Do you cruise more to enjoy the ship or more for the ports?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 04:18 PM.
92 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I had no idea I would be SO obsessed with knowing everything about the ship and our cabin, I really just can't get enough.
I'm thrilled we are going to Bermuda, but haven't really even thought about what we will do there as I am so loving researching the ship.
We aren't going until June and I'm sure as the trip gets closer I will get a game plan together. I am a planner and it's just my 14 year old dd and I so I want to be sure we have fun things to do.
I really was just wondering if others were as OCD about knowing everything about the ship as I am??
Downers Grove, IL
7,880 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
I live in Illinois and my sister lives in New Jersey. Twice a year, I fly out East and we cruise out of NYC, usually to the Bahamas. It's not the best itinerary, so we definitely cruise for all the ship offers.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

NCL Jade - May 2014
NCL Breakaway - October 2013, March 2014 & March 2017
NCL Epic - May 2013 & May 2015
RC Jewel of the Seas - October 2012
NCL Gem - April 2011, October 2011, April 2012, June 2013, October 2014 & January 2016
NCL Jewel - March 2007 & March 2009
NCL Sun - March 2008 & June 2016
Caribbean Princess - July 2010
Carnival Victory - July 2008
Disney Magic - March 2005
CC F2F-Chicago 7/08, Niagara 8/09, San Antonio 12/10

"I can not change the world for all animals but I can change one animal's world"
1,588 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
The ship for us. We love sea days. But we did love Bermuda too.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Canada & New England - 7 day - NCL Escape 10/07/18 (Upcoming)
Baja Mexico - 4 day - Carnival Inspiration 11/27/17 (Upcoming)
Pacific Coastal - 7 day - RCI Explorer of the Seas 09/15/17
Hawaii round trip from Los Angeles - 15 day - Carnival Miracle 11/26/16
Bermuda - 7 day - NCL Dawn 10/16/15
Panama Canal - 15 day - NCL Sun 10/11/14
Bermuda - 7 day - NCL Breakaway 09/15/13
Pacific Coastal - 7 day - NCL Jewel 05/08/13
Western Caribbean - 12 day - NCL Star 04/15/12
Hawaii round trip from Los Angeles - 15 day - Carnival Spirit 12/02/11
Western Caribbean - 7 day B2B part 2 - NCL Sun 11/13/10
Eastern Caribbean - 7 day B2B part 1 - NCL Sun 11/06/10
Mexico - Sea of Cortez - 11 day - NCL Sun 10/23/09
Mediterranean & Transatlantic - 13 day - NCL Gem 11/16/08
Alaska - 7 day - NCL Star 09/01/07
Hawaii - 7 day - NCLA Pride of Aloha 09/10/06
Caribbean - 4 day - NCL Skyward 12/27/85
Uncasville, Ct
206 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I don't think I'm OCD about the ship but more about knowing what I'm doing or where I'm going. I guess I'm not a fly by the seat of my pants type of person. We're sailing on the Epic 3/2. I booked it sort of last minute (for me) - booked on 2/14, usually I book a year out & excursions are decided as early as possible also. I just like knowing what I'm doing & where I'm going because I have to get out of cold New England in the winter.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
NCL Getaway - Feb 2018

Past Cruises
Celebrity Reflection - Feb 2017
Silver Shadow - July 2016 - 30th Anniversary
Celebrity Summit - Jan 2016 - Brothers 50th B'day
Norwegian Breakaway - Sept 2015
Celebrity Equinox - Feb 2015
NCL Epic - March 2014
Ruby Princess - Feb 2013
NCL Pride or America - June 2011 - 25th anniversary
Coral Princess - Feb 2009
Golden Princess - Feb 2006
Norwegian Sun - Feb 2005
Norwegian Sky - Feb 2004

Charleston, SC
4,647 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
1) embarkation port

2) price (usually break it down per day by cabin class)

3) ports of call

4) ship (more for pax to space ratio than amenities)

5) length

1) We prefer to drive to the embarkation port, so Charleston, Jax, Port Canaveral and Tampa are easy drives, so we frequent them the most.
(Tried driving to Fort Lauderdale once and that was just too long and made the first couple of days, like jet lagged)

2) Price is always a high priority.
Usually through research we can affor 2 cruises per year, versus 1 overpriced, with the same itinerary as another (or many) ships.

3) Like to try new ports when we can find them for the right price.
But LOVE to hit favorites (like Cozumel, Grand Cayman, etc.. whenever we can, even on shorter cruises.)

