Spent the evening last night with thirteen possible cruise mates...
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|Sat, 05-26-2012 - 10:30am|
First, a little background. DH belongs to a book club which meets on Thursdays --- lots of university falcuty types in that group. And he also belongs to a senior golf leaghue which has some overlap.
One of the overlap members (from whom DH often borrows a pick-up for heavy hauling) is one of those ex-faculty and pretty much of an intellectual (New Yorker Magazine, New York Times, The Atlantic... get the picture?)> He was once a faculty member on "Semester at Sea" and last December, he and his wife took one of those enrichment cruises down the Amazon offered by the same people. Now he's eligible for deep discounts and since the enrichemnt program is planning a 28-day cruise of the Atlantic coasts of Eurpoe and Africa, he decided to talk memebrs of that book club and senior league (and two couples who probably are other faculty types) to take advantage of his discount and take that cruise.
So we went to this meeting (there were fifteen of us) to hear all about his experiences with this cruise concept and see if we would be interested.
*possibly interesting itinerary and in spring (April 26 - May 25) which gives us the opportunity of spending time in SE ENgland with freinds after the cruise... a real temptation
*possibly interesting companions
*we have been to five of the ports-of-call (in no particular order Edinburgh, Monte Carlo, Florence - 2 days, Amsterdam - 2 days and Southampton --- and DH has been to Casablanca - 2 days) before and am not really sure we want to spend roughly 25% of the cruise time in cities we have already explored.
*not sure we are really really interested in being "educated" with all these seminars and "classes". Don't get me wrong, on several of our cruises, we've had enrichment lectures and enjoyed them very much (Oceania wasn't really big on enrichment lectures but they did have an "artist on board" and the like so that helped in the few "at sea" days), but these seminars sound a lot more 'intellectual" --- no necessarily my cuppa, if you get my drift (and some of the others there seemed a little doubtful about that too).
*not sure we are totally with the idea of sailing with "freinds" --- we've holidayed with friends before, freinds we knew a lot better than these people, and it was a disaster, more often than not. (some of the others have expressed issues with this --- travelling with one couple they know realtively well and 5 others thay have never met --- DH is better off than most in that he knew about half the people there but I didn't relaly know ANY of them well and only two of them slightly)
* the discount doesn't include air fare or airport-to ship connections (which our more "upscale" cruise line provides), and like other cruises, shore excursions are extra, and DH says no way he's going to spend 18 days in a "tiny" cabin with no veranda so the cost will be more than we were presented with
* some comments last night indicated that the food wasn't many steps above dorm food! AAACK! (Again, some of the others - different others - seemed a little concerned about that as well!)
*28 days is a long time to be away...(Again, others had issues with that --- and while the cruise was presented as a two-parter and one could opt for part one, part two or both, the half-tours invoved LeHavre, France as a mid-point and I can see real issues with getting to and from that port from the nearest airport --- Paris de Gaulle? Not something I want to deal with...
and finally --- we'd have to commit by the end of June and their refund policy isn't NEARLY as generous as Oceania's was (by the way, our money was refunded promptly). Since we just cancelled a cruise because of needing a new roof and the $$$ that entails, I don't think I want to try to juggle a different cruise payment schedule with the same roof!
On the way home last night, DH was saying he was burning out on cruises and group tours and...Hmmmm. He's the one who signed up for the last two... Maybe we can revert back to our old plans --- fly to someplace we've always wanted to see more of and stay a while.
What do you all think? Should we or should we not?