time was spent hearing about how unfair it was that the segment cruisers had received a "World Cruise" backpack and had been allowed into the World Cruise photo.  We weren't in the photo, but we did receive a backpack (probably left over).  It was not a pleasant cruise for us. 

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1 hour ago, gkbiiii said:

I agree with you, which is why I won't do Costa or MSC.  Princess & Holland also seem the same way.  Oceana does seem like a good option, but for the money, the top choice to me, is Cunard's QM2.  A balcony on their 2025 full World Sailing, from Ft Lauderdale, is $43,000+, which is half or less than what Premium & Luxury lines are charging.  I could spend another $35,000 and still be ahead: plus QM2 is a Liner , famous grand vessel, the world over.

 

The QM2 is by far the most comfortable ship to cross the open ocean these days. Although I haven't sailed on her, I do know some of the senior officers from when I worked for P&O.

 

One thing you do need to consider with QM2 is the Class system, as certain lounges and dining venues are restricted to those in more expensive accommodations. The QM2 is also more formal than most other cruise lines. Personally, since I used to be in formal attire every evening, it is not an issue for me, but it is for some.

 

Cunard/P&O UK have lots of World Cruise experience, having been completing them for over 50 years. Enjoy the cruise.

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1 hour ago, islandwoman said:

This was my experience on Princess also.  But from the other side.  DH and I wanted to sail Ft. Lauderdale to Alaska.  The cruise that we found from FLL was the last segment of a world cruise.The World Cruise ended in California, but the ship continued on to Alaska. In the MDR, we were seated with two women who were on the entire world cruse.  Wonderful, I thought!  This is my chance to learn about a world cruise!  Wrong 🙁  Almost every dinner time was spent hearing about how unfair it was that the segment cruisers had received a "World Cruise" backpack and had been allowed into the World Cruise photo.  We weren't in the photo, but we did receive a backpack (probably left over).  It was not a pleasant cruise for us. 

 

A classic example of how the expectations of segmenters and World Cruisers are divergent and often don't mix. How the cruise line deals with these issues can affect the result. Clearly Princess didn't manage it well, as your cruise was most likely not an original segment. Probably just added more pax to fill the ship.

 

On our Princess Cruise departing Sydney, we had about 600 pax sailing to Melbourne (2 days) and Freemantle (about 7 days). In addition, the ones getting off in Melbourne were replaced with pax going to Freemantle. Therefore, we had World Cruisers, Segmenters and Coasties all with different expectations.

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On 3/31/2023 at 2:28 PM, islandwoman said:

Almost every dinner time was spent hearing about how unfair it was that the segment cruisers had received a "World Cruise" backpack and had been allowed into the World Cruise photo.  We weren't in the photo, but we did receive a backpack (probably left over).  It was not a pleasant cruise for us. 

 

Why did you not change tables?  When She Who Must Be Obeyed cruises with me and we find ourselves in an annoying situation at dinner - adjacent to a table of loud drunks or annoying tablemates, for example - we change tables or dining times.  Neither of us suffer fools.

 

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On 4/4/2023 at 5:01 AM, IslandThyme said:

I'm interested in the comments about loving or hating MSC, and am not familiar with the reasons. Could someone summarize the perceived pros and cons? To me a Euro atmosphere sounds appealing.

I sailed on the Musica in 2008 and although the ship was beautiful the food was very average and for a world cruise I would want better. Also we were annoyed by the announcements in many different languages, I can understand why they do this but we found it distracting. Also the customer service was probably  the worst we have had in about 23 cruises especially at reception. 

We would love to do a world cruise no longer than 4 months. We live in Sydney and Crown Princess do a world cruise Sydney return this would be perfect but we don’t like the photos of the inside of the ship and size of bathrooms even for a balcony cabin so couldn’t spend months on that ship. I think it will be Oceana or Viking.


 

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On 4/3/2023 at 3:01 PM, IslandThyme said:

I'm interested in the comments about loving or hating MSC, and am not familiar with the reasons. Could someone summarize the perceived pros and cons? To me a Euro atmosphere sounds appealing.

What is "Euro atmosphere"?

