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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2009, 01:30 PM
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I don't cruise Princess but may parents have been on many many (as well as the odd RCCL and Carnival) and claim that they experience remains largely unchanged over their initial cruises 10 years ago. I am getting more curious. Now that we have attained the coveted diamond status on RCCL I am thinking about giving another line in this price break a try!
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2009, 01:34 PM
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I do have to say, however, that we tried to go to the Atlantis, and also the Occidental (Cozumel) all inclusive, and a beach front on Grand Cayman. All these options got us in the 5700.00+ range (with 4 airfares) and other than the Occidental which came with food, we obviously hadn't eaten yet, or done any activities. No matter how deep the cruise industry cuts it will still be my first choice for family travel. I am still amazed at what we get for our money if we can be a little flexible on vacation times (our kids are able to make up school with relative ease, getting us away from those peak Christmas and Easter breaks)
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RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2009, 01:44 PM
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I would have to agree with your parents; the basic cruise experience on Princess has not changed much over the last 10 years. The biggest change is the introduction of many many new ways to spend your money; but these are optional. The basics, good food quality and friendly attentive service, have not changed that much. Princess is still an excellent value for your cruise dollar.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:35 PM
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The basics are pretty much the same with RCI over the past decade too. I still get smiling service from what appears to be a happy crew, no matter which ship I am on.

It is all those annoying ways to extract more cash from the clientele. Sure it is all optional, but I just get fatigued by having to face it at every turn. I have to wonder if in the future we'll all wear a bar code wrist band so they can make the transactions easier? And I am talking about all the mainstream lines.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2009, 02:36 PM
 
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We are going on the Jewel in four days. I am curious to see if things have changed in the two years since we sailed on RCI. I'll let you know. We have friends going with us who are NCL fans, and I was hoping to convert them. It may not work!!

At any rate, I KNOW that in four days I will be a happy camper--away from Illinois winter and doing what I love, which is cruising!

Nadine
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-05-2009, 02:38 PM
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Enjoy the cruise, Nadine. We look forward to your comments, as well as any from your NCL friends.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:36 PM
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We just pulled the trigger for next year and Booked a 15 day transatlantic on Oceania. I was very pleased with the deal the TA got for us. It was my first time using a TA and I must say he earned whatever commission he is going to get. He even got the price less than the two for one special. Gratuities included and 500 OBC.

He said that the difference from RCCL would be like night and day. He even offered to transfer our August Navigator cruise and help with shore excursions.

We chose this particular cruise because of the sea days. We really want to experience the ship and see if this is where we want to be at this point in our lives. As we get older we will want to do some really long relaxing vacations to exotic places. I don't want to sign my name 50 times a day.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:22 AM
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Oceana is having quite the sale to promote their fifth year of operation. I was just reading up on them and while it is a premium line, they do charge for bar drinks (plus 18% tip) and have a daily automatic gratuity fee - which is being included in many of their new promotions.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2009, 09:13 AM
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I love Royal Caribbean so much I would be nervous to look around, we only get an inside cabin but have a great time, its surreal to see people eating for free all the time!! lol!

excellent value for money, alot of ships are coming into Cobh, in Cork Ireland now and that whetting peoples appetite to try them! well worth it I say,

but do your homework first on excursions etc thats my only advice!
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:52 AM
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Like I said, the value is hard to believe, still. If I had not cruised in years past and experienced a different atmosphere regarding expenses, I would probably still be a huge cheerleader. But, like Dave Beers, you watch so many things slip away, and so may opportunities to tack on extras come your way--it just gets a little sad and tiresome.
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RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
RCCL Mariner 2006
RCCL Liberty 2008
RCCL Adventure 2009

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