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Old November 24th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Default What's YOUR favorite cruise line?

I'll bet you guys know I get asked this question all the time, and I am sure most of you do as well - as soon as people figure out how often you cruise.

So - what do you tell people first? What are the first words out of your mouth, in anywhere between 5 to 25 words.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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So - what do you tell people first? What are the first words out of your mouth, in anywhere between 5 to 25 words.
"That's a hard question to answer. They all have something. Right now I'd have to say NCL but Celebrity, Carnival, Azamara and Princess are good."

Take care,
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Old November 24th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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Royal Caribbean.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 01:44 PM
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People look for different things when cruising, so it would depend on what activities they are interested in. If food is a priority, then Celebrity is up there and I was pleasantly suprised at the meals on Princess, especially in the Horizon Court. For my all round favorite, I enjoy Royal Caribbean for its ships, entertainment, and all around cruise expierence. Their food is average, also enjoyed dinners in the Windjammer Marketplace as well. Seems the dining room just took too long if you were wanting to make a show after dinner...They, as far as I am concerned have some of the best entertainment in the industry..

So, it would all rely on what things you like to do when on a cruise...
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Old November 24th, 2012, 01:47 PM
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I usually say... "It depends"

Sometimes I say "how much money do you want to spend?"

Sometimes I say "best for what?" or "favorite for what?"

Sometimes I say "well, I like this specific kind of cruising, but you have to realize I have my personal reasons for what I like."

I often mention, "Well, I live in Phoenix, so I am not a typical "tropical" cruiser."

Sometimes I ask people "where do you live?"

Sometimes I ask them, "where do you want to go?"

Sometimes I ask "are you more of a luxury hotel, or a campground and sleeping bag kind of person?"

Sometimes I ask, "what's more important to you, a good meal or a good show?"

Sometimes I ask, "what would you rather do, dance to loud music, or read a book in solitude?"
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Old November 24th, 2012, 02:08 PM
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If people are geeky and into "high tech" (like Dave Beers) then I often recommend Royal Caribbean.

If I think a person is a "people person" like Linda then I might recommend Carnival.

If I feel a person is strictly anti-regimentation then I might recommend NCL.

If a person is a "traveler" I will recommend Oceania or Azamara.

If they have a taste for the finer things in life I will recommend a luxury line - exploring all the differences between them, like "which is more important, quiet solitude or a bigger variety of activities. Do you want a butler (then you have to explain what they do), then you ask "what's more important, a comfy stateroom, or a beautiful ship? (as in 'where are you more likely to spend your time, in or out of the cabin?').

If they want to "travel" and like quieter ships I also explain river boats. This is also an entirely separate conversation.

If they have kids I will tell them about Disney, but then I will also explain how much more expensive they are and that you have to book early. If they have "families" that are not just kids then I will mention Royal Caribbean and NCL (for their fuzzy characters but also more adult activities).

If I feel they are grown ups who enjoy indulging their own inner child (like my wife) I might recommend Carnival because they have the most interactive staff members and activities - fun for all, whether you want it or not.

If they seem like they DON'T want any childish antics I go towards Celebrity, and Holland America, depending on budget and other factors.

If they just want a good solid "cruise" that does everything well but doesn't necessarily stand out in one specific area I might say "you can't go wrong with Princess."

If they want to experience the "classic ocean liner" experience I go with Cunard.

If they want the "yacht" experience I go with SeaDream or Windstar, or the smaller Seabourn or Royal Clipper.

If they are single and younger; Norwegian Epic, older; Crystal. Or I have been reading up on Grand Circle more lately. They have a large single following (up to 25% to 40% on many sailings)

Feel free to add your own...
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Old November 24th, 2012, 02:43 PM
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If people are geeky and into "high tech" (like Dave Beers) then I often recommend Royal Caribbean.
Are you trying to tell me something?

Seriously, you are right in that I am attracted to RCI because of their innovative ships. So they have hit the mark with me. But I do leave my slide rule and pocket protector at home.

Destination is important when selecting a cruise line too and if someone asks me about Alaska I tell them to look at Princess and Holland America since those two lines have long track records for Alaska cruises and have more infrastructure when it comes to cruise-tours.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 06:45 PM
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My favorite is Holland America
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Old November 25th, 2012, 06:08 AM
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My answer.....Have you ever cruised before?
If no....Try Carnival
If yes....NCL

I always point a newbie towards Carnival because the cruises are cheaper and they have shorter cruises. Let's face it, a new cruiser might not like the experience and it's best to do a short cruise for less money then doing a longer more expensive cruise and then find out you don't like the experience.

