We had a few days cruising and this was enjoyable because you relax, socialise and stay up late. The days passed with breakfast, lectures, reading, gym, dinner and larking about in the bar. You can play games and other occupations too (walking football, cards, table tennis, racing dolphins, dance classes) but we found enough to keep busy.
My review of the cruise is positive because we had a wonderful time and thought cruising around Iceland, quite spectacular. However, I still feel a little young to participate in the cruise culture and if I go on another one, may research other options. It isn’t so much the age of the people, for me, it is the fact they act old! It is irritating the dancing is ballroom. Most people just want to boogie. There were a couple of exceptions though, and I did visit some pubs in various places. Also, we made friends with our dinner companions and will soon be visiting for their local beer festival, which I am looking forward to.
One evening we sat in the, what was known as the pub, and our dinner companion joined us. We enjoyed a chat and a few drinks and then decided to go up to the Lido lounge. Because it was so late they were playing pop music and not the ghastly ballroom dancing stuff. So I, grabbed the chaps and we all had a dance. Great fun. Then the professional dancers had a dance together. It was hilarious. 😂😜😍Anyway, suffice to say, we were jaded the next day, but it was worth it.
Another occasion arose when some people in the pub asked the piano player to do a set in the Lido Lounge. It wasn’t me, promise! Presumably, this was to liven things up a bit. It needed it, I can tell you. Anyway, he did and it was amazing. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a pianist on his own. But with the help of some electronic, sounds, he pulled off a fab rock ‘n roll set. Although slightly embarrassing when the ballroom musicians turned up and saw a roomful of people having a great time on the dance floor. Oops.
It made my holiday because was such a great evening and enormous fun. It really is great to let your hair down, once in a while, isn’t it? I’ve never been first up on a dance floor so often either. But nobody knows me on this cruise, do they?
Recently, received an email from Fred Olsen about some forthcoming cruises that look good value and are tempting so you never know, one may be off again. Anyway, have some plans for a little more travelling, but by air this time, and staying one place. Can’t wait.
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5 thoughts on “Musings about #Cruising”
Hi Andrea, I’ve loved reading your posts on cruising and as I’ve done five (in 6 years) and just booked another one I thought I’d add a couple of points. The first is, all but one were on small ships which are, for me, by far the best forms of cruising. On the first (at the ripe old age of 65) we were definitely amongst the youngest there but were on a table of like-minded people and just loved the conversations we had.
But the entertainment on all 5 cruises (with 4 cruise lines) is soooo old-fashioned. At 71 I want to know when disco dancing is the main form of dance! Ballroom, give me a break! I grew up on disco and John Travolta and I want that kind of dancing, please, and not at midnight, but all the time. Also what about films in a proper cinema! I think cruise lines will have to think it through, that their ageing clientele might prefer more up-to-date forms of entertainment!
Also we go on very few of the organised outings – it is so much better to wander around a city doing your own thing. Your first cruise should always be around the fjords of Norway – that is an outstanding experience. But go slightly out of season.
And one thing I love best about cruising – being picked up from your door – you can’t beat that!
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Yes, I genuinely can’t understand why there is sooo much flipping ballroom. We went up the Norwegian fjords to see the northern lights which are spectacular for our first ever cruise. It was a great trip with more disco than this last cruise. The operators need to seriously look at the entertainment element as it is ridiculously old fashioned. I don’t think I was the only one, irritated by it. We’ve only been on two cruises, but I suspect we made do more…and soon. Thanks for your kind and interesting comments. Andy 🙂
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I’ve often fancied a river cruise (Danube. Rhine, Rhone, Volga), as not only can you look at the scenery as you cruise along – something not possible when you’re out at sea, miles from any land, but there’s a different place to stop off at and explore, virtually every day.
I was wondering though whether even this form of cruising might be a bit regimented; especially as my wife and I like to do our own thing. Last September we spent a week in Regensburg, an unspoilt medieval city on the River Danube, in eastern Bavaria.
On the last day of our holiday, we were sitting outside enjoying a coffee at a café opposite the cathedral, when we noticed the appearance of several parties of visitors, all fitted out with lanyards and headsets, being led around by a couple of tour guides, holding their proverbial umbrellas aloft. It was fairly obvious that a couple of river cruisers had just docked, and the passengers were being marched around the city on a whistle-stop, guided tour.
That isn’t me, as I like to do my own thing, and explore places under my own steam and at my own pace. Am I being a little choosy here, or is my subconscious telling me that I’m not the right age for cruising?
One final point, we were both surprised at the difference these cruise parties made to the feel of the city. Whilst they were present, Regensburg changed from a relaxed, easy-going sort of city to a rushed and quite frenetic place. Obviously this change of mood didn’t last long, as the parties were soon whisked off around other parts of the city, and then back on board ship, to their next destination.
I recently read that cities such as Venice and Barcelona, both of which are popular stopping points on cruises, are trying to restrict the number of ships which dock each day. The argument is they disrupt the normal flow of city life as described above, but with far more people involved. More importantly, they don’t really spend much per head during the short time they are there.
Some might stop for a coffee or a beer, but with meals usually provided on board ship, city businesses as a whole don’t benefit that much from their presence. I suppose the authorities collect substantial mooring fees, but does this help the small independent bar-owner or coffee shop proprietor?
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Cruising is relaxing and not regimented. Plenty of time to have various meals and the food is excellent. So far, I have found the scenery whilst cruising spectacular. You are at sea for some of the time, but you will be cruising by the coast of up fjords. In fact, often you look outside the porthole and see a mountain as you cruise past and it is like a dreamscape!
We like to do our own thing too and don’t partake in many tours. We did a couple in Iceland because of the wide-ranging areas, but like you, we often arrive somewhere and do our own thing. Wander around the town and visit pubs (surprise, surprise). You are put with people and on a specific table for dinner but even then, you can go into the self-service restaurant if you wish.
I can’t say that a ship docking has a vast effect on a place, although Fred Olsen cruise ships are quite small in comparison to others. People wander on and off the ship throughout the day and they are well behaved and stop for lunch, refreshments, gifts, etc. So probably is good fo the economy of the area.
Hope this helps. I can see your point of view, but we have been on two amazing cruises, met wonderful people and seen some spectacular scenery. Can recommend Iceland! Thanks for taking the time to comment, it is really appreciated. Andyx
Thanks for answering the points I raised, Andrea. It’s good to know that the smaller cruise ships don’t have that much impact on the places they call at, and I appreciate what you say about cruising being fun and relaxed.
If it was solely down to me I would probably book one, just to experience a cruise for the first time; but my wife isn’t quite so keen. It may have to be a River Cruise to start with, but we will see.
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