4) Prefer smaller class ships like the Dawn or Carnival's Legend, which have preferable passenger to space ratios.
The newer ships have nicer amenities and alot of rock walls and surfriders we will never use.
But when the cruiselines hit the perfect ratio (IMHO) they jettisoned them almost immediately to cram as many cabins and people on ships.
I will always take a ship with shorter lines, EVERYWHERE, over a brand new ship with bells and whistles, but longer lines all over the ship.

Sadly we frequently have to do the larger ships, simply because they have the longer itineraries, while the smaller ships get dumped on the Bahamas short runs.

5) I like the 7 day cruises, but they frequently don't match up with our preferred ship sizes.
I'd frequently choose 5 day cruises to ports I love (like Cozumel and Grand Cayman) over a 7 day with extra ports I never want to go to again. (Belize, Ocho Rios)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some other criteria, but those are the main ones..

There are some things that I read others in here fretting about, like who the CD is, that make absolutely zero bearing on our decision.

It all depends on what order your wants are.
College Place, Washington
5,891 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
For me it is the ship first and everything else second. I have just sailed on The Getaway from Southampton to New York City- no ports of calls, a 10 day cruise. Beautiful ship, fantastic staff, great fun. I can not wait until the Fall of 2015 go back to Southampton and bring The Escape across the Atlantic on Her Maiden Adventure.
Midwest US
806 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
The overall experience for us - mainly from the ship. We've been to the same ports several times, and always have fun at each stop, but it's the relaxation, the sound of the ship's wake from our aft balcony, and overall experience on the ship that has us hooked.

Sent from my XT1080 using Forums mobile app
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Norwegian Dawn Nov 2016
Norwegian Sky March 2016
Norwegian Sky Dec 2015
Norwegian Getaway Nov 2015
Norwegian Jewel Nov 2014
Norwegian Pearl Dec 2013
Norwegian Star Nov 2012
Norwegian Pearl Nov 2011
Norwegian Pearl Nov 2010
Norwegian Pearl Nov 2009
151 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Definitely more for the ports! We have always been on Carnival, but will hopefully book NCL for 2015 because of the port selection. We like as many 'never-before visited' ports as possible with as less sea days as possible. We are looking at a 14-day cruise with only 4 sea days and visiting 10 places - 2 of which will be repeats for us.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

July 2017 - Carnival Splendor - B2B - 6 day/8 day Eastern Caribbean - Nassau, Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Amber Cove, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, Grand Turk again

May 2017 - Carnival Legend - 7 days - Glacier Bay Alaska - Juneau, Skagway, Cruise Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Victoria, B.C.

July 2016 - Carnival Magic - 7 day Eastern Caribbean - Amber Cove, St. Thomas, San Juan, Grand Turk

June 2016 - Carnival Glory - 7 day Western Caribbean - Grand Cayman, Mahagony Bay, Belize, Cozumel

July 2015 - Carnival Conquest - 5 day Caribbean - Grand Turks, Half Moon Cay, and Nassau

June 2015 - Norwegian Jade - 14 day Mediterranean, Adriatic, Turkey - Italy (Venice), Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split), Greece (Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Olympia), and Turkey (Kusadasi/Ephasus)

July 2014 - Carnival Fascination - 5 day Bahamas - Nassau and Little Stirrup Cay

June 2014 - Carnival Freedom - 8 day Southern Caribbean - Grand Turks, La Romana-Dominican Republic, Aruba, and Curacao

July 2013 - Carnival Sunshine - 12 day Mediterranean - Spain (Barcelona), France (Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eza, Nice), Italy (Florence, Rome, Naples, Venice, Verona), Croatia (Dubrovnik), Sicily (Taorimina), Vatican City

July 2012 - Carnival Victory - 7 day Caribbean - St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Marteen

Easter 2011 - Carnival Fascination - 4 days Bahamas - Nassau and Freeport
The Berkshires Of MA
11,620 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by cmoose
I had no idea I would be SO obsessed with knowing everything about the ship and our cabin, I really just can't get enough.
I'm thrilled we are going to Bermuda, but haven't really even thought about what we will do there as I am so loving researching the ship.
We aren't going until June and I'm sure as the trip gets closer I will get a game plan together. I am a planner and it's just my 14 year old dd and I so I want to be sure we have fun things to do.
I really was just wondering if others were as OCD about knowing everything about the ship as I am??
Yes, I am. We book most times a year or more out and by the time we cruise, I know about everything I need to know. I choose our cabin near the area were we will spend a good amount of time, such as the adults pool, etc. Our last two cruises on the Oasis and Allure were for the ship. Those two ships are destinations on their own. Our next is for both the ship and the ports which we have not been to. Sometimes, it is for the ports such as on a Alaska cruise. That is where the ship is second to the ports and amount of time in each. Our friends that cruise with us just hand me their credit card after I do all the research.
Bermuda is beautiful and you can research to your hearts content on the Bermuda board.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Katy, Texas
716 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Sometimes ports and sometimes ships.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Aug/2008 - Carnival Conquest Western
June/2009 - Carnival Conquest Eastern
Apr/2010 - RCCL Voyager Western
Sept/2010 - Carnival Dream Exotic Westernj
May 2011 - Carnival Freedom Eastern
Feb/2012 - Carnival Magic Western

