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imouer

Best Cruise line for like minded Tennis playing Scientist from VA?

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Posted (edited)

We have been on many Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess sailings and we have noticed in recent years (especially on Carnival), that the atmosphere is a bit tense, less friendly and less formal.  We are fun loving, open minded folks that like to drink, dance and let our hair down and be crazy but also we also like to dress up at formal night and have high minded conversations about science, medicine, environmentalism, travel, culture and current events etc .   The last few cruises we were on were odd, there was a lot of camo and flip flops worn in the formal dining room, not a lot of new friends being made like in the past, felt segregated and we felt we were in the vast minority from the rest of the passengers as they seemed unrelatable frankly.  Not sure if its the current climate or if the cruise industry clientele is changing or both but its definitely not feeling as welcoming for us as it use to be.  

 

Is there a line or a sailing that would feel more welcoming and like a better fit for a couple of east coast scientist that we could sail with on our MD kids?  We are not rich so it has to be affordable to middle class folks but just a bit more.... of our "tribe" to borrow a Carnival marketing term.  We LOVE cruising and meeting people and we are getting desperate to find a cruise experience that we can enjoy again... its either we find something new that fits us are I fear that our long held dream of cruising non-stop in retirement in will have to come to an end 😞

Edited by imouer

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2 minutes ago, imouer said:

We have been on many Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess sailings and we have noticed in recent years (especially on Carnival), that the atmosphere is a bit tense, less friendly and less formal.  We are fun loving, open minded folks that like to drink, dance and let our hair down and be crazy but also we also like to dress up at formal night and have high minded conversations about science, medicine, environmentalism, travel, culture and current events etc .   The last few cruises we were on were odd, there was a lot of camo and flip flops worn in the formal dining room, not a lot of new friends being made like in the past, felt segregated and we felt we were in the vast minority from the rest of the passengers as they seemed unrelatable frankly.  Not sure if its the current climate or if the cruise industry clientele is changing or both but its definitely not feeling as welcoming for us as it use to be.  

 

Is there a line or a sailing that would feel more welcoming and like a better fit for a couple of east coast scientist that we could sail with on our MD kids?  We are not rich so it has to be affordable to middle class folks but just a bit more.... of our "tribe" to borrow a Carnival marketing term.  We LOVE cruising and meeting people and we are getting desperate to find a cruise experience that we can enjoy again... its either we find something new that fits us are I fear that our long held dream of cruising non-stop in retirement in will have to come to an end 😞

 

Sounds as if it's time, and you're ready, for you to sail with Cunard, you'll find Cunard an excellent fit for genteel cruisers, who appreciate the ambience created by the Cunard Dress Codes.

Cunard will offer you more of what you like about "Old School Cruising".

 

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27 minutes ago, PORT ROYAL said:

 

Sounds as if it's time, and you're ready, for you to sail with Cunard, you'll find Cunard an excellent fit for genteel cruisers, who appreciate the ambience created by the Cunard Dress Codes.

Cunard will offer you more of what you like about "Old School Cruising".

 

Agreed - also OP could consider Holland. America - which still retains some of the traditional flair, or Celebrity - which also attracts a somewhat more mature demographic than Princess or Royal Caribbean — while Carnival is at the far end of the spectrum - approaching Norwegian.

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Cunard  might fit the bill

 or maybe  a luxury line  though most do not have formal nights  they still have an evening dress code

 

Check out Regent/Crystal/Seabourn /Silversea  they might my fit your wants & needs

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We like Celebrity passengers seem to dress up way more than rccl, carnival and Princess. It is rare to see people in shorts at night in mdr. 

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When and if cruising resumes, Celebrity may be a good fit for the OP.  I would opt for the Apex, Edge, Reflection, Equinox or Summit.

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OP, I don't understand your problem? You want to just dress up for dinner or do you believe people that are dressed are science minded?

 

Sure, people may dress up on Cunard but that doesn't make them any smarter.

 

What are your expectations as to being able to relate to people on a different line?

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42 minutes ago, cruizergal70 said:

OP, I don't understand your problem? You want to just dress up for dinner or do you believe people that are dressed are science minded?

 

Sure, people may dress up on Cunard but that doesn't make them any smarter.

 

What are your expectations as to being able to relate to people on a different line?

It may not be a matter of being smarter - but some people prefer making an effort to make a meal more than just feeding your belly.  You do not have to put on good clothes to eat, or talk with other people about things that you find interesting, or only deal with people with similar education backgrounds - but having things in common - (I do not mean similar ideas, because radically different ideas can be put forth in a civilized fashion) helps.  And a very easy thing to have in common is an interest in making a meal an opportunity to share (not impose) ideas.

 

But, the bottom line is that smart people are able to make routine things interesting.  And making meals just a matter of filling bellies is not an interesting thing to do.

