Long Cruises

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TravelforFun
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Long Cruises

Post by TravelforFun » Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:29 am

Who has been on months-long cruises where you visited dozens of cities/countries? How did you like/dislike them?

TravelforFun

stan1
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by stan1 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:06 pm

Some people love them. Some people get bored.

Our retired friends went on the Queen Mary 2 in Queen's Grill for 21 days from Dubai to England (e.g. First Class where they will prepare whatever meal you ask for). They have been on Cunard several times in a variety of staterooms and will only book what they know they will like. They loved the 21 day cruise but were ready to come home and say they would never do a world cruise because it would be too repetitive even with that level of luxury (too much of a good thing, essentially). They are very active and missed their family and friends. Other people will have a different preference.

If you are considering something like a world cruise I'd start by going on a few 10-14 day cruises to find a cruise line and accommodations you like. Then double the duration to a 20-30 day cruise and see what you think. You'll know if you are ready to get off or if you'd want to spend another 80 days on board.

tibbitts
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:22 pm

TravelforFun wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:29 am
Who has been on months-long cruises where you visited dozens of cities/countries? How did you like/dislike them?

TravelforFun
I haven't but to me part of the issue the chance of getting a clunky cabin. I'm looking at a 3-week trip and when you've got reports of plumbing issues etc. on a 30-year-old ship that's concerning. And then some cabins have broken hvac or are always noisy either due to neighbors or architectural issues with the ship. Sometimes you hear about things on cruisecritic but not always... and once you're there you're there and being stuck for a month or more is much worse than being stuck for a week. Virtually no ships have empty cabins you can change to. Not being able to sleep really drags on you for longer trips. You can always up the dosage on your drugs but here are limits - and side effects.

Ideally the plan would be for maybe a series of two-week trips - maybe with a land/motel week in between. Maybe if we get faster plane travel someday - say three hours to anywhere on the planet, no more expensive than the travel we have today - that's another possibility for taking more, shorter trips.

I've done some 14-days and 10-day and those were all awesome, but my cabin was excellent... everything was excellent. So I've lucked out so far.

ResearchMed
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:25 pm

Thus far, the longest cruises we have been on are about two weeks, and each time, as we boarded, we thought, "Two full weeks, 14 days... we'll be here a nice long time...!"
And then... it's "half way".

And then... "What, we have to get off *tomorrow*!? How did that happen!?"
There were times that IF it could have been arranged on ultra short notice, we'd have tried to just stay on, but aside from cabin availability, there is our housesitter, and assorted other obligations.

As to whether we'd enjoy a 180-day "around the world" cruise?
It's easy to think so, but we'd definitely need to slowly ramp up to see IF there is a "sweet spot", or if "longer is better" no matter what.

Also, we have assorted medical issues that need to be monitored, so "retiring on a cruise ship", no matter how much it seems appealing... probably not the best idea.
(As it is, when we travel overseas, cruise or not, our physicians give us some extra meds, and in a few cases it is with the understanding that we don't take them without emailing about whether it's the right thing. But at least we have more than our regular little pharmacy with us. And we have all proper documentation, given that we are crossing borders, etc.)

We are DEFINITELY looking forward to being able to take longer and longer cruises.
We also like "sea days", so that would probably help.

And yes, on some cruise lines, we think it would be wonderful.
But on others... maybe not so much...

Per tibbetts concern: Yes, once, on a high end suite, there was a dreadful plumbing issue, and it could have been handled better. (OTOH, we could have "thrown that fit" sooner :shock: )
Anyway, they relocated us to a tiny cabin for two nights while they tore up the floor in our suite.
Given the situation, at least there was an empty cabin! Otherwise, would we move in with the Captain? :D

RM
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Austintatious
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by Austintatious » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:31 pm

An option that I've long pondered but have zero experience with and know little about.

https://www.freightercruises.com/

jbranx
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by jbranx » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:46 pm

We've been on several long cruises, up to ninety-some days, for ex., on Seaborne's larger 400-passenger ships. 68-day one to S. America/Antarctica; couple months ones in Mediterranean on other lines. Total of one year at sea since '07. We've seen most of the world with the exception of Scandinavia and Russia. Shorter cruises and river cruises to Hawaii, Alaska, Elbe River, Rhine, Seine, etc.

Lots of folks got stir crazy on the world cruises. Once you've seen the pyramids and Maccu Picchu and Petra etc. folks get a bit jaded. Make sure it's a cruise line that has good food and has good shoreside tours. Unfortunately, those with good food sometimes have the worst tours and those with lousy food have the best tours. All of them have attentive staff and good captains.

