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Itineraries Getting Stale

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I agree with the OP. We have done all the Greek Islands and would like a Western Med cruise with a difference. Plenty of options in Spain, Portugal and Princess seem to stop at some of these on TA cruises. Why not some from Barcelona return and stopping at these places. Apologies if these cruises are scheduled in 2020 but a quick look and I didn't see them.

The OP who suggested Rhodes - we did a Med cruise last year with Princess which did stop at Rhodes. It is a wonderful place.

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We've had to book Holland America (and Seabourn) the past 3 to 4 years to see other ports.  Really struggle to find new places on Princess anymore.  However, we are sailing on the Pacific Princess in 2 weeks time and will see 4 new ports in 29 days.  I have 3 or 4 Holland America cruises next year and only 1 Princess cruise.  And I love Princess!  So sad!

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1 hour ago, MCC retired said:

The bread & butter of Princess 7 to 10 night Caribbean itineraries have gotten stale .

Especially the 7 night East or West .

There are other ports that Princess could shake them up a bit ?

 

Totally agree with you and the OP.  It's the only reason we've ventured away from Princess - the itineraries.  They don't go to the places we want to go in 9 days or less.  It's frustrating.  I wish they would shake things up to keep 'em fresh.

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They need to build smaller ships that can hit those different European ports. I know it will never happen. 

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I would love to see Princess add Cuba. and I second the vote for a circle Med cruise. I would love one that would follow the route Paul Theroux detailed in his book THE PILLARS OF HERCULES. It is an awesome read if you are not familiar with it.

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13 hours ago, MCC retired said:

The bread & butter of Princess 7 to 10 night Caribbean itineraries have gotten stale .

Especially the 7 night East or West .

There are other ports that Princess could shake them up a bit ?

 

I have found in general that the Caribbean itineraries are stale on most lines. I have looked at  NCL, Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean. Same Eastern and Western itineraries on all lines. We booked a 9 day on the Anthem from Cape liberty. We have been to all of the ports many times. The deciding factor was that by saving airfare to Florida we were able to book a 9 day cruise in a balcony and the ship calls on Bermuda which is our favorite island. The only new port is Royal Caribbean's private island Labadee. I will enjoy the sea days and won't be compelled to spend money or pay for tours in the ports that I have been to over and over again. If Princess would put a ship in NY during the summer I would probably book it as long as it wasn't the always limping Caribbean Princess. 

Edited by Iamcruzin

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21 hours ago, Thrak said:

Try the Northern Lights cruise to Alta, Norway. It's new to Princess this year and I believe they are offering this cruise in the future.

Thrak I hope your safe  with the current fires bearing down :classic_mellow:

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15 hours ago, StLouisCruisers said:

We've had to book Holland America (and Seabourn) the past 3 to 4 years to see other ports.  

Does HAL have as many classical musicians as Princess? My grandsons (teenagers) are SO bored on Carnival bc there aren't any of 'their kind' of musicians (horn, sax, string). 

 

Except the Colonial America /Canada cruise, I'm not repeating any ports on my next 4:

1. Indonesia 

2. Santiago to LA

3. FL to Quebec

4. Melbourne to Auckland

(I was Montreal to NYC in 2004, but Charleston is new to me)

Edited by Ombud

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Yes I was thinking about Thrak as well!  Isn't he near Chico?  They are evacuating parts of it now.  So sad, can't believe we have wildfires burning entire towns and it's forty degrees outside. 

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if you are looking for a circle the Med cruise on smaller ship, but not the size of the Pacific, take a look at Oceania Riviera and Marina. These ships hold 1200 passengers and go to the smaller Med ports. Last October I took a 12 day Barcelona to Venice cruise on Riviera, 10 ports in 8 countries. Pacific Princess had an almost identical itinerary. But for a bit more money you can go on an Oceania ship  which has much much better food than Princess. To get fresh itineraries you are going to have to change cruise lines.

 

 Another option for Europe is a river cruise.

