Cruise questions, "cruise" vs. "voyage"--Kind of rambling, but bear with me

Recently we took a cruise from L.A. to Vancouver, and we are thinking about taking another one next year, only this time south to Puerto Vallarta and that region of Mexico.

Although I enjoyed the trip for the sheer adventure of it, I wouldn’t call it a cruise exactly. It was more like a “voyage”, in that we faced fairly rough seas–rough enough to affect my appetite–and generally chilly overcast weather, much more than I would have expected in May. It was too cold to go out and do the outdoor things people do on cruises. Secondly, my wife got sick–not seasick, but sick with a bad cold, and the line didn’t offer smokefree cabins. My wife is sensitive to cigarette smoke, or even the smell of someone having recently smoked in a room. Finally, the average age of the passengers must have been about 68. It’s not a problem exactly, but it made us feel as though we were in Leisure World. Of course, many aspects of the trip were very nice. Being out travelling is a lot of fun, as it is to spend a week not working, not driving, not running errands, and so on.

So I’m wondering if we should even be considering cruising again. Do different shipping lines have somewhat younger clienteles? Smoke free cabins? By sailing south to a warm country, would we exponentially increase our enjoyment? And are the seas between Southern California and southern Mexico usually calm?

I’m no expert on cruises having only been on one, but a smoke tainted cabin was something I worried about before going because it brings on my asthma attacks. I sailed with P&O and I dont remember any choice of smoking/no smoking cabin. No smoking in any of the restaurants of course and different areas were designated as S/NS. Our cabin did have a faint aroma of a previous smoker (especially if you came in contact with the fabric on the headboard of the bed-don’t ask me how I know)
I have been told that seasickness, if you are prone to it, isn’t a problem as they can give you medication to alleviate it.
Although on my cruise there were a fair number of children aboard the majority were of a more mature persuasion. I think it’s because it isn’t the cheapest option for a holiday and older folk generally have slightly more disposable income.
I consider the biggest problem though was the availability of food 24 hours a day :slight_smile:

This is what puzzles me about the age thing, though. Once you’ve decided on plunking down $1500 or $2000 on a vacation, and to actually travel someplace fairly far away, instead of just piling in the car and going camping, a cruise becomes one of your cheaper options. You’d think that there are plenty of middle-aged and even young people who could opt for a cruise, as opposed to flying there and back, and spending as much just for the hotel room and flights, without meals included, as they would for an all-inclusive cruise. Of course, in this regard I’m thinking mainly of childless couples, or couples whose children are grown and on their own…hmmm…maybe that is a big reason for the prevalence of older people.

You’ll get a HUGE variation in age ranges depending on which cruise line you take. Princess, Norwegian, and Holland come to mind as “older” cruise lines. Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean seem more family-oriented to me.

You will have much better luck with weather in the Caribbean (hurricanes notwithstanding). I’m not sure about the non-smoking cabin thing. Some ships/lines are better about enforcing non-smoking areas on deck. There are a few message boards out there totally dedicated to cruising. (I’m a member of one.)

I can’t wait for our next cruise. We depart 10/23 on the Mariner of the Seas (Royal Caribbean). We have a Western Caribbean itinerary: Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and either Key West or the RCI private island.

Could you give me the link to that?

As already stated my experience is pretty limited but it’s my impression that there is still an element of the way cruises used to be years ago when Col. and Lady Vetch would take an annual cruise to Egypt. The richness of the furnishings, the pianist or band playing for you, just signing a chit for a drink along with the silver service in the restaurants seems to hark back to a different age. This may not appeal to some families although the line I sailed with made plenty of provisions for children even to the extent of looking after them for most of the day.
I know that in my case there is no way that I could have afforded to take a cruise when both my kids were living at home- nor am I convinced they would have wanted to go.
Strictly speaking you needn’t spend a penny once on board but once you factor in all the little extras it does put up the price from the basic amount.

True, but I think it’s still a bargain compared to a three-star hotel or better plus incidentals.

It’s the Cruise boards here: It’s a VBulletin board, but it does have banner ads at the top and boatloads of huge signatures, avatars, and .img files. As a member (it’s free), I opend to turn all of those OFF!