Skip to comments.Living like a sultan at sea (Greene met man living full-time on cruise-ships at rock bottom rates)
Posted on 12/01/2013 2:23:10 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
The cruise-line industry is a rough business.
Every time a passenger ship leaves port with a guest cabin unoccupied, that's money the cruise operators are never going to see.
Last week Micky Arison, the longtime chief executive of Carnival Corp., announced that he will be stepping down; revenues at the world's largest cruise-ship line have been falling. Arison will remain as chairman of the firm, but a new CEO will step in.
Cruise companies have always had to contend with uncertainties in the economy, which sometimes make travelers cautious about planning leisure trips, and Carnival has faced widespread unpleasant publicity in recent years. The Costa Concordia, owned by a subsidiary of the corporation, ran aground and partially sank off the coast of Italy in 2012, killing 32 people.
The way he explained it to us, he had parted company with the corporation that employed him; we got the impression that this was not voluntary on his part. He had been given some severance.
So, he told us, he had figured out a way, for a relatively small amount of money, to live, for a while, like a king. Like a sultan at sea.
He was now, he said, residing virtually full-time on cruise ships -- eating gourmet meals, lounging in the sun, listening to music and going to stage shows at night, sleeping in freshly made-up beds with the oceans of the world lulling him to sleep.
How could he do this?
Each week, he explained, he'd get on his computer and do searches for cheap, last-minute cruise deals. There are websites that specialize in exactly that....
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
cruises rock, Go out of San Juan (Aruba, Carosau, St Maartins, and St Thomas)
No man will be a sailor who has contrivance enough to get himself into a jail; for being in a ship is being in a jail, with the chance of being drowned. A man in a jail has more room, better food and commonly better company. — Dr. Samuel Johnson
Similar to what I asked the Airborne (paratroopers) recruiter at my Army training school when he asked if I wanted to jump from airplanes; “Is the airplane on fire?”
My idea of a vacation is to get away from the huddled masses —not be enclosed on a ship with a crowd. Just my own opinion on the matter.
Years ago, I worked with a woman who wouldn't travel any other way. She belonged to a cruise club that offered spectacular last minute deals to its members. Let's say Carnival had a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean leaving tomorrow, but there was 1 unsold cabin left. The cruise line would offer the unsold cabin to the cruise club members for dirt cheap and the club would pass the offer on to its members. This coworker did several cruises that way.
The disadvantages are that you have to be able to pick up and go on a moment's notice and you may end up with a less desirable cabin (interior cabin near the bottom of the ship, as opposed to an outside cabin or a suite on one of the higher tiers). But if you were willing to put up with some minor inconveniences, the price was worth it. The coworker took one cruise for $25. Normally, at high season, she would have paid thousands.
Yeah. If you have a flexible schedule you can book a last minute cruise very cheap. We were taking them from Port Canaveral in FL, because it was an easy drive from where we live.
Every year, I tend to note various Turkish resorts trying to stay operational in the winter months. So from November to April, you can go from Germany to a five-star Turkish resort, with airfare and food included (including beverages) for around $500 for three weeks.
The thing is...you can always tack on another week for $100. So you do the math, and you sit at a five-star Turkish hotel in the winter...for two months, for around $800. That’s the five-star room, wine and beer all day, and three buffet meals a day. Frankly, you can’t beat the deal. It’s cheaper than any lifestyle you’d think of.
You could even max out...four months of this...for $1,600. Course, you need to be on retiree status to enjoy months of this.
My boyfriend and I did a cruise to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes in October and we did a Caribbean cruise a couple of years ago. It is about the most relaxing vacation imaginable. Try Royal Caribbean or Holland America. Go for the mid-sized ships since they can go places the huge megaliners can’t. If you have the time and the ability, tru one of the repositioning cruises where the line is shifting ships from Alaska to the Caribbean or back again. They go through the Panama Canal and that’s supposed to be quite an experience. It’s a cruise that is definitely on our bucket list.