Sept/2012 - Carnival Triumph Western
April/2013 - RCCL Oasis Eastern
Sept/2013 - Carnival Triumph Western
April/2014 - NCL Jewel Panama Canal
Nov/2014 - RCCL Allure Eastern
Jul/2015 - Carnival Magic - Eastern

2,967 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
Don't overthink or over research either one.
You will end up overwhelmed.
Be spontaneous and go for it.
The best times are never planned.

My first two cruises I did zero research and had the time of our lives.

My next cruise I found CC and have been reading everything about both my ship and my port. I am afraid that when I board my ship and get to my destination I will feel like I've experienced everything already through other peoples eyes.

Been to Bermuda on a land vaca years and years ago. Still looking forward to visiting again and going to different beaches.

Never been on a brand new ship like the Breakaway. But that's part of the reason we booked it. Cruising out of NYC is a must for us.

Happy Cruising!!

Norwegian Breakaway July 2014
Carnival Miracle 2010
Carnival Legend 2006
Every Day at Sea is a Great Day
Smithtown, NY
2,594 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
I mainly cruise for the ship. The ports are just an extra for us. This will be our third cruise, all with the same ports. We only plan on leaving the ship for Great Stirrup Cay. If our daughter insists, we will go on a horse and buggy ride around Nassau. We are really looking forward to exploring the Breakaway most of all.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
JoAnn (ncklhaus)

Contact me: JoAnn dot Nickl at Yahoo dot com

Link to my 13 day Breakaway Southern Caribbean in the Haven Review

Link to my 14 day Breakaway Southern Caribbean in the Haven Review

Link to my 7 day Breakaway Florida, Bahamas, and GSC Review

Past cruises:
Norwegian Dawn 9-25-05
Norwegian Jewel 10-15-11
Norwegian Jewel 2-1-13
Norwegian Breakaway 10-5-14
Norwegian Breakaway 1-3-16
Norwegian Breakaway 1-2 17
desert SW
9,857 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
It's a combination of the ship and the people we've met on previous cruises. Our Cruzin Cuzins!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
OceanDreaming2 <--email

Sky Rollcall -- (read only)

** Platinum Plus Norwegian Cruiser with 416 Latitudes Points **

Coming up:

Celebrity Equinox: 10 days Dutch Antilles
Norwegian Sky: 4 days, overnight in Havana!
Norwegian Star: NYE Mexican Riviera
Norwegian Sun: South America with our Cruzin Cuzins!
Pittsburgh, PA
344 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
I love to visit new places as well as find cruises that visit ports that we loved on prior cruises. If I had my way, I would love to have a different port to visit every day with no sea days.

My DW however loves the days at sea. She would rather have more days at sea than days in port.

We are about to go on our 9th cruise and have been on a different ship every time except two that were on Majesty.

Our main decision is price. We always look at all of the cruises that are available when we want to go. We then narrow it down by price. (We include price of airfare or car to embarkation port). Once we have that, the ship and destinations are pretty equal. If there is a ship that we've wanted to try, we would book that or if there was a destination that we were interested in, we may try that.

The one thing that has been constant since our third cruise, we get a balcony. Both of us love to spend time out there to wind down at the end of the night. I always enjoy getting out there in the morning to watch the sunrise. While we are pretty frugal we think that getting a balcony is well worth the extra money. The way we see it is that we have very few vices and try to save for a cruise each year or two, so we deserve to spend the extra for the balcony.

