Seeking Cruise Suggestions

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Barefootgirl
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Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Barefootgirl » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:40 pm

I'm seeking cruise suggestions based on what I hope to find:


- interesting ports of call, not typical of most vacationers (I've already visited most places typical to Americans in the Caribbean, Mexico, etc.) or challenging to reach via other travel methods,

- attracts an over 40 crowd

- not interested in a rowdy or "family fun" type cruise

- open to theme cruises - educational, wine, history, geography, etc.

- willing to pay $$ but only for value (eg. length of cruise, not interested in "luxury")

I did find the UVA semester at sea type programs.

Thanks!
Last edited by Barefootgirl on Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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obgraham
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by obgraham » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:42 pm

Check out Jazz Dagen.

(If you like jazz!)

stan1
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by stan1 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:58 pm

Maybe Windstar (sailing or power yachts) or Seadream? What I like about them is that they are small ships but are older so not as many fancy amenities. They go to smaller, less visited destinations that 1000+ person ships can't go to. Not really child friendly. Small enough you can easily meet people if you want and not feel crowded if you don't want to meet people. I'm willing to pay for good food but informal attire.

Costs vary, there are sometimes sale prices but the cruising market is good right now. Wait for the next recession if you want a bargain.

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dm200
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by dm200 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:04 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:40 pm
I'm seeking cruise suggestions based on what I hope to find:


- interesting ports of call, not typical of most vacationers (I've already visited most places typical to Americans in the Caribbean, Mexico, etc.) or challenging to reach via other travel methods,

- attracts an over 40 crowd

- not interested in a rowdy or "family fun" type cruise

- open to theme cruises - educational, wine, history, geography, etc.

- willing to pay $$ but only for value (eg. length of cruise, not interested in "luxury")

I did find the UVA semester at sea type programs.

Thanks!
We liked Bermuda

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cfs
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by cfs » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:06 pm

You can do a search for these two:

-- Galapagos and Easter Island cruise.
-- Antarctica Cruise.

Happy cruising, y gracias por leer.
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

canderson
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by canderson » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:21 pm

Close to home, Holland America to Cuba.

tibbitts
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by tibbitts » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:22 pm

I'm not clear on what you're asking regarding value for the length of the cruise... you're looking for something like a week, a month, two months... ???

TallBoy29er
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:01 pm

Carnival Cruise lines - but brush up on your Jui Jitsu first. :D

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Taylor Larimore » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:15 pm

Barefootgirl:

My wife and I took a cruise to Antarctica many years ago. We enjoyed it enormously.

Our son is currently on a similar cruise aboard the Holland America, Prinsendam. He's been sending back glowing reports.

Thank you, Jack!

Best wishes.
Taylor
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NancyABQ
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by NancyABQ » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:21 pm

I was going to suggest Crystal Cruises, which fits all of your requirements quite nicely, except that it is considered a "luxury" cruise line.

It wasn't clear to me if you would be traveling alone, but Crystal tends to have lower "single supplements" (often 125% compared to the normal 200%) which can make them a bit more affordable than they might otherwise be, for a solo traveler.

They have varied itineraries (to many different ports, some fairly standard, some off the beaten path), theme cruises, on-board enrichment programs, etc.

In any case, you should probably check out the Cruise Critic (cruisecritic.com) website, for tons of information about cruises, reviews of various cruiselines, etc.

mattshwink
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by mattshwink » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:25 pm

Galapagos is on bucket list, as is Antarctica. But the best cruise we have taken (so far) was Northern European out of Copenhagen. Ports of call were Tallinn, Estonia; Stockholm, Sweden; St Petersburg, Russia; and Helsinki Finland. There was also a Norwegian Fjord cruise out of Copenhagen as well (both are usually seven nights, although you can sometimes find an additional port or two for a ten night).

We also went on an Alaskan cruise (out of Vancouver) that skewed well over 40 (we were in our early 30s at the time). We were the only couple at our table that did not have grandchildren (we didn't even have children yet). It was the 1st Alaskan cruise of the season, in late May.

jpohio
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by jpohio » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:30 pm

Alaska, Galapagos. Took celebrity cruise lines for both.

mbres60
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by mbres60 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:42 pm

We enjoy Princess cruises.

