Who's been on a cruise?

There are 11 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by EJLarson.

  • Following on from the welcome thread CruiseJunki , who has been on a cruise?

    When my dad was appointed naval attaché in Buenos Aires back in 1974, he managed to wangle it for us to cruise from Genoa to BA on the Eugenio C of the Costa Line. The two week cruise took us to Bacelona, Gibraltar, Madeira, Rio, Montevideo and finally BA. I'll never forget the band playing in Genoa as we slipped away, not to mention the boom of the ship's horn that sent a shiver down my spine and a moment I will never forget. On arriving in the River Plate we all found it a little disconcerting to see mud being brought up by the ships propellers and finally when we came alongside, the sight of my father in full uniform greeting the Argentine navy officials as they came aboard to welcome us.



    Two years later, when my dad's mission had ended, I asked my parents if my sister and me could sail back to England as they were flying back with my brother on British Caledonian. They agreed and we boarded the Brasilia Star in November 1976 in slightly less opulence than we had enjoyed two years earlier.



    This was definitely more exciting than a cruise ship and we spent a month enjoying the company of the crew, the drunken captain, a Polish princess, an English teacher who took a fancy to me (I was 18, she was 30 odd), calling at Montevideo, Santos, Madeira, Rotterdam and finally Southampton.

    The Bay of Biscay was challenging as heavy swell was coming from the west, which required us to eat our meals lying on the floor. I remember one occasion when the captain was saved from being thrown overboard by the electrical officer on the bridge, after a huge wave hit us broadside. They also made a makeshift swimming pool on the deck, served mountains of British food and bar was open practically 24/7.

    An unforgettable trip in every respect.

  • What a pair of adventures for the young Splinter! We have been on cruises in China, Sweden-Finland, the South Sea Islands and the Caribbean. But all in the past 20 years, and with nothing like the opulence you experienced.


    While I love the exotic image of cruises, the reality is quite different. Besides the frustration of the extremely limited time in each port, I don't enjoy the increased regimentation and "up selling" on cruises. We much prefer to fly to a distant place and then set off on our own.

  • I have never been on a cruise and I am not very interested in sailing on a cruise. My husband has been twice on a Cruise from Italy to Greece, sailing from Venice, and he often recalls the 'magic' of seeing Venice from above.

    They are discussing no longer allowing cruises to sail from Venice, as they are so disruptive. Seeing that big giant white piece of metal next to the precious antique palaces of Venice gives me shivers.


    Years ago I did a translation of hygiene precautions adopted on cruises (such as throwing deck of cards every day to avoid spreading germs) and that didn't surely helped!


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  • Venice should be the very first place to get rid of cruises! Cruise ships have grown to outrageous sizes, disgorging thousands rather than hundreds of people simultaneously. Does the city actually realize enough profit to justify the exponentially greater stress on its institutions than that caused by its already heavy tourist traffic?

  • Venice should be the very first place to get rid of cruises! Cruise ships have grown to outrageous sizes, disgorging thousands rather than hundreds of people simultaneously. Does the city actually realize enough profit to justify the exponentially greater stress on its institutions than that caused by its already heavy tourist traffic?

    I was in Venice a few months ago, and the subject of tourism is currently being hotly debated. However, let's remember that Argentines come from Italy, so hot debates, as we know, can last decades with nothing decided.


    What shocked me is that tourism in Europe, as seen through the two-month window of my trip, is completely dominated by the Chinese. Everywhere we went we were surrounded by Chinese groups - that's the norm, and bunches of 20-30 are common. If you arrive at some event or place you want to see, and you're five minutes too late - abandon all hope. There may be 150 Chinese in the queue, and you're not getting in today. Please don't misconstrue these remarks - we all have every right to travel and do what we want to do. But as an observation - the Chinese are clogging the pipeline.


    But back to the Venetians - they already restrict the number and size of cruise ships. Ours was a Viking cruise, and they limit their ships to a max of about 1000 passengers. Still bigger than I like, but more manageable than the floating continents usually encountered. Quick Google hit on "average" cruise ship size: "These ships have an average gross tonnage of 110,000 and length of 952 feet, with a cruising speed of 22.5 knots. Assuming two passengers per room, they can accommodate up to 2,974 guests." I'd say that's erring on the small side: many hold 4-6 thousand.


    Still, the Venetian streets are loaded to overflow with tourists - a few years ago the government banned wheeled suitcases in a frantic attempt to control visitors. The results were what you'd predict, and that went away quickly. Today? Who knows? They are economically dependent on tourism, so they can't do anything too drastic, but the current state of affairs is untenable. Let's all see what the proto-Argentinian Venetians come up with! (Spoiler: it won't be a unanimous decision.)

  • I heard rumors of wanting to institute a max number of visitors per day, but as EJLarson said, we will see how long it takes to implement, if it will be enforced and how long it will last. Venice is my favorite Italian destination, but away from the large crowd.


    About Chineses, I met a group when sailing at the Perito Moreno, during the cruise under the Glacier Spegazzini. Terrible group. Very noisy, impolite even with themselves, taking selfies to show back home.

  • I have been on "mid sized" cruise ships - and one that was twice the passenger capacity of "mid size"; the mid size ships were far more relaxing,

    and in general they had entertainment that was geared towards the more "classical" approach.


    However, even with the large (huge) passenger capacity cruise ships, I discovered that it is always possible to "roam around" on a cruise ship of huge size

    without encountering crowds IF one gets up early in the morning. Most Cruise Ship passengers seem to hate "early morning hours"!;)