As far as cruise lines are concerned, we have loved RCCL. We had a bad experience on Princess so would not sail on them again. We liked the staff on Celebrity Summit and the ship itself, however we felt like we were one of the younger couples on the ship and we're in our 40s. In 2 weeks we will be on the Norwegian Dawn - our first time on any Norwegian ship. The main reason for this was the price we got was great. We would have liked to have gone RCCL again but it was several hundred dollar more for a very similar itinerary. I am happy that 3 of the 4 ports of call are new to us. My DW is happy that she can relax the first and last day since they are sea days.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Previous Cruises
Norwegian Escape - Western Caribbean - Sept 16, 2017
Norwegian Getaway - Western Caribbean - Sept 18, 2016
Norwegian Getaway
- Western Caribbean - May 2, 2015
Norwegian Dawn - Western Caribbean - Mar 9, 2014
Celebrity Summit - Southern Caribbean - Apr 21, 2012
Voyager of the Seas - Western Caribbean - Feb 21, 2011
Sapphire Princess - Alaska Northbound - May 16, 2009
Radiance of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean - Mar 3, 2007
Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - Sept 11, 2005
Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas Family Cruise - Mar 7, 2005
Vision of the Seas - Alaska End of Season - Sept 14, 2003
Majesty of the Seas - Bahamas - Oct 4, 2002
429 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
For me the ship is the destination, I don't give a dam about the ports. My favorite is the
Days at sea!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

<center> <small></small></center>
Dallas, TX
8,957 Posts
Joined May 2008
Another vote for ship/suite/sea days. Sometimes we stay on board while in port. But. I am
Also interested in going new places. So, 65% ship/35% ports, I guess.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Donna (Dallas, Texas)

Previous Cruises:
NCL Epic - Forward Owner's Suite (17004) - Eastern Caribbean (after
being cancelled TWICE by NCL)
NCL Jewel - aft PH - Western Caribbean from Tx - 4/15
Carnival Magic - aft balc - Caribbean from TX - 11/14
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. Caribbean - 03/13
Carnival Paradise - Baja Calif - 03/11
NCL Sun - aft PH (9076) - So. America (& Antarctica) - 2/09 (Favorite)
NCL Dawn - NYC to Nowhere -04/08 -
NCL Jewel - TransAtlantic to Greece - 04/07
RCI Monarch - Baja Calif - 03/05 - Family Reunion Cruise!
Celebrity Summit - Alaska - 08/03
Carnival Ecstacy - Bahamas - 5/00
NCL Norway - broom closet (Inside) Caribbean - 7/86 My 1st!!!
384 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
I cruise for the ocean.

My priorities are:
1. Ocean
2. Ship (prefer smaller/less pax)
3. Sea days vs ports

I have been to most of the ports on the American "routes" and some on the European routes. When I go to Europe, I prefer a landbased vacation. Preferably by the ocean.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Remember you can always tip more for excellent service. I certainly do and so many other, very good souls who understand the nature of cruising.

You can also put people on this board on "ignore" if they annoy you. Simply go to your User CP - On the left menu, you will see "Edit your Ignore List". Click on that. Then, simply enter the person's user id name into the box, hit "okay" and voila! No more annoyance.

When I was younger, I used to wonder if strangers would like me. The older I get, the more I wonder if I will like them.

"Don't blame Beethoven for bad violinists". --My priest

Cruises Completed: But only the ones I can remember:
1992 - Song of Norway - RCI***1992 - Premiere Cruises - "Seabreeze" - It later sunk. Sad.***1995 - RCI - Nordic Empress***1995 - RCI - Majesty of the Seas***1996= s/s Norway - NCL***1997 -RCI - Viking Serenade***1997 RCI - Empress of the Seas***1998 - Carnival - Destiny***1998 Viking Serenade***1998 Monarch - RCI: ship ran aground and foundered. All souls saved.***1999 - Crystal Symphony***1999 - HAL - Westerdam***2000 - RCI - Vision of the Seas***2000 - Celebrity Century
2000 - s/s Norway - NCL***2000 - Seabreeze. Evacuated, and then she "sunk". All souls saved. ***2001 - Celebrity Millenium***2001 - Star Clipper - Royal Clipper and Star Flyer***2002 - Star Clipper - Star Flyer***2002 - s/s Norway - NCL***2002 or was it 03?? Anyways - RCI - Vision of the Seas***2003 - s/s Norway - NCL - onboard when the boiler exploded. Several souls lost to the sea. So sad!***2003 - Flying Cloud - Windjammer***2003 - Celebrity Constellation***2005 - Princess - Star Princess***2006 - Princess - Ocean Princess***2008 - Star Clipper -- Star Flyer***
Future Cruises:
3/16/14 - NCL Star - Mexican Riveria
9/2014 - Star Flyer - Star Clippers
1,221 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
both for me! I want to see the world but also enjoy a great ship.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Looking to book my next trip!

6-14-2013 Norwegian Sky--more fun!
12-20-2012 Norwegian Dawn---Happy New Year!
4-2-2012 Norwegian Sky---another great time!
5-9-2011 Norwegian Sky---first cruise, loved it!
Dawn review:
Sky review: