questionsare you officially done with cruising?

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Sounds like a horrific adventure to me.

If I was still 22, in college, single, and hoarding over 15 handles of liquor that my buddies and I snuck on board, I'd say I wouldn't mind it so much. Most of my time on Carnival cruises was spent chasing girls that wanted to be caught. Additionally, this is also what I observed the majority of the population on Carnival cruises doing. If you have loads of alcohol, it would just turn into a crazy party in a very crappy, stinky hotel.

That being said, I still plan on going on cruises. But, after being married, I never planned on going on a Carnival cruise again. They are fun for people in the college age range, because kids who want things cheap, and are partying, simply overlook the lower quality of service that Carnival has. To anyone outside of that "chapter in life" the cruise just feels sloppy, I'm sure. I will cruise, and I don't see any reason not to in the future. I will just choose a cruise line that has a better reputation.

vote-for8vote-against

Yuck! This is the first time I am reading this, and although it is nasty, I will probably get back on a cruise ship. We have never cruised Carnival, but have cruised NCL a number of times. I can't imagine being in this situation and if I was, I would probably give up cruising forever. But as of now my attitude is "It won't happen to me".

Ignorance is bliss........

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I don't cruise, probably for this reason. I just never liked the idea of not being in control of my vacation.

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I'll cruise again, but I'll continue my policy of avoiding Carnival and their subsidiaries. There are plenty of competent cruise lines to choose from.

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In other recent news, five crew members died (and three were injured) in a dockside lifeboat drill - and the rest of the 7-day cruise was cancelled. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/10/falling-lifeboat-thomson-ship-canary-islands

BTW, the Costa Concordia wreck is still sitting where it ran aground over a year ago, they pulled two more bodies out of it just last month, and the feckless captain is still free on personal recognizance, sipping limoncello in his home on the Sorrento coast with a nice view of the sparkling blue Mediterranean.

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We've never been on a cruise. As @eraten said, we don't like the idea of not being in control. Just the thought of being stuck in a floating hotel does nothing for me, even if it doesn't lose power, or a virus doesn't run rampant, or any of the other nightmares we've heard about in the last few years. Some of my friends love cruises and go on them all the time, and we'll probably break down and do a short one eventually, just to test the waters, but we're more inclined to go site-seeing at national parks or interesting cities. (We just went to San Francisco, Sonoma and Yosemite in the fall!)

If we want to be out on the water, we have an old wooden boat we've been restoring and we take it out in a lake or the Gulf. I'm happier if I can still see shore, anyway.

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I imagine Cunard's transatlantic cruises and around the globe cruises would be amazing. I'd do a look-at-the-glaciers-and-fiords-type cruise.

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I've been on two cruises that had their itinerary significant changed due to weather. We had a Caribbean cruise end up going to Florida and Rhode Island because of hurricaines, and last year, our Bermuda cruise turned into a Boston cruise thanks to Sandy.

And you know what? I'd go again. In both situations, the crew rose to the occasion, taking care of us, making sure we were safe and well-fed. While there were at least three major storms in the Caribbean in the first situation, we never saw an ounce of bad weather because the captain expertly re-routed us. And last year, Princess took amazing care of us and kept us safer than we would have been in our own home.

Cruise ship accidents can and will happen. You should always be cautious. But these are the exceptions, not the rule. I'll be happy to take my next cruise soon.

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I much prefer to get to my destination and spend more time there than just floating around in the ocean. I've been on several cruises, and they can be fun if you go with a bunch of friends. Carnival was the worst. Norwegian was nicer.

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The only reason I enjoy cruises are the blackjack tables. I just went on one a month ago and all I could think was "norovirus." Nothing happened and the seas were pretty calm, but shoot it could happen at any time...

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I've done two cruises with my wife; first on Royal Caribbean and then on Disney. I'd still cruise again. These problems they have are terrible inconveniences but in comparison to how many ships are out there that are doing just fine they are not representative of all the cruises going on by a long shot.

I look at it this way; we've done a lot better - in terms of what we've received vs what we've paid for - with cruises than with air travel. We aren't about to stop flying so why stop cruising? Granted we don't have the funds for another cruise at this time but if we had the funds and time I'd do it again. The two lines we've been on were both great and I would not hesitate to go with either in the future.

