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Your first cruise - advice and memories.

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    Your first cruise - advice and memories.

    I know there have been threads about our first cruises but I, for one, would love to read them again and we have many new members who wouldn't have read them first time round.
    There's also been much advice given but it's not that easy to find the information if you're not (like me) IT up to date.
    I remember Wilba posting photos of him when he was a young child on a cruise ship. Neil Down had posted Tips for New Cruisers but I couldn't find them . A friend is going on her first cruise and I thought it would be a good read for her.
    My first cruise was on the Gem's inaugural European Cruise. It was a brand new ship and I was wowed as soon as I stepped on board. I remember reading all I could find on the Internet about the ship and had studied the deck plans really thoroughly but still I was unprepared when I was actually on the ship. In those days Cruises.co.uk forum hadn't yet started so the information i got was from the American perspective.
    We were sailing with some friends and when we went to the MDR for dinner they actually thought that they had to pay extra for dinner there. They had thought only the Buffet was included.
    I was so confused as to what to pack. My idea of cruising was The Love Boat where everyone dressed up for dinner every night (or so it seemed). I checked and checked as much as I could before we took the final decision of not taking any formal clothes with us. But I was still apprehensive and so relieved when we went for dinner.

    #2
    Our first cruise was to Iceland and Norway, on Ocean Majesty, chartered by Page & Moy. This started our love of cruising, and our fascination with Iceland and Norway. Ocean Majesty is an old ship, a converted ferry, but was so welcoming and friendly. We sailed on her for years before Page & Moy ended their charter, and made many friends amongst the officers and crew. Seabourn Spirit had many of the same qualities, but I don't think we can afford to sail on her every year!

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      #3
      Our first cruise was on Queen Mary2 a few years ago. We had been on a ships visit and had decided we would like to try a cruise. We were on the waiting list and acquired a cancellation the day before departure. We spent a whole day, booking train tickets, travel insurance, dog care, shopping for that last minute cream dinner jacket my husband decided was a must and we were still packing at midnight and arrived at Southampton the next more, tired, happy and in a dream. When we actually saw Queen Mary2 we could not believe we were actually going to cruise on her. Our happiness and wonderment lasted for the whole cruise and when we had to say goodbye we vowed to return which we have done. We are now hooked on cruising but our first cruise will always be thought of in a really special way. We are joining Queen Mary2 again in November and cannot wait. Happy future cruising.
      Oriana
      Oceana
      Ventura
      Queen Mary 2
      Queen Victoria
      Queen Elizabeth

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        #4
        our first cruise was on a river cruise along the danube cannot remember the name of the boat but it was excellent.
        only did our first sea cruise by chance when looking to book a xmas makets holiday and saw a cruise was doing one so we booked our first sea cruise the cruise was dreadful missed most of the schedule xmas markets and were put of sea cruising but friends told us we had picked the wrong cruise line and to try RCL so tried IOS had a great time and now prefer cruising to flying.

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          #5
          Our first cruise was on a ship called the Azur in 1990. I was invited to attend a Conference by the company I worked for and they hired the ship. My OH hired 4 ball gowns for the 5 night cruise and I bought a blazer. It was formal dress or jacket and tie on each evening. We stayed overnight at a Heathrow hotel and next morning checked in at the hotel. We didn't see the cases again until we got to our cabin. We flew to Venice and were bused to a motor boat, which took us around the canals and dropped us at the ship. On boarding, we were shown to our cabin by a mamber of staff. It was amazing, we went to Dubrovnik, Katakolon, Sicily, Capri and ended in Genoa.

          3 years ago we saw the old Azur in Haifa, it had been renamed Royal Iris.

          A little different from today's giants - we had a total of just over 500 on board plus the crew.

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            #6
            My first cruise was in 1975 Cunard Adventurer I was 13 and my dad worked on board. There were a few highlights Aston Villa and Pittsberg Steelers were passengers, Villa had won a cup and Steelers had won the Super Bowl. Both teams gave me souvenirs I do remember being told the Steelers had been much better behaved than Villa.
            Mid way through the cruise there was an 'incident' and we crawled into Curacoa where I stayed on board for a couple of days with the crew before flying home via Amsterdam. I remember thinking cruising was fantastic you meet loads of football players and have the excitement of sirens and wearing life jackets 'just in case'.

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              #7
              Our really first cruise was in 1999 , a river cruise down the Nile wonderful experience loved every minute and would love to do it again.Saw some fascinating and beautiful sights and some great memories.The only fly in the ointment was the old Aztec two step nasty way to loose weight.Fortunately it was on the last day there and carried on for a good week after getting home ,the most uncomfortable flight home I can ever remember.

