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Old 06-25-2007, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Just returned from our first cruise on the Marco Polo (Orient Lines) As we have had no prior experience of cruises and read quite a bit before we left my comments are partly based on our assumptions and our real experience.

First my assumption reading about the Marco Polo was that it would be for much older people. Whilst our experience bore this out, it actually was good to have people with experience guide us through our first cruise. The company we shared at dinner and those that we met throughout the cruise were great. I even think we will remain good friends with a couple or so. The ship was much smaller that the new luxury liners and didn't have the same entertainment or probably the luxury surroundings and in fact could be described as a bit old fashioned. However the staff and the surroundings were of a good standard and the food excellent. The best thing of all for us though was the ports of call and the time allowed to spend ashore. In the main around 10 hours which looking at other liners was pretty generous to say the least. This suited us as we were able to enjoy more of the places we visited. We are now hooked on cruising and will want to do it again and again my only concern will be the jump up to much larger liners and maybe this will be an entirely different experience. Many people we met aboard the Marco Polo had sailed with her as many as 25 times and if it were not being sold off and was around next year I would have no hesitation in sailing again with her. I got the distinct impression from those we met on board that they shared the same view as we did that the Marco Polo was like being at home and many thought that the big liner experience could certainly be more luxurious but a little less friendly. I would also add that this site was invaluable to us at a way of doing our own excursions regarding transport etc. I probably wouldn't be able to find him again but thanks to Tom who gave us details about Villefranche_Sur Mer which became the highlight of our holiday as it was only 20 minutes on the train to Monaco and that gave us more than enough time to sample Villefranche and Beaulieu Sur Mer. Thanks Tom.
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
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We enjoyed the MP also if you want to stick with the smaller ships give Oceania a try. They have 684 passenger ships.
We sailed Princess, NCL after the MP and the amount of people was just too much.
Getting off in some ports with 2000 + passenger is time consuming and frustrating.
Welcome to cruising!!
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FORMER CRUISES:
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam, Orient lines-Marco Polo, Royal Olympic-Olympic, NCL-Dream, Dawn-Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(4) Marina (1) St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress

FUTURE CRUISES:
Scenic River cruise June 11,2012
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Thank you for your great review pico. There are a few smaller ships in the mainstream lines as well. Princess has the Royal, Tahitian, and Pacific. We love the Sun class ships, they're 1950 passenger, but will be on the Emerald this fall which I believe is over 3000 passengers. It sounds like I missed a great ship, so thank you for sharing your experience. Glad to hear you're hooked like the rest of us!
 
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