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Old 07-07-2018, 08:44 AM   #1
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Cruise Stories

Leaving Friday out of Boston for a 7 day cruise to Bermuda on Norwegian (Dawn).

Been about 20 years since I cruised (Royal Caribbean).

Would love to hear pointers/stories from the Planet. I've been watching cruise tips on YouTube but I'd love to hear yours.
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:48 AM   #2
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Read the fine print and take advantage of everything you've already paid for with the ticket. My travel agent is my go-to person for this kind of stuff.



Enjoy yourself!
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by patfan64 View Post
Leaving Friday out of Boston for a 7 day cruise to Bermuda on Norwegian (Dawn).

Been about 20 years since I cruised (Royal Caribbean).

Would love to hear pointers/stories from the Planet. I've been watching cruise tips on YouTube but I'd love to hear yours.
Got married on that cruise.

JP and 50 immediate family and closest friends. Had the big party after we came home.

Small ceremony. Open bar party w/hor deurves. Then everyone leaves as we sailed off.

For a small ceremony it was excellent.

Been to a few Caribbean islands but Bermuda is still tops to me. You just donít see the poverty thatís kind of deflating that you do in other locales while youíre offspending frivolously.
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:28 AM   #4
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JD numbers is the king of cruises. He also was on the cruise a couple years ago that went into the storm not away.

Hope he or his wife sees this thread, he and lurkingwife know their stuff
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Old 07-08-2018, 10:55 AM   #5
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I've been on about 10 cruises on Princess, but I decided that the experience wasn't working for me any more and refused to do another. I think I was just cruised out, but Princess was getting a little more generic and the service/shows worse every year, so I might try another line next year.

In general, I prefer the more developed islands when going to the Caribbean such as St. Thomas, St. Martin and Grand Cayman as opposed to poorer ones where you get swarmed by locals for taxi rides or selling shit or whatever. That gets old as reflected in the motto "Same shit, different island". Jamaica and the east coast of Mexico are the sketchiest, in my experience.

I also advocate arranging your own tours as opposed to the overpriced ones through the cruise line. They all go to the same places.

I think you get the most bang-for-the-buck from getting a mini-suite with a decent-sized balcony so you can get away from the crowds a little and we often dine in the upscale restaurants where you might pay, say, 15 bucks extra but will get a better quality meal than the free dining room.

Good luck. It can be a fine experience depending on what line you travel on.

As an football-related aside, I was on a cruise after we won the 2001 Bowl when Bledose was still in limbo with the team and he was on board with his extended family. He was really nice to everybody and we had a couple of chats but I just couldn't talk Patriots with him given the circumstance. We both entered a ping-pong tournament but I got eliminated before we could square off.

One story that I like to tell is that there is an atmospheric anomaly known as the "Green Flash" which on rare occasions happens just after the sun dips below the horizon. Supposedly, those that see it will always have good luck.

One evening I was partying with a group of friends on our balcony and I was telling a buddy about that and we both watched the sun set, and I'll be damned if we didn't see the Green Flash but nobody else noticed because it was just two seconds.

The Captain came on the PA later and said he's been at sea for 30 years and that was the first one he ever saw. It was awesome.

Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2018, 01:38 PM   #6
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Only been on 1 short cruise with 2 other couples. 5 out of the 6 people were moderately sea sick for 2 days. I was the only one that wasn't and they hated me because I could eat all the food that I wanted.

Other than that it was fine. Broke even at the casino, which is more than I can say about PP"s casino.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:17 PM   #7
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Bring a night light (it can get really dark on a ship in the middle of the ocean). Also, an extension cord. The plugs tend not to be in the best places.

Try eating breakfast in the dining room. You'll get what you want, made to order.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg73 View Post
I've been on about 10 cruises on Princess, but I decided that the experience wasn't working for me any more and refused to do another. I think I was just cruised out, but Princess was getting a little more generic and the service/shows worse every year, so I might try another line next year.

In general, I prefer the more developed islands when going to the Caribbean such as St. Thomas, St. Martin and Grand Cayman as opposed to poorer ones where you get swarmed by locals for taxi rides or selling shit or whatever. That gets old as reflected in the motto "Same shit, different island". Jamaica and the east coast of Mexico are the sketchiest, in my experience.

I also advocate arranging your own tours as opposed to the overpriced ones through the cruise line. They all go to the same places.

I think you get the most bang-for-the-buck from getting a mini-suite with a decent-sized balcony so you can get away from the crowds a little and we often dine in the upscale restaurants where you might pay, say, 15 bucks extra but will get a better quality meal than the free dining room.

Good luck. It can be a fine experience depending on what line you travel on.

