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Cruise Ship Crud

Posted by demifloyd 8 (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 16:08

So, another cruise from h-e-double hockey sticks.

Carnival's Triumph experienced an engine fire and is being towed back to land, with reports of conditions of filth, no working toilets, and illness.

Now there is another delay supposedly with the towing, and once on land there are plans to put these people on buses and send them from Mobile to Galveston or Houston, with options of stopping at New Orleans and flying home for some.

This of course isn't the first time this has happened and the incidents seem to have become rather common place.

I've never taken a cruise, as the idea just doesn't appeal to me much--especially the large ships with families and children aboard. Perhaps the European river cruises--but I know people who have done that and there are mixed reports from the two main carriers.

Does anyone know anything about the cruise ship industry?
If you have gone on a cruise, did you feel safe?

Did you feel like the crew would take care of you in the event of such a disabling incident?

Should there be more regulation, stiffer penalties?

Would you take a cruise?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

We've been on 8 cruises and all of them have been fun.

Our last one was several years ago and we don't plan on another one.

Trains excite me now. :)


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Should there be more regulation, stiffer penalties?

Now demi are you really saying you want more government interference, more government regulations?

I thought you where all for less government, smaller government, less regulations, not adding more of them.

As to your other questions, I've never been on a cruise, never had an interest to go on one.

And I believe I read somewhere in the past 24 hours or so, that this particular cruise ship has had other problems as well.

And it would appear that the crew is not trained and/or capable of providing for safety in emergency situations.

And yes, this seems to becoming more routine than not. and yes there should be a lot more government regulations on these cruise ships and coordination of regulations on them between countries.


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Given the number of cruise ships out there these types of incidents are really quite rare. All accounts I have heard from the passengers say the staff have been amazing given the circumstances.

When the kids were younger we took a couple of cruises on the large, family friendly ships and enjoyed it very much but now prefer the smaller ships.

As far as wether we would we cruise again...absolutely! As a matter of fact I am lucky enough to be going on a very special cruise this April and have no reservations whatsoever!


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I went on a Carnival cruise in December (different ship than this one) and everything was just fine. The staff was excellent.

Would I go again? No. I prefer to spend more time on land; would choose to fly to a single destination next time rather than port hopping.


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Posted by littleonefb z5MA (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 16:17

"Should there be more regulation, stiffer penalties?"

Now demi are you really saying you want more government interference, more government regulations?

*

No, I'm not saying that at all.

*

"I thought you where all for less government, smaller government, less regulations, not adding more of them."

I am.

I asked what others thought.


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Someone brought up a good point on the Kitchen Table. These cruise lines aren't under American jurisdiction. So how could we enforce stricter anything? The ocean regions have their own laws too, so I could see it be problematic at best. Which is incredibly unfortunate.


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Nanny state! To paraphrase Rand Paul sort of "If those cruise ships are dirty people will just stop cruising on them"
I remember some of the loyal Independents supported that bizarre notion. It's registered in the Bahamas!

This post was edited by labrea on Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 17:25


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it's registered in the Bahamas! no surprise is it? that's how you avoid any kind of US Regulations.

They aren't stupid, they just don't seem to care. There will be plenty that will continue to use them until it happens to them.


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What makes US regulations so important ?


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  • Posted by vgkg 7-Va Tidewater (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 17:32

Been on 2 cruises, both Carnival, both ok but no more cruises for us. At least it isn't August and a hurricane was heading in their direction.


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didn't mean it to come across that way chase.

What I meant is that the cruise ship is registered in a country that would not put any heavy kind of regulations on them and that if it was registered in the US they might have to follow a variety of government regulations that would cost them money that they don't want to spend.

I can't say what Canada would do, have you got any idea?


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I have been on many cruises (lost count, but probably over 10). They are a wonderful vacation to take with children because there are so many activities for the kids they have the best time, which means the parents have a great time (happy kids, happy vacation).

I would go again tomorrow.

As chase said, given how many cruise ships there are, these types of incidents are quite rare.

Not that I ever wish bad things to happen to people, but everytime something like this happens, DH and I say 'great, prices will come down!'.

We once sailed home (to NYC) from Bermuda through a hurricane. That was not fun. Half the crew was sick. My daughter, probably about 12 at the time, was fine as long as she stayed lying down in bed. She couldn't walk around or she got nauseous. DH and I were fine. We even went to the dining room for dinner. Very few waiters to serve us, but it was fine.