I don’t think Mr. Johnson was talking about cruises when he wrote that. :)
I’ve been on three, paid for by work. All we paid for were tips for the shipboard workers and the flight to get there. One of them was actually on an ocean going liner. Which beat the crap out of what many of them do today. That would be loiter around off shore for gambling, and them hit a couple of ports.
The real danger of a cruise, is the amount of food you could consume in any given day.
Is the food really as good as I’ve heard it is? Is it much different on the different cruise lines? What’s the best place on the ship for a room? Which is the best company, in your opinion? Anyone ever been on one of those political cruises? Is there usually a doctor on board?
Or a repositioning cruise from Europe to the Caribbean...
I just did 16 days Barcelona to New Orleans...
I was alone, paid for 2, but about the same price I paid last year for 4 days on Disney in the Caribbean..
No way I could live like the guy in the article.
Food varies by cruise line. We have been on several Royal Carribean cruises and 1 Celebrity Cruise ( both mid priced companies) and were very pleased. The sit down meals were pretty lavish, or you could do the buffets which were okay. Some now have specialty restaurants where you can get a real fine dining experience ( for a little extra cost). Best place is upper cabins, outboard near mid ships ( my opinion), least motion for the squeamish, although the stabilizers really limit the “ motion of the ocean”.
There’s always a doctor on board and available 24/7.
Haven’t been on a political cruise but plan to take a National Review cruise some day soon.
It’s not for everyone, but we like being able to unpack once, go sightseeing, and return to our room to unwind cocktails dinner, maybe the show and a little gambling....
Not much good for a Boozer. The beer is outrageously high on a Cruise ship.
We've had cabins towards the front of the ship and right around the middle. I've talked to people who cruise a lot and they say that with all the stabilizing thingies on ships these days there really isn't a lot of difference between cabins on different parts of the ship. I like the cabins with the veranda because I like to sit and watch the water go by.
I like Royal Caribbean and Holland America, but I've also heard good things about Princess and Norwegian. You couldn't get me on a Carnival cruise. On Royal Caribbean I would pick cruises that are on the smaller ships - the ones around 90,000 tons. I just can't imagine what it's like on one of those 250,000 ton monsters with 6000 passengers. I think the service on Holland America is just a little bit fancier than Royal Caribbean, but service on both is great.
There are always one or two doctors and a couple of nurses on board. I never had to use one so I don't know what it's like from an insurance standpoint.
I'd recommend people try cruising without any preconceived notions. People like or dislike it for their own reasons.
Bookmarked for retirement.
We just got off holland American zandaam, buenos aires to val parasol. My second cruise. First. One carnival lots of kids running up and down even over night.
Holland was great. Professional operations. Captain took us into straights of Magellan and back out to Atlantic so we could go around the cape.
Plenty to do on board and some good ports and shore excursions. Service provided by Indonesians and Filipinos mostly. Great job and friendly people. My wife is Filipino and she must have know half the crew by voyage end.
Many ways to spend money on board or you can eat and do free activities to minimize costs.
I’m not a big cruise guy, but if I go again I’ll pick holland America.
Ps I was impressed by measures to avoid gastrointestinal viruses.
Auto hand washers at each dining room.
We didn’t help ourselves at buffet for 48 hours. Everything handed to us.
Antibacterial hand cleaner everywhere.
Railings etc bring cleaned constantly.
I like a cabin with window. On this trip saw glaciers and snow-capped mountains from rom. Picked cabin on right side of ship for more land views.
Used wifi daily but not in cabin. Had to go to library and nearby to get good connection.
Shouldn’t every buffet have an auto hand washer?
If you are in a special diet, the cruise line will try to accommodate you. You may have to let the line or your travel agent know your dietary needs before you cruise. However, most cruise lines offer healthy choices anyway for people watching their weight or whatever.
Cruise ships have elevators for the disabled and newer ones are being made more handicapped accessible.
