Ruth, with our friend Andrei at the Orheiul Vechi Historical Complex at Trebujeni, Moldova. Photo taken December 2, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Have you been on a cruise?

It's a little strange that we have never been on a cruise ship together.

When we were younger and had a normal working lifestyle, we used to do one week "all inclusive" getaways south to places like Cuba and Dominican Republic. One of the reasons was that we could get a good deal. Airfare, meals, booze...all included in the one price you pay, and it was so easy.

We saw cruises advertised, but the problem for us was that by the time you added on the airfare to the departure point, it became fairly expensive. And then of course you had to get home as well.

Ruth did a cruise once back in the winter of 2001, but it was through the company she worked with. It was a bonus for making sales numbers and most of her office went on a four day party excursion from Tampa, Florida through Key West, and on to Cozumel, Mexico. Everything was sponsored by different suppliers, and the flights from Canada were included so it didn't cost her a dime.

The cruise ship Ruth was on in 2001.

Lookin' good!
 Ruth, ready for the Captains Dinner.

But cruises can actually be very reasonably priced if you 1) don't have to pay any airfare and 2) shop for deals and sales. So, I've been keeping my eye open for an opportunity the last couple of years. We had actually came close to taking a one way "repositioning" cruise last fall going from Europe to North America, but then our Iceland idea came along and that's the route we chose in the end.

So now, we're looking at a way to get from Halifax, Nova Scotia to New York City in late October and early November. And there are a couple of different cruise ships that have Canada/New England cruises going on at that time. Something like this...

You can always click on our pictures to make them larger!

This particular cruise actually leaves Quebec City and ends up in Fort Lauderdale. A great way for snowbirds to get to Florida! But we want to board the ship in Halifax on October 31st, do four days on the ship, and disembark when the ship docks in New York City on November 4th. Great idea, but we don't know if they'll let us do that. We'll contact them this week and find out.

So, some questions for you. Please leave comments below because we're really interested in this!

Have you been on a cruise? What did you like about it? Would you be interested in reading about our time on a cruise ship?


38 comments:

  1. We have been on three different Caribbean cruises together and have enjoyed each one. And we found if you are travelling to an area and only need to pay the price for the cruise itself you can get some awesome deals. Lots of shore excursions that we enjoy and if you don't take the inflated priced tours and drink to much expensive booze on the ship can be a great deal. Some great last minute deal too.
    Of course we will read about your cruise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's good to know because once you are on the ship the drinks are expensive and as you say so are the land tours. It's best if you can make your own plans once on land.

      Delete
  2. We've been on four cruises and enjoyed all of them. The best deal was when we cruised out of San Diego to Hawaii for 15 days for $999 each. We planned our winter itinerary so we didn't have to fly and it was a great deal. This January we're cruising out of New Orleans so will just stay there for a month. We're taking our kids and the cost for four sharing a cabin is $326 for a 7 day trip to Honduras, Belize and Cozumel. No airfare for us, but the kids are flying to New Orleans. Our next dream for a cruise is Alaska with a land and cruise package and/or Australia/New Zealand. Lots more working at Amazon for all these dream trips :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you hav been able to get some great deals and also arrange your driving itinerary to coincide with the cruise. Have fun on this next one in January.

      Delete
  3. Yes and No. I went on many "cruises" during my Coast Guard days, although the cutters I sailed on were not luxurious by any means...and I actually had to work. :c(

    Now the cruises you're talking about, not yet, but we've been planning to go for years, just waiting for the planets to align. :c)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure that life would have been very interesting working on a Coast Guard ship.

      Hope the planets will align for you some day soon.

      Delete
  4. YES, twice. After the two we have found that we don't enjoy the large ships. If we do another it will be on the small ships so we can stop at the smaller ports with less people. One of the cruises was upscale and the other econo. Will never do a cheap cruise again, nickle and dime you to death while having lower quality. Another advantage of the small ship is less time at sea. For us it is about the ports not the sailing which we found to be boring, guess we are too hyper! Another unpleasant finding is because we stay fit, we would use the pool and become the entertainment of everyone else sitting in the chairs just to gawk at the brave souls in the pool. We found this true even with the upscale cruise which had very few (nearly none) young people. The cheaper cruise was like a city pool with tons of kids. Just our feelings. Alaska with the land tour & the other to Central America' East coast. What we have enjoyed is Eco Resorts which have few people and incredible surroundings / activities. Our next cruise will be the Panama Canal on a small ship.

    rocmoc n AZ/Mexico

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you. The one that I was on was a "party" ship because it was only for 4 days and you get lots of people on it that got super good deals. I wasn't that impressed by it and even though I had a good time and that it was paid for by the company I worked for and other companies that we dealt with in business I would not do that one again. Kevin having never been on one would like to try one out all the same.