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GerryL
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by GerryL » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:49 pm

I have been traveling with Road Scholar (55+ crowd). Last year I did an Amazon River cruise in Peru that included daily excursions to see wildlife. This year I hope to do a barge cruise in France. Unfortunately, barge cruising has become rather luxurious, and the single supplement is unpleasant. A few years ago I did the RS Provence to Paris cruise along the Rhone. RS has a bunch of options on expedition ships, including Norway/Arctic Circle.

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Watty
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Watty » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:14 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:40 pm
- attracts an over 40 crowd
I have not done their cruises but Road Scholar has a number of cruises.

If you are more adventurous and would want to do something on your own there are ferries in Alaska and the Greek Islands that will take you to smaller places that the cruise ships do not go to. I have done both of those and it is not as exotic as it sounds since lots of other people do that on their own too.

Some of the small towns in Alaska that the ferries stop at may have very limited facilities so it would be good to have hotel reservations. I did the trip to Alaska when I was in my 20's and I had a backpack and tent and the small towns would typically have a place where you could set up a tent.

In the less popular Greek Islands in about the middle of September the hotel rates drop dramatically and you can get nice rooms that are a block from the beach for well less than $100, or even less $50 a night and the weather was great when when were there in late September.

On a trip to more remote islands it would be good to get trip insurance that covers medical evacuation since you will be a long way from good medical care and a flight evacuation could be necessary.

brennok
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by brennok » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:55 pm

I would check cruiseline.com and cruisecritic both boards my friends have had good luck on when trying to find the best cruise that suit their wants.

itstoomuch
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:14 pm

We have done just 3 cruises. So we are novices.

We like the NCL's Hawaiian Island Cruise if you have never been to Hawaii, our first time. We went in early June, Kamehameha Day Week. Very few college kids or rug rats. 3/4 full. Beginning of Summer tourist season.

My sister did a China (HongKong-Shanghai-DaiLin)-Korea-Japan-Taiwan, 14 days. Not enough time in Korea, Japan, Taiwan.
My sister and I will do a China-Japan in April, self-tour and 5 day guided tour in Japan. (14days)
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tibbitts
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by tibbitts » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:18 pm

I think it's important to differentiate between the small-ship adventure/activity cruises and the... well, traditional cruises on the big cruise lines. Really they're completely different experiences so we need to know which one to address.

Iorek
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Iorek » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:22 pm

I would second Windstar as a possible cruise line (although Azamara and Ponant I think also tend to have interesting cruises). If you sign up for their emails you will see they sometimes have repositioning cruises, where they need to get the ship from the Mediterranean to Asia or North America which can be pretty inexpensive.

Locations I think that I'd like to cruise would be Norway (all the way up to the North Cape and Lofoten Islands), Argentina/Falklands/Antarctica, maybe as a way to see Egypt, the Galapagos, Tahiti, Alaska, etc etc.

amindu
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by amindu » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:30 pm

If you haven't cruised the Mediterranean then i would highly recommend that.

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MP123
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by MP123 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:31 pm

A roll-your-own cruise on the Alaska Marine Highway ferries might be fun for you if you aren't looking for luxury. You can get private rooms and you'll go places not many have been. Not super cheap but no lounge acts either...

Pacific
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Pacific » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:13 am

If you enjoy fighting, Carnival Line would be a good choice. :)

denovo
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by denovo » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:50 am

Barefootgirl wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:40 pm
I'm seeking cruise suggestions based on what I hope to find:


- interesting ports of call, not typical of most vacationers (I've already visited most places typical to Americans in the Caribbean, Mexico, etc.) or challenging to reach via other travel methods,

- attracts an over 40 crowd

- not interested in a rowdy or "family fun" type cruise

- open to theme cruises - educational, wine, history, geography, etc.

- willing to pay $$ but only for value (eg. length of cruise, not interested in "luxury")

Have you been to Alaska?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

Txsman
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Txsman » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:10 am

My parents said the best vacation they ever took was the snake river cruise out of Washington. Its on my bucket list.