As stated, there is a doctor on board. But if you are on prescription medication, you should bring an ample amount with you as it may be difficult or impossible to procure, particularly if you are cruising foreign countries.
I’ve cruised with only 3 lines — Carnival, Princess and Norwegian. I liked Princess the best. Service was outstanding — even more so than the other 2. I can’t say I ever had a bad time in any of cruises. Some were just better than others.
Took a Mediterranean cruise with Princess. One of the amenities was a basket of fruit left in the cabin for the whole cruise. One morning, we were on our way out of the cabin ad our cabin steward was coming in to clean. I happened to say to my mother that the peaches in that fruit basket were outstanding. The steward overheard because when we came back to the cabin later, the basket was filled with peaches. The last full day of the cruise, the steward made a point of apologizing. He was out of peaches.
Heck, I just wanted to be the first (fool) into battle at 17... lucky me that it didn’t happen when I was young and dumb, but the wings became the source of pride and happiness for over 20-years;)
“My idea of a vacation is to get away from the huddled masses not be enclosed on a ship with a crowd”
Well then look into ‘Windjammer Cruises’
I crossed the Pacific six times between 1951 and 1961 on MSTS. Seattle to Yokohama. Yokohama to Seattle. Not exactly a cruise line, tho.
About 30 years ago I took two Mediterranean cruises free of charge. Unfortunately it was aboard the USS Nimitz and the accommodations were sub par. Was able to visit some interesting places though.
My wife and I go on several cruises a year. Our 16’ cruise ship fits nicely on top of the Jeep and sometimes we don't see another human for days.
Then look at their "90 Day Ticker". Prices drop as the sailing date approaches.
Mrs BN & I found an 11 day Hawaii cruise a few years back. Most Hawaii cruises are 7 days around the islands. However, US regulations require a foreign registered ship to visit a foreign port between leaving the US and returning to a US port. Norwegian Cruise lines only had a foreign registered ship available for this cruise. The closest foreign "port" was the Fanning Island ( Tabuaeran) in the republic of Kiribati, 1000 miles south of Hawaii.
So, we steamed 2 days to Fanning Is., an atoll about 5 miles by 10 miles. They launched the shuttle boats, we all went to the beach for a picnic for most of the day, rented bicycles and rode around visiting villages, then loaded back on the cruise ship for the 2 day sail back to Hawaii.
Our inside cabin was normally $559/person. We took the $50 upgrade to choose our cabin and ended up with a "handicapped" cabin, about twice the size of the regular cabin, for $599 each.
Last year we really wanted to take a last minute San Francisco to Australian, 23 day cruise with stops at several Hawaiian islands, Tahiti, Bora Bora, 5 stops in New Zealand and several in Australia. Cost for 23 days was $1995. Airfare was extra, of course.
Alas, commitments and bank accounts conspired to keep us from taking that wonderful cruise.
Generally, you can cruise for close to $100/day, if you shop and catch bargains.
|FastDeal #||Nights||Ends In||Cruise Line / Ship||Ship Rating 1-6 Stars||Brochure||Our||YOU||Status|
|#10139 Info||14||Guadeloupe||Costa Cruises / Costa Mediterranea||4||$1,629||$390||76%||Military Rate!|
|#11390 Info||10||Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands||Costa Cruises / Costa Classica||3||$1,089||$609||44%|
|#17675 Info||12||Athens (Piraeus), Greece||Holland America / Rotterdam VI||4.5||$3,079||$629||80%||80% Off!|
|#22551 Info||11||Athens (Piraeus), Greece||Holland America / Rotterdam VI||4.5||$2,879||$629||78%||Exclusive Offer!|
|#14881 Info||10||Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cunard / Queen Victoria||5||-||$702||Info||Balcony!|
|#16426 Info||11||Fort Lauderdale, FL||Cunard / Queen Elizabeth||5||$802||$802||0|
Floating on a tin can.
In the middle of nowhere.
With 5,000 strangers.
