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1st Cruise - Help from previous cruisers, please?

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1st Cruise - Help from previous cruisers, please?


I know this is very subjective, but would appreciate some helpful thoughts/comments.

I'll try to keep this as brief as possible.

We want to go at the beginning of November (very special anniversary, so need to be on board at a fixed date) around the Med, calling at certain ports, so not chasing the sun, as most ships seem to be doing at that time of year, so the options we have found so far that fit most of what we want seem to be :

NCL - Norwegian Jade - 21 nights

P&O - Adonia - 17 nights

Cunard - Queen Elizabeth - 14 nights

Azamara - Journey - 10 nights

These are all in budget and we don't mind paying for the most expensive if we think it's the right option. However, the Azamara is the most expensive, but the shortest. Is it worth it? They say it's a six star cruise and all-inclusive (except for speciality dining, excursions and some drinks, although certain alcoholic drinks are included).

We are 40-50 with no children, so would like a more adult oriented cruise But, we would like the entertainment, shows, things to do, etc, to be appropriate. I have read many reviews and, as usual, there are many, many points of view. Some have said the QE is very old fashioned, Adonia is for 70+ retired people, the Jade is full of children and very downmarket.

We don't want anything extremely formal, I normally just wear jeans and t-shirts in everyday life, but don't mind going black tie once or twice, but would like be be comfortable and not stuffy.

Hence, my confusion. I realise most reviews are posted by people who have had a bad experience, as people are quick to criticise and slow to praise.

So, I would appreciate any help from people who have been on any of the above, or can offer alternatives.


Edited: 20 January 2014, 00:38
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1. Re: 1st Cruise - Help from previous cruisers, please?

First of all I wouldn't pay much attention to the passenger reviews you read online. You might want to pay attention to some of the professional reviews.

And I don't think you can really make a bad choice. We've been on several cruises, 2 in the med, and have enjoyed them all. A cruise is what you make of it. P&O and Cunard are both subsidiaries of Carnival, although each personality. Cunard probably is a little more old fashion, P&O is the sister company of Princess, and though I've never been on a P$O cruise, I believe the are similar to Princess, and there will be people of all ages on board, though probably trending a little more mature, average age 50s.

NCL is more casual, but I wouldn't worry much about too many kids on a Med cruise in November, they're in school.

We've never been on Azamara, I've read reviews, its a smaller ship, so it will have less activities and entertainment, but may have more personalized service.

If it was me, I would let the itinerary be my first consideration, and the ship next. All things being equal, I would probably go with P&O, but thats just me, I really like Princess, in fact we'll be on a Princess ship in a little over a week.

There are a lot of amazing things to see in that area of the world, so enjoy, and like I said, its what you make of it yourself.

Edited: 22 January 2014, 02:37
London, United...
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2. Re: 1st Cruise - Help from previous cruisers, please?

Try PO cruises seams to work fir us from our yougest son 19 ....right through to me 54 optional dress code you either want to dress to the occasion or simply relax and enjoy its your cruise your holiday your choice to do whatever makes you happiest

Edited: 22 January 2014, 18:58
St. Lucia
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3. Re: 1st Cruise - Help from previous cruisers, please?

Mainly , I to would let itinerary decide, but if picking one of those P&O would be my first choice. Very similar to Princess, which means generally laid back atmosphere, smart casual dressing for evenings (slacks/nice jeans and polo shirt or other short sleeve collard type shirt, etc) with a few "formal" nights where tux or suit is in order and dressy dresses/cocktail dresses, fancy pants suit for ladies. Lots of activities on-board, but nothing over the top or silly really. Good food and service. Shows, movies, lectures, trivia, games, wine tastings, etc.

Cunard is the most formal of those - you will have to dress each evening for dinner, ie slacks sport coat for most nights working up to full suits/tux for formal. They do still give jackets at the door for men not wearing them, or deny sitting. We did it once and decided never again! As much as we enjoy dressing for dinner, that was too over the top for us.

NCL is a pretty good line and very informal overall. Azamara are small ships and offer excellent service and are fairly casual, but still some upscale ambiance and still some dressing for dinners - and being a small ship, less activities, and less diversification of guests. As it is the shortest cruise, personally we would be ruling it out!

With that long of cruise over those dates, you will get very few kids or even those under 50, as kids are in school, and most folks under 50 are still working to be able to afford to cruise - and don't have that much time off (and if they do, they usually spend it with their families, and with kids in school, not so much an option!) There will be some, just not as many as on a 7 night cruise, or those during traditional holiday periods.

Pick based on best itinerary and price for you - all are good ships/companies and all have good food, activities, etc. Just depends on itinerary and overall ship atmosphere. Enjoy - sounds like a very special trip!

Edited: 22 January 2014, 21:00
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4. Re: 1st Cruise - Help from previous cruisers, please?

Round the Med in Nov? Weather could be a bit changeable, would that be OK?

5. Re: 1st Cruise - Help from previous cruisers, please?

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