I love cruises!


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We've cruised many times, but not recently. I don't like the huge size of most of most cruise ships today. The industry is trying to meet the public demand for 'cheap luxury'. You know how that ends. LOL

Nothing will ever compare with sailing first class from New York to England on the Ile de France as a young teen. Spoiled for life!


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Never been on a cruise ship, and never want to be.

There have been way too many horror stories surrounding modern day luxury cruises and the ships they take place on. Too many Captains ignore maritime law, abandoning ship before ensuring all passengers are off and safe in the event of an emergency. Too many ship's workers are not familiar with safety procedures... and I've seen where passengers actually take charge and get fellow passengers to safety in spite of crew members and the misinformation they've given.

No, thank you... I'll stay on dry land.


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I do not like cruises. My sisters came up with the idea that we had not gone on vacation together as sisters as adult. Since they wanted to go on a cruise I was out numbered.

I felt safe, I find them fine if you like a controlled vacation. It was too controlled for me the main reason I did not like the idea of a cruise. I enjoy exploring and there is not enough time before you have to get back to the ship.

The ship stopped at 3 island that I had vacationed before so it was not a big deal. If I had never been to those island before I would not have been able to say I had visited those island. From the time the ship docked and we got a cab we had about 4 hours before we needed to make our way back to the ship.

Also, they raise the prices the days the ships dock because they know the people have a limited amount of time. They jump off the ship buy and run back with their over priced items.

Demi the ships are so large it would not bother you if there were kids on the ship. They certainly would not be under foot. I do not think there would be many kids unless it was a Disney Cruise.


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I guess I'm just not at all sure what type of regulation, from any country , you are thinking might help in the case of an engine fire.

Besides which I am fairly sure there are international rules ships must follow and most certainly there is serious marine law.

Cruise ship problems are not all that common. One cannot count the actions of a drunken captain.....how does one "regulate" that?


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  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 18:00

My youngest and oldest daughters took cruises and loved them .... "oh mom we have to take you". Are you out of your mind? No thank you, if God meant me to be on/in the ocean he would have given me "fins" (^-^)

I only fly if it is an "extreme" emergency ... heck I don't even like driving.

These feet were made for walking....


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I think it would be a great idea to put the whole Congress out on one of these cruise ships with no engine power, no toilets and scant food and water and maybe they would get something done.

Have never been on one of these floating cities, don't think I'd want to. Have been on 2 Windstar cruises, smaller boats only 150 pepole and smaller ports. Wonderful experiences.


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  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Thu, Feb 14, 13 at 19:50

I'm looking forward to reading analyses of what was obviously a terrible breakdown in leadership and how the ship's management and staff failed so incredibly to deal with this crisis. The dynamics of what can be done to maintain basic systems should be really interesting.

Just looking at one of those basic needs, why, on a ship surrounded by ocean (the planet's biggest waste disposal machine), and with enough staff to tend all those passengers under normal conditions, are floors soaked with urine and excrement?

You know, I was shocked to learn how little training some commercial airline pilots have and how little they are paid. I wouldn't be surprised to learn the same sort of thing is happening in cruise ship management staffing.


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Why in the world would government get involved? Yes, stronger regulations if needed within the industry. It certainly doesn't behoove the cruise line to have incidents like this happen. It is in their best interest for the ships and the cruises to be as safe and comfortable as possible.


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I can't even bear the thought of being out on the ocean in a glorified tin can with 4,000 other people, half of whom are drunk and the other half are kids under 10!


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Jz....although I will admit to no longer wanting the large ship cruise experience, I can tell you they are not as you describe in terms of drunkenness or kids under 10.....not even close.


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We cruise every year; finally tried Carnival last spring, even though we had reservations about this line. The crew was great, the food was okay, the passengers were surprising to us as veteran cruisers. We had never seen so many morbidly obese people in one place--and about half were tatooed heavily. So picture a couple thousand really big sweaty, colorful people, half naked (Caribbean), eating and lying around in lounge chairs. It was wierd. Yuk.

Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norweigan were great. We're going to give Holland America a go next week.

We obviously enjoy cruising--and yes we feel safe, but use common sense in ports and pay attention to safety drills.

More regulations? Nah; they have many regulations. I've never seen many kids on board--I think they are spirited away somewhere.


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Jzg said: I can't even bear the thought of being out on the ocean in a glorified tin can with 4,000 other people, half of whom are drunk and the other half are kids under 10!