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I have seen lots of reviews citing a "Euro atmosphere" on MSC. Having lived for a few years in Europe, to me that suggests a more sophisticated and cultured atmosphere. But the tons of comments about mediocre food certainly don't sound "Euro" to me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The HAL 2025 world cruise was just listed. I like it! https://www.cruisespecialists.com/cruise-promotion-detail.aspx?packageId=146174

 

They also posted a 133 (?) day pole to pole cruise. I'm not really looking for that yet, but I like that they are adding more and more long roundtrip cruises.  🙂 https://www.cruisespecialists.com/cruise-promotion-detail.aspx?packageId=146181&utm_campaign=hal&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cswe&utm_content=pole-pole&spMailingID=34892596&spUserID=MjAwNzY0NDYxOTQ5S0&spJobID=2403849773&spReportId=MjQwMzg0OTc3MwS2

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On 4/3/2023 at 3:01 PM, IslandThyme said:

I'm interested in the comments about loving or hating MSC, and am not familiar with the reasons. Could someone summarize the perceived pros and cons? To me a Euro atmosphere sounds appealing.

Maybe I can help here...

 

I have many cruises under my belt since the 1960's from 7 - 16+ days.  Back in the 1960's & 1970's Cruise Lines had national flavors based on the flagging  of the line(The American, French, Italian & Cunard/ British and several others).

We mostly sailed on Italian & French and Cunard ships.  For the last 10 years or so I have travelled in MSC ships & like the Euro atmosphere...the large population is European, the entertainment is varied, plentiful w something for everyone.  

As food is subjective - I have always found something satisfying to eat on MSC ships.  Times have changed & the food on most lines runs from bad to okay.  I live in NYC & have traveled all over the world and believe I know great food  - whether in a food truck or a 5 star restaurant.  I eat at shoreside restaurants when in port & have eat in the specialty restaurants & a few times went to the buffet...after so many days onboard I get "fooded out" & MSC has some of the best pizza at sea - so a couple of slices, a salad & a glass of wine sitting outside is the perfect dinner or midnite snack.  

 

As far as price point value & quality - MSC beats out Carnivore & RCCL brands by far.  I book a midship cabin( i choose the cabin) and book fantastica so my breakfast is delivered to my cabin each morning.

 

The ships are extremely clean & well kept.  As far as others complaints about staff & management - I think many people believe they are on the old QE2 and expectations are ridiculous.

I won't sail on RCCL after 2 cruises...pretty much gave up on any Carnival Corporation lines after many many days w Cunard & HAL. 

I've been quite happy w MSC  - w my balcony cabin & the choices MSC gives.

 

I am planning a 2025 WC w MSC along w other shorter cruises this & next year.

 

Try MSC once & see if you enjoy it....I'm glad I did

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/3/2023 at 2:01 PM, IslandThyme said:

I'm interested in the comments about loving or hating MSC, and am not familiar with the reasons. Could someone summarize the perceived pros and cons? To me a Euro atmosphere sounds appealing.

DW and I are approaching Civitavecchia on Day 115 of our World Cruise on the MSC Poesia.  We did our first MSC Cruise on the MSC Preziosa this August/September and included our conclusion that MSC is not for everyone in our review for that trip (placed below).

 

Our time on the world cruise has not really changed our views.  If a person is used to being on a ship in which 90% of the people are from the US, UK, Canada or Australia, then MSC could be a bit of a shock.  We are two of only about 20 Americans on board.  There are about that many Canadians and British (actually a few more Brits).  A think there are about 800+ French and 600+ Germans for a total of 70+ nationalities on board.  This does add a dynamic to the ship as each nationality brings their on peculiarities it also can be difficult to engage with your fellow cruisers in the halls or lounges as not everyone will speak English (DW and I only have Russian and Korean in our lexicon which is not too helpful on such a ship).  We enjoy meeting so many people from different countries, but there are challenges and we acknowledge that many Americans might not be comfortable with such a cruise.

 

The food is OK.  There is always something that we can find that we enjoy.  One of the challenges that someone should understand about a world cruise is that it offers a challenge to the food and entertainment.  Most cruise ships on lines such as NCL, RCCL, and Carnival run a combination of 4, 7 and 14 night cruises (yes, there certainly are exceptions).  But this means that the cooks in the galley can concentrate on 7-14 different menus.  The MSC Poesia has a rotating menu in the MDR which means that the cooks have had (to this date) 115 different menus.  Some are hits (pork belly!) and others are not.   We would put the food in the MDR at about the same as our RCCL cruise in December and better than our NCL Sky in October, and largely superior than the fare we had on Carnival last year.

 

The same can be said for entertainment (language issues largely restricts the type of entertainment to music and dance numbers).  The dancers we met from the ship told us they have over 15 different shows that they must learn and then perform just two times on one night.  

 

As for service, while everyone will have different experiences on a cruise ship, we can easily state that the wait staff that we have enjoyed in our restaurant, lounges, and our room steward are at the level that we would put against any American mass market cruise line (NCL, RCCL, and Carnival).

