Hot on the Forums: How Does a World Cruiser Cope After the Cruise is Over?

June 19, 2015 | By | No Comments

sand castle

We all know that sinking feeling when you disembark from a cruise and come back down to earth with a bump. For me, reality hits before I even get to the front door, as I start thinking about domestic chores, work, bills to pay and a waistline to shrink.

So it makes me wonder how a world cruiser recovers their land legs after gone for a month or more. I am sure I would be all at sea (albeit back on dry land) after being spoiled for so long, with no cooking or housework and being waited on hand and foot.

Cruise Critic member MawganTr posted similar thoughts on the forums: “How does it feel to return from an around the world cruise?” she asks. “Is it relief? Joy? The ‘glad to be home’ feeling that you get at the end of any holiday. Or is there a real longing to remain onboard? Is there some sort of culture shock coming away from such luxury?”

Someone well qualified to answer is ‘worldie’ maggiemou, who sailed no less than four world cruises in succession. It is very addictive, she says. Clearly so.

“Once you have done one, you want to go again,” she says. “The months on board soon fly by and you get into a routine where the ship becomes your home and you are not in any rush to fit things in. People come and go and it is a really good feeling when they all depart and you are staying on.

“Often people will book one world cruise to another whilst still sailing so by the time you depart, it is only eight months away till to next one. The eight months whiz by as you are sorting out your photos, your videos, and catching up with family friends. Preparing for the next voyage can take up a good few months, so no time to feel sorry to be home.”

Despite the perks, maggiemou does experience a bit of relief to be back among familiar territory, however.

“Four months away is a long time and no matter how fabulous a time I have had, I feel ready for home by the time we reach our last two ports. It is good to look forward to seeing your home and garden again, eating normal food and getting back into real life. I usually go back to work and I enjoy that.”

Onboard, maggiemou exercises self-restraint by only eating two courses for dinner, sipping Earl Grey at teatime while shunning the sandwiches and cakes, and going to the gym each day. (For more hints, read World Cruising Basics).

Fellow world cruiser Oahucruiser says: “It’s a shock to return home and see a menu with prices on it and go back to the normal routine, but there’s always the hope that will be another adventure in our future. We are always looking at itineraries. There’s an old saying ‘Don’t cry because it’s over but simply smile that it happened’.”

Member bobby1119 admits the first days ashore can seem very strange.

“The routine one establishes at sea on a long cruise ends so abruptly – this is the most jarring aspect of the post-cruise re-entry to the real world. My final 6 days of the cruise were on the Atlantic, crossing from Southampton to New York. Many of the full world cruise passengers, many of whom I had become very close to, had disembarked in England, and a whole new crowd embarked for the TA to New York. So the last few days were a limbo so I was able to focus on packing and re-connecting with my partner and my beloved dog.

“The cruise was my gift to myself upon my retirement. A world cruise is the adventure of a lifetime, so if you are blessed with good health and good fortune, I would recommend going for it.”

I loved the pithy comment from Dcoy who agrees that a world cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. “As I tell my friends, this trip emptied my bucket list and I had to sell the bucket to pay for it,” she adds.

Do you dream of becoming a world cruiser? Tell us in the comments below.

    6 Ways to Enjoy Half Moon Cay, Carnival’s Private Island

    June 18, 2015 | By | 8 Comments

    Half Moon Cay

    Half Moon Cay — the private island in the Bahamas that Carnival and Holland America share — looks like a movie set of a beach. The sand is pristinely white, with nary a scratchy shell or untoward piece of seaweed. The sea is warm, but not too warm, and turquoise, just like all the postcards you see of Caribbean beaches that you always assumed were fake. The cabanas are painted in bright, happy colors, and the bars have quaint thatched roofs and inviting Adirondack chairs — or are set inside a faux pirate ship. You have to try to have a bad time there.

    There are many ways to have a great time, however, depending on what sort of beach activities you enjoy. Based on our recent visit to the island, here are six great ways to spend your day in Half Moon Cay.