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9 hours ago, imouer said:

We have been on many Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess sailings and we have noticed in recent years (especially on Carnival)...  We are not rich so it has to be affordable to middle class folks but just a bit more.... of our "tribe" to borrow a Carnival marketing term.  We LOVE cruising and meeting people and we are getting desperate to find a cruise experience that we can enjoy again... its either we find something new that fits us are I fear that our long held dream of cruising non-stop in retirement in will have to come to an end 😞

 

I am not sure what your budget truly is.  The more you are willing to pay, the more upscale your experience will be.  The other item that caught my eye was retirement. That led me to this link on cruise critic: https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=112  Of the recommendations listed, I see Holland America and Celebrity as covering off the, "middle class folks but just a bit more." 

 

Like you, we enjoy the social aspect of cruising as well.  This is where we have found things like RCCL's Diamond Lounge to be helpful.  The Diamond Lounge is where we seem to meet the most people on cruises during pre COVID times.   The fact that everyone there likes cruising makes it easy to "break the ice" and we have created some lasting friendships with those we have met on cruises. 

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5 hours ago, cruizergal70 said:

 

Sure, people may dress up on Cunard but that doesn't make them any smarter.

 

 

I think you have to be pretty smart to figure out how to wear that cummerbund correctly.  Lol

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1 hour ago, ldubs said:

 

I think you have to be pretty smart to figure out how to wear that cummerbund correctly.  Lol

Or tie your own bowtie.  EM

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

It may not be a matter of being smarter - but some people prefer making an effort to make a meal more than just feeding your belly.  You do not have to put on good clothes to eat, or talk with other people about things that you find interesting, or only deal with people with similar education backgrounds - but having things in common - (I do not mean similar ideas, because radically different ideas can be put forth in a civilized fashion) helps.  And a very easy thing to have in common is an interest in making a meal an opportunity to share (not impose) ideas.

 

But, the bottom line is that smart people are able to make routine things interesting.  And making meals just a matter of filling bellies is not an interesting thing to do.

 

Right... its not that we feel smarter or feel the need to wear a tux per se OR that we are snobs (trust me we both grew up very blue collar and are not rich) but .... let just say... the last Carnival cruise we took felt like we were trapped in a Walmart all week (and we are Platinum there).  Dont get me wrong, I like to shop at Walmart... but if I am going to pay be trapped in a retail store for a week, I would rather it be in a World Market or Whole Foods 😉  We are also both pretty athletic and active and in our early 50s (young at heart), we take the excursions that involve effort.  We like to meet up with folks that we can have adventures with too.   I guess its fair to say that we have outgrown the lines we started with but perhaps our budgets have not grown as fast... but then we are helping 2 kids got to Med school too so there is that.

Edited by imouer

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I'm not sure what the answer to your dilemma is, OP.

 

Those who are recommending HAL or Cunard are, I think, missing the part in your original plea about how you still like to "drink, dance and let your hair down and be crazy."  I don't think you'll find much of that on those two lines.

 

Sometimes you can't find everything you want in a single cruise line. But for what you have said are your priorities, I would suggest Celebrity. They seem to have a bit more of a lively vibe in the evenings, with plenty of folks frequenting the various bars. And while they no longer have a designated formal night, most people still manage to avoid shorts and flip flops at dinner.

 

If formal is your thing, choices are slim. But one can still dress well (more akin to what you'd wear for a nice evening out on land).

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I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest you try MSC.  Perhaps in the Yacht Club if you can afford it.  But if not, their balcony cabins are very roomy.  There is lots of live entertainment, and the passengers are very international.  Perhaps more than half European, and my observation is that the Europeans, especially the women, like to kick it up a notch in the evening, even if not a formal night.  EM

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46 minutes ago, Essiesmom said:

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest you try MSC.  Perhaps in the Yacht Club if you can afford it.  But if not, their balcony cabins are very roomy.  There is lots of live entertainment, and the passengers are very international.  Perhaps more than half European, and my observation is that the Europeans, especially the women, like to kick it up a notch in the evening, even if not a formal night.  EM

We were totally impressed with yacht club on Seaside , loads of room in there lounge , good live music , great bar , dinning room and service , outside area with pool had plenty of space between chairs and another bar , lots of things included , drink package and internet , free room service. 

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14 minutes ago, George C said:

We were totally impressed with yacht club on Seaside , loads of room in there lounge , good live music , great bar , dinning room and service , outside area with pool had plenty of space between chairs and another bar , lots of things included , drink package and internet , free room service. 

 

OP:  Yacht club is rather like a gated community, or what is referred to often as a "ship within a ship" concept.  I'm not a big fan of it -- basically you pay more for your own private "enclave" within the ship with special dining, outdoor areas, etc.  A bit too "caste system" for me....

 

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

OP:  Yacht club is rather like a gated community, or what is referred to often as a "ship within a ship" concept.  I'm not a big fan of it -- basically you pay more for your own private "enclave" within the ship with special dining, outdoor areas, etc.  A bit too "caste system" for me....