 

Excursions are about what we've seen with any cruise line we've sailed on. Some are really good, some are really bad.  To be clear, we had the same excursion experiences with our Regent Splendor cruise in November.     

 

The area that we have been most frustrated with, however, is the staff planning specifically with embarkation/disembarkation procedures at many ports.  Whoever is the staff officer responsible for planning and coordinating port activities has demonstrated themselves incapable of anticipating requirements, coordinating with port authorities well in advance of our port, and verifying these requirements.  We have had multiple ports where we spent over an hour getting off the ship and/or standing in lines for over an hour to get on the ship or getting on the shuttle bringing us to the port.

 

With that said, are we happy we have had this experience?  Absolutely.  But the real difference that MSC provides is value.  We retired when we are both under age 55 and our retirement investments in our IRA and TSP are unavailable for another 4-5 years.  So, many cruise lines' prices were out of reach such as Oceania, Regent, Viking, etc.  The two cruise lines that we were looking at were MSC and Princess.  For us, we liked the itinerary of the MSC Poesia far more than the Princess cruise which--for us--seemed to be generic and uninspiring (different people will have different perspectives).

 

Anyway, we have just sailed into port and need to get going.  Hopefully, I've given a decent perspective on a MSC world cruise.  Your mileage may vary...

 

 

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16 hours ago, JanR said:

DW and I are approaching Civitavecchia on Day 115 of our World Cruise on the MSC Poesia.  We did our first MSC Cruise on the MSC Preziosa this August/September and included our conclusion that MSC is not for everyone in our review for that trip (placed below).

 

 

How do you like World cruising on a large ship?

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  • 1 month later...
On 5/2/2023 at 5:28 PM, islandwoman said:

How do you like World cruising on a large ship?

Sorry I am just seeing this now (lots of unpacking, sorting mail, and laundry were on  the docket since returning to the states on May 7.)
 

We really didn’t view the Poesia as a large ship. Certainly it is larger than lines such as Oceania and Regent (but without the corresponding prices.).  In fact, other than the ship officers’ issues I wrote about earlier, the issues we had with the Poesia is that due to being a smaller ship than most newer ships, it didn’t have many of the other amenities that would have made such a longer journey more enjoyable.  
 

Chief among these was not having a specially restaurant.   There technically was an Asian restaurant, but it was closed for the cruise.  This meant that the MDR and the buffet were largely the only dining choices which became repetitive.  We assuaged these issues by eating off the ship as much as possible during port days. 
 

So, while somewhat sidestepping your question, we really didn’t feel we were in a large ship. The number of passengers was never really an issue and we made some very dear friends (shout out to Carlo, Richard and others) along the way. 
 

As with anything travel related, we all value different things in our experiences. We did love our WC and are more than satisfied overall with our own personal experience.   

Edited by JanR
The normal correcting of grammar and the like. Ugh!
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/25/2023 at 3:07 AM, islandwoman said:

I have sailed on the former R-class ships several times.  Once from Australia to Europe on the Ocean Princess, once on the Ocean Princess from Singapore to Europe, once on the Pacific Princess from Fort Lauderdale to Northern Europe, and once on the Azamara Onward from Ft. Lauderdale to the Eastern Caribbean.  I agree that these small ships rock and roll more than the big ones and sometimes I have had to take seasick meds.  But I never noticed creaking.  Maybe that's because we always sail in cabins low and midships.  Janet&Carl, Where was your cabin? 

 

 

Sorry island woman for taking so long to answer.  We were on deck 8 in a CC suite.  I figured we were in between the front and the middle but closer to the front staircase.   We loved Azamara and we are about to try them again because I really would like to do a WC on them.  I like that they spend a long time and overnight in ports.  I like that everything is included except for excursions but you get OBC to cover some of that.  I like that they have a laundrette so I can wash my own smalls 😉.  I loved the food - best we have had on a cruise but we did eat in the specialty restaurants most nights and only once in the dining room. Next cruise I am trying the very middle of the ship on deck 4 (as low as I could go) ocean view cabin to see if I can cope.  We have never cruised in anything but a suite so we'll see if we like a smaller cabin and if I dont get seasick like last time. We are sailing on the Onward in October b2b.  We will then make a final decision on if we can use Onward for our WC because I havent found anything else suitable yet.

 

Edited by Janet&Carl
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On 2/23/2023 at 6:54 AM, RICHARD@SEA said:

JanR, 

 

Thanks so much for posting...I had wanted to do this years WC w MSC....Thankfully today I read the 2025 WC MSC Grandiosa is the itin I want to do.