THY4373
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by THY4373 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:23 am

cfs wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:06 pm
You can do a search for these two:

-- Galapagos and Easter Island cruise.
-- Antarctica Cruise.

Happy cruising, y gracias por leer.
I went to Easter Island in January of this year and loved it. It is so much more than the Moai. My hike along the undeveloped North Coast was magical and other than my local guide I did not see another human being for six hours. I flew to Easter from Santiago. My two cautions with cruising to Easter Island is it is a long way from anyplace else which is part of the magic but personally I would rather spend time on the island vs the boat getting there. Second there is no major dock on the island for boats of any size that means cruise ships (even small ones) and cargo ships have to be off-loaded by smaller boat. This is not possible when the seas are rough. When I was there were several cargo ships that were anchored off of Hanga Roa but could not be unloaded for days. In fact the island was running out of propane when I was there folks were lining up for days (it did not impact my stay). My guide told me that cruise ships in the past had come were never able to unload their passengers and then left. I have no idea how often it occurs but keep that risk in mind.

All that said I'll reiterate I loved the island.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:35 am

Alaskan, Baltic Sea, Mediteranean cruises are all nice and have educational elements.
Princess and Celebrity cruises draws over 40 crowd - som families but not as many as others.

Big Snack
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Big Snack » Tue Feb 20, 2018 3:46 pm

We loved our Mediterranean cruise and went back to some of our favorite cities for longer future vacations. If you do this, go on Cruise Critic as others have suggested. We paired with another couple and got a private guide in most of the cities, which was fantastic. It ended up being around the same price as the cruise tours but we were able to see a lot more and go places buses could not go. We have had family and friends do the same trip with the same private guides and they all loved it.

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dm200
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by dm200 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:13 pm

Several types of cruises. Some stop at many ports - perhaps almost every day - while others are at sea for much of the time.

I liked the Bermuda cruises where we spent several days at sea in both directions. The only stop was Bermuda - 1-3 days there, depending on the cruise.

SueG5123
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by SueG5123 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:15 pm

We've been on many, but especially love the river cruises in Europe. It's a leisurely way to take in a lot of culture, history, and scenery. We particularly enjoyed the cruises of the Rhone River and the Danube (to see the Christmas Markets).

halfnine
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by halfnine » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:43 pm

Transatlantic cruise.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by fourwheelcycle » Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm

This cruise, with the Norway pre-trip, is the best cruise we have been on. Look at the photos and read the details.

http://www.gohagantravel.com/BlticSeaWlsBore_2017.html

The same cruise (or a similar one?), often with the Norway pre-trip, is also offered through Smithsonian Journeys.

ResearchMed
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:32 pm

fourwheelcycle wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:48 pm
This cruise, with the Norway pre-trip, is the best cruise we have been on. Look at the photos and read the details.

http://www.gohagantravel.com/BlticSeaWlsBore_2017.html

The same cruise (or a similar one?), often with the Norway pre-trip, is also offered through Smithsonian Journeys.
Thanks for posting this!
I'm looking for cruises (or land trips) with special lecturers/etc.

The New York Times does some of these types of trips as well.

As for the Bergen pre-trip, we'll be heading out of Bergen soon for an Astronomy themed cruise on Hurtigruten (while hoping for some nice Northern Lights), but that's not quite the comfort category as Le Boreal.

We'll definitely take a look at this company's other travel offerings.
Thanks again.

RM
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obgraham
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by obgraham » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:54 pm

halfnine wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 4:43 pm
Transatlantic cruise.
This.

Then you find out that in the world of cruisers there are "porters" and there are "crossers". We're are becoming the latter!

itstoomuch
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by itstoomuch » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:36 pm

http://www.insightcruises.com/index_SciAm.html
When I am unable to get around, I may do one of these.
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rj49
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by rj49 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:56 pm

Instead of looking for some niche cruise company, you might try an itinerary that's rich in history and art and culture, specifically a Baltic cruise. I did one on Norwegian last June that went from Copenhagen to Germany (long daytrip to Berlin or more interesting churches and history of nearby Rostock), Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm. The crowd was mostly European, a mix of types and ages, but it was on a huge ship with many restaurants and things to do, including 1-hour versions of Broadway musicals, instead of the usual lame showtune productions. If you want exclusivity, they have luxury suites with their own dining rooms and special privileges. The ships they're sending now are huge, but keep good passenger flow, and with many Europeans choosing to eat late, and with a dozen or so restaurants, dining was rarely crowded.