As others have pointed out, though, Carnival is something of a giant floating nightclub. If that's your scene then go for it but you won't find me there.

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I would. Not through Carnival, but through some fancy private cruise line. I was lucky enough to take a cruise around the Greek islands a few years back (oh, the days of living off of one's parents) and that was NICE. I got quite fat.

I've heard plenty of nightmare stories about Carnival and other similar cruise services, but the small-scale cruises seem to still be worth the trip, in my opinion.

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I love cruising. We see it as the least expensive way to vacation. For about $80 a day you get transportation, lodging, and all the food you can eat, plus plenty of free entertainment. Plus you get to visit several places without having to pack your bags in between. We sailed on Carnival Triumph some years ago. It's one of Carnival's smaller, older ships, and I did not enjoy it as much as our cruises aboard Carnival Conquest. We've sailed Norwegian, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and a couple of river cruise lines. I enjoyed Norwegian the least for a number of reason, the two main ones being that I did not like the "Freestyle" dining, and because they closed all but the party deck at about 4pm, preventing evening reading on deck. Like @wishlish, we have been rerouted by hurricanes and sent on completely different itineraries than planned. One exciting cruise on Conquest we couldn't refuel so they had to pull in the stabilizers and we had an unbelievably wild ride. But it was fun.

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I took this photo on deck 5 on Carnival Conquest, while were were being chased around the Caribbean by Hurricane Ivan. They pulled in the stabilizers to conserve fuel, because Jamaica was smashed by the hurricane before we could fuel up there. This enormous boat (I think 14 stories tall, drafting 110,000 tons) was being tossed about like a cork and the bow waves were crashing past the lifeboat deck about 50-60 feet above the water line.

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Yes, I would still go. Your odds of getting stranded are still very low. I still fly even though planes crash once in a while, at least on a ship your odds of surviving a major problem are a wee bit higher.

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Just stay away from Carnival. I have done a Disney cruise and had no problems. My parents did Norwegian and a coworker did Royal Caribbean and neither had an issue. Carnival is known in the crusie industry as the worst cruise line and one to avoid unless you will be in a drunken stupor the whole time and won't notice the shortcomings. Otherwise, pay a little more and have a much better time.

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The one and only time I tried to cruise, Katrina hit and Carnival decided to offer some of their boats as temporary lodging to FEMA. The real annoying thing is it wasn't our boat they offered. They offered the 5day boat and used ours (the 7day boat) for the shorter more profitable 5 day cruises. All we got was a "your cruise is cancelled, here is your money back". No discounts for future cruises, no compensation for the inconvenience of having to scramble to find an alternate vacation. At that point my SO decided no cruising for us ever.

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@wisenekt: Or unless it's the only cruise line departing where you want to leave from when you want to go. It's easy when you live or vacation near the ocean, but those of us in the middle of the country have to take what we can get. We're attending Worldcon in San Antonio this fall and we want to depart Galveston or New Orleans in mid-August or early September. There are three Carnival sailings departing Galveston for Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. Or for more than 150% of Carnival's rate, we could take a Disney ship to Key West and Nassau (boring!). Carnival is the only line sailing from New Orleans in those months, and it's the same two itineraries out of Galveston, plus a Belize, Roatan, Cozumel route. We've been to all those places, and we liked Belize so much that it's probably what we are going to pick. Plus it's on Conquest, which we sailed on twice before and really enjoyed.

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I noticed on a forum for the Triumph on CruiseCritic.com, that there were a couple of reviews of the 2 cruises previous to this one stating that the ship was already having engine trouble. The ship had to miss one of the 2 ports of call (Cozumel) due to an engine issue and was late leaving the last port of call, causing a late arrival back in Galveston. Both reviews also reported a fairly substantial leak by deck pools into the Rio Nightclub a floor below. Seems like that should have been a red flag to the Carnival management. Who doesn't have 20/20 hind-site? I am sure that the C.E.O. of Carnival is realizing that he needs to re-write the processes and procedures pertaining to how to evaluate whether a ship should continue to cruise when those types of issues arise. I am also sure that he is writing a binder full of procedures on what he is learning from not taking action, in this case. At least he has apologized publicly. I will cruise again, just not on Carnival.

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I doubt this will change their maintenance procedures. It probably costs less to wait for a disaster and let insurance pay for the repairs.

