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Choosing a World Cruise


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@Port Power and I have some different criteria. Some of what’s important to them isn’t important to me and vice versa. Everyone has their own preferences and reasons for them 😀 If I was a drinker and solo traveler, I would want alcohol and excursions included (for safety and company each day).


With our suggestions and perhaps reading a few WC blogs, you can come up with a prioritized list of your criteria and start checking boxes for each cruise line.

 

TheInsideCabin.com has a list of HAL WC blogs. Pete has a lot of great info about WCs on his website too. You can check other CC pages to find blogs for other cruise lines. I read several before we booked the 2019 and still follow several people now. Lots of packing, logistics, and tour suggestions in the blogs too.

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13 hours ago, sandiego1 said:

For our 1st WC (in 2019), our requirements were - not in priority order:

 

- full circumnavigation. I wanted to go completely around the world, not start in 1 country and finish in another (now not as important for future long cruises)

- East to West travel since it’s much easier to gain 1 hour every few days, than lose 1. Plus it’s harder on the crew. They still have the same amount of work to do, but only have 23 hrs to they lose an hr of sleep.

- Few, if any, included excursions. We are very active and much younger than a typical person on a WC. We don’t want to be stuck on a bus of 30-40 people. The tour can only go as fast as the slowest person. Plus all the long waits for people after a bathroom stop or “free time” when few people show up at the meeting spot at the designated time. We wanted to be independent.

- I don’t drink alcohol, coffee, or soda. Included beverages would be wasted on me and not worth the all inclusive price. DH does drink alcohol so he just pays by the drink or buys wine packages for dinner.

- Ratio of port to sea days. We wanted more than 50% port days.

- Price per day was a consideration, but not the driving factor.

- Availability and location of a desired cabin. Since we were newbies, we didn’t have preferential allocation of cabins (HAL allows current WCers the ability to book the same cabin year after year). We were very lucky to get a cabin we liked in the desired location.

- Ports - we wanted to experience as many new places as possible and not cities we had previously visited.

- Didn’t want to have to dress up for dinner every night in the main dining room. Some lines require a minimum of “country club” clothing. We wanted to be able to wear nice jeans (or capris for me) at dinner most nights and get dressed up for formal nights. DH didn’t want to wear a sport coat or jacket 

most nights.

- Size of ship - we thought ~1000 passengers was a good size. Didn’t want to go on a ship that only had 200-500. Many people are repeat customers and we didn’t want to feel left out since we didn’t know anyone. With a larger ship, we thought there was a greater chance of more newbies.

 

Hope this helps.

What ship/line did you end up selecting? And, did it meet your expectations?

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2 minutes ago, aungrl said:

What ship/line did you end up selecting? And, did it meet your expectations?

Sorry, I was reading backwards and just saw your reply.  Too late to delete this one, though.

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  • 1 month later...

Have a look at the Azamara 155 night world cruise on Azamara Onward, It's a lovely small ship, around 600 on board, and not as expensive as many of the other offerings. Plenty of inluded extras, like air and a generous on board credit. 

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We are on the Azamara Onward World Cruise. It has been fabulous and we're loving the experience. If you go to the Azamara cc page under "currently onboard" or something like that, one of the World Cruise guests has been posting photos and giving lots of information about the extra surprises Azamara is doing. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/2/2024 at 1:25 PM, sandiego1 said:

@Port Power and I have some different criteria. Some of what’s important to them isn’t important to me and vice versa. Everyone has their own preferences and reasons for them 😀 If I was a drinker and solo traveler, I would want alcohol and excursions included (for safety and company each day).


With our suggestions and perhaps reading a few WC blogs, you can come up with a prioritized list of your criteria and start checking boxes for each cruise line.

 

TheInsideCabin.com has a list of HAL WC blogs. Pete has a lot of great info about WCs on his website too. You can check other CC pages to find blogs for other cruise lines. I read several before we booked the 2019 and still follow several people now. Lots of packing, logistics, and tour suggestions in the blogs too.

I agree with you ..

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On 2/29/2024 at 1:42 PM, Travel Lady in CT said:

I've decided to take a WC.  How do I choose?  Does anyone have a spreadsheet of criteria that they've used?  It's rather overwhelming with Cruise lines, ships ports, incentives, etc.   I'm thinking around 4 1/2 months, probably in 2026 with a balcony cabin.