I have enjoyed all my cruises so far but my last one on NCL was incredible! I really like their product and the Free Style cruising is great, so when answering a experienced cruiser I tell them I like NCL the best.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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If they ask what is MY favorite cruise line, it's HAL. If they ask for a recommendation or how should they pick a cruiseline, THEN I ask about what is important to them --- cost, destination, activities.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 12:39 PM
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I thought the question was: "What's Your favorite cruise line.".

Take care,
Mike
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Old November 25th, 2012, 12:46 PM
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For mass-market cruises, Celebrity is definitely best for us.

For luxury cruises, Crystal is our choice.

For specialty cruises, Paul Gauguin is our all-time favorite.

For river cruises, we loved Uniworld.

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Old November 25th, 2012, 12:51 PM
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We've cruised 5 lines. Princess would be at the top for us. In Order:

Princess
Celebrity
RCL
NCL
HAL (never again)
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Old November 25th, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Princess is a great fit for us. We love their mini-suites because we spend a lot of our time there (more than most cruiser's ), on the balcony, napping, watching movies, reading. And we like the ship's that have small decks on the stern (Island Princess for example). We don't mind seeing where we've been! The dining room food is good and the Horizon court is much more "navigable" than Carnival's buffet, where you can walk yourself to death just finding a desert !

The crew on both Princess and Carnival are great! Sometimes I wonder how they keep up the "cheerfullness" !

Carnival is our second choice, mainly because of price and that they sail out of Galveston. Galveston (Houston) is easy for us to fly or drive to. I probably would recommend Carnival to a new cruiser of our age, but I'd recommend a 7 day cruise. Despite what they've tried to do, the shorter cruise's still attract the "party" people. If a 21 year old asked me, I'd recommend one of the shorter cruise's.

It really depends on the person(s) asking. I have a friend who wouldn't be happy with less than Crystal or Cunard and another friend who'd be happy with Carnival or NCL.

I think it's great that this site helps new cruiser's make a good decision.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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I'd ask "What's your favorite restaurant/food to eat?"
If they say Olive Garden/midline ... "Carnival"
If they say upscale restaurant ... "Holland America"
If they say far upscale ... "At the least, Celebrity ... but pay for specialty restaurants"

Less than 10 words, total.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
I thought the question was: "What's Your favorite cruise line.".

Take care,
Mike
Yes, but personally I try to avoid answering that specific question directly because I don't think it is right for me to assume that anyone will have the same tastes that I have.

So, I was asking what other say when they get asked, but I probably would never say my personal preferences myself, unless you paid me a lot of money

Which brings up a good point - if you read cruise review books - do you believe they are being honest (perhaps some more than others) or do you think they pander to the cruise lines or perhaps something else?
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Old November 29th, 2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Askabry View Post
I'd ask "What's your favorite restaurant/food to eat?"
If they say Olive Garden/midline ... "Carnival"
If they say upscale restaurant ... "Holland America"
If they say far upscale ... "At the least, Celebrity ... but pay for specialty restaurants"

Less than 10 words, total.
Would you really send a 30 year old Foodie on HAL?
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Old November 29th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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Tracky.....

Some people seem to like HAL, and I think the line a culinary potential.

When I was on the Oosterdam last August I tried the chef's dinner and the special Le Cirque dinner in the Pinnacle grill. I talked to people who said they paid the extra fee ($20 or $25 pp) to eat there every night.

But I will agree I had meals in the main dining room that I felt were not up to standard. I recall one fish dinner in particular that was almost inedible (if I wasn't hungry enough to finish it off).

And that is too bad, because the Pinnacle Grill food was excellent. But when you have people onboard a cruise saying they haven't tried the main dining room, especially on cruise that really tends to attract people in their 40s-plus, I agree with you.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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I'm not questioning their food. I'm questioning just looking at their restaurant choices to pick a cruise line.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 05:48 PM
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Hmmm.... OK.

I stand corrected.

Somehow the question "would you really send a 30 year old foodie on HAL?" seemed more like a comment about the food on HAL.

Silly me.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 06:09 PM
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Hmmm.... OK.

I stand corrected.

