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Cruising (on ships not the mucky kind)

I am after some tips. Mrs Kigelia and I are thinking of booking a cruise ship holiday for next year. We have never done this type of holiday before and wonder if any of you folks have any recommendations/tips to help us out?

we are thinking of something heading to Norway/iceland/greenland rather than down to the sunnier areas. 
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    kigelia said:
    I am after some tips. Mrs Kigelia and I are thinking of booking a cruise ship holiday for next year. We have never done this type of holiday before and wonder if any of you folks have any recommendations/tips to help us out?

    we are thinking of something heading to Norway/iceland/greenland rather than down to the sunnier areas. 
    How long for is the first question?
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    kigelia said:
    I am after some tips. Mrs Kigelia and I are thinking of booking a cruise ship holiday for next year. We have never done this type of holiday before and wonder if any of you folks have any recommendations/tips to help us out?

    we are thinking of something heading to Norway/iceland/greenland rather than down to the sunnier areas. 
    How long for is the first question?
    Probably 2 weeks ish
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    Reason I ask is because the Scandinavian/Iceland trips seem to be shorter than further afield.
    I have looked into this a bit recently.
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    What generation are you, ie do you want fun and disco’s or quieter more luxurious cruise (cost a lot more normally).
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    edited May 3
    What generation are you, ie do you want fun and disco (or other dancing for us) or quieter more luxurious cruise (cost a lot more normally).
    Definitely on the older side. No disco’s for us. Was surprised to learn that we now qualify for saga holidays (we are 50 this year).
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    Done a number of cruises and very enjoyable. I would say though if your heading north up Norway to the Cape, find a weeks cruise. We found 2 weeks too long there. Great when you sail up first couple of Fjords but tends to get very samey and rather boring and at the docking point lots of very expensive tourist shops. 
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    kigelia said:
    What generation are you, ie do you want fun and disco (or other dancing for us) or quieter more luxurious cruise (cost a lot more normally).
    Definitely on the older side. No disco’s for us. Was surprised to learn that we now qualify for saga holidays (we are 50 this year).
    Young then 😀, I started cruising 21 years ago a present from the wife for my 50th birthday, we went on P and O then tried celebrity and another cruise line. P and o was the best we found and we had a nice cruise to Norway, but they started to increase the number of passengers on there newer ships, which we didn’t like. Also you had to pay for things like, tours, wine, beer, specialty restaurants, well basically everything apart from entertainment or your meals. At that time there’s where formal nights where you had to wear dinner jackets etc, which initially we enjoyed but after around 10 cruises it was a boring chore. We undertook over150 nights cruising doing it this way,

    So when we around 60 we tried “true luxury cruising’, with an American company called Regent.Now I warn you if you go for the luxury cruising option look at the costs first, it’s eye watering. But you do get your money worth, the food is excellent, it’s all inclusive including lovely, wines, decent champagne, excursions (you can pay to upgrade to some more expensive ones if you want), dependent upon the room sorry suite you book you also get a “free” night in a very nice hotel prior to you cruise, the only things that isn’t included is treatment in the spa, purchases in the shop, and medical care if required. The dress is what is described as country casual, which is for a man a collared shirt and trousers, no jeans after 6 pm, this was much more to our liking. We are up to around 250 nights, and got a further 1 off cruise of 60 nights booked.

    My suggestion would be you should set yourself a sensible budget and go with someone like P and O initially to see wether you like cruising (you will either love it or hate it, there’s no in between). Norway is a good starter as you will have a day at sea before you start going on tours, mind you bear in mind the North Sea can be rough.