As an football-related aside, I was on a cruise after we won the 2001 Bowl when Bledose was still in limbo with the team and he was on board with his extended family. He was really nice to everybody and we had a couple of chats but I just couldn't talk Patriots with him given the circumstance. We both entered a ping-pong tournament but I got eliminated before we could square off.

One story that I like to tell is that there is an atmospheric anomaly known as the "Green Flash" which on rare occasions happens just after the sun dips below the horizon. Supposedly, those that see it will always have good luck.

One evening I was partying with a group of friends on our balcony and I was telling a buddy about that and we both watched the sun set, and I'll be damned if we didn't see the Green Flash but nobody else noticed because it was just two seconds.

The Captain came on the PA later and said he's been at sea for 30 years and that was the first one he ever saw. It was awesome.

Good luck!
Not doing any excursions. Going to do our own stuff. I've researched and will find a way to get to the points of interest that I want to get to.

My wife's friend has been on the island for a number of years so we have another resource.

We upgraded to fine dining so we can have every meal in the nicer restaurants. I also put a bid in for an upgrade to the cabin. We presently have a small room with a balcony. I bid $400 for an $800 upgrade to a state room with a balcony. Something like 80 additional square feet.

At this point, I just want to get on the freaking ship and get out of Dodge for a while.

I'll look for the Green Flash.

Thanks
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:55 PM   #9
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I havenít any tips or suggestions as Iíve been on only one cruise and that was a business meeting. Itís more of a memory of a drunken hilarious bender with a bunch of coworkers,all of whom left their spouses at home. We went from LA to Ensenada with a stop at Catalina Island off LA, which was about 30 minutes after we left port. The really hilarious fun was Ensenada,we got off the boat and were of course besieged by kids selling shit but we made our way to a dive bar called Hossongs, which was alleged to be the oldest bar in Mexico. ( doubt it). Their attraction was a fucking dentist chair in the center of the room, in which youíd recline while two Mexicans mixed tequila slammers. In your mouth. Poured the mezcal and ginger ale in and then theyíd put you in a headlock and shake your head all around. That place was howling while everyone did it. More than once. We got so shitfaced it was amazing.

Ahh the memories.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patfan64 View Post
Not doing any excursions. Going to do our own stuff. I've researched and will find a way to get to the points of interest that I want to get to.

My wife's friend has been on the island for a number of years so we have another resource.

We upgraded to fine dining so we can have every meal in the nicer restaurants. I also put a bid in for an upgrade to the cabin. We presently have a small room with a balcony. I bid $400 for an $800 upgrade to a state room with a balcony. Something like 80 additional square feet.

At this point, I just want to get on the freaking ship and get out of Dodge for a while.

I'll look for the Green Flash.

Thanks
Seems like you already have things taken care of.

We love cruising. We've been on 8 and we're planning more in the near future. We have always been on Royal Caribbean with the ships ranging from the newest (Quantum), to biggest (Oasis/Allure) to smaller (Adventure). Each ship has their unique features. We tend to gravitate towards the bigger ones.

A Bermuda cruise is different than many other Caribbean cruises. I'm assuming that it's one stop for multiple days, so you have time to go out and explore the island properly. Unlike Hawg, we have always recommended the sponsored excursions for a couple of reasons: The vendors need to keep a relationship with the liner, so if there's an issue, there's a better chance to get it resolved; and, if the excursion is late getting back to the ship, the ship will not leave without you. We have been on cruises where someone missed the ship because they went off on their own. In Cozumel, there was one guy with both arms full of shopping bags running down the dock after the gang plank had been pulled away. He was intercepted and escorted back off the dock as the ship moved on.

You already upgraded your dining which is very high on our list. The dining halls always have good service and food, but the specialty restaurants are a big step up.

Most liners have beverage packages (both non-alcoholic and alcoholic). You have to drink a fair amount to make it worth your while, but we have found that we like them because of the ease of ordering, tip is already included and they usually include all types of beverages including bottled water, fresh juices, etc. You'll have to do the math to figure out if it's right for you.

If you want to be by the pool on days at sea, you'll probably have to get there early or you won't get a chair near the pool. Most liners have adult only pools, so if you prefer to be away from someone's brats, take advantage of them.

Most entertainment is fairly generic but we always see each one because you may get an occasional gem.

Hope you have a great time.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by patswin View Post
i havenít any tips or suggestions as iíve been on only one cruise and that was a business meeting. Itís more of a memory of a drunken hilarious bender with a bunch of coworkers,all of whom left their spouses at home. We went from la to ensenada with a stop at catalina island off la, which was about 30 minutes after we left port. The really hilarious fun was ensenada,we got off the boat and were of course besieged by kids selling shit but we made our way to a dive bar called hossongs, which was alleged to be the oldest bar in mexico. ( doubt it). Their attraction was a fucking dentist chair in the center of the room, in which youíd recline while two mexicans mixed tequila slammers. In your mouth. Poured the mezcal and ginger ale in and then theyíd put you in a headlock and shake your head all around. That place was howling while everyone did it. More than once. We got so shitfaced it was amazing.