Edited by susiesan

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Have to keep in mind that like someone else stated, the size of the ship makes a huge difference.  Not just the capability of the port, but the approach to the port.  Some may bridges over the approach that some of the bigger ships can't fit under, or can only fit under certain times of the day.  I know in the caribbean, there are only so many ports you can visit in 7 days and at some point, there may not be islands they can reach over the 7 days.. With us talking about accessability, St Thomas is a prime example.  All the cruise ships have to time it just right on entry and exit to coincide with the tides or they won't make it out.

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We have sailed all the main lie cruise lines except NCL . Imo Holland America  has the best itineraries :classic_biggrin:

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That's what I was concerned about. There more of the Wagner, Bach, Rachmaninoff thread being classical performers

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6 hours ago, Ombud said:

Does HAL have as many classical musicians as Princess? My grandsons (teenagers) are SO bored on Carnival bc there aren't any of 'their kind' of musicians (horn, sax, string). 

 

Except the Colonial America /Canada cruise, I'm not repeating any ports on my next 4:

1. Indonesia 

2. Santiago to LA

3. FL to Quebec

4. Melbourne to Auckland

(I was Montreal to NYC in 2004, but Charleston is new to me)

In addition to BB King Blues Club, they also have Lincoln Center Stage on several ships which is classical quartet (classical pianist, violinist, violist, and cellist). Those that don't have Lincoln Center still tend to have classical trio

Edited by RDC1

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5 hours ago, susiesan said:

if you are looking for a circle the Med cruise on smaller ship, but not the size of the Pacific, take a look at Oceania Riviera and Marina. These ships hold 1200 passengers and go to the smaller Med ports. Last October I took a 12 day Barcelona to Venice cruise on Riviera, 10 ports in 8 countries. Pacific Princess had an almost identical itinerary. But for a bit more money you can go on an Oceania ship  which has much much better food than Princess. To get fresh itineraries you are going to have to change cruise lines.

 

 Another option for Europe is a river cruise.

 

I prefer the larger ships and there are plenty of ports Princess can access that they don't generally visit.

For example Sky Princess, a large ship, will next year do a TA which stops at Florence, Genoa, Gibraltar, Valencia, Malaga, Seville, Lisbon, and Madiera. I think the OP (and me) would like some Med cruises that stop at some of these ports for example and not just the usual itineraries like the Greek Isles. Just some other options with Princess would be nice. 

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Cruise lines offer the routes that work for them, from an economic, marketing and operations point of view. Changing routes cost money. In addition most people on board are not like many of us that have taken several cruises in a given area. For many it is their first time and maybe only time to do a cruise in a given area like the Med.  Those people want to be the most popular destinations. In addition the larger ships, which help them to keep costs low, also limit the flexibility in selection of ports from both a marketing, and as well as operational point of view.

 

Cruise lines might do some shake up, but I would not count on any particular cruise line to change its routes very much.

 

If you think that a cruise lines routes are getting stale for you, try a different line with different routes.

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On 11/8/2018 at 8:12 PM, DrivesLikeMario said:

Totally agree with you and the OP.  It's the only reason we've ventured away from Princess - the itineraries.  They don't go to the places we want to go in 9 days or less.  It's frustrating.  I wish they would shake things up to keep 'em fresh.

What ports would you like Princess to go to in the Caribbean?  We've been to 17 different ports over our 20+ years of cruising there, mostly on Princess.  Years ago they went to Jamaica (we went there on the Star in 2006 and other lines in 2008 and 2011); crime has become more of a problem there per a recent news article.  Dominican Republic's version of Costa Maya (i.e. "port" built by a cruise company) is one of the few ports we've never been to and not sure Princess stops there.  Grand Turk which also has a newish facility built by Carnival Corp is another possible stop (been there once).  Trinidad is a port we visited on a 14-day itinerary, but it's pretty far south.  Isla de Margarita, off Venezuela, is a lovely place; we were there on the Dawn P (2000, 2005) and a HAL ship in 2002.  Perhaps its proximity to troubled Venezuela has made it less desirable.  Finally, we've visited Guadeloupe (1994), Martinique (2000, 2005, 2007), St. Vincent (2010), and Granada (2005, 2012), which are all in the same chain of islands as Antigua, St. Lucia, etc. where Princess calls frequently.  "Dropping"  of some of these ports may be related to the new larger ships (Royal, Regal) being deployed there.

