Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
need2cruisesoon

Would You Consider an Inaugural Cruise?

Recommended Posts

Couple ships coming this fall, Sky Princess, NCL Encore and Panorama to name a few.

 

Would you consider an Inaugural cruise a roll of the dice on any of these ships?

 

What's been your experience if you've done so in the past?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was on inaugural cruise of Star Princess in 2002, Singapore to Los Angeles.  Booked for itinerary, didn’t realize until later it would be the first.   No problems at all.   She has come from Italy empty so they had lots of time to iron things out.  Panorama will be doing the same.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the inaugural cruise on Anthem of the Seas in 2015. We did encounter a few minor problems but it all added to the cruise and would do it again.

In our cabin all the wall lights had no bulbs in.  We had an accessible cabin, all accessible cabins on the Anthem have automatic doors, our cabin steward accidentally locked us out of our cabin and security had to unlock the cabin for us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We once booked MSC’s Poesia for an ideal early (if not inaugural) autumn sailing from Venice to New York.  A couple of months before sailing date we were advised that final fitting out delays necessitated a “minor” itinerary modification: sailing from Bremerhaven rather than Venice.  Since we already had flights to Rome, and did not think a fall crossing of the North Sea would quite match the Mediterranean, we accepted MSC’s offer of full refund upon cancellation.

 

I suspect that unanticipated last minute fitting out delays might frequently require modification of inaugural sailings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the not-quite inaugural cruise on Independence of the Seas. She did an inaugural 4 day cruise Southampton>>Cork>>Southampton then did a full cruise to the Canary Islands, and that was the one we did (the"Cruise in Review"dvd is labelled Voyage #2)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the inaugural cruise in 1996 on RCCL Grandeur of the Seas, which was very nice and with no first launch ship issues.  The then President of RCCL accompanied the cruise from Miami to St. Thomas (had an occasion to meet him on board), at which point he departed with his family for a separate vacation.  The crew, who was somewhat "restrained" up until then, seemed to relax after that and the balance of the cruise was a bit more "festive".  😉

 

It was also interesting that part of the reason he was on board was to conduct a brief PR meeting with the the President of Haiti at our stop in Labadee, who arrived for the meeting in a military helicopter accompanied by military guards toting automatic rifles.  Their meeting only lasted a short while and the entourage departed soon after leaving the rest of the day uninterrupted.

 

We also had a pool deck helicopter medical evacuation on the first morning from Miami about 18 hours after departure.  The ship had turned around during the night to somewhat shorten the distance from Miami to meet the helicopter, after which we proceeded uninterrupted for the remainder of the cruise.

 

All in all it was certainly one of our more unique cruises over the years.....

Edited by leaveitallbehind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the inaugural cruise on Celebrity Reflection in 2012 because of the timing and itinerary. No problems encountered at all. Wonderful cruise. And the "new ship" smell was an added treat. Wouldn't hesitate to do one again if the timing was right. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The maiden voyage carries the same risks as pre & post drydocking cruises, in that work may not be complete and the ship may have a number of trades aboard. Some impacted cruises vary from minimal to significant impact.

 

If the ship is finished early, it may also turn out not to be the actual first revenue voyage, as they can schedule a short revenue cruise prior to the maiden voyage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Years ago we booked the inaugural sailing out of NY on the "Norway".  Ship had problems coming from Europe and our cruise was canx.  We got a refund and they gave us any cruise/any category within one year at a 50% reduction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Booked on what was supposed to be the third cruise of the Dawn Princess in May 1997.  However delays in the building yard meant the first two were cancelled thus we ended up on the inaugural sailing.  Because of that we actually got invited to the ship naming ceremony the day before sailing.  It was an enjoyable trip from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver and if there were any problems, I certainly don't remember them and they didn't ruin the cruise in any way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

The maiden voyage carries the same risks as pre & post drydocking cruises, in that work may not be complete and the ship may have a number of trades aboard. Some impacted cruises vary from minimal to significant impact.

 

 

For these reasons I wouldn't book one. Plus often the routines are not yet mastered, although lines tend to put some experienced staff and crew aboard. One hears stories of long waits for food, for example, or cabin service being off.

 

On the other hand, sometimes there is a very festive feeling aboard, and special mementos might be given. It's just to me that the minuses outweigh the pluses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

YMMV, new ship probably never had all the cabins, systems being tested, always could be a surprise anywhere from Kitchen, Theater, to the HVAC and plumming, never know when Murphy will visit.

 

Also like a virgin something special about being first, crew likely equally excited but also un-experienced, 🤔 you gotta ask is being first worth it 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crystal has a promised new ship coming out in 2022. I would love to be on the inaugural, however, that opportunity will likely be first offered to Crystal regulars who have many more cruises in the bank that we do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shorex said:

Crystal has a promised new ship coming out in 2022. I would love to be on the inaugural, however, that opportunity will likely be first offered to Crystal regulars who have many more cruises in the bank that we do.

I really doubt that Crystal would so restrict an inaugural sailing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shorex said:

Crystal has a promised new ship coming out in 2022. I would love to be on the inaugural, however, that opportunity will likely be first offered to Crystal regulars who have many more cruises in the bank that we do.

 

What may indeed happen is that their loyalty program customers may get an advance email announcing the sailing and an early booking opportunity, but one that would only be announced a short time before the general booking would be available.  And that early announcement likely would't generate enough interest among just that group to fill the ship.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We will be on RSSC Seven Seas Splendor's inaugural voyage from Barcelona this coming February.  With 487 nights on Regent we have great trust in the crew for a memorable cruise and if "ship happens" we'll just roll with it along with our fellow passengers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, chipmaster said:

YMMV, new ship probably never had all the cabins, systems being tested, always could be a surprise anywhere from Kitchen, Theater, to the HVAC and plumming, never know when Murphy will visit.