Ahh the memories.

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Old 07-09-2018, 06:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by patfan64 View Post
Not doing any excursions. Going to do our own stuff. I've researched and will find a way to get to the points of interest that I want to get to.

My wife's friend has been on the island for a number of years so we have another resource.

We upgraded to fine dining so we can have every meal in the nicer restaurants. I also put a bid in for an upgrade to the cabin. We presently have a small room with a balcony. I bid $400 for an $800 upgrade to a state room with a balcony. Something like 80 additional square feet.

At this point, I just want to get on the freaking ship and get out of Dodge for a while.

I'll look for the Green Flash.

Thanks
I forgot to mention that Bermuda is one of the prettiest, flower-laden islands I've been to and is largely free of people bugging you.

When we were there, I took a cab to Elbo Beach and rented some nice chairs and an umbrella for the day. The water and sand on that day was about as nice as any I've ever seen. You can walk down past the hotel area to some cliffs with limestone caves which are really scenic.

I did this back in the day and it reminded me of backdrops for the SI swimsuit issue, so I stepped into a cave and dropped my suit and posed coquettishly for my wife with my ass hanging out and promptly forgot about it.

That is, I forgot about it until my Mother was flipping through the photos some months later and, to my embarassment, ran across that shot. She looked at it, paused for a long beat, and just kept flipping through without comment. She'd seen it before.

We also took a nice horse-drawn carriage ride through Georgetown at night. The horse's name was Goldfinger. It's funny the stuff that sticks in your memory year's later, but I really liked that island.

Years later, we were on another cruise headed for Bermuda, but due to high winds we were unable to squeeze through the narrow cliffs to get into port and had to skip the one-day stop, which was disappointing, but because of that we ended up running across a disabled sailboat that was competing in a solo ocean race and the Captain of that ship was very ill and had been floating for days with hypothermia waiting for somebody to respond to his S.O.S.

Then, like a dream, a giant, white cruise ship appears and organized a rescue. Our ship sent out a rescue tender while we all watched it unfold from our balconies.

The seas were rough and we got a little too close and then the mast of the sailboat smashed against some of the balconies and shattered, but, miraculously, nobody got hurt. It was sort of a shitshow, but they got the guy off the boat.

It turned out that the guy was OK, and, ironically, both he and the Captain of our ship came from the same very small town in England but had never met.
So, we were pissed to miss Bermuda, but got some unique drama to make it better. Also, I learned that his sailboat, which was worth at least half a million, was scuttled on purpose because it would be a hazard to navigation.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:16 AM   #13
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Unlike Hawg, we have always recommended the sponsored excursions for a couple of reasons: The vendors need to keep a relationship with the liner, so if there's an issue, there's a better chance to get it resolved; and, if the excursion is late getting back to the ship, the ship will not leave without you. We have been on cruises where someone missed the ship because they went off on their own. In Cozumel, there was one guy with both arms full of shopping bags running down the dock after the gang plank had been pulled away. He was intercepted and escorted back off the dock as the ship moved on.
That's a reasonable point for a one-day stop, but if the clock isn't ticking you don't have to worry much. You can easily tell the pros from the amateurs and I suggest just talking to the tour group folks. Even my wife, who is a nervous nellie, now goes along with it and the same tours are roughly half of what the cruise lines charge. Caveat Emptor.


Quote:
If you want to be by the pool on days at sea, you'll probably have to get there early or you won't get a chair near the pool. Most liners have adult only pools, so if you prefer to be away from someone's brats, take advantage of them.
Another good point. On a lot of the bigger ships you can "upgrade" to a more private pool/spa area for ten or fifteen bucks with really nice lounge chairs and some space that you don't have to fight for and we started doing that to avoid the squabbling.

PF64 might want to look into that because that is one of the more unpleasant aspects of cruising for a lot of folks. You don't want your days at sea to turn out to be a strategic battle for a few square feet of territory. That's too much like living in Massachusetts, although I will comment that we tend to be really good at it.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:20 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bideau View Post
Seems like you already have things taken care of.

We love cruising. We've been on 8 and we're planning more in the near future. We have always been on Royal Caribbean with the ships ranging from the newest (Quantum), to biggest (Oasis/Allure) to smaller (Adventure). Each ship has their unique features. We tend to gravitate towards the bigger ones.