LOL! I could not agree more. That said, I acknowledge that the convenience is something that appeals to many people who do not want to even think when they are on vacation.
They like an itinerary and everything right there for them.
That is important, especially as we get older.

Personally though, I still prefer traveling by auto when it comes to vacations in the US. I have enjoyed flying as well, but I have to say, not as much as just getting in the car and going on short to medium trips.

My favorite memories as a child were the vacations with the family in the 54 Chevy stopping every night at the flea bag motels along the way and exploring the USA together....Cave of the Mounds, Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone..

Nice to pull into a Dog n' Suds get a 5 cent cent or 10 cent root beer, and listen to some glass packs on cars with full moon hub caps and woody woodpecker decals.

Yea, I think I'll take my Chevy to Mackinac Island this Spring and then do the around Lake Michigan tour.

Here is a link that might be useful: Land cruising in theUSA in the 1950's


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JZ, I'm like you. I have cruised on large liners 3x, transcontinental when I was young and in Alaska about 10 years ago, never the Caribbean, etc.. Even though it was very nice I have no desire to go on another cruise again. These stories solidify my feelings. Unless there is a specific reason I need to be on one I would rather take alternative methods - trains which I love when there is time, car if it is feasible or fly.

I like to spend more time in places than a cruise allows but I do love barge crusing in Europe for a few days but that is a completely different experience.


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There are ships...and there are ships...and there are floating barges with gazillion decks of cabins. There are ports... Well, you get the idea.

I LOVE being at sea! It's almost better than being a child again. Someone makes your bed, cooks whatever you want, brings you breakfast in bed, cleans your 'room' for you. If you want company, you can meet some very interesting people. Sit on your cabin balcony and count stars. Watch some of the most beautiful cities of the world 'materialize' before you. (You can wander them at will and come 'home' to eat and sleep.) The only airports are at the beginning and end, and there's no packing and unpacking for days. *I* would be happy just 'at sea' with some books, but DH gets bored.

When DS was young we often cruised in the Caribbean over Christmas. He loved the childrens' activities, and always made new friends. (Meanwhile...Mom and Dad had, er, some time alone.)


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"They like an itinerary and everything right there for them."

No itinerary on any cruise we've ever taken, except of course for the route. Many activities to choose from including daily meetings for Friends of Bill and Friends of Dorothy, rock climbing, mini golf, water polo & volleyball, bingo and casino, shows, bands, on board shopping, some ships have ice skating and bowling, one has a downhill ski slope (!), lots of stuff. We always have a balcony room and spend a lot of time watching whales, birds, scenery, other boats, etc.

On shore you can book excursions via the ship or on your own, or just disappear till it's time to go.

Loved it when we were younger, and we'll probably still love it when we're old.

;D


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I'm with Ohiomom... I do not have gills or fins, and was obviously meant to stay on dry ground. I don't like to drive, either... not since the accident that messed me up. I make a much better passenger.


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What a HOOT K you were one of the people decrying regulations that the gas industry themselves asked for & supporting that Jackass Rand Paul. Those were industry requested regulation.


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I am watching the news now. They said it is going to take them 4-5 hours for all 3 thousand passengers off the ship.

It is funny when the subject of cruises come up. People either hate them or love them. It is very much like politics.

It is structured.

The only airports are at the beginning and end, and there's no packing and unpacking for days. *I* would be happy just 'at sea' with some books, but DH gets bored.

If you fly to your destination and stay in a hotel you get the same luxury. The only difference is you do not have to go back to a ship at a certain time. You can be out as long as you want and the room is still there when you decided to go back to it and it is not floating away.


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"If you fly to your destination and stay in a hotel you get the same luxury. The only difference is you do not have to go back to a ship at a certain time. You can be out as long as you want and the room is still there when you decided to go back to it and it is not floating away."

I have heard about people getting wasted and missing the ship...too bad...marooned on a Caribbean island...hmmm.

I liked waking up as we were passing through the Panama Canal with beautiful jungle on both sides...or pulling into a beautiful harbor with colorful houses dotting the mountainsides, stuff like that.

I wouldn't dream of cruising down in "steerage", though. No windows--akk. Balcony is a must; for a couple of hundred more, it's well worth it. Lots of room; great views, ocean breeze...can't wait.

We're looking forward to an Alaska cruise someday, with icebergs to look at from our balcony.