      Like you, I would love to try something smaller like on of those sailing yachts such as Windjammer.

      Delete
  5. We went often when we were working. I hate packing and unpacking and cruising gives you one bed but many ports. The food is also excellent, you're waited on hand and foot. We loved it! Not so good for those of you that get seasick and there were lots of those on board!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you had a great time. I am willing to try one again but I have to admit I prefer traveling by land. You can stop when you want and the scenery always changes.

      Delete
  6. We cruised before we RVed and did about 2 per year. We were into ballroom dancing and that was our big thing trying out all the dance floors. We loved to dress to the nine's ( Colin even would bring a tux ) and we enjoyed the nightly entertainment. We never participated in port tours offered by the ship as they were too expensive but we did manage to get around and do our own thing. Loved cruising but love Rving now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are definitely many attractions to cruising but I like RVing more, plus it is rare that I can ever get Kevin onto a dance floor.

      Delete
  7. We (my son and I) have been on three cruises, two Disney and one MSC Cruise, all to the Caribbean. I want to do one more through the areas that I haven't seen yet (maybe next year). I love cruising, truly a great way to relax and usually the food is good!
    I have a tendency to be seasick, but have only had one issue on all three cruises where the waves were really choppy and I just went to bed for a few hours and slept (on the MSC cruise). I would be interested in seeing how you like cruising. It's different for everybody.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think when you have kids and the cruise is geared towards them then they work great for the parents. The chidren are happily kept occupied while the parent can relax and do their own thing. Maybe one day we will have to do a Disney cruise with our grandson.

      Delete
  8. I've been fortunate to have been on many cruises. It's a totally different experience than shlepping a suitcase form place to place. And a wonderful way to relax and really enjoy what you're doing right at the time. Alaska (twice), Tahiti, Mexico, Panama Canal, Central and South America, Caribbean Islands, Turkey ..... I do have to say that now that I've become familiar with RVing, I love being able to STAY in one place until I'm ready for the next. Cruising and visiting ports of call are very time-conscientious. Someday, however, I'd love to take a cruise (can be done on freighters for less moola) around the World. I'd include some train and ground travel in it; it would take some planning but I've known people who've done it. What an experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we would be interested in doing a cruise to Alaska, Antartica or the Galápagos Islands but I would want it to be on a small ship not one of these huge things. We've looked at the freighter type of trips but now they have become very expensive and it is usually cheaper to just take a regular cruise.

      I still say that RVing is our favourite mode of transportation.

      Delete
  9. I've never been on a large cruise ship. Would love to go on a clipper/sailing ship or a small cruise ship that holds only a few hundred guests.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with you, I think that would be the better way to cruise.

      Delete
  10. Haven't done it yet although we got pretty close last year while we were in Texas. Galveston has a few departures and we found some four day cruises for less than $200. That got us started and then I found a one-way from New York to England on the QM II for $800 pp. So I guess there is a future opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They both sound like they would have been great deals, except the QM II you would still have had to get yourself back home. Next time you you see a good deal like that you are just going to have to jump on it and just do it!

      Delete
  11. Wow you've got a lot of cruisers here. Very interesting reading the comments. I've been on one cruise, to Alaska. I enjoyed it very much although I ate WAY TOO MUCH. Alaska was gorgeous and I want to go back to the interior. But I felt guilty at the decadence and the energy expenditure of the cruise. I'm still not sure what they do with all the black tank waste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right it is interesting reading the comments and getting everyone's opinion. Glad you enjoyed your cruise, you may have eaten to much but I am sure you found ways to work it off. I am not sure what they do with the black water either and I am not sure I want to know!

      Delete
  12. I've not been on a cruise yet. If someday you did one of those cheaper freighter cruises that would be something I'd really love to read about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those freighter cruises aren't so cheap anymore. Kevin has looked into them and they are as much as a regular cruise if not more expensive in some cases.

      Delete
  13. We have been on 19 cruises over the last 10 years. Loved every one of them. We have totaled over 6 months at sea. Europe was the most exciting. Check out the repositioning cruises for the best values. A great way to arrive in Europe for an extended stay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that is a lot of cruises and a lot of time spent at sea. I guess if we have any questions you are the ones to go to. We have looked at repositioning cruising and they are definitely the best value for your money, perhaps one day we will do one.