Entertainment on all of them is fairly poor; lots of has beens, if that. Port stays are rarely more than a day unless it's Sydney or Istanbul.

We'd never been on anything larger than a ferry boat when we elected the 68-day cruise. We love "sea days" when you do nothing. I would never book a long cruise that did not have free internet, which is always slower than molasses and can be several dollars a minute on some lines. All-inclusive is best because frequently you'll find the nickels and dimes cruise lines cost more for coffee, soda, wine, internet etc.

Obviously, for long cruises you will see mostly retired ones from developed countries, almost always the G-7 ones. If you don't like Brits, Canadians, or Germans or Yanks, well, you get the picture. There's always a decent library of books and films on board.

We're next up for two weeks down the Mississippi.

1year23
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by 1year23 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:52 pm

Do you mind telling us which cruise line you enjoyed these long cruises on?

jbranx
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by jbranx » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:13 pm

1year23 wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:52 pm
Do you mind telling us which cruise line you enjoyed these long cruises on?
Holland America's Prinsendam for SA and Antarctica and the Med. cruise. Seaborne Odyssey for the 98-day one. Regent Seven Seas for Carib., Brazil, Amazon River etc. Regent is probably best overall. Prinsendam is a smaller HA ship--900 or so passengers--but it's getting on in age and the original captain has retired. HA tends to have the best tours from long experience in the business. HA is not all inclusive and has high fees for internet. All the cruise lines with few exceptions are owned by the big three: Carnival, Royal C., and Norwegian. We usually choose based on the itinerary.

Read all the reviews of each ship/each line and take your chances. All of them have a norovirus outbreak occasionally; water pipes break, they run out of berries and prunes, somebody gets robbed ashore or falls down the stairs, or gets a bad stomach virus.

Lots of "experts" on board cruise lines/all ships who will tell you that the ship/line/world cruise you are on is not nearly as good as....Like one of my doc friends says, "the best hospital is always in the next town over."

Once you are on their mailing/email lists you will be bugged to death by them all; Viking has killed more trees than Paul Bunyan.

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dm200
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by dm200 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:32 pm

This woman's experience is interesting: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/crui ... uise-ship/

I cannot find a link, but I also recall a case of an older husband and wife who took these very long around the world cruises - and the husband died half way around the world. She kept on cruising.

ResearchMed
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:56 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 2:32 pm
This woman's experience is interesting: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/crui ... uise-ship/

I cannot find a link, but I also recall a case of an older husband and wife who took these very long around the world cruises - and the husband died half way around the world. She kept on cruising.
There was a couple like this on last year's Oceania RTW cruise.

He was a long term, very respected member of cruise critic, and his loss was a shock to everyone who knew him or who interacted with him online.
(I don't remember whether she stayed on the cruise, however.)

RM
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tibbitts
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by tibbitts » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:05 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:25 pm

Per tibbetts concern: Yes, once, on a high end suite, there was a dreadful plumbing issue, and it could have been handled better. (OTOH, we could have "thrown that fit" sooner :shock: )
Anyway, they relocated us to a tiny cabin for two nights while they tore up the floor in our suite.
Given the situation, at least there was an empty cabin! Otherwise, would we move in with the Captain? :D

RM
On cruisecritic there are stories of sewage leaking into the cabin, noise, etc. and the problem not being resolved. You can find this regardless of the consumer-grade cruise line. I'm always in the cheapest cabin which would make relocation probably even less likely - you just live with the sewage (or noise, etc.) for the duration. And again I think it's a higher risk when looking at the ship having lived through several decades already - they do their drydocks of course but there are priority lists for those and sometimes engines might take priority over sewage in a couple of cabins.

Ultimately I guess you have to be prepared to just get off the ship and take the financial loss, because "throwing a fit" won't get you anywhere except ... thrown off the ship, so the same end result. There's no way to insure for that loss so... I guess don't take a cruise if you can't afford to lose the money. That's kind of sad but does limit the desirability of longer cruises.

It might help if you're at an elite frequent cruiser level on one of the cruise lines, but might mean many hundreds of cruise nights - say a hundred cruises or so on the same cruise line. They might give you a 10% credit for the next cruise or something if you're not happy, but you're still stuck paying your way home.
Last edited by tibbitts on Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jazztonight
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by Jazztonight » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:09 pm

DW and I have a reservation to go on a Princess world cruise in January 2020. It's 110 days, and I'm looking forward to it.