    Hope this helps, there are some cruising programs you can watch no doubt on catch up that will give you some idea.
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    We've just booked our first ever cruise. I took a lot of advice from a friend who's been cruising for years and has been all over the world. Here's a quick breakdown of what we were told. Please bear in mind we haven't actually been yet, so I haven't put much of this advice to the test yet:
    • If you can it's better to go from Southampton (or similar) rather than a cruise that necessitates flights, as luggage is largely unrestricted.
    • If you can afford it, it's better to go with Cunard. They are more expensive, but perhaps not that much expensive as you'd think and you definitely get better value for money.
    • Some companies have adult only ships.
    • If you can afford it, it's well worth getting a cabin with a balcony (this might be more specific to me as he knows I'll be hanging off the side with my camera looking for wildlife).
    • Check the websites of the cruse companies. Most publish passenger numbers and crew numbers, working out the ratio between the two can give you an indication of the likely level of service you'll get. 
    • Don't pay for a drinks package, there are usually annoying restrictions and it's hard to get value from them.
    • Keep an eye on what you're drinking (again, this may be specific to me ;)). Typically, bar charges work on a tab basis that you pay at the end of the trip. Don't want a nasty surprise at the end of your holiday.
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    kigelia said:
    I am after some tips. Mrs Kigelia and I are thinking of booking a cruise ship holiday for next year. We have never done this type of holiday before and wonder if any of you folks have any recommendations/tips to help us out?

    we are thinking of something heading to Norway/iceland/greenland rather than down to the sunnier areas. 
    Probably some 40+ cruises under the belt. PM me if you would like. Some advice above could be a little conflicting. Depends on what you like and your view on drinks.

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    Not done a sea cruise - Mrs never fancied it, though Norway is beginning to appeal apparently (Slartibartfast to thank for that)... We have done a Viking Danube river cruise about ten years ago, and loved it, not cheap but you are fed and watered like a king. You had to pay for the bar, but the prices were very reasonable.

    Friends of ours from Northern Ireland do sea cruises all the time and love it.    
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    edited May 3
    Bliss.
    Last cruise left west wickham 9am, 11.30am on the cruise ship in Southampton with cocktail in hand.

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    edited May 3
    Stig said:
    We've just booked our first ever cruise. I took a lot of advice from a friend who's been cruising for years and has been all over the world. Here's a quick breakdown of what we were told. Please bear in mind we haven't actually been yet, so I haven't put much of this advice to the test yet:
    • If you can it's better to go from Southampton (or similar) rather than a cruise that necessitates flights, as luggage is largely unrestricted.
    • If you can afford it, it's better to go with Cunard. They are more expensive, but perhaps not that much expensive as you'd think and you definitely get better value for money.
    • Some companies have adult only ships.
    • If you can afford it, it's well worth getting a cabin with a balcony (this might be more specific to me as he knows I'll be hanging off the side with my camera looking for wildlife).
    • Check the websites of the cruse companies. Most publish passenger numbers and crew numbers, working out the ratio between the two can give you an indication of the likely level of service you'll get. 
    • Don't pay for a drinks package, there are usually annoying restrictions and it's hard to get value from them.
    • Keep an eye on what you're drinking (again, this may be specific to me ;)). Typically, bar charges work on a tab basis that you pay at the end of the trip. Don't want a nasty surprise at the end of your holiday.
    Stig how can you say don't buy a drinks package?
    You'd need to know how much  that particular couple/person drinks.

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    after a career in the cruise industry I have a little knowledge.

    Your question is a hard one to answer as there are so many variables but you have said that you would like to visit Norway/Iceland/Greenland which makes an answer much easier.

    If you wish to visit Norway I suggest that you look at Hurtigruten, they are a Norwegian company that specialised in that area as well as cruises to other areas . Their ships are small in comparison to the major cruise lines which to me is a plus might not be to you. 