      Delete
  14. Just completed a two week land and sea tour with Princess cruise lines in Alaska-really fun. It makes for a number of good blog posts:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will have to go back and read your posts. We have had our hands full here with working everyday that we don't have lots of time to read blogs. Glad you had a great time. We would certainly like to do an Alaskan cruise.

      Delete
  15. I've been on MANY cruises. To be honest, I truly love cruising! Shortest one was 4 days. Longest one was 16 nights, transatlantic; ports were in the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Morocco, Spain, Italy. Adorable! And, good value. I hope you'll consider a cruise, but I'm not sure about the one you've mentioned. Maybe it will be good; I have no idea. Blessings, Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That transatlantic cruise you took sounds wonderful, definitely would be interested in something like that. I am sure one day we will do a cruise together.

      Delete
  16. We love NCL! We did their Hawaiian itinerary twice because it was so wonderful. Then for Christmas last year we went on their Western Caribbean cruise, very nice.

    Our most romantic cruise was around the Galapagos Islands!! Small ship, great food, the most amazing scenery. Not to be missed!!! Don't buy your ticket on line...buy your ticket in Ecuador half the (USA) price! Great photo Ruth :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have heard that NCL are one of the very best companies for cruises. I don't think we heard anything negative about them. I agree a small ship around the Galopago Islands would be fabulous and I too have heard to buy the ticket in Ecuador or even go to one of the main islands and wheel and deal with the boat operators and just do day trips to different islands.

      Delete
  17. I went on Carribean cruise when I was single and John and I went on one to Alaska. It is fun but if you are not careful it can be very pricey, but we did have fun. Alaska just made us want to go there in our RV some day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, all the extras add up quickly on a cruise ship.

      Delete
  18. My wife and I did a two week Caribbean cruise, leaving from New York City. Biggest thrill was sailing past the Statue of Liberty lit up at night, awesome site. The good part about cruising was seeing so many different ports of call. You could see which places you might like to return to. No luggage, accommodations or meals to worry about at the end of the day. Lots of things I did not like as well. Personally after two weeks I couldn't wait to get off of that TUG!! Felt like a rat in a maze.
    I would love to read about Kevin on a cruise, it would be hilarious.
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sure would have been a beautiful sight. I can see the convenience of being on a ship and being able to travel around without having to worry about lugging baggage everywhere but we also like just being able to stop whenever we please an getting out and going for a walk. If you are able to get off the ship each day it wouldn't be too bad but having to have several days at sea, we would find that hard.

      Delete
  19. We've done too many cruises to remember exactly how many ... some were adventure/expedition cruises; others the more run-of-the-mill cruises. Our first cruise was NYC to Halifax R/T on Carnival just to see if we would enjoy cruising. We did; and we also determined the Carnival style wasn't us ... so we knew to look for "more staid" cruiselines for future voyages. Caribbean cruises have always been for chilling and relaxing ... although we always explored the islands when we were in port and never just stayed on board. Cruises to other destinations were to explore and get a taste of some of the countries/cities -- a taster's plate if you will that helped us to decide where we might want to return to do more in-depth exploring.

    Now a days, independent travel agents have to price most cruises the same as the cruiseline pricing, but they usually offer incentives from their commissions that they pay out in the form of on board credits that you can apply towards tips, drinks, etc. (Example: I transferred one reservation from the cruiseline to the travel agency and got $500 in spending money for a two-week cruise.) The larger cruise travel agents usually have group pricing available as well that can give you a break on the price. (Not traveling with a group; just taking advantage of their bulk buying power.) Celebrity/Royal Caribbean have a Tuesday special bulletin that usually has good discounts for new bookings. Prices may go up and down after you purchase, but you can usually call in and get the lower price, as long as it is not for new bookings only. (Example: I've already taken advantage of two price drops for our two upcoming cruises, saving $900 on the last drop.) If you don't care about your cabin location, you can sometimes get last minute deals, too ... but sometimes on popular or limited itineraries (such as the one you're looking at) that may not work as well.

    Have fun finding the cruise you want ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you are the go to person if we have questions about cruises. Kevin has found a numbr of websites that he looks at for specials on cruises and also as you mentioned the on board credits which can help to make a crusie even cheaper. For now we are only looking for the 4 days from Halifax to NYC but if it works out well we may possibly look at further cruises. We would love to do one of the repositioning cruises from Europe to the USA or Carribean.

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...