If you want a smaller ship and an older crowd, Holland America does 12-day Baltic cruises, and their cruises often have retired college professors who give daily lectures on various subjects relevant to the ports.

While it didn't give enough time to fully explore all the cities, it gave exposure to multiple countries on one trip, and each town had historic churches, art, museums, palaces, and other things to see, and going into Copenhagen a few days early allowed me to explore the wonderful city and to overcome jet lag before the cruise. There's also a company called SPB tours that allow you to pre-book discounted tours in many of the cities, saving a lot over cruise ship prices. I especially enjoyed an evening St. Petersburg tour of the city, with plentiful vodka provided and a canal boat tour at 10 pm with the sun still up in June. But the cruise provided something I don't get on the typical Mexican/Caribbean sunny cruises with locals pushing trinkets--I left with many good memories and experiences, all packed into a 9-day cruise.

Grasshopper
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by Grasshopper » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:05 am

For an active cruise look at UnCruise Adventures, even to places you have been before you will experience in a whole new way. Our favorites were, the Hawaiian Islands 4-5 different islands, Baja California, Galapagos, Costa Rica/Panamá, Alaska.

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friar1610
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Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Post by friar1610 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:49 pm

rj49 wrote:
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:56 pm
Instead of looking for some niche cruise company, you might try an itinerary that's rich in history and art and culture, specifically a Baltic cruise. I did one on Norwegian last June that went from Copenhagen to Germany (long daytrip to Berlin or more interesting churches and history of nearby Rostock), Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm. The crowd was mostly European, a mix of types and ages, but it was on a huge ship with many restaurants and things to do, including 1-hour versions of Broadway musicals, instead of the usual lame showtune productions. If you want exclusivity, they have luxury suites with their own dining rooms and special privileges. The ships they're sending now are huge, but keep good passenger flow, and with many Europeans choosing to eat late, and with a dozen or so restaurants, dining was rarely crowded.

If you want a smaller ship and an older crowd, Holland America does 12-day Baltic cruises, and their cruises often have retired college professors who give daily lectures on various subjects relevant to the ports.

While it didn't give enough time to fully explore all the cities, it gave exposure to multiple countries on one trip, and each town had historic churches, art, museums, palaces, and other things to see, and going into Copenhagen a few days early allowed me to explore the wonderful city and to overcome jet lag before the cruise. There's also a company called SPB tours that allow you to pre-book discounted tours in many of the cities, saving a lot over cruise ship prices. I especially enjoyed an evening St. Petersburg tour of the city, with plentiful vodka provided and a canal boat tour at 10 pm with the sun still up in June. But the cruise provided something I don't get on the typical Mexican/Caribbean sunny cruises with locals pushing trinkets--I left with many good memories and experiences, all packed into a 9-day cruise.
My wife and I did a two week Baltic cruise last fall on Viking Ocean. Itinerary similar to that above. Our first Viking cruise and also first on a moderate sized ship (900-1000 passengers). Viking boasts no kids, no casinos, no rock-climbing walls,etc. Most passengers are 50+ and are more concerned with the comfort, service, shore excursions vs a "party boat". We loved it and have signed up for a two week Bergen to Barcelona this coming fall.

Viking is relatively new to the ocean cruise market, having made their name in river cruises. (The ocean cruise ships are built from the keel up for ocean routes; they are not the same as the river boats). They seem to add a few itinerararies every year so you might find one you like. We had previously been on a South America (Buenos Aires to Valparaiso, Chile around Cape Horn) on a large Norwegian Cruise Lines ship. Although we thoroughly enjoyed it, we found the smaller ship size with Viking preferable. (And, as a Navy vet, I can assure you that either beats the hell out of a destroyer!)
Friar1610

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