 

I really like that the area is not crowded no crowds by the bar plenty of room everywhere, Celebrity retreat for suites is similar other lines are also doing this . Considering everything having more space between passengers is a good thing.

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1 minute ago, George C said:

Considering everything having more space between passengers is a good thing.

 

Not at the expense of having less space for other passengers on the same ship.

 

But there's not a point arguing this -- it is a matter of opinion. Some like it and welcome it; others don't.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, imouer said:

 

Right...  Dont get me wrong, I like to shop at Walmart... but if I am going to pay be trapped in a retail store for a week, I would rather it be in a World Market or Whole Foods 😉  We are also both pretty athletic and active and in our early 50s (young at heart), we take the excursions that involve effort.  We like to meet up with folks that we can have adventures with too.   I guess its fair to say that we have outgrown the lines we started with but perhaps our budgets have not grown as fast... but then we are helping 2 kids got to Med school too so there is that.

 

Your original comment threw me off in terms of the retirement comment.  I was thinking more like mid 60's than early 50's.  Given your Whole Foods/"Whole Paycheck" tastes, I would suggest looking at a more upscale line or maybe the ship within a ship such as NCL or MSC.  I was looking at MSC prior to COVID as it seems they have some really compelling value propositions in terms of itineraries and amenities.  

 

BTW - You are a much nicer/more generous parent than I am.  I helped my kids as undergraduates, but graduate/professional school is on them.  

Edited by SelectSys

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

OP:  Yacht club is rather like a gated community, or what is referred to often as a "ship within a ship" concept.  I'm not a big fan of it -- basically you pay more for your own private "enclave" within the ship with special dining, outdoor areas, etc.  A bit too "caste system" for me....

 

 

Cruising is returning to its past!  Expect to see much more of this as a way cruise lines attempt to recover post COVID

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3 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

 

Cruising is returning to its past!  Expect to see much more of this as a way cruise lines attempt to recover post COVID

 

It's not the "past" of leisure cruising -- it's the past of ocean liners and Trans-Atlantic crossings.

 

Leisure cruising started in the 1960s primarily to find a new way to utilize ships that were no longer needed for TAs (due to more people opting to fly).  One of the premises was NO class system; everyone had access to the same food, entertainment and deck space as everyone else. If you traveled in a suite there were no perks other than increased space.

 

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22 hours ago, imouer said:

We have been on many Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess sailings and we have noticed in recent years (especially on Carnival), that the atmosphere is a bit tense, less friendly and less formal.  We are fun loving, open minded folks that like to drink, dance and let our hair down and be crazy but also we also like to dress up at formal night and have high minded conversations about science, medicine, environmentalism, travel, culture and current events etc .  

 

 There are main stream lines  where your budget can be stretched  to the level of  a premium/luxury line

Just  see what is included in the line you choose

You can always dress up in formal clothes  if that is your  thing

 What do you consider letting your hair down & getting  crazy?

 Do you dance  on  the tables? 

Swingers?

 

There  are lots of  options out there   just shop around 

Maybe the ship within a ship concept will work for you

You can party & be active during the day with the great unwashed   then retreat to the  ambience of a bit more upscale experience in the evenings

 

 

 

 

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I recommend Celebrity.  Beautiful, modern ships with folks who still prefer to look decent, and there is still decent evening entertainment.  

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4 hours ago, imouer said:

 

Right... its not that we feel smarter or feel the need to wear a tux per se OR that we are snobs (trust me we both grew up very blue collar and are not rich) but .... let just say... the last Carnival cruise we took felt like we were trapped in a Walmart all week (and we are Platinum there).  Dont get me wrong, I like to shop at Walmart... but if I am going to pay be trapped in a retail store for a week, I would rather it be in a World Market or Whole Foods 😉  We are also both pretty athletic and active and in our early 50s (young at heart), we take the excursions that involve effort.  We like to meet up with folks that we can have adventures with too.   I guess its fair to say that we have outgrown the lines we started with but perhaps our budgets have not grown as fast... but then we are helping 2 kids got to Med school too so there is that.

I don't understand the Walmart reference.  I guess I'm not snobbish enough to judge other people by race, clothing, or perceived socioeconomic class. 

 

FYI, I have advanced education, make a six figure income, was an engineering student, currently work in technology,  shop at Walmart, can discuss a myriad of topics and my next European cruise is booked with Carnival. I guess you would find me too low class for your liking as I don't dress fancy for the MDR.

 

Cruise any line you wish but I'm surprised so many people are invested in perpetuating the public perception that cruising is for snobs. Cruisers are also invested in judging others and separating themselves.

 

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Another vote for Celebrity.

Note: Someone please help...if I remember correctly, one of the Celebrity ships had a tennis court (a bit smaller than the regulation size)......or was that on another ship?...senior moment here.

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