A Bermuda cruise is different than many other Caribbean cruises. I'm assuming that it's one stop for multiple days, so you have time to go out and explore the island properly. Unlike Hawg, we have always recommended the sponsored excursions for a couple of reasons: The vendors need to keep a relationship with the liner, so if there's an issue, there's a better chance to get it resolved; and, if the excursion is late getting back to the ship, the ship will not leave without you. We have been on cruises where someone missed the ship because they went off on their own. In Cozumel, there was one guy with both arms full of shopping bags running down the dock after the gang plank had been pulled away. He was intercepted and escorted back off the dock as the ship moved on.

You already upgraded your dining which is very high on our list. The dining halls always have good service and food, but the specialty restaurants are a big step up.

Most liners have beverage packages (both non-alcoholic and alcoholic). You have to drink a fair amount to make it worth your while, but we have found that we like them because of the ease of ordering, tip is already included and they usually include all types of beverages including bottled water, fresh juices, etc. You'll have to do the math to figure out if it's right for you.

If you want to be by the pool on days at sea, you'll probably have to get there early or you won't get a chair near the pool. Most liners have adult only pools, so if you prefer to be away from someone's brats, take advantage of them.

Most entertainment is fairly generic but we always see each one because you may get an occasional gem.

Hope you have a great time.
So I guess I'm looking for direction on things like tipping, shopping on board, shopping on the island and any other advice.

We have the bar package (not much good for me or my 15 year old) and the upscale restaurants. Do we tip the waiters/barstaff every time? What about our cabin attendant?

I probably will come up with more questions as we get closer.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hawg73 View Post
I forgot to mention that Bermuda is one of the prettiest, flower-laden islands I've been to and is largely free of people bugging you.

When we were there, I took a cab to Elbo Beach and rented some nice chairs and an umbrella for the day. The water and sand on that day was about as nice as any I've ever seen. You can walk down past the hotel area to some cliffs with limestone caves which are really scenic.

I did this back in the day and it reminded me of backdrops for the SI swimsuit issue, so I stepped into a cave and dropped my suit and posed coquettishly for my wife with my ass hanging out and promptly forgot about it.

That is, I forgot about it until my Mother was flipping through the photos some months later and, to my embarassment, ran across that shot. She looked at it, paused for a long beat, and just kept flipping through without comment. She'd seen it before.

We also took a nice horse-drawn carriage ride through Georgetown at night. The horse's name was Goldfinger. It's funny the stuff that sticks in your memory year's later, but I really liked that island.
We did Bermuda for our honeymoon, 36 years ago and have never been back. But we'd love to someday. We may do a Boston to Bermuda cruise in the near future. We stayed in Hamilton. We decided to do the horse-drawn carriage at night. Oddly, our driver was from Pepperell, MA. When asked if we wanted 1/2 hour or 1 hour, we told him to start riding and we'd decide soon. My wife's only concern was that a lizard would fall out of a tree and onto her. Sure as shit, a few minutes into the ride a small lizard falls right onto her lap. After the screaming was finished, the driver turned around and said, "I guess that means it will be the 1/2 hour ride."

Quote:
Years later, we were on another cruise headed for Bermuda, but due to high winds we were unable to squeeze through the narrow cliffs to get into port and had to skip the one-day stop, which was disappointing, but because of that we ended up running across a disabled sailboat that was competing in a solo ocean race and the Captain of that ship was very ill and had been floating for days with hypothermia waiting for somebody to respond to his S.O.S.

Then, like a dream, a giant, white cruise ship appears and organized a rescue. Our ship sent out a rescue tender while we all watched it unfold from our balconies.

The seas were rough and we got a little too close and then the mast of the sailboat smashed against some of the balconies and shattered, but, miraculously, nobody got hurt. It was sort of a shitshow, but they got the guy off the boat.

It turned out that the guy was OK, and, ironically, both he and the Captain of our ship came from the same very small town in England but had never met.
So, we were pissed to miss Bermuda, but got some unique drama to make it better. Also, I learned that his sailboat, which was worth at least half a million, was scuttled on purpose because it would be a hazard to navigation.
Great story.

Our own version was from a cruise in '13. The ship was on it's way back to Ft. Lauderdale sailing between Cuba and the Keys. Suddenly, ship alarms go off, the captain comes on the speaker saying some code words, ship personnel go sprinting for the starboard side of the ship. The ship comes to a grinding halt and does a complete 180. We figured someone had fallen overboard. But when we went to check, we found that there was a small raft with Cubans trying to make their way to Florida. They declined assistance and the ship went on it's way, but the captain announced that the Coast Guard had been notified. Below is a picture my wife took.

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8/21/06
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