    1. The Active Traveler

    Book a tour to go snorkeling, kayaking, even horseback riding on the beach. We had wondered if excursions on a private island were worth it, but by all accounts, they are. We talked to people who saw sharks, barracudas and sting rays, as well as plenty of fish, just by kayaking in the lagoon. We did a three-mile bike ride that took us all over the island and even got us glimpses of the rays.

    Read on for more

      Steal of the Week: Half Off Second Pax on Princess

      June 18, 2015 | By | No Comments

      piggy bank sailing worldwide
      Everyone is looking for the deal of the century. So how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Check the Lido Deck each week to get the scoop on our favorite deals — then grab the phone and pack your bags.
      THE DEAL: Princess Cruises is hosting a sale on quick trips with their Great Getaways promotion now through July 7, offering half off second cruise fares and discounted rates for third and fourth passengers in a cabin; only a $50 deposit is required.
      WHAT WE LOVE: A nice promotion for families who sail multiple berths to a cabin, and are also seeking short but fulfilling vacations close to home, Princess Cruises has discounted fares along the west coast and Caribbean itineraries from the east coast. Sail four nights from Los Angeles with Catalina Island from $398 per person, or four nights to Grand Turk from Fort Lauderdale from $448 per person.
      WHAT GIVES US PAUSE: If you’re not near one of the port cities included in the sale, airfare could get tricky for a group of four or more; plus, port taxes and fees are in addition to the advertised cruise fare. Very select dates are available for each itinerary so booking ahead is crucial — you only have until July 7. Keep in mind hurricane season is in effect until November.
      Have questions about Star Princess? We’re onboard and answering them beginning June 22. Submit them here now.
      Compare flight prices with our sister site TripAdvisor’s meta-search tool.
      HOW TO BOOK IT: For all the nitty-gritty on these deals (including that pesky fine print), click here.
      Looking for cruises for under $75 or even $50 a day? We’ve got ’em listed on our Cheap Cruises page.
      Get great cruise deals — and exclusive member offers — delivered weekly to your inbox.

        Cruise Tip of the Week: How to Have a Stress-Free Sailaway

        June 17, 2015 | By | No Comments

        fly early

        Tip: Your bags are packed. Travel documents are in order. What else could you be missing? While the mental checklist might come naturally to some, it’s easy for others to neglect “the obvious” when gearing up for embarkation day. One way to avoid stressing before your cruise is by arriving at your port city a day early. Whether you’re driving or flying, adding wiggle room to your itinerary will help you prepare for the unexpected. Vacations are for relaxing, after all!

        Full Article: Read 14 more ways to take the stress out of embarkation day.

        Want More?: Check out our related links below for more info, tips and advice.

        22 Do’s and Don’t’s for Your First Day Onboard a Cruise Ship

        What to Expect on a Cruise: First Day Onboard

        What’s Your Cruise Sailaway Style?

        Stay tuned for more Cruise Tips of the Week — revealed every Wednesday!

          Enter our Miami Hotel Giveaway by June 30th!

          June 16, 2015 | By | 1 Comment

          Kaskades

          Have you booked your cruise out of Miami and need a hotel? Or do you just want a quick luxury getaway in South Beach?

          We’ve partnered with Oyster.com – the Hotel Tell-All review site with a million+ comprehensive hotel photos and in-depth reviews – to offer you and a guest a chance to win a 2-night stay at the Kaskades Suites at Gale South Beach. The winner also receives a $500 gift card for extra expenses like dining or shopping.

          Enter daily through June 30th for your chance to win.

          Kaskades Suites

            Member Review of the Week: Holland America’s Veendam

            June 16, 2015 | By | No Comments

            Bermuda

            Cruise Ship: HAL’s Veendam

            Itinerary: Bermuda

            Member: mygoalie35

            Background: It didn’t take long for mygoalie35 to feel relaxed on her Holland America cruise to Bermuda — even with kids in tow. The ship’s laidback vibe and overnights in port allowed her, her husband, 19 year-old son and four year-old grandson to sail at their own pace — bumming by the pool while taking advantage of the kids’ club and exploring the island without feeling rushed to get back on the ship. Read on for her favorites.

