Help with Ocean Cruise lines or river cruise lines

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Aug 10, 2018
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#1
My Husband is not a big traveler and is hesitant to take a cruise, river or ocean, with 2000 strangers. He is interested in the Baltic countries as well as Ireland, Scotland, England area, or a river cruise though Germany. I am a huge traveler but...have not liked cruising as the time spent in each port is too short and rife with strife if we go it alone (time and getting left behind due to unforeseen situations) rather then with the group tours. We want good food, nice cabins and time in port. At this point small is the way to go I am validating but....Cost is not the issue, but I want my husband excited AFTER the cruise is over so he will do it again! Help!
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#2
I will preface this by saying I have no experience with ocean cruising as I am highly prone to motion sickness and I have no desire to be on a huge ship. Others on here can weigh in with their advice on them. But I have done 4 riverboat cruises with Avalon (including the Rhine through Germany) and I have loved them all. The ships are very modern and the crew, service, and food are fantastic. They have 3 cabin types and my husband and I have stayed in all of them. We will likely do another Avalon river cruise next summer.
 
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Neil Maley

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#3
River cruises sound perfect. There is a great website called rivercruiseadvisor that has a comparison of most likely new and what is included. The most well know lines often have a lot of extras that you have to add to their cheap prices that often make a more expensive line a better option.

Use this and go for it. And use a travel agent that specializes in river cruises- they can help and most don’t charge fees
https://www.rivercruiseadvisor.com/comparisons/
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#4
My Husband is not a big traveler and is hesitant to take a cruise, river or ocean, with 2000 strangers. He is interested in the Baltic countries as well as Ireland, Scotland, England area, or a river cruise though Germany. I am a huge traveler but...have not liked cruising as the time spent in each port is too short and rife with strife if we go it alone (time and getting left behind due to unforeseen situations) rather then with the group tours. We want good food, nice cabins and time in port. At this point small is the way to go I am validating but....Cost is not the issue, but I want my husband excited AFTER the cruise is over so he will do it again! Help!
There are many ocean and river cruise ships/lines that have passenger numbers in the 100-300 range. We just returned from a 7-day cruise in French Polynesia on the Wind Spirit with 143 passengers (ship holds 148 in double cabins). Almost all of the "cruising" was evening/night time, and all days were spent in local island ports/lagoons with a full day of activities ashore or on the water. If you might consider more "adventure" travel, many of the ships carry fewer than 100 passengers, esp in places like the Galapagos. Our trip to the Galapagos was on a ship with 32 passengers. All days were spent exploring the islands.
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#5
I would also recommend speaking with a reputable travel agent. Those who specialize in cruising can help guide you to a good fit for your lifestyle and interests. Please do not use an online broker/travel agent, like expedia to book the cruise.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#6
As far as I know, there are no river cruises in the Baltic countries. It would have to be ocean cruising. Look at Seabourn, Sea Dream, Tauck small ship cruising, and SilverSea. Avoid the mass market lines like Princess, Holland America. You might look at Azamara--it is a larger ship (800 guests) but it is destination driven, so they stay in ports late at night and do overnights as well.
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#8
You've come to the right place for advice, Porkchop. We have done several small-ship cruises with Grand Circle (they market to older people but we were perfectly happy with them when in our 50s) and, with ADM's good counsel, we just did the Rhine & Mosel on Avalon. All have been seriously fabulous experiences. My husband travels because I love it, and I can assure you that your husband will enjoy a small-ship cruise. We've done the rivers, and also around the UK, the Adriatic and the Baltic countries. We're booked on Viking to China and then looking at Italy and Istria. I'm glad you brought up the subject of cost, because these trips are not inexpensive. With Grand Circle especially, you are absolutely coddled and feel that there's nothing you can't ask for that wouldn't be cheerfully delivered. The cruise line agents are extremely well informed and helpful. I have a terrific cruise-expert travel agent now, but have booked many of these trips myself. If you're an experienced traveller, you can do your own research; Carrie's advice on CruiseCritic is spot-on, I believe I learn more from that website than any other source. Have fun and please come back with any questions or concerns. If you wish, you can send me a Private Conversation.
 
Aug 10, 2018
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#9
There are many ocean and river cruise ships/lines that have passenger numbers in the 100-300 range. We just returned from a 7-day cruise in French Polynesia on the Wind Spirit with 143 passengers (ship holds 148 in double cabins). Almost all of the "cruising" was evening/night time, and all days were spent in local island ports/lagoons with a full day of activities ashore or on the water. If you might consider more "adventure" travel, many of the ships carry fewer than 100 passengers, esp in places like the Galapagos. Our trip to the Galapagos was on a ship with 32 passengers. All days were spent exploring the islands.
Thanks a bunch. All of you were very helpful and we are now booked on Scenic (Never heard of them before I went to you all!) So 14 months from now (Almost 80% of cabins in the upper price ranges were already booked - what does that tell you?) we are off to the Rhine, etc. You are all the best!
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#10
Thanks a bunch. All of you were very helpful and we are now booked on Scenic (Never heard of them before I went to you all!) So 14 months from now (Almost 80% of cabins in the upper price ranges were already booked - what does that tell you?) we are off to the Rhine, etc. You are all the best!
Good choice-we are doing a Danube River music cruise in Oct '18. Small ship, 130 pax, should be wonderful.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#11
Thanks a bunch. All of you were very helpful and we are now booked on Scenic (Never heard of them before I went to you all!) So 14 months from now (Almost 80% of cabins in the upper price ranges were already booked - what does that tell you?) we are off to the Rhine, etc. You are all the best!
Scenic is an Australian cruise line and an excellent choice. You can have lamb chops for breakfast if you want. You’ll have lots of Aussies on the ship and you’ll have a lot of fun.
 
Aug 25, 2018
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#13
I would also recommend speaking with a reputable travel agent. Those who specialize in cruising can help guide you to a good fit for your lifestyle and interests. Please do not use an online broker/travel agent, like expedia to book the cruise.
We are hoping to take our first riverboat cruise in 2019 and would like to work with a travel agent specializing in riverboat cruises, but I am not sure how to find a reputable agent in my area. I'd appreciate any recommendations or suggestions.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#14
We are hoping to take our first riverboat cruise in 2019 and would like to work with a travel agent specializing in riverboat cruises, but I am not sure how to find a reputable agent in my area. I'd appreciate any recommendations or suggestions.
Are you looking at US riverboat cruises or a European river cruise?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
13,291
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
We are hoping to take our first riverboat cruise in 2019 and would like to work with a travel agent specializing in riverboat cruises, but I am not sure how to find a reputable agent in my area. I'd appreciate any recommendations or suggestions.
ASTA - The American Society of Travel Advisors- has a website of better travel agents you can find in your local area specializing in various type of trips.

Go to travelsense.org and search for one.

Booking a trip with an ASTA agent gives you peace of mind. If there is a problem with your agent. ASTA will get involved trying to solve it.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#20
Ask lots of questions, ALP, to be sure the TA you choose will be the right one for you. The biggest issue that I've seen is "listening to the client" ... that's really important. You should push for someone who is indeed a Cruise Specialist ... they're worth their weight in gold. And let me tell you that a river cruise in Europe is a very special way to travel, I don't think there's anything we enjoy more.
 
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