 

I

 

 

Thanks again Jan - after binge watching your blog we have put MSC back on the list of possibles.  We prefer the itinerary for 2024 but are not ready to go next year as we already have cruises booked with friends that I would not like to cancel.   If they repeat 2024 itinerary we would jump in a heartbeat.

 

Do you mean Magnifica ?? Richard@sea /.  Grandiosa has Yacht Club and they usually do the WC on ships with no YC.  I like that MSC includes meal time drinks, excursions etc.. but I am still leaning to Azamara as we really enjoyed our cruise on them apart from a few niggles 😉 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/26/2023 at 3:22 AM, Janet&amp;Carl said:

 

 

Thanks again Jan - after binge watching your blog we have put MSC back on the list of possibles.  We prefer the itinerary for 2024 but are not ready to go next year as we already have cruises booked with friends that I would not like to cancel.   If they repeat 2024 itinerary we would jump in a heartbeat.

 

Do you mean Magnifica ?? Richard@sea /.  Grandiosa has Yacht Club and they usually do the WC on ships with no YC.  I like that MSC includes meal time drinks, excursions etc.. but I am still leaning to Azamara as we really enjoyed our cruise on them apart from a few niggles 😉 

yes - sorry 2025 WC on  Magnifica 

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On 4/21/2023 at 9:49 AM, Guinness1000 said:

The HAL 2025 world cruise was just listed. I like it! https://www.cruisespecialists.com/cruise-promotion-detail.aspx?packageId=146174

 

They also posted a 133 (?) day pole to pole cruise. I'm not really looking for that yet, but I like that they are adding more and more long roundtrip cruises.  🙂 https://www.cruisespecialists.com/cruise-promotion-detail.aspx?packageId=146181&utm_campaign=hal&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cswe&utm_content=pole-pole&spMailingID=34892596&spUserID=MjAwNzY0NDYxOTQ5S0&spJobID=2403849773&spReportId=MjQwMzg0OTc3MwS2

 

The pole to pole is the best WC I have seen so far.  I would love this itinerary.  It appears expensive for what it is - doesnt seem like any inclusions except the norm.  Does anyone know if HAL WC has inclusions such as gratuities, drinks, wifi, laundry etc... like some of the others do for a very similar price.

 

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16 hours ago, Janet&amp;Carl said:

 

The pole to pole is the best WC I have seen so far.  I would love this itinerary.  It appears expensive for what it is - doesnt seem like any inclusions except the norm.  Does anyone know if HAL WC has inclusions such as gratuities, drinks, wifi, laundry etc... like some of the others do for a very similar price.

 

Some perks from a TA

 

Suite Offer! Book select categories and receive the following amenities.

-$1,500 per cabin onboard credit
-$1,000 Air Credit per cabin (Flights subject to availability)
-Roundtrip Airport Transfers
-Luggage Delivery Service to/from FLL (4 pieces for Vista Suites, 5 pieces for Neptune and Pinnacle Suites)
-Welcome Aboard bottle of Sparkling Wine
-Pre-paid Gratuities
-Complimentary Shore Excursion
-In-suite Liquor Setup
-Complimentary Laundry, Dry Cleaning & Pressing

 

Oceanview Offer! Book oceanview categories C-F or CA and receive the following amenities:

-$1,000 per cabin onboard credit
-Surf Wi-Fi package
-$1,000 Air Credit per cabin (Flights subject to availability)
-Roundtrip Airport Transfers
-Luggage Delivery Service (up to 3 pieces to/from FLL)
-Welcome Aboard bottle of Sparkling Wine
-Pre-paid Gratuities

 

 

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1 hour ago, Cruise Junky said:

Some perks from a TA

 

Suite Offer! Book select categories and receive the following amenities.

-$1,500 per cabin onboard credit
-$1,000 Air Credit per cabin (Flights subject to availability)
-Roundtrip Airport Transfers
-Luggage Delivery Service to/from FLL (4 pieces for Vista Suites, 5 pieces for Neptune and Pinnacle Suites)
-Welcome Aboard bottle of Sparkling Wine
-Pre-paid Gratuities
-Complimentary Shore Excursion
-In-suite Liquor Setup
-Complimentary Laundry, Dry Cleaning & Pressing

 

Oceanview Offer! Book oceanview categories C-F or CA and receive the following amenities:

-$1,000 per cabin onboard credit
-Surf Wi-Fi package
-$1,000 Air Credit per cabin (Flights subject to availability)
-Roundtrip Airport Transfers
-Luggage Delivery Service (up to 3 pieces to/from FLL)
-Welcome Aboard bottle of Sparkling Wine
-Pre-paid Gratuities

 

 

These are standard HAL perks, not TA specifics. You can see the inside cabin perks on the HAL website too.

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