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The World’s Largest Cruise Ship

Discussion in 'Vacation Travel Information' started by RNCollins, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. mdurette

    mdurette TUG Member

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    When we went on the Anthem a couple weeks ago we were with another family that were 1st time cruisers. Wife and kids loved. Husband said it felt like to him that he was in an airport concourse - wandering around with places to shop or eat. It lacked the resort feeling I think that he was expecting. I get it - that ship did have more shopping and pay per meal restaurants that I am use to on other ships. Maybe bigger = more options to spend money.
     
  2. BocaBoy

    BocaBoy TUG Member

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    We always cruise on the Holland America ships, generally 1200-1450 passengers. It is to us the perfect size. When we cruised on the QE2 years ago (2,200 or so passengers) we thought it was a bit too large. I was tempted once to cruise for a week on one of Royal Caribbean's mega shops, but then discovered they were quite a bit more expensive. Seems counter-intuitive to me, especially since they are at a lesser luxury level, but that seems to be the fact. Apparently a lot of people want the monster ships.
     
  3. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We were on the Grand Cayman Island on the Celebrity Reflection cruise ship over a week ago and there were six (6) cruise ships in port the same day. That was a minimum of 12,000 added tourists on the Grand Cayman Island port. The local economy made lots of money that day. I personally did not enjoy that port and went back to the ship after thirty minutes on shore .:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  4. Bunk

    Bunk TUG Member

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    We haven't done these types of cruises.

    The seven day schedules for Symphony of the Seas are:

    Eastern Caribbean: There are stops in St Kitts, St. Thomas and Nassau
    For Caribbean West, There are stops in Roatan, Costa Maya, Cozumel and Nassau
    For Western Mediterranean the cruise is 8 days and there are stops in Palma de Mallorca, Marseilles, La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples
    On the 10 day cruise, Valencia is added

    I have a few questions about this type of vacation:

    1. When there is a stop at a port, generally speaking how much time do you have to visit the island/city/region.

    2. Is there a way you can get off the ship as early as possible. E.g., can you pay the cruise line extra money for early departures.

    3. How often is it that the ship spends the night on shore, so that you can enjoy the city at night. (This wold be more important in Europe than in the Caribbean)

    4. Approximately how much extra is the cost of a tour if you book it through the cruise line.

    Thank you.
     
  5. Vacationsarefun

    Vacationsarefun TUG Member

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    We've been on several RCL cruises so I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge:

    1. It depends. However, if you go on their website and look at the itinerary it will tell you the scheduled port times (of course they can change due to unforeseen problems etc. but generally are correct). In the Med port days are often from around 9 am to 6 pm. They generally try to have longer port stays in destinations where people will do longer excursions (e.g. Civitavecchia which is over an hour from Rome)

    2. For the most part this won't be necessary. Unless the ship is out at sea and you have to use a tender boat you can just walk off within a fairly short time after the ship is ready. Generally, tours you book with the ship get to go off first (but again it rarely is an issue).

    3. Again you will have to look at the itinerary. Most one week cruises do not have an overnight (but some do). Cruises that are 10+ days I think often have one night in port (at least in Europe). We have had overnights in port in Dubai, Istanbul, and Venice.

    4. Depends what you compare it to. If you take a ship tour it will generally be a lot more than if you just get off and use public transportation etc. If you book a private tour it depends on number of people, i.e. if it is just one person the ship tour will be cheaper than hiring a driver for the day, if you have six people (possibly sharing with a second family) it will be about even or cheaper to arrange your own.
     
  6. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    1) Most cruise stops are like, 8:00 a.m. Til 5:00 p.m. Though some are longer. Often, there will be one or more overnight stays in port. On a recent transatlantic, we overnighted in NYC, enabling us to take in a Broadway show.

    2) No. You can't depart the ship until port authorities clear it, and it takes some time to secure it to the dock & get the gangways. In place.

    3)This is something that goes into selecting the cruise. The Mega-Ships consider themselves a floating resort- why would you want to leave it? But many smaller vessels stop at smaller, very interesting ports and allow time for exploratoin. Some ports are more convenient than others The port for Rome, Civitavechia is over an hour by train from the city. Same for the ports for Paris & Berlin and others. Choose your cruise carefully. Also plan how to get back to the ship before it departs. You don't want to be standing on the dock as it sails over the horizon. You're on your own to get to the next port and rejoin it.

    4) There is no set price. But if I'm pulling a number out of thin air, I'd say around $100 pp. More complex excursions cost more, simpler ones, much less. If there is a seaplane flight to go salmon fishing in Alaska will cost more than a walking tour or half day city bus tour. You can book the same excursions as the cruise line and cut out the middle man. When you book a cruise, go to www.cruisecritic.com (this is important) and join your cruises' 'Roll Call.' There is one for virtually every cruise unless it's tiny. There you will 'meet' other people who will be joining you on your cruise. Many of these will be experienced, and will be booking private excursions at your port stops. As well as parties aboard, or to find dinner companions.

    Jim
     
  7. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    On our last Southern Carribean Celebrity Cruise we were in Aruba for two (2) day’s .
    However, most cruise ships will only be in port for about for eight (8) hours. Cruise ships must pay for the time dock in port.
     
  8. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    If there is a cruise that you are interested in, you should drill down on the itinerary and the details would show arrival and departure time at each port.

    After arrival, you should be able to get off within 30 min or so, unless the ship tenders and priority of tender would be those who booked a shore excursion through the cruise line, followed by suite class and higher tier (loyalty) elite class and then for the masses. Usually tender tickets are issued if it does happen and getting off the ship can take an hour or two. You need to return to the ship about an hour before the ship leaves.

    The way to get off the ship as early as possible is simply just walk off when it docks and it is pretty fast. Getting off when ship is tendered can take up to 1 to 2 hours.

    You just have to look at the itinerary.

    Shore excursion varies, can be as low as $49 to more than $500, the latter usually for something abit more exquisite.
     
  9. LannyPC

    LannyPC TUG Member

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    That's quite a shame. I'm sorry to hear that that unfortunate scheduling of that many ships put a damper on your plans for Grand Cayman that day. We have stopped in GC a few times on cruise vacations. Other than the fact that it's a tender port, it is one of my favourites.
     
  10. pedro47

    pedro47 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Snorkeling on GC is fun. Have you try using frozen peas to attract the marine life at GC.
    My traveling friend from Canada gave me this tip and it really work.
     
  11. dioxide45

    dioxide45 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I would say that for a Caribbean cruise, except Bermuda, overnight stays in a port are very rare. Some cruises are doing late stays in Cozumel, allowing for some more time in port and the ability to go to places like Chichen Itza, though I don't know if they are running excursions that require the ferry yet. I certainly wouldn't say there is often an overnight stay in port on a Caribbean cruise.
     
  12. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The OP (of this part of the thread, Bunk in post 29) asked specifically about overnight stays in Europe, not the Caribbean.
     
  13. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The OP (of this part of the thread, Bunk in post 29) asked specifically about overnight stays in Europe, not the Caribbean.
     

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