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                #8
                My first cruise was on MSC Armonia when she was pretty new out of Venice. We were delivered to the ship very early and several hours before we could check in so set out to explore Venice having never been there before. However we were so besotted with our first view of the ship that we couldn't rest looking around Venice and just wanted to get back to where we could see the ship. We couldn't get over the idea that we would actually be boarding her. We did no research beforehand, knew very little about the cruise line or ship and thought all cruises offered the same experience.

                It was an amazing experience with some very special ports of call and the best ever sailaway destination to start our cruising career. At the time we thought we'd never have a better experience than MSC but looking back on it now with hindsight I can see it wasn't perfect but I believe your first cruise will always be something special. I can still recall the excitement of the experience, though.
                Cruising my way through life!

                Sue

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                  #9
                  Our first cruise was an 'add-on' to a touring holiday of Florida. 3 nights on RCI's Sovereign of the Seas. At the time, back in 1999, she was the biggest cruise ship in the world (73,192), although we only found out when the captain told us. We did no real research in advance and booked the cruise based on the information in the brochure, the tour operators brochure, not RCI's.

                  I remember it being an amazing experience, we enjoyed the ship, the food, the entertainment, the socialising and the ports. In fact I only have good memories. I remember coming home and reliving the experience, telling my Dad what he was missing etc.

                  To date, he has still not cruised with RCI, but has done Princess, Celebrity, Fred and Cunard. He's booked on Azura in January 2013. I guess he may get round to RCI if he spots one he likes the look of.

                  I still have the menu's and the bar tariff stored away in the loft.

                  The 3 nights were enough for us to become hooked.

                  Happy Days.

                  Vinny
                  sigpic

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                    #10
                    Our first cruise was on P&O Arcadia, I can remember being so worried as to what it would be like, but it was like being in a different world. We practically ran around the ship exploring every where, me with my mouth wide open most of the time. Every body we met was lovely our table companions for the two weeks were great company, and I just found it so relaxing and I couldn't wait to go again.
                    I'm going to Florida soon, but part of me wishes it was on a cruise............................................ ............Carol

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                      #11
                      We usually did some sort of driving holiday in Europe, and realised that the ferry trip was one of the highlights. An advert in a local paper promised door to ship transport. We were tired of driving the long distance to the airport, so being picked up at our door, then transported by coach was great. Arriving in Fort Lauderdale, and seeing the Sea Princess was amazing....we couldn't believe the size of her (Oceana's size). Nor could we believe how many of these vast monsters crowded into each Caribbean port. We spent part of the time dicovering more about ships and lines, never thinking that we'd be going on one of those with the funny tattoos painted all over the prow, and we found the Carnival funnels garish (still do.)
                      It changed our holidays for ever.
                      Last edited by Jocap, Cumbria; 24th September 2012, 09:07 PM. Reason: typos
                      Jo.

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                        #12
                        My first cruise was a Transatlantic booked on The Brilliance at fairly short notice out of Barcelona back in 2005 . ( It was on this cruise when I met CG who gave me lots of tips about cruising.). I've said this many times that I will never forget that feeling stepping on board and being completely bowled over. The feeling never left me the whole cruise and we have been hooked on cruising ever since. We are still cruising with RCI and are now Diamond Plus members. We only ever have been with one other line, apart from Celebrity, and that was P & O on The Arcadia back in 2006. We didn't really enjoy that cruise at all and have never sailed with them since. JT

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                          #13
                          My first ever cruise was on (Chandris Lines), MV Romanza in 1986. It was a cruise & stay holiday and my first trip abroad - very exciting! We had a tiny cabin with a porthole which we could open to give fresh air. There were 2 sittings for dinner; breakfast & lunch were buffet style in the main dining room. The evening entertainment was good but would possibly be considered basic by today's standards. It was a cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed and left me wanting to try more cruise holidays.

                          The things I remember most was the wonderful sail into Venice and arriving at beautiful Rhodes. The highlight of the cruise was sailing through the Corinth Canal. Romanza was one of the largest ships to be able to do so and I remember being amazed at how close we were to the sheer rock walls - I felt like I could almost reach out to touch them! I would love to repeat this journey again if I could - although sadly, most modern day cruse ships are too big to navigate the canal.

                          My first cruise taken with my husband was in 2009, when we celebrated my 50th birthday by taking a Western Med on the Island Escape. It was hubby's first taste of cruising holidays and he's been hooked ever since!

                          Here's a few photos of my cruise on Romanza...







                          Last edited by Pippa, Kernow; 30th September 2012, 11:09 AM.

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