 

Also like a virgin something special about being first, crew likely equally excited but also un-experienced, 🤔 you gotta ask is being first worth it 😁

It was rumored that the staff rotated sleeping in all of the cabins on Star Princess during her deadhead from Italy to Singapore, to see that all the systems worked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

It was rumored that the staff rotated sleeping in all of the cabins on Star Princess during her deadhead from Italy to Singapore, to see that all the systems worked.

Rotation is a good way to do a check, but what when everyone flushes or turns on AC to cold at the same time 😁

 

In the end nothing that is complex comes out perfect, unless there is BIST or something like they have in complex computer ships, and even then that isn't "perfect."

Edited by chipmaster

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not.  Even a ship coming from an extended dry dock isn't one I'd want o be on for the first few weeks. let them work out the kinks on someone else.  Maybe after I retire and my vacation time isn't as precious I might feel differently--but I'd never pay a premium for this type of sailing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never.

 

-New crew

 

-Focus on the freebees...cruise line execs, travel industry exec, travel mag folks, key suppliers, etc.  Paying passengers are second class.  Venues closed for private events.

 

-Work not finished, incomplete, or ongoing work.

 

We feel the same way about the first cruise after drydock and the last cruise prior to drydock

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. It would have to a something like 1) they finally retrofit the SS United States and send her on her 401st sailing 2) the new "Titanic" 3) something along those lines. I'm not big on the Mega Ships and while a smaller ship with less bells and whistles I don't like the Itineraries for VV or I would have booked that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/1/2019 at 8:29 PM, need2cruisesoon said:

Couple ships coming this fall, Sky Princess, NCL Encore and Panorama to name a few.

 

Would you consider an Inaugural cruise a roll of the dice on any of these ships?

 

What's been your experience if you've done so in the past?

done one and was not  impacted by any of the issues that arose 

Edited by c-boy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would and have considered doing so, but cabin availability and timing didn't work for me.

 

I sailed on Carnival Miracle on the cruise just prior to drydocking and it was fine.  I did the Behind the Scenes Tour on her and it was only below passenger decks that there was any apparent pre-drydocking preparations taking place.  From this guest's point of view, the worst thing that happened was that they ran out of my regularly ordered wine in my wine package and they had to substitute a better quality wine!  (My Behind the Scenes Tour showed that the storerooms were almost empty.)

 

I sailed on Nieuw Statendam on her early January Caribbean cruises (two 7 day b2b)  These were #5 & #6, I think.  Both were enjoyable cruises and I liked much of what I experienced, but, somehow "some things just didn't seem quite right".  Was the ship/crew/Senior Officers still being "broken in"?  Or was it just my perceptions of what I experienced?

 

Would I sail on a recently introduced ship again?  Yes.  I'm considering Sky Princess this Winter and hope that I can sail on the Ryndam when she joins the HAL fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, iancal said:

Never.

 

-New crew

 

-Focus on the freebees...cruise line execs, travel industry exec, travel mag folks, key suppliers, etc.  Paying passengers are second class.  Venues closed for private events.

 

-Work not finished, incomplete, or ongoing work.

 

We feel the same way about the first cruise after drydock and the last cruise prior to drydock

 

 

 

 

Have you ever done one?  Can't challenge your opinion but the one we did had none of that impacting the cruise. I will concede that with the cruise line President on board the crew was somewhat more on guard until he left mid cruise, but we never felt like second class citizens and none of the venues were closed for any private events and the work was completely finished prior to launch.  Perhaps we were fortunate in our experience.

 

And BTW, if you think about it every ship has new crew on just about every itinerary resulting from the ongoing rotation of contracts among the hundreds of crew on board.  There is always old crew departing and new crew embarking on virtually every cruise we've been on.  Most of the crew on a inaugural voyage is experienced - it's the ship that's new.

Edited by leaveitallbehind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, leaveitallbehind said:

 

Have you ever done one?  Can't challenge your opinion but the one we did had none of that impacting the cruise. I will concede that with the cruise line President on board the crew was somewhat more on guard until he left mid cruise, but we never felt like second class citizens and none of the venues were closed for any private events and the work was completely finished prior to launch.  Perhaps we were fortunate in our experience.

 

And BTW, if you think about it every ship has new crew on just about every itinerary resulting from the ongoing rotation of contracts among the hundreds of crew on board.  There is always old crew departing and new crew embarking on virtually every cruise we've been on.  Most of the crew on a inaugural voyage is experienced - it's the ship that's new.

Your points are valid, but hopefully I can clarify some of the risks of maiden voyages & pre/post DD.

 

Some work that impacts passenger enjoyment can happen at any time on a ship. However, maiden voyages and pre/post drydocking voyages have a greater probability of having work, as the ship owner has limited leverage over the shipyard. Yes, the majority of maiden voyages are uneventful, but we avoid them based on higher probability of work & they often command a premium price.

 

For crew changes, yes a percentage of crew changes in every TAR port and also a few in other ports. For maiden voyages, while many crew will have previous seatime and may have worked for that company, many of them will also be new hires and even ones that have worked for the company, may not have worked on that class. The hotel staff also don't get too much time to learn the ship and develop teamwork.

 

In drydock, we also shipped out many of the hotel crew, so when we returned to operations we had a significant crew change, which was way more than a TAR port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...