    I will keep eye on this thread and if I can offer further advice I will try.
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    Had a great time on a Norway cruise in September. I went for one week on the Queen Mary 2 with Cunard. Thoroughly recommended.
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    Best cruise we had was Ireland, Iceland then Norway about 11 days.
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    Cruise for us fairly soon, hopefully a little bit mucky though.
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    My wife did the coast of Norway with Hurtegruten and loved it. Saw the northern lights etc.
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    clb74 said:
    Stig said:
    We've just booked our first ever cruise. I took a lot of advice from a friend who's been cruising for years and has been all over the world. Here's a quick breakdown of what we were told. Please bear in mind we haven't actually been yet, so I haven't put much of this advice to the test yet:
    • If you can it's better to go from Southampton (or similar) rather than a cruise that necessitates flights, as luggage is largely unrestricted.
    • If you can afford it, it's better to go with Cunard. They are more expensive, but perhaps not that much expensive as you'd think and you definitely get better value for money.
    • Some companies have adult only ships.
    • If you can afford it, it's well worth getting a cabin with a balcony (this might be more specific to me as he knows I'll be hanging off the side with my camera looking for wildlife).
    • Check the websites of the cruse companies. Most publish passenger numbers and crew numbers, working out the ratio between the two can give you an indication of the likely level of service you'll get. 
    • Don't pay for a drinks package, there are usually annoying restrictions and it's hard to get value from them.
    • Keep an eye on what you're drinking (again, this may be specific to me ;)). Typically, bar charges work on a tab basis that you pay at the end of the trip. Don't want a nasty surprise at the end of your holiday.
    Stig how can you say don't buy a drinks package?
    You'd need to know how much  that particular couple/person drinks.

    I'm not saying it. I'm just forwarding advice from a friend that I trust. If you've advice/evidence to the contrary, please post it. It may be useful.
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    P &O from Southampton is what I would go with first time. More British than others. Get a balcony. Smaller ship best. Take a look at routes as 7 days often the norm for the Fjords. 14 days on a Baltic cruise is great.
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    We always go P&O from Southampton, so much easier with regard luggage. Never had a problem with them, food excellent, staff very attentive, plenty to do. Have been to Norway twice with them, the Fjords are beautiful, stunning scenery. Think they now do a cruise that extends beyond Norway but can’t be certain.

    We are doing a P&O 14 day cruise next June on Britannia to celebrate its 10th year. Around Britain - Edinburgh, Orkneys, Stornaway, Liverpool, Belfast, Cork.

    We are not big drinkers so never buy the drinks package, bar prices are what you’d expect down the normal pub.
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    Anyone else wondering what the mucky kind is?
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    Never done a "cold cruise"..., been on P&O, Celebrity, and Saga,( yes I am that old!), and must say P&O was the pick aboard The Ventura.
    But Saga was good as well, no kids, something to bear in mind...bliss...😊
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    edited May 3
    Anyone else wondering what the mucky kind is?
    Danson Park lakes...🙄
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    clb74 said:
    Stig said:
    We've just booked our first ever cruise. I took a lot of advice from a friend who's been cruising for years and has been all over the world. Here's a quick breakdown of what we were told. Please bear in mind we haven't actually been yet, so I haven't put much of this advice to the test yet:
    • If you can it's better to go from Southampton (or similar) rather than a cruise that necessitates flights, as luggage is largely unrestricted.
    • If you can afford it, it's better to go with Cunard. They are more expensive, but perhaps not that much expensive as you'd think and you definitely get better value for money.
    • Some companies have adult only ships.
    • If you can afford it, it's well worth getting a cabin with a balcony (this might be more specific to me as he knows I'll be hanging off the side with my camera looking for wildlife).
    • Check the websites of the cruse companies. Most publish passenger numbers and crew numbers, working out the ratio between the two can give you an indication of the likely level of service you'll get. 
    • Don't pay for a drinks package, there are usually annoying restrictions and it's hard to get value from them.
    • Keep an eye on what you're drinking (again, this may be specific to me ;)). Typically, bar charges work on a tab basis that you pay at the end of the trip. Don't want a nasty surprise at the end of your holiday.
    Stig how can you say don't buy a drinks package?
    You'd need to know how much  that particular couple/person drinks.

    With regards to drinks package its what works best for that person/couple.
    Have a look on various cruise forums.
    There's always someone asking are drinks packages worth the money.
    How much do you drink?
    How many sea days do you have?
    How many shore excursions have you got when your in Port?
    Would be the questions I'd ask that person.
    My last cruise was 7 days in march , little getaway and wanted to experience the ship.
    So never left the ship , £200 each for the drinks package.
    All the premium brands and me and the wife said we would've been happy to pay £350 each for the 7 days.
    A lot of things when cruising can be a minefield, just try and workout what's best for you.
    With cruising now you can have 3 holidays in one.
    And personally I'd never say never.
    Before this year we'd been on cunard and p and o and if someone said to me and the wife we would  be doing an Msc cruise this year I'd of sworn at them and told them where to go.
    Anyway Stig where you off to and who with on your 1st cruise?
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    Thanks for the advice. We are currently looking at cruises on smaller ships. Definitely looking for a cabin with a balcony. Drinks wise neither of us drink loads but we like a decent bottle of wine with dinner. So unsure in drinks packages but probably leaning towards no and going down the quality versus quantity route for drinks. 


