You Don’t Have To Be A Cruise Fanatic To Cruise
Dave, originally from Yorkshire, and his wife Lorraine, both have office based jobs in Surrey and love to travel. Last year they took their first cruise. I wanted to get their views on cruising for the first time and to see if it is something they would like to repeat.
When was your cruise? Which ship was it and where did you cruise too?
Our first cruise was to Norway, we cruised on Celebrity Eclipse and it was at the end of August 2016.
What made you book a cruise?
I have always wanted to cruise to the Fjords. It was for my 50th birthday, although I had to do all the booking so it wasn’t a surprise.
What did you like/dislike about your first cruise?
We went from Southampton. What a great way to start a holiday. No queues, fast check in. Within 2 hours or so from leaving our house, we were on board.
I liked the variety of things to do on board, the theatre was good although some of the acts were a bit cheesy. I’m convinced that the the comedian on the first night was made of pure gorgonzola. The best act was a Freddie Mercury Tribute act, closely followed by a British singer from The Netherlands.
It was good to go to a show and then walk to dinner. Its like living in a ‘happening’ city centre.
I enjoyed the fact that we visited loads of different towns in Norway. Some of the towns were so small that you had to book excursions, if you didn’t you would have been stuck in a small town (although they still had loads to do on board) but I don’t think you go to Norway to stay on board. The service and food were amazing.
As we were in a cold climate, nobody was using the outside space, this meant that at lunch time the buffet was packed. We had to find a table first, then one at a time we went to get our food. If we both went they would clear our tables as they thought we had left. This is the only time we felt a bit packed in.
What is it that appeals to you about cruising?
Seeing different places, experiencing different things (with the excursions), and the quality of the food/service etc. We are not dedicated cruises but will happily go on one but will also do a different style of holiday.
What is your next cruise? What are you most looking forward to?
We are doing the Alaskan cruise. I am looking forward to the whale watching, glacier trip and zip wire excursions. Life on board is quite good too, I enjoy the luxury. I am also excited about the drive around Alaska which we are doing after the cruise.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about trying a cruise but is worried they will feel trapped on a crowded cruise ship?
Do you feel trapped when you go into your local town? Well the cruise ship is like a small city. Unless you go on a rowing boat you wont feel trapped.
Do you have an general cruise tips?
- Yes, quite soon after you set off you will be called for a muster drill. This is where you have to meet at a certain place and have a roll call. Before you attend this go to the bar and get a big cocktail. Take the “things to do list that should be in your cabin). When the meeting has finished sit back and relax with your drink. If you leave at the same time as everyone else it is like being herded like cattle, you also see people at their worst. After you have finished your drink and read the ‘things to do list’ you can then leave at your leisure.
- Use your ‘things to do sheet’ and plan your day/evening.
- Dont be scared to complain. We did an excursion that was rubbish. We complained and they offered a partial refund. We did not accept it and was then given a full refund and asked not to tell anyone else. We told everyone!
- The waiters all test the food at the beginning of their shift so when they recommend your meal they are not trying to get rid of food they are really giving you what they think is the best food on the menu.
- The waiters hold quite a lot of power within the kitchens. If they think a dish is not up to scratch they will not recommend it and the chefs will change the way it is cooked.
- Take the recommended wine from the wine waiter also.
Do you have any tips for booking a cruise?
Shop around to get the best deal. Pick mid ship cabins to minimise sea sickness. On the Norway cruise it was good to see the fjords from the balcony. We spent quite a lot of time cruising in places with good views. If you are going around the Med then I would say an inside room would be best value as the weather is warm so you can see every thing from the decks.