Would love to hear how others have narrowed down the choices. Thanks!

Thanks everyone for all your input.  I really appreciate it!  I couldn't find a way to update my original post, but wanted to let everyone know I decided on the 180 day ATW cruise on the Oceania Vista.  I liked the ports, vibe (that I read about), self-serve laundry, the number of restaurants and the fact that so much was included in the fare ($8800 excursion credit, airfare, gratuities, specialty dining, unlimited Starlink WiFi, laundry, luggage delivery, visa package and the list goes on and on).

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/2/2024 at 7:28 PM, Port Power said:

I also booked the Regent Seven Seas 2025 World Cruise, some 24 months in advance.  Much depends on your budget as well as the itinerary.  That cruise just about booked in weeks, although I believe there are some cabins still available.

 

I don’t require the cruise to circumnavigate the globe to consider it a world cruise, although some people do. The itinerary is more important to me.  I didn’t mind visiting ports I’ve been to in the past, although most of these were many years ago anyway, and I would be visiting different places on the shore excursions.

 

Most, if not all, cruise companies include laundry on a world cruise. Tick!  Medical visits are also often included. Tick!

 

As a solo cruiser, I wanted shore excursions included.  I also wanted Champagne and premium cocktails included.

 

Silversea and Azamara had not released their 2025 world cruises when I booked with Regent.  With Azamara I would upgrade to the premium beverage package and factor in shore excursions.  Both those companies include flights from home, which is an added bonus.

 

Do you want/need glitzy production shows and more bars, dining and music venues?  This is an important factor to many cruisers.  I might consider HAL in the future.  A friend travelling solo on HAL’s current world cruise is thoroughly enjoying herself.  I would never consider Princess or Cunard for world cruises: just my personal choice.

 

You can see I prefer smaller ships, but do your research.  There is an itinerary and budget to suit most cruisers.

 

 

Great response - Azamara include premium beverage package and laundry and wifi and OBC, flights and precruise hotel and gala.  So for us it was about the ports.  Ratio of port to sea days.  The cheaper lines that do World Cruises usually have bigger ships but less ports.  Costa, Princess MSC included.  I like the Volendam pole to pole itinerary - but by the time you added up all the costs that were not included it didn't compare financially.  I like inclusions, already included in the fare and not a big bill at the end.  Regent, Viking etc.   were more expensive and covered most things.  Oceania only included wine, champagne and beer in the dining room.  So for us - given the itinerary and the many port days with overnights it was Azamara.  I spend months going over itineraries.  Adding  up how many port days to sea days - how many ports were new ports vs already visited.  For us the best value was Azamara.  It will be a once in a lifetime experience for us as we are not rich.  We are well travelled and comfortable but will be retiring and not have a future income that will allow us to experience another world cruise.  I probably need to add that we prefer smaller ships and a more relaxed atmosphere onboard.

 

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5 hours ago, Janet&Carl said:

 

 

Great response - Azamara include premium beverage package and laundry and wifi and OBC, flights and precruise hotel and gala.  So for us it was about the ports.  Ratio of port to sea days.  The cheaper lines that do World Cruises usually have bigger ships but less ports.  Costa, Princess MSC included.  I like the Volendam pole to pole itinerary - but by the time you added up all the costs that were not included it didn't compare financially.  I like inclusions, already included in the fare and not a big bill at the end.  Regent, Viking etc.   were more expensive and covered most things.  Oceania only included wine, champagne and beer in the dining room.  So for us - given the itinerary and the many port days with overnights it was Azamara.  I spend months going over itineraries.  Adding  up how many port days to sea days - how many ports were new ports vs already visited.  For us the best value was Azamara.  It will be a once in a lifetime experience for us as we are not rich.  We are well travelled and comfortable but will be retiring and not have a future income that will allow us to experience another world cruise.  I probably need to add that we prefer smaller ships and a more relaxed atmosphere onboard.

 

We just completed the 2024 World Voyage on Azamara and it was a fabulous time. Don't forget Azamara does Azamazing Evenings, no cost and they were different in each segment. White Nights, deck dinners and dancing. Lots of destination speakers.

Azamara also flew us to the Taj for a day, again that was a surprise for us and no charge. 

I'm sure you'll have a wonderful experience. 

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