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    kigelia said:
    Thanks for the advice. We are currently looking at cruises on smaller ships. Definitely looking for a cabin with a balcony. Drinks wise neither of us drink loads but we like a decent bottle of wine with dinner. So unsure in drinks packages but probably leaning towards no and going down the quality versus quantity route for drinks. 


    On P&O if you have a bottle of wine with dinner but don’t finish it off they will put it back in the fridge for you and you can just ask for it the next evening. 
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    We have done several cruises.  The best companies were cunard and celebrity.  Celebrity had the better food . The worse by far was ambassador/ cruise and maritine out of Tilbury. They are cheap butTheir ships are old and food less than average   Tui and fred olson are nit brilliant either 
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    clb74 said:
    clb74 said:
    Stig said:
    We've just booked our first ever cruise. I took a lot of advice from a friend who's been cruising for years and has been all over the world. Here's a quick breakdown of what we were told. Please bear in mind we haven't actually been yet, so I haven't put much of this advice to the test yet:
    • If you can it's better to go from Southampton (or similar) rather than a cruise that necessitates flights, as luggage is largely unrestricted.
    • If you can afford it, it's better to go with Cunard. They are more expensive, but perhaps not that much expensive as you'd think and you definitely get better value for money.
    • Some companies have adult only ships.
    • If you can afford it, it's well worth getting a cabin with a balcony (this might be more specific to me as he knows I'll be hanging off the side with my camera looking for wildlife).
    • Check the websites of the cruse companies. Most publish passenger numbers and crew numbers, working out the ratio between the two can give you an indication of the likely level of service you'll get. 
    • Don't pay for a drinks package, there are usually annoying restrictions and it's hard to get value from them.
    • Keep an eye on what you're drinking (again, this may be specific to me ;)). Typically, bar charges work on a tab basis that you pay at the end of the trip. Don't want a nasty surprise at the end of your holiday.
    Stig how can you say don't buy a drinks package?
    You'd need to know how much  that particular couple/person drinks.

    With regards to drinks package its what works best for that person/couple.
    Have a look on various cruise forums.
    There's always someone asking are drinks packages worth the money.
    How much do you drink?
    How many sea days do you have?
    How many shore excursions have you got when your in Port?
    Would be the questions I'd ask that person.
    My last cruise was 7 days in march , little getaway and wanted to experience the ship.
    So never left the ship , £200 each for the drinks package.
    All the premium brands and me and the wife said we would've been happy to pay £350 each for the 7 days.
    A lot of things when cruising can be a minefield, just try and workout what's best for you.
    With cruising now you can have 3 holidays in one.
    And personally I'd never say never.
    Before this year we'd been on cunard and p and o and if someone said to me and the wife we would  be doing an Msc cruise this year I'd of sworn at them and told them where to go.
    Anyway Stig where you off to and who with on your 1st cruise?
    Good advice, thanks clb74, I will take another look with your questions in mind. 

    We're taking my friend's advice and going with Cunard. Twelve days around the Fjords via Hamburg on The Queen Mary.
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    We did the two week Hurtigruten “cruise” from Bergen to Kirkenes and back.

    Absolutely fantastic trip saw the northern lights, North Cape and everything in between.

    What is very important to remember is that the Hurtigruten ships are actually coastal post ships and not cruise ships as such. Don’t expect entertainment or gourmet cooking. They are providing a service to the difficult to reach towns and villages up and down the coast. Some of the stops are no more than 20 minutes as they unload a bit of cargo and then carry on. There are regular excursions though.

    There’s a daily departures from Bergen on various sized ships and you will need to look carefully to find for something to meet your requirements.

    The ship we were on did have balconies on the suites, but non on the regular decks.
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