Cruising is an all-inclusive resort that moves. The price is quite reasonable. Oh, if you're a drinker, you have to pay for it. it's just another alternative for a vacation. We like camping with the RV and the Harleys in a trailer behind, too.


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You're right. People love them or hate them never inbetween.

Why I prefer to not travel on a cruise is I like to choose how long I stay in each destination and where I want to visit including the sequence. . Your options are limitless unlike on a ship where you are stuck with their itinerary. You also don't get the experience of staying in local accommodations which many times add to and are experiences in themselves.


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A question for Bill - would it take 4 hours to get 4000 people off a Navy ship?


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They were discussing this ship as I was eating dinner tonight. It sounded like a horrific experience. I have never been on a cruise. Would not go on a Carnival but would probably like a real small ship in a European cruise. Definitely don't want over 4000 people and tons of food and drink. My son used to take his daughter on a Disney cruise every year.


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Carnival Lines has been called the Roseanne Barr of cruise lines. I don't know if that's true, as I have never been on a "cruise" ship.

But I have sailed between New York City and Haifa three times, back in the day when real passenger liners plied the oceans. Countries vied with each other for who had the greatest ships: Britain had her Cunard Lines, with the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary, France had the S.S. France, deemed the best ship of all (the food!), and Italy had a series of ships named after Renaissance artists, the Michelangelo, the Rafaello, and the Leonardo, which were very beautiful. I sailed twice on the S.S. Atlantic, a modest Yankee liner, and once on the S.S. United States, the fastest ship on the sea; we sailed from Southhampton (England) to NYC in just under four days, across a stormy North Atlantic in March.

I loved those experiences. You sailed then for the relaxation, the time to read and write, and the pleasure of meeting interesting people. There were three meals a day and perhaps a mid-morning/mid-afternoon coffee and tea time. Food wasn't available 24/7. Drinks were not pushed at you every other minute, there were no casinos, no spas, just a hair salon, and no boutique arcades, just a small gift shop where you bought liquor, Swiss watches, French perfume, and cigarettes at duty-free prices. There were no scheduled land tours. When the ship put in to port you were usually on your own for the duration, so you gathered up a friend or two and went exploring. I managed the Italian Riviera on one such stop. Sailing the Mediterranean is an incredible experience, even if you're on a modest vessel.

I wouldn't do a cruise for many reasons. But I would love to sail from NYC back to Southhampton on the Queen Mary. The British ships are the only ones in the world which will take you straight across the ocean now, and for under a thousand dollars, if you don't mind "steerage". The Q. Mary even has an astronomical observatory!

I was impressed watching CNN interviewing passengers as they disembarked tonight -- virtually all of them said that the crew was fantastic, going above and beyond the call of duty, trying to keep everyone comfortable, caring for the elderly, etc.


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I'm in the love camp but I am choosy which line I take and the size of the ship. We prefer the smaller ships that cater to an adult crowd. We only take cruises with very interesting destinations. Places I would not necessarily go for extended times.

The up coming cruise is very special and l can't wait !! It will take us from Tahiti to New York City and bring us many adventures along the way, diving in Bora Bora, the Eater Islands, Lima and Machu Picchu, several South American Ports, the Panama Canal, across the Caribbean (more diving for hubby) with debarkation in NYC........I am very exited about sailing into New York harbor. This trip has lots of sea days which I really enjoy doing just as chisue describes.

We also love road trip and try to do one a year. We've seen so much of the US and Canada this way. No better way to enjoy the great diversity, geographically, socially and I must say politically!


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"I find them fine if you like a controlled vacation. It was too controlled for me the main reason I did not like the idea of a cruise. I enjoy exploring and there is not enough time before you have to get back to the ship."

I agree. If you like adventure and exploration with freedom do to as you please and go where you want, cruise ships are probably not for you. If you like fun entertainment punctuated with a few hours in a touristy port here and there, it's probably perfect.

However, in the hell of being trapped in a frozen tundra in January and February, and always being cold, I would go on a cruise to a warm area in a minute, even if it was in a rowboat and the cuisine was all MREs. :-)

Sable, your cruises sound lovely.


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If it helps, I meant since it wasn't a US regulated industry, then the thought of "tougher regulations" will not work. I didn't mean that the US was better. But then, I don't think you're talking with me, Chase.