Somehow the question "would you really send a 30 year old foodie on HAL?" seemed more like a comment about the food on HAL.

Silly me.
No, not at all. Just not taking age and other likes/dislikes into consideration when picking a cruise line. Using "Foodie" was just an example.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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I recall one fish dinner in particular that was almost inedible (if I wasn't hungry enough to finish it off).
From the time I visit the lunch buffet on embarkment day, I cannot say (if I wasn't hungry enough to finish it off) until sometime after disembarking. You must have forget to go for a few meals or was quarantined in your cabin?

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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:54 PM
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You know how sometimes when you eat a lot you tend to get hungrier faster? Like how you wake up hungry if you went right to bed after a big dinner?

No - seriously, as I recall it was after a day in port and we had a crappy shore side lunch in a restaurant (don't you hate that?).
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Old November 30th, 2012, 07:42 AM
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I actually think that restaurants are a good comparative tool. "Dining" consists of more than just the food. The service, decor, ambiance, plating, china and cutlery all make it a dining experience.

With this information you can do a reasonable comparison to cruise lines.

However, you can't ignore the luxury lines such as Regent, Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal for those with high expectations of food and service.

BTW: I do consider myself somewhat of a foodie and I believe Olive Garden can often get a bad rap. If you know what to expect at Olive Garden and don't believe the hype that it is "authentic Italian cuisine" you can have a pretty decent and tasty meal. I personally have had better food at an Olive Garden than at a couple of highly rated, "fine dining", restaurants. It's the same with Carnival. If you know what you are getting you can have a great cruise experience that may be more "enjoyable" than an upscale cruise.

Take care,
Mike
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Old November 30th, 2012, 08:21 AM
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If you know what to expect at Olive Garden and don't believe the hype that it is "authentic Italian cuisine" you can have a pretty decent and tasty meal. I personally have had better food at an Olive Garden than at a couple of highly rated, "fine dining", restaurants.
Mike, What erks people about Olive Garden is the same as their sister restaurant Red Lobster. They will advertise on TV or in the newspaper with a picture of their meals and when you order the same meal in the restaurant it is a small portion. They show jumbo shrimp on the plate and you get small shrimp in the restaurants. Granted, it is tasty, but larger shrimp are more tasty.

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Old November 30th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Mike, What erks people about Olive Garden is the same as their sister restaurant Red Lobster. They will advertise on TV or in the newspaper with a picture of their meals and when you order the same meal in the restaurant it is a small portion. They show jumbo shrimp on the plate and you get small shrimp in the restaurants. Granted, it is tasty, but larger shrimp are more tasty.

O F C'er
I agree but the same thing can be said for just about any large chain or franchise restaurant. I've never seen anything that vaguely resembled the TV ad at a Sizzler.

I have to admit that my Olive Garden experience is limited to a couple in the Minneapolis area but their presentation is OK. Red Lobster..........well that's a different story. I haven't ate there in many years. Then again, I do need an oil change.

The same thing can also be said about every cruise line. I have yet to see the same people on a cruise that I see in the brochure or many of the TV ads or people dressed in the same manner. Or that everyone has a full suite and champagne and caviar on the veranda. Also the food pictures are often hyped up. Advertising conveys the "image" and not the reality.

Take care,
Mike
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Old November 30th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Going back to the thought of Paul's post...without a doubt, my answer always used to be, Royal Caribbean, and, I do have great memories, but, in truth, it's been many years since I sailed that brand.[as I type this,an RCI commercial just came on...too funny] Nowadays, I would "probably" say, Celebrity, loving the Solstice class.

I truly believe that matching the line to ones needs and wants is key to someone having a great cruise...I fit the HAL criteria, as example, but, would choose not to sail the line again, unless in conjunction with Cruisemates...

Answering this question is easier for a cruiser, who only cruises one line. For a cruiser, who likes to sail on various ships & has a well rounded cruise history, the answer is not so straight forward. Having someone who needs a minute or two to anwser that question, is a good thing
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Old November 30th, 2012, 03:08 PM
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The same thing can also be said about every cruise line. I have yet to see the same people on a cruise that I see in the brochure or many of the TV ads or people dressed in the same manner. Or that everyone has a full suite and champagne and caviar on the veranda.
Mike, you have never seen me on a cruise. I could fall right into those commercials. That is if I was 40 years younger, book aft suites & routinely have caviar & champgne on my deck. Yup, that's me in those brochures.

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