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As far as the Med (and nearby) is concerned, safety concerns are also involved in port selection. We have previously been on Princess cruises that have gone to Istanbul, Alexandria, and Odessa, all ports that are not practical now due to political and terrorist concerns.

 

On the other hand, the Royal class ships can never go to Venice due to their size.

 

In another part of the world, the Grand class and Royal class can never go to Manaus, Brazil due to their size, a port we did visit on a smaller Princess ship.

 

In other cases, some of the Grand class do go to ports such as Tahiti and the Falkland Islands, but the tourist resources there are not sufficient enough to provide an enjoyable onshore experience for all who may want to go ashore.

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I haven't run out of areas of the world to go to although I admit I'm sort of repeating a 2004 cruise (was Montreal to NYC in October,  now FL to Quebec in July). So I guess I'm repeating areas from 14 yrs ago? Just not Caribbean and if Europe I tend to just rent a place for a few weeks 

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18 hours ago, RDC1 said:

. . .

If you think that a cruise lines routes are getting stale for you, try a different line with different routes.

That's what we did--returned to Celebrity after a long hiatus when we found out we just needed 1 more cruise or maybe 14 more days to reach their equivalent of Elite, which is what we've been on Princess for some time.  Did a RT out of Southampton on the Eclipse in 2014 that went to Gibraltar, Villefranche (Fr), Civitavecchia, Livorno, Genoa, Malaga and Lisbon.  Gibraltar, Villefranche (although we'd been to nearby Cannes several times), Genoa and Malaga were all new for us.

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1 hour ago, caribill said:

As far as the Med (and nearby) is concerned, safety concerns are also involved in port selection. We have previously been on Princess cruises that have gone to Istanbul, Alexandria, and Odessa, all ports that are not practical now due to political and terrorist concerns.

 

On the other hand, the Royal class ships can never go to Venice due to their size. . . 

Agree re safety!  Fortunately, we were in Istanbul in 2008--before Erdogan became so troublesome.  We didn't know at the time that he was in charge as he hadn't gotten the reputation he has today.  He was Prime Minister then, became President in 2014 (not sure what the difference is, as I was under the impression he's been acting badly for quite awhile).  The ship was there overnite so we had plenty of time to see the major sites.

 

Re Royal class and Venice:  once they get that new port built on the mainland, those ships can stop there.  Although it won't be the same as actually docking in Venice and will make pre- or post-cruise stays in Venice more inconvenient.

Edited by BarbinMich

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After considering some of the advice from this board and looking at itineraries from other cruise lines, we solved our problem. We booked an Iberian Pennisula cruise on HAL. It leaves from Amsterdam and gives us a lot of interesting ports. It’s been years since we were on HAL, but kind of looking forward to the change. 

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1 hour ago, Poulsbo Cruisers said:

After considering some of the advice from this board and looking at itineraries from other cruise lines, we solved our problem. We booked an Iberian Pennisula cruise on HAL. It leaves from Amsterdam and gives us a lot of interesting ports. It’s been years since we were on HAL, but kind of looking forward to the change. 

Congrats!

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We like Princess a lot too but over 30 years we have cruised on 9 different lines.  We have cruised to most of the  ports in the Mediterranean and northern Europe of interet to us.   Over the years, did the Baltics, did a number TAs, cruised to the middle east as well.  These cruises were done on Princess, Celebrity, HAL, Cunard, Crystal, NCL, and a few lines no longer around.    Even so we have 25 cruises with Princess.  Does not get old when you mix it up, at least that is the way it use to be.  Now days the cruise lines are all building ships that pretty much look the same... I wish they would keep their individual identity.    

Check out Cunard the Queen Victoria or Queen Elizabeth... both very nice ships, since you are a fan of Princess.

 

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On 11/8/2018 at 1:25 PM, neverbeenhere said:

Lucky there is only one Poulsbo.

In town they have a wonderful bakery😊

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