I didn't answer the question yesterday because I was on my way out the door to pickup the LF. Yes, I've sailed. The daughter of a Naval officer would be hard pressed to say she's never been on a boat/ship ;) Heck, I've probably been on every type of boat/ship that exists! Wait, I haven't been an aircraft carrier. The rest, yes, yes, I have. A nuclear sub, a catamaran (I've even operated the sails on it. Dolphins were racing us), sailboats, cruisers... Well, as many as I can remember, I think I've been on them all.

When we moved from California to Hawaii, it was on a ship. I was too young to remember that time. I also went on a honeymoon on a very small ship for Norwegian Cruise Line. I don't think the even have that ship anymore. It was more than a score of years ago, and the likely phased it out. We knew before it sailed that it had once been a ship for another industry and converted. When it had been the other, it had been through a fire. They gutted it and redid the entire ship. Did I worry that it would happen again? Well no, because they overhauled it. It likely had a new engine, as it had new everything. Undoubtedly, the Triumph will have new everything before it sails again. I never gave my safety on that ship a second thought; I was good hands. And it was exquisite. Because it was a smaller ship, we got some pretty focused attention from that crew. So good, I actually wrote a letter to their company. I'd sail with NCL again. I'd do it today if someone gave me a trip!


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Take a train, people!

The scenery. The towns. The people. The history. The hospitality. Even that chatter created by wheels to rails thrills me.

We'll never forget our train ride via The Canadian. We had no idea there was that much beauty between Toronto and Vancouver.


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brushworks, I have been thinking of taking a train vacation. When I was young I remember taking the train to New Jersey every summer. All my mothers family lived in NJ so we would go there every year via train. I still remember the scenery it was gorgeous.

Cruising is an all-inclusive resort that moves. The price is quite reasonable.

That is another waste for me, the inclusive part. I do not eat a lot. A meal on a saucer is what I normally use as my plate. If I am exploring at port I have paid for meals on the ship that I am not getting because I am out exploring. The only places I was extra careful was Mexico and Jamaica. In Jamaica I had a local police officer as my guide. It was more dangerous than Mexico at that time.

When I fly to a destination I also do not do the inclusive packages. I like to explore and try the local Cuisine. I do not hang in the local tourist traps. I really explore. It can be dangerous if you do not know how to befriend locals that are willing to take you out of the tourist areas. You can also hire guides.

When I say I have gone to a destination I like to be able to come home with a real appreciation of the place I visited.


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" So picture a couple thousand really big sweaty, colorful people, half naked (Caribbean), eating and lying around in lounge chairs.

A modern whaling fleet. The life guards carry harpoons.


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I used to take the train a lot and just loved it. So civilized. I once took the train from Chicago to Seattle and it got stuck in a snowdrift somewhere in Montana. It was the best excuse to party ever!

I also love driving places. One of my earliest memories is a trip my family took in the 47 Packard Station Wagon (Woody) from NY to Florida. An early version of the Griswolds.


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I always take the train to NYC. Love riding the train.


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I know there are cruises such as marquest describes -- a few hours on a couple of Caribbean islands that mostly exist to sell tax-free 'stuff' to cruisers. (St. Thomas, anyone?)

Cruising lets you sample some places to see if you'd like a land-based vacation there: Aruba -- no. Barbados -- yes. St. Lucia -- no. Martinique -- maybe. Jamaica -- no. Haiti -- NO! A cruise lets you scout out a locale without having to eat questionable food or sleep in 'quaint' locales.

DH won't go, but if I ever wanted to go to the far east, I'd 'sample' it first from a cruise ship -- as we did St. Petersburg just before the end of the USSR.

There's a basic NCL 'cruise' that departs Honolulu every Saturday afternoon. Passengers can glimpse Kauai, Maui and Big Island -- on the ship's tours or by renting a car for the day. This is something between the transports taking people between Finland and Russia and a 'cruise, cruise'.

Disney surely based those obese orbiting Amercian exiles on some 3-5 day cruisers in that movie about the lonely little robot picking through trash on a devastated Earth.

Take a train? How long do you have to allow for creeping along on bad railbeds, and what do you eat? (Remember, this is 'spoiled for life Sue' who remembers the Twentieth Century Limited and the Hiawatha. She also remembers her last trip on a train, a miserable overnight in a 100F berth from Chicago to Expo in Montreal.) Thanks, air travel today is grubby enough.


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It is definitely true that people love it or hate it. Although a lot of people that say they hate it have never been. The first time we went, it was only because we decided last minute and any resort I wanted to go to was booked. My travel agent pushed the cruise. My first thought was it was not for me. Really needed to get away and decided to risk it. We had the most fabulous time. We were totally surprised how much we loved it. My daughter was young at the time - maybe 5 or 6 - and very shy. She went to the kids program relunctantly the first day and totally loved it. Made lots of friends. Had tons to do and was very happy. Therefore, so were DH and I.

After a few cruises, we stopped getting off the ship at the ports. Been there, done that. We'd stay on the ship while almost everyone else got off. It was my favorite time! The only excursion we would do is 1 snorkeling boat trip per cruise. You don't feel rushed because it's run by the ship and the ship won't leave with you.

I have never been on Carnival. I always avoided that line, although I hear from people that it is better than it used to be.

Our favorite line is Holland America. We found it caters to an older crowd, which to me was good (even though they were all much older than us). During school vacations (when we would go) there were still kids and kid programs, so my daughter was happy. They also have the best private beach. Really lovely.

We were on the Royal Caribbean ship with the rock climbing wall (forget the name right now) and ice skating rink. At the time we were on it, it was the largest (or 2nd largest) ship. A LOT of people. A LOT of kids. But, I loved it. There were separate adult only and family pools so if you didn't want to hear/see any kids at all, you could go to adult only pool.

I would never go on a Disney cruise. Never ever.

Like elvis, we always get a balcony. It really makes a big difference. I could never have an inside cabin with no windows. I think I would get seriously depressed. We'd often have breakfast (room service) on our balcony. A wonderful way to start the day.

What I like is that you can do a lot of activities or none at all. When I go on vacation, I prefer to do nothing. Lying in the sun reading a book, having people bring me iced tea, is the perfect vacation to me. If I didn't work full time, I might feel differently and feel the need to do stuff and explore. But on vacation I need to relax and decompress.

We've traveled with other families that like to do more. Cruising was perfect for us. We'd meet for meals, and we each did whatever we wanted in between.

I also like all inclusives because once I go I don't want to worry about what I'm spending. And I don't like all inclusives that include alcohol since we drink very little (glass of wine with dinner).

We also once took a Windjammer sailing cruise (just DH and I, no kids). Not luxurious at all, but absolutely wonderful. The most relaxing vacation we've ever been on. Just amazing. But you have to like doing nothing but lying in the sun, swimming and snorkeling because that was about all there was to do. Perfect for us.


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Never have been on a cruise and have no intention of going on one. DH absolutely won't go. We have a neighbor who has gone on three cruises and gotten sick all three times. I asked him, after the second one, why he would ever step foot on a cruise ship again.

It's just not our kind of vacation We like to explore areas in depth. In April we are renting a house in the Loire Valley for a month and hope to see a lot of the surrounding area. We'll take a few days to go South as there are some places we haven't been (the prehistoric caves and the Milleau Viaduct) that I really want to see. Plus we plan to see friends in Lyon (who we met through our travel club and housesat for us a couple of years ago). A day trip, on the train, to Paris to see two things that are still on my list of things to see in Paris. Since this is probably our last trip to France, due to health issues that seem to only get worse as we age, we are looking forward to all that involves, especially the food.

The last time we were in France, in 2009, we took as many trips as we could, on our rail pass, on the trains there. It's such a great experience - they go very fast. We went from Paris to Nimes and back in one day - visited the Pont du Gard viaduct, which was the highlight of our whole trip, by hopping on a local bus from the train station. Had a great experience with a local resident. It's those things that we love to do, things that are not possible on a cruise ship.

Like others have said, you either love cruises or hate them. I can't imagine us loving one so why spend the money and the time when those things can be spent doing things we love to do - exploring, meeting the locals, most of the time inland.