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...I've had a lot of fun on Carnival cruises. I've heard people diss them before, and certainly it's not a high-end cruise. But I like them, and I'm not a drinker or a gambler. They have great shows, good food, lots of deck space, and great staff. I'd take a Carnival cruise in a heartbeat. I've been on other cruise lines, but no one's ever gotten it as right as Carnival has, for me, anyway. (Then again, I've never been on a Carnival cruise where there's been a fire on-board.)

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@moondrake: Awesome picture. My next cruise will be on The World of ResidenSea, no less!

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@moondrake: If you like Carnival, then more power to you. All I am saying is that Carnival is viewed as the lowest rung in the cruise industry by travel experts. If you go with the cheapest, you should expect their cheap ways to catch up and bite them in a big way.

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I went on a Carnival cruise about 10 years ago. It was my first cruise and I did not care for it for a variety of reasons. Foremost for me, was that I do not like not having control over my itinerary and excursions. I didn't like that at your destination, you pretty much had to sign up for packaged outings. I'm more of a rent a car and find a desolate beach on a remote part of the island kind of person, so packaged adventures with tour buses and such do not appeal to me. I also felt confined within the ship and its restaurants. I didn't like having to sign up to eat at the same time every day or having to choose among a limited menu. Basically, all those things would be more or less the same on any cruise. Then, we can talk about Carnival, which as mentioned is something of an "entry-level" cruise company and in many ways feels like it.

Short version - cruises are not my thing, Carnival especially so.

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@90mcg112: Technically, you don't have to do their excursions. You can rent a car and go off on your own. Their concern (other than money) is that if you don't come back on time, the boat leaves without you. But I've been told by Carnival at some ports to go off on my own.

As for dinner, a lot of cruise lines- Norwegian being the prime example- have lots of dinner options other than the fixed-time thing. My wife and I love the "dinner time" routine, but that's us. Everyone's got to love their own thing.

Now I want to go on a cruise again...

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@wisenekt: When I talk with neophytes about cruising, I refer to both Carnival and RCL as "the Walmarts of cruising". They are definitely not upscale. I'd love to cruise on Silversea or Windjammer. But I am not in that income bracket, so unless I win the lottery I am just going to have to be satisfied with lower end cruising.

@90mcg112: Where did you get the idea that you are restricted to the packaged excursions? I make arrangements with local tour companies and get a lot more bang for our buck. For example, when we went to Roatan, I arranged for a car to meet us on the docks, take us on a photo tour of the island, ziplining, parasailing, reef snorkeling, free swimming (on an extraordinary beach) and horseback riding, then drop us back on the dock. I think we had six hours in port and got all of that done. Even with a very generous tip for our helpful guide/driver, it was much cheaper than half as many activities from the cruise line.

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As for taking an excursion with the cruise line or taking one on your own, if you take one on your own and don't make it back to the ship for whatever reason, the ship will NOT wait for you. If you are on a ship arranged excursion and are late coming back to the ship, the ship will wait. On every cruise that I have ever been on, someone has been left at one of the ports. In some cases, multiple people. Here's one of my favorite YouTube videos on this subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-yrsXsJmbw

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I've refused to cruise ever since that one ship crashed and sank in the North Atlantic some years back. Can't trust the things.

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@tibbarderacs: Hello there, and welcome to the wacky forums of DW. I hadn't noticed your name before, but you appear to add a lot of deals but don't have much to say. Are you one of the "deleting" type of mods? Or just one of the "finding" type?

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At first glance at this question, I thought it was about something else entirely!

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@conanthelibrarian: Ha! :-) And I thought it might be a question directed to Katie Holmes. But then, she gave up Cruising last year.

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@jsimsace: Thanks for showing interest in me. I am not a mod of any kind. I leave that to the professionals. I also leave to the professionals, like yourself, the posting of comments to these forums. I was posting on this subject simply because I have had some experience in being on several cruise ships, which happens to be one of my favorite types of vacations. As for who I am, I have been with Woot since before it was Woot. I have occupied many roles here, and the current one is as the adder of deals to Deals.Woot under the Moofi moniker. I am adding a lot of the open box items that you may have been seeing in the community posts. I hope you are able to find a great deal or two among those.

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@gmwhit: I saw in some gossip mag that Katie Holmes took a Christmas Cruise.