Not in my case. Our first cruise was on the previous Westerdam (former Homeric of the defunct Home Lines) of HAL and the ship did not impress me. The crew was outstanding but not the ship. My favorite ship is Liberty Of The Seas, which was our 20th cruise. I've been back aboard 4 more times since then, although two of those were Rock Legends cruises.
Our first three cruises were all on Mariner OTS. We've been on Voyager, Freedom, Liberty and Radience OTS, but Mariner will always be our favorite, with Radience being a close second. Dave, I too liked Liberty, and the crew, but each ship we've been on we compare it to Mariner, and Mariner always wins. Going on another Radience class ship in a few days, Brilliance, so we can have another ship to compare. I've seen no reason, in our opinion, to board another cruise line yet. From what I've heard and read from other people on other lines, Royal seems to me to be a fair, middle ground level of class, which, BTW, is WAY over whatever I've been used to in the past, in things other than cruising.
I agree with Dave; our first cruise experience was on Song of America. This is (was) a very small ship by any standards and we had a great port hole; kinda like looking thru a fish bowl. We went out of San Juan and of course hitting the Atlantic side for some time, we rocked and rolled and thought the first night would definitely be our last and we would never cruise again. The next couple of days weren't much better with us looking like sailors a night in port walking the ship and staggering from bulkhead to bulkhead.. The crew was fabulous and the cruise and islands memorable. Then it was on to bigger and better and we love them all.
The first cruise could be for some ,but not for us. Our most memorable and perhaps our favourite was our 3rd Carnival Victory. Everything from start to finish was our perfect cruise. The first was MS Norway, okay but not a great cruise. Our favourite second would be the Carnival Freedom A great ship and again a really great time . In all the cruises have been good, just some stand out more for different reasons. Cruising is still the best for us. Happy cruising.
ncl ms norway, dream cruises ms carousel, carnival victory, carnival legend, carnival valor, carnival freedom , carnival dream, carnival glory, (carnival breeze or royal princess 2015 in the works)
I would claim that your first CRUISE LINE will become your favorite since it becomes the standard you compare the rest to. But not necessarily the first ship. Since the Freedom was/is a relatively new ship, I can see it being your favorite, but as time goes by and the ships get more amenities and style updates, the older ships will fall from your "favorite" list.
The Carnival Fantasy was our first cruise and she was brand new (1 month old actually) when we sailed on her. At the time she was considered the biggest and best... now she is one of the smallest. I still remember the Fantasy but she is not my favorite.
Now I am sure there will be excepts to that rule (like Dave's HAL cruise not imprinting HAL as his favorite line) but I bet for most people the first cruise line becomes their gold standard....
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise, Magic 1/14, Freedom x 2 6/14
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013
That is a good observation, Jim, about the cruise line becoming a favorite. I remember when we returned from that HAL cruise I was talking about it on another travel forum (cruise forums had not yet been created), and another member, who was an agent and happened to be just a few miles away from us, suggested I try Royal Caribbean. I made a booking with her for the Majesty Of The Seas and we were highly impressed, and that cruise is really what set the hook in me about cruises and what indeed made RCI our preferred line.
The first ship I ever sailed on is the Carnival Fascination, and I have sailed on it 3 times in total. My second trip was a re-scheduled cruise after Hurricane Wilma. I was originally booked on the Imagination, but the original 5 day cruise turned into a 3 day cruise, and I could not get a flight to connect with it, so I had to cancel, and my travel agent was able to get me on the Fascination that left 2 days later. The 3rd trip was after the Carnival Fascination received the full Evolutions of Fun upgrade with added balconies. After that modification I had to go back and try it out, especially since it changed ports and itineraries.
The Fascination (as it was then called) was 9 and 10 years old and was showing its age. The Carnival Fascination looked like a brand new ship when I was on it! I even gave it an affectionate rub on the hull and said "Hello old friend" when I boarded it the 3rd time.
I have sailed on almost every class of Carnival Ship - If you consider the Destiny/Sunshine to be a separate class - Holiday, FantasyX4, TriumphX2, ConquestX1, SpiritX1, DreamX1. The Carnival Victory used to be my favorite because I loved the decor - the whole ship had a nice green and copper finish, but the Carnival Legend is now my favorite. That being said I still have a special fondness for the Carnival Fascination.