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I have never taken a cruise because I prefer independence and the sort of things you do dont appeal to me but the train trips reminds me of an Amtrack trip from hell my ex and I took many years ago-a circle trip they called it-you started off at one point , could get off anywhere along the way and ended back where you started. The first leg was Seattle to Chicago, mostly nice but our car attendant was being fired so refused to do anything but sit in one of the sleepers and smoke-right next to ours so I was motion sick every night. The first part of the Chicago/New Orleans leg was to Mississippi and they had dug up some ancient nasty car from Hell with old hard plastic bench seats and packed with people going home for a visit-the only part we had not booked a sleeper-gad..from New Orleans to San Francisco they had over booked and claimed to not have a sleeper for us-I was having cramps-really bad. My ex having no luck I walked up to the counter and told the Man-you are going to find us a sleeper, I must have looked dangerous, we ended up with a Delux-roomy but none of the toilets in the rooms were working so we had to go to the Attendants car where when you lifted the seat you saw the tracks going by, I got food poisoning on the next leg,, and there was the bit where we creeped along so slow people walking were going faster, leaning way over sideways, and with me saying I dont see how this could be safe and my husband saying-oh they wouldn't be doing this if it werent safe(repairing the track)-we saw the train that had fallen down in the gorge-yipes! North California/Oregon the train was full of skiers who were doing drugs in the corridors. Oh I forgot the amazingly drunk attendant who I saw fall head over heels down the circular stair in the club car-he landed on his back then got up and staggered on down the corridor with none of the other attendants paying the least attention. What a vacation.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

'They aren't stupid, they just don't seem to care. There will be plenty that will continue to use them until it happens to them.'

That's what I think.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

Having a balcony does make a big difference and I would not have gone if we were stuck in a windowless stateroom. We had a suite with a lovely balcony and sitting area butler service, etc. and the service was impeccable but I still prefer not to travel by sea for all the reasons I and others cited above.

The only exception was the Alaska cruise. The sites from the ship were magnificent and I would not have been able to experience that doing it any other way. I would recommend it highly and I wouldn't be opposed to doing it again someday but it was only for a few days and as nice as it was I was ready to get off and explore on my own. I would also consider doing the Fjords of Norway for the same reason but otherwise I prefer alternative travel.

My BIL on the other hand loves them. He took the QE II maiden voyage a few years ago and takes at least 1 cruise a year. This spring he is taking one through the Baltic and St. Petersburg but then will be spending an additional 2 weeks on land to do what he isn't able to do/see from the ship.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

Jill, I loved your post.

As to other types of vacations, so far we like everything from real camping to RV camping in Mexico (1984; it was relatively safe--wouldn't dream of it now) to taking a ferry from England to Holland to renting apartments in various European cities to all-inclusive resorts. Cruising is just one alternative vacation of many possibilities. We probably couldn't afford these vacations if we didn't buy our clothes at the thrift shops, or if we had cell phone bills, or drank Starbucks, or any number of wasteful things people tend to do with their money, To each her/his own, and bon voyage to all ;D


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

I am not a "cruise" type person, as I can't just sit by a pool and drink. But I was on a 10 day cruise to the Western Carribbean 10 years ago and I loved it. The ship became home those days. We went on day trips and always came back for dinner. The accomodations were cramped but clean and fun. I stayed away from the night life, in bed by 10.

I love waking up in different places and exploring Belize, Mexico, etc for a day. Went to a rain forest, ancient ruins, snorkeling. Then I loved leaving at sunset!

I never felt unsafe, but I can see how things can go downhill fast without electricity or plumbing, but that would be so anywhere.

Had I the money I would do it again. Maybe force myself to relax on the days at sea.

I'd way rather cruise than fly!


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I think it would be a great idea to put the whole Congress out on one of these cruise ships with no engine power, no toilets and scant food and water and maybe they would get something done.

They can just go to Staten Island or Rockaway, NY. It's still like that in some places post-Sandy.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

Have never been on a cruise and you would probably have to pay me to take one (although the Alaska cruise sounds nice for the sights). The "mishaps" that have occurred with some cruise ships has nothing to do with it.

Generally I like to be active, am not interested in pampering and indulgence when traveling, and simple clean accomodations are okay. I love swimming especially in the ocean, but do not care for boating in general. Also want a connection to the Earth, and exploring native habitats that are different from here.

My kid is 19 now, so I don't have to factor kid stuff or visits to relatives into travel plans, did that for years and am glad it's over. Plan to do a little traveling all for myself, and it sure ain't going to be a cruise.

But to each their own! Travel is a luxury, it is expensive and nearly every form of travel uses a lot of fossil fuels, so I think people should enjoy it.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

"Also want a connection to the Earth, and exploring native habitats that are different from here."