We've been on a half dozen cruises, most on Princess, and I've established a routine for myself that works well. Also, I truly like being at sea in a large ship. How I'll do on a 110 day cruise remains to be seen, but I'm optimistic.

My goal is to not gain any weight, to walk an hour a day on the promenade deck, rain or shine, and to continue my MWF workouts in the Fitness room (I never take the elevator). My wife goes to the stretching and yoga classes, and we see the musical shows. I enjoy eating in the dining room, and snack on fruit and tea whenever I want.

It's a good time to read, write, journal, work on the book you're writing, study a foreign language, swim in the pool, go to lectures, and meet new people. There's bridge. board games, mah jongg, and other games, religious services, and discussions for those interested (as well as AA meetings); something is going on all the time.

Certainly one needs to be able to amuse and occupy oneself. Otherwise, I can see how you'd go bonkers. I'll see how I do. Given our ages (70s) and the fact that we just can't travel the way we used to (that last trip to Morocco sort of done my wife in), I think this is the way I'm going to see parts of the world I've never been to before.

We are paying extra for insurance, btw.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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steve roy
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by steve roy » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:22 pm

DW and I went on a fairly long South Pacific cruise last year. We spent a week in Sydney prior to the cruise(great town, wonderful bay), then we got on the Celebrity ship and hit New Zealand, French Polynesia and (lastly) Hawaii. On the back end of the cruise we did four days in Maui.

There were lots of sea days ... which I like. I work out in the gym, read, watch the flat screen and generally catch up on my foot dangling. There are always lectures, shows and movies to attend so how anyone could get bored mystifies me.

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WestUniversity
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by WestUniversity » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:27 pm

The longest we’ve done is two weeks. That said we have talked to people that have done back to back two week cruises. A couple we spoke with did two weeks on a Baltic cruise out of Southampton and then went on a two week British Isles cruise, also out of Southampton on the end of the Baltic cruise.

That said I have looked at the world cruise on Princess. It’s a 100+ day cruise that circumnavigates the globe...

sabhen
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by sabhen » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:29 pm

Never been on a very long cruise. Two-week to Hawaii from West Coast was the longest and we enjoyed it a lot.

A world cruise is on our list for " perhaps some day".

Regarding the logistics - some random questions:

Do you rent your house during this time? what about visa etc... Do you apply in advance? Where do you get your health insurance from?
Internet is expensive on a ship. How do you stay in touch with your friends/family etc?

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dm200
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by dm200 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:31 pm

Been on cruises a number of years ago.
Internet is expensive on a ship.
Is this still true? What about when in or near port - same price?

ResearchMed
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:38 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:31 pm
Been on cruises a number of years ago.
Internet is expensive on a ship.
Is this still true? What about when in or near port - same price?
It's changing, and fast.

Oceania just added it totally free, for one device per cabin. Top suites maybe get two, I forget.
"Faster" service might cost more, but I'm not sure how well that works, given that in the middle of the ocean, there's only so much bandwidth to a ship (or so I'd think).
Some other lines are also doing that.

And for the past several years, there has been "unlimited" internet for what we don't think was prohibitive.
Paying by the minute, yes, that could add up badly...

IN ports, one can go to places like (yes) Starbucks or other local places.
Some suggest looking for where the crew go with their devices at the first chance they get :happy
Or just ask them.

RM
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mbres60
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by mbres60 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:15 pm

We have done 3 cruises of 26-28 days and one cruise of 21 days. Never had an issue with the cabin except on the 21 day. Found a bug in the bed. Called passenger services who put us in another cabin for the night (it was about midnight). They checked the cabin and found no more bugs. Sanitized the cabin so we were good to go and went back to that cabin. They were real good about it and actually gave us a partial refund of our cruise (we did not ask for anything). Mostly we cruise Princess. I would not hesitate to book another long cruise.

rixer
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by rixer » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:29 am

I like 10 day cruises the best. We do 15 days when we go to Hawaii r/t but the last couple of days go by too sloooow.

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dm200
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by dm200 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:38 am

Never been on a long cruise.

I might distinguish between the type of cruises that tend to stop almost every day in a different place vs. one with longer "at sea" intervals.

The food on cruise ships (while wonderful in many ways) may be a risk to health - gain weight, and so on.

ResearchMed
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Re: Long Cruises

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:46 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:38 am
Never been on a long cruise.

I might distinguish between the type of cruises that tend to stop almost every day in a different place vs. one with longer "at sea" intervals.

The food on cruise ships (while wonderful in many ways) may be a risk to health - gain weight, and so on.
Yeah... there is the joke about arriving as passengers, and departing as cargo :shock:

RM
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