            Onboard Highlight: The kids’ club. Mygoalie35’s grandson loved the activities and attention he received since it wasn’t as crowded.

            Port Highlight: A glass-bottom boat and snorkeling tour.

            Don’t Miss: The eggs benedict dish at the buffet.

            Watch Out For: Daily activities seemed to consist mostly of computer classes and dancing — so be wary if you’re more into rock-climbing walls and swimming pool contests.

            More: Read mygoalie35’s full review for more details about the ship and Bermuda.

            For their efforts, mygoalie35, golfnut1089, MLevin, DinaS and iamethanl receive Cruise Critic logo items.

            Each week, we choose five cruise reviews written by our members, and showcase one as the Member Review of the Week.

            Read more reviews or write your own cruise review.

              Live from Carnival Triumph: Four Reasons to Take a Four-Day Cruise

              June 15, 2015 | By | No Comments

              Carnival Triumph Pool Deck

              After spending the past few days on Carnival Triumph, we’re convinced short, four-day “taster” cruises are a great introduction to what life at sea is all about. (And now that the U.S. government is phasing out “cruises to nowhere,” these short voyages, which only stop in one or two ports, are likely to become more plentiful.)

              Taking a short cruise has a few obvious benefits. You burn fewer vacation days, for one thing, and the initial price is usually wallet friendly (although even on a short cruise, extras such as drinks, spa treatments and excursions can add up). Your fellow passengers are usually younger — on Triumph, the bulk of passengers were 30 to 50 — and less jaded about cruising than perhaps more veteran cruisers; a full 70 percent of the people on our ship were taking a voyage for the first time. That means there’s an anticipatory energy on a short cruise that you don’t always see on a traditional seven-day sailing.

              Here are four reasons why we’d take a short cruise again.

              1. Meet Your Neighbors

              Most people who take short cruises live within driving distance of the port. On our Galveston-based sailing, more than 57 percent of the passengers lived in Texas, with most of the rest hailing from Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. We saw friendships springing up in the lobby bar and romances blossoming at the piano bar. That’s not necessarily unusual. But knowing that your new BFFs are only a few towns away means you’re much more likely to stay in touch than if you lived halfway across the U.S.

              Read on for more

                My First Cruise: Norwegian Breakaway

                June 15, 2015 | By | 4 Comments

                Norwegian Breakaway cruse ship

                In the My First Cruise series, Cruise Critic reaches out to first-time cruisers who recently returned from their very first cruise to find out why they chose a cruise, how they liked it and how it compared to what they expected and where they want to cruise to next.

                Want to be featured? Contact dsaltzman@cruisecritic.com.

                Name: Cathy Gilbert
                Age: 51
                Cruised with: Husband
                Ship & itinerary: 12-day Southern Caribbean on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway

                Q. Why did you decide to take a cruise?

                A. I wanted to see several places in one vacation.

                Q. Did you have any preconceptions of what to expect from a cruise?

                A. No.

                Q. Why and how did you choose the cruise line and ship you chose?

                A. I came across it during an Internet search. It was a great value for what was offered and went to locations I had not visited before.

                Tropical island with beach and mountains

                Q. What was your favorite place on the ship? Why?

                A. That’s a tough question. My favorite place was the specialty restaurants.

                Q. What was your favorite thing about cruising?

                A. The entertainment was top notch, as were the dining and excursion choices.

                Q. What was the biggest surprise?

                A. How comfortable the mini suite was; the bathroom was much bigger than I expected.

                Q. Where do you want to cruise to next?

                A. More Caribbean islands!

                Q. What kind of person/traveler would enjoy the cruise you were on?

                A. Someone who loves entertainment and adventures would like this cruise.

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                  The Lido Deck is written by Cruise Critic's editorial staff, reporting from ships and ports around the world. The daily blog covers cruise news, reviews, advice, and hot topics from the Cruise Critic message boards. Please note: When commenting, Cruise Critic's community guidelines apply.

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