Teehee. You do realize most the Earth is water? We're scuda divers; love of marine life is probably a factor in our love of cruises. ;)


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

Elvis,

Where is the best scuda diving? ;)


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

Frank, I think Elvis is busy right now looking for her missing word. Perhaps she'll answer you after she finds her "of". ;)


sorry I just couldn't resist.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

For us: pretty much anywhere on the Mesoamerican reef system, mostly Palancar Reef. The Great Barrier is bigger, but it's far away, and bigger isn't always better. Also, its kind of well known for shark activity. They make me uneasy. I just like the pretty and colorful stuff, so I don't go below 60 feet (less light = less color). Besides, I'm not certified for deeper. DH likes the walls and such.

Are you a diver, Frank?


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Diving is as broad as it is deep.....aren't I clever...

I'm not a diver but DH is and he prefers deep dives and dives involving wreckage vs reefs. Its really all about what interests you and then you pick the dive site.

One of the reasons we picked the particular cruise we did for this Spring is because it included Bora Bora and my dh is very interested in WW2 wreckage....God bless him.....


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Bora Bora; sounds so exotic! Is that anywhere near Pago Pago? My sister lived there for awhile. Very large people there.


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Chase, so is my DH.

I am not much of a diver but I will admit one of the most spectacular places I have ever explored underwater is the Galapagos and I would go back again in a heartbeat. I also enjoyed diving in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt, the Red Sea is amazing.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

Elvis, yes you're right bodies of water are most certainly part of the Earth, and I've snorkeled many times, and love to swim. And brief trips over the watery Earth is fine, just prefer the solid Earth under my feet for most vacation activities.

One other less desirable aspect of cruising is that I would feel like I was trapped in a large floating tourist trap. You can be sure the businesses that cater to the cruisers in various ports view them that way.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

Bora Bora is between Tahiti and the Easter Islands (basically) in the South Pacific. Evidently the diving there is very interesting. Not my cup of tea but he loves it.


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Bora Bora is between Tahiti and the Easter Islands (basically) in the South Pacific. Evidently the diving there is very interesting. Not my cup of tea but he loves it.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

"One other less desirable aspect of cruising is that I would feel like I was trapped in a large floating tourist trap. You can be sure the businesses that cater to the cruisers in various ports view them that way."

Of course they do! We're their bread & butter. I live in a tourist town, so ignoring the local hype is second nature to me. I do buy certain things, like vanilla beans and local postage stamps. Even when I don't buy, I love shopping. Actually maybe more so when I don't buy.


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RE: Cruise Ship Crud

"One other less desirable aspect of cruising is that I would feel like I was trapped in a large floating tourist trap. You can be sure the businesses that cater to the cruisers in various ports view them that way."

I guess because of this accident my daughter said last night someone on her job was talking about her cruise coming up and the ship was stopping in Cozumel, Mexico. The lady said she was not going to get off the ship this time when they doc because the last time the ship stopped there the people were not nice and treated them like greedy tourist.

My daughter and I love Mexico and have visited many times. We have only visited Cozumel once it is obvious that it is a cruise port island. They do not like the tourist. They do not feel they have to be nice when there will be a fresh crop daily of captive passengers.


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It's the same reason I wouldn't ever patronize one of those "all-inclusive" resorts like Sandals. It's like being in some ivory tower, most likely in a country that fairly impoverished. I've heard some don't even let you off the resort, but not sure that's true. I'd rather get out and meet native people, experience the native culture, and even more so explore the native habitats.

My son and I took a special trip to Hawaii for Xmas 2011, he had finally turned 18, I was finally "emancipated" from guardianship (sort of), and it was a celebration that we "made it". We planned to visit the Big Island, and the travel agent I worked with suggested a posh hotel on a golf course in Kona. I said "Golf course? Not only do I not play golf, and think they are a ridiculous use of the land, but all golf courses pretty much look the same. I'm not paying thousands of dollars to go to Hawaii to see a golf course!" We ending up staying in a funky place on Hilo Bay, seeing the Volcano Ntl Park, taking a helicopter ride over the volcano. That was awesome!


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Chase - I cannot tell you how envious I am! Bora Bora (and the entire area) is someplace I have always wanted to go. There's a cruise (or at least there used to be) that went between the South Pacific Islands and Hawaii, with a stop in the Easter Islands. I can't imagine anything more perfect than that. One day...

I hope you have a wonderful trip.


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Jill thank you, I most certainly will try!!!

The Easter Islands is also on our itinerary .That and sailing into New York City are the parts of the cruise I am looking forward to most.


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Sailing into NY harbor is very cool. We sailed from NY to Bermuda and it was really awesome.


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