travels123
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

New to cruising...advice needed please

Hi, next September we will be celebrating our silver wedding anniversary so would like to arrange a cruise for 7 days. We are looking at a baltic cruise and can be flexible when we travel and the destination we leave from (think maybe June looking at some of the cruises on offer?). The problem is which cruise company to choose, it seems a bit of a mindfield to newbies so I am hoping for some advice...I have been looking at Royal Carribean or MSC. we are in our mid forties and consider ourselves 'young!', our teenagers will not be with us but this does not mean we wish to stick to an adults only cruise...any advice would be welcome.... thank you:)

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11 Answers

WeCruiseToo
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

Hi travels123.  We haven’t sailed MSC personally but from friends who have and things we’ve read they are designed for European travelers.  I can’t tell where you’re from by your profile but many Americans do not enjoy this.  Some of the complaints we’ve heard include: every announcement is repeated in five or more languages; too much smoking; no coffee after dinner; “bad” food; “weird” shows; rude crew.  Someday soon we’ll try MSC in the Caribbean (where, reportedly, they’re still struggling to “Americanize” their product) but I don’t think we’ll be using them in Europe.  We’ve been to Europe several times and we try to get away from the tourist areas to experience things as a local would but MSC just seems to have so many negatives we don’t want to risk it.

CruiselineQ
Contributor Level: Cruise Director

@travels123 there is a cruise line that is right for everybody. Have you taken our fun quiz yet? https://cruiseline.com/advice/how-to-book/pick-a-line/quiz-what-cruise-line-is-right-for-you

Thats a good way to at least start thinking about which cruise line might be right for you. Enjoy Big Smile

sweetliberty13
Contributor Level: Captain

Thanks CruiselineQ. That little quiz confirmed mmy suspicion. While my daughter and son-in-law seem to prefer Carnival, NCL holds a leg up fro me.

SimonCommunity
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

@sweetliberty13, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival are all great choices for a family cruise. Princess, Celebrity, MSC and Holland America also have kids programs worth checking out. It's hard to go wrong with any of them.

@travels123, choose MSC if you want a bit more of a European experience. In Northern Europe, the majority of your fellow passengers will be from outside the US, and announcements will be in five or six different languages and it will be very much an "international" vibe. While you'll find some International passengers on Royal Caribbean, it will be more of an American experience. Let us know what cruise you decide on!

 

glomarrone
Contributor Level: Admiral

I suggest that you consult a travel agent.  There are ones that specialize just in cruises.  They can walk you through your decision and have personal knowledge of the ships. 

I have traveled on MSC twice - both times in the Caribbean. I especially njoyed the variety shows that they present every single night. .  The food was great especially the Italian entrees.  I never experienced rude crew members.  In fact, I saw more senior officers around the ship mingling with passengers than on any other cruise line.  I have taken 50 cruises.  Most of the problems when they first started have now been corrected. The problems were all related to different cultural expectations of Europeans and American passengers.   How this cruise line is in Europe may be very different, though. I would not hesitate to take another Caribbean cruise with them.  In fact, my husband mentioned a good deal on one of their whips recently that we are considering.  Their prices are very competitive. 

I think that any of the major cruise lines will offer you a wonderful experience.  Be sure to let us know which ship you choose and write a review when you return.

Johngold
Moderator
Contributor Level: Captain

I agree with Gloria on this one... Get a hold of a really good travel agent. Speak to them about everything. Also do the site survey. I like Princess for long cruises and NCL for 7 day runs.

But do your research and have fun.

and By the way... Congrats on your anniversary.

Bayguy
Contributor Level: Deck Hand

I would suggest Royal Caribbean. We've done their Baltic cruise and it was excellent. Entertainment is excellent on board their ships and whether you travel as a family or not, I think you will find the age mix a good match. Since this would be a summer cruise, there will be children on board but RCI has an excellent program for them and tends to keep them busy most of the day and even during the evenings. You'll also find a fair number of Europeans on the ship as well.

BonMike
Contributor Level: Captain

Bay guy, This thread is from 3 yrs ago.

Hope the OP had a good time.

AuntPinkie
Contributor Level: Captain

I noticed that, too! I wish the OP would have come back and told us the decision and about the experience.

BDRebel
Contributor Level: Captain

May be an old thread, but I do appreciate Bayguy's input in case I decide to do a Baltic!

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