Hi fellow travellers.
I hope you can help me out with some advice and inspiration. Have you ever gone on a cruise? If yes, what was your experiences and where did you find your information?
If no, why not? What about it throws you off?
I hope it doesn't sound like an interrogation, I am just curious about your opinions!
All the best and thank you,
Hi VV - I went on a cruise down the Nile with my family a few years ago (1999?). The ship called at several sites between Luxor and Aswan (Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae) and it was certainly a great way to see all these wonderful places in one week. However, I wasn't quite so keen on the detailed itinerary for each day (8am breakfast, 8:30am meet on deck, 8:40am board bus etc) and the time we had at each place was dictated by the tour guide. I appreciate that for some trips, a cruise might be the best way but, except for your own cabin, there's nowhere to hide from fellow cruisers and it certainly isn't a good way to meet the locals and to contribute to the local economy. Nor do you get much of a chance to pick your own restaurants or bars - everything's on board. And at the end it was "suggested" that we should tip the chambermaids, the waiters, the tour guide and everyone else - not being an American, I'm not comfortable with the tipping culture and assume that whatever I pay for a trip covers these services.
I've never been on a cruise since then! We managed to tour round three of the Galapagos Islands without a cruise (despite advice to the contrary) and we're taking a ferry down the Yangtze rather than a cruise ship next month. I much prefer the independence of doing it myself.
I've been on a river cruise too - they're very different to ocean cruises... I went on -snip- one down the Danube. It depends what you're after really; the boats are a lot smaller, so you do get to know your fellow passengers well - which is fine if you're a sociable person The tours are included in the price, but you don't have to take part - you can just as easily do your own thing which is nice, and gives the best of both worlds in terms of being able to do what you like but having tour options available if there's something specific you want to see. On ours all the tipping etc was included too, which was nice.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
I do cruises, about 12 so far. I've stayed with the informal ones and done that way they can be a great way to cover a lot of places in a short time.
● Someone else does the driving while you sleep or relax.
● Somewhere new most days.
● You only normally get one day in a place.
● All your time in a place is available for seeing the sights - you're not spending time working out where to sleep or eat.
● They can work out very cheap when you consider accommodation, meals, transport and entertainment are included.
I'm going to Spitzbergen in two weeks time, it's costing me £62/day and there should be very little extra to pay.