We have been on in excess of 50 cruises, Ida more than me. We would recommend all of the expensive ones but you would wouldn't you, the trouble is that you can do double or even treble the amount of days on less expensive ships but now and again to play water volleyball in the morning and get out and have a Bucks Fizz on the house or to be able to have three or four different wines with dinner at no extra charge is lovely. Some ships, like Minerva include the excursions and an expert to go with them and that can be so thought provoking and give you an extra perspective on things that you have taken for granted. So far Silversea and Minerva. I like being treated specially as you can be in the Princess' and Queen's Grills with Cunard but we are still on the expensive side of things. We love Azamara because of the style, smallness and intimacy of the two ships and they are not so expensive as the forerunners. I am more than happy when we are on Celebrity as the care and attention is always good and the food is the best in that range. Royal Caribbean is really good value for money provided you accept that you are getting a bargain and things will not be quite as good as the more expensive ships , we do not like the bigger ships though for although they come with lots of extras they do not come with finesse of ships from the Radiance Class down. Princess have a lovely atmosphere mainly created by the staff and the style and that can be a real joy although they have started charging for so many extras. I like the quality and the American panache of Holland America they always go that extra mile with things that matter.
On the down side we will no longer patronise P & O who have got worse over the years and rely mainly on customers who won't try anything else or don't want to fly. NCL have changed their style and it just doesn't suit us at all although we could have the extras offered by being well up in their Latitudes Club. Fred Olsen I used to like but he is still the same today as twenty years ago, good value for money and easy going style but no longer me. I have never tried Thomson and having been shown around two of their ships in the past really have no reason to try them. MSC and Island are interesting but not enough yet to try and Costa don't even come into our reckoning and the same applies to Ocean Village although I have sailed on both of their ships in the past when they sailed under a different flag.
A long winded answer and not the sign of a joke. I did apply for the position of entertainments director once but they told me I wasn't tall enough for my weight and the third eye put people off. Kindest regards. .... Neil
Thanks Neil, you are a legend....great info....
Kneel and Eider.... What are your real names?? Are you related to Bob and Hans? Love your sense of humour and your response to questions on this site. Your advice is invaluable to newbies like us. Thank you.
Those are as real as they get, we have a daughter-in-law called Leanne and a son called Fallan, now you can't make up names like that can you?
So long as you like it .....that's the main thing . ... Neil.
Yes you are both really good informants on the subject of cruising. Wish we had done half of the cruises you have. But, regarding your comment about flying, I and many others are terrified about flying (cannot help it) I know it restricts where and with whom we can go, but I will never change my opinions. I hasten to add we have until 2000 flown all over the world. One day I said thats it. I can no longer fly. My loss I know. But some of us are like that! Regards anyway.
I really do understand and it is often something, like you say, that comes out of the blue. I have a friend who suffered for years and missed out on some terrific offers and he went to a course which was so good it cured him. He still has sweaty palms though.....even when he is on terra firma. There are still some great cruises out of the UK and I also have two more friends who drive to Civitavecchia and Barcelona to take cruises. .... Ida.
Sweaty palms? I have palpitations going past airports on our way to Southampton. I had previously thought about driving to the continent to join a cruise! MAYBE! Just maybe that could be the solution. NO WAY could I ever do a fear of flying course I would have a heart attack thinking about it 2 weeks before. Irrational I know I am but thats me! Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.
I have just read this - previously I had thought you were a travel agent or a director of a cruise ship company, thought Ida Down was a play on words (eiderdown) and you know so much about cruising, you must be an insider!
Also now worried about your P&O comments, as just booked our first ever cruise and it is with P&O - are we going to be put off for life?
I have travelled 3 times on p and o, twice on Oriana and once on Arcadia, didnt like Arcadia at all, but Oriana was fab, saying that Neil and Ida seem to know everything there is to know, so i will take on board their advice.
Travelling next year on RC Indendence of the Seas, seems like a good choice as I have read good reviews and fancy something differnt, plus i think P and O are getting a bit pricey for a decent cabin....will have to wait and see, hope we are not disappointed.......