And germs galore.
Boy, that really sounds like fun.
I could never understand the appeal of it.
My wife and I went on our first cruise with Norwegian for our 25th anniversary. The best time we ever had! I did some math, you don’t have to keep switching to find cruise deals. You can get an inside cabin for $400/week. Don’t know if they would let you book for the entire year but that’s $20,800 and you live like a king/queen!
Anti-bacterial hand cleaner has no effect on gastrointestinal viruses.
Lots of folks here shoulda just joined the Navy or Coast Guard.
I am done floating around waiting to catch fire or sink or both.
Vacations to Go is a good site but there are others. You can usually get the same deals at any large travel site.
Also, you don’t necessarily have to wait till the last minute to get good deals. We booked a cruise last July and watched the cruise line website for price adjustments. Price went down by about 20% for about a week and then back up. Called the cruise line during the drop and they adjusted my fare to meet the drop. Booked early and got the cabin I wanted and got the ‘sale’ price too. Just have to watch.
Also, most cruise lines make sure the travel agencies do not discount their fares but the travel agencies can give you On Board Credits (OBC), money you can spend while on board for booze, etc. Booked a cruise through Costco and got a $450 OBC which I would not have gotten had I booked direct with the line.
Need to watch closely though. Sometimes the cruise lines or travel agencies will offer various deals (maybe OBC or free booze) but will increase the price to cover the deal. A few weeks later the deal will go away and the price will drop too.
One final thing. Some cruise lines will offer military discounts (princess has a standing offer of $100 OBC on almost all cruises). Some are more restrictive. Some offer OBC if you own the cruise line stock.
You need to research to get the best deals.
You were there to work. And you didn’t pay big bucks for all those sailings. :)
We were guests.
First, courtesy of the US Army.
Then as a supplier to Interlake.
I went once and although I enjoyed it I would not go again.
I had to wear "survival pants"--elastic waistbands.
No amount of walking took care of the MOUNTAIN of food consumed. Now, older, I know that cruises aren't worth the expanding waistbands. It's an activity for the young and VERY active or the old and not-very-hungry-anymore.
No kidding. And these people are paying to go?
The DuPont spent 1974 and 1975 in the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia for an overhaul.
Cmdr. C.D. Collis assumed command in Autumn 1975. In January 1976, the DuPont relocated to D&S piers, Norfolk Naval Base, and commenced sea trials in the Virginia Capes.
From 1976 to 1979, the DuPont made the following cruises and port visits:
Carribean Refresher Training February 1976 to April 1976
That is good advice for most travel. My wise mother once said, you should keep an open mind when traveling. She was right.
And if you are traveling overseas, you have to remember that other countries don't do things or have the same comforts as we do. You have to be flexible and willing to adapt.
Carnival has received the worst PR for a spate of mishaps in recent years, but the truth is that every cruise line has had some misfortune at one time or another. These bad events just didn't make it to the media. However, cruising is safe — it's not the Titanic. In fact, as a result of the Titanic, various measures were put into place to assure passenger safety. And all ships are equipped with computers and what not to spot any trouble (eg. a hurricane) so it can be avoided.
I recommend for those who have never cruised before to take a short cruise first — say, a 3 day cruise from Florida to the Bahamas and back. That was my first cruise. It gave me an idea of what cruising was like and what to expect on any future cruises I might take. But if I found out I didn't like cruising, I was stuck on the ship for only 3 days instead of 7, 10 or more days
I’ve been around some pretty wealthy people. The thing I noticed, which is opposite of how this guy lives, is that they don’t have to do any planing. They decide to go on a vacation the day before they go, and they decide where they’re going as they drive off. Hawaii, skiing, tour of Europe, wherever, the staff takes care of it. And there are always a couple cute college girls along to help with the kids.
This guy’s life is nothing.
Here is a tip for any cruise, but especially Alaska.
At every port, rent a car.
The drive up to Whitehorse, Yukon was very memorable.
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