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» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Small Ship Cruising: Eastern Med and Aegean

   
Author Topic: Small Ship Cruising: Eastern Med and Aegean
PullmanCo
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Has anyone done either the Eastern Med or the Aegean Seas by small ship (<100 cabins) cruise???

I'm contemplating taking my sweetie there in 2017. We will start from Tel Aviv, where I'll do either the 1/2 Marathon or the 10K, and then take a week doing the cruise.

Appreciations in advance!

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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sbalax
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The smallest we've done was Azamara at 750 pax. It's a great area to cruise in.

Frank in sunny and warm SBA

Posts: 2154 | From: Santa Barbara, CA, USA | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
palmland
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The eastern Med is on our bucket list, but have done a couple small ship cruises. Our son was the hotel director (handle all passenger functions: cabins, dining, bar/lounge) for Clipper Cruise line (no longer around). The four ships handled 100-130 passengers. Thanks to a discount (they are quite pricey) we were able to try cruises in the Caribbean and Alaska.

We were totally spoiled. What I don't like about large ships is that you forgot you're at sea with 2 or 3000 of your closest friends. On his ships we knew most of the passengers (on a positioning cruise to Alaska there were only 35 on board) and crew. The captain would often deviate from his course if he saw an interesting cove to hole up for cocktails and sunset, or get a closer look at wildlife. The food was wonderful as was the service. Crew members in zodiacs brought mimosas to us as we snorkeled in secluded coves that large ships couldn't reach because of their draft. In short, you will love it. Our only regret: we didn't join him on an Antarctica cruise.

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Gilbert B Norman
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This appears to be a cruise related topic, so may as well post this here:

http://wtnh.com/2016/02/09/us-senator-calls-for-investigation-of-cruise-ship-in-storm/

When I view the Love Tubs coming and going from Miami (at the hotel, I always pay extra for a high floor room with a Port of Miami view), I have often wondered, with their high superstructures, just how seaworthy they are. Well fortunately, the Anthem of the Seas laid any such concerns to rest.

However, that doesn't mean I'm rushing out to book a cruise. The six of 'em I went on some thirty years ago were "quite enough".

Posts: 9390 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PullmanCo
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My goal is not to take a larger than an aircraft carrier city at sea. My goal is to take a small vessel, where life is more intimate.

If I wanted to live in a big city... oh, wait, I do.

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The City of Saint Louis (UP, 1967) is still my standard for passenger operations

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Gilbert B Norman
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Speaking of Love Tubs, I'm not sure if this Times reporter would be about to agree with my earlier "seaworthiness" statement regarding "Anthem of the Seas":

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/21/travel/royal-caribbean-cruise-anthem-of-the-seas.html

Fair Use

  • There were two things that happened during the storm that made me begin to believe that my life was in jeopardy. The first involved a tilt of the ship that came so hard and so fast that I was completely knocked off my bed and onto the floor. It gave me some insight into how extreme the winds and seas we’d encountered were at the time. For a colossal ship like the Anthem of the Seas to get jerked around like that, well, it said something.

    The second was when the Anthem of the Seas remained in a tilted, roughly 45-degree position (this is known as “listing”) for a lengthy stretch of time (estimates vary; it seemed like an hour to me, but it was probably really 20 or 25 minutes). I’m no nautical expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m knowledgeable enough about ships to know that any sea vessel listing for an extended period of time is a ship that is in potential danger, especially a top-heavy ship like the Anthem of the Seas. All that weight — tons upon tons — hanging at an incline runs the risk of capsizing a ship because of the duress placed on it by its own heft, which means it could then potentially sink

Posts: 9390 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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This column (really, what else is the travel section of any paper?), appearing yesterday in The Times, just makes me say "why would anyone submit to this Ship of Fools experience?":

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/travel/norwegian-escape-cruise-ship.html?

Fair Use:

  • I was determined to walk the plank. But first I wanted to check out the Mr. **** Legs Competition. It was held poolside on Sunday, the day after we sailed. Nine shirtless men with big numbers painted on their bellies twerked for the crowd before submitting to bottom-grabbing and ******-pinching by three middle-age female judges.

    Many of the contestants appeared over 40 and had soft, leathery hides. Not No. 9, a hard-bodied young man who could do handsprings.

    “You clearly look like you spend time in the gym,” said Silas Cook, the ship’s cruise director and competition M.C., who came from the Casey Kasem school of extreme vocal resonance.

    “I take steroids,” the man said.

    By popular choice, the winner was contestant No. 3. He had closely cropped gray hair and a prosthetic leg and had made a big impression dancing with his cane to “Great Balls of Fire.”
I realize that we have devoted "cruisers" around here, and some appear to have displaced Amtrak riding for such pastime. But for me, just as well I "got the bug out" thirty years ago before these "tenements of the sea" became "de rigueur".

Continuing with more "travel masochism", here is a column from Sunday's Times a few weeks ago, describes "life aloft in the back of the bus nowadays". To get to your cruise, this is reportedly what you are looking at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/29/travel/shrinking-airline-seats.html

Fair Use:

  • Seats were 18 inches wide before airline deregulation in the 1970s and have since been whittled to 16 and a half inches, he said, while seat pitch used to be 35 inches and has decreased to about 31 inches. At the same time, the average man is 30 pounds heavier today than he was in 1960 (196 pounds compared with 166 pounds) and the average woman is 26 pounds heavier (166 pounds, up from 140 pounds), Mr. Cohen said, citing statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smaller seats and larger passengers mean planes may not be capable of rapid evacuation in the event of an emergency, he said. “This affects safety and health.”

    Representative Janice Hahn of California, a co-sponsor of the bill, added that passengers on cramped planes are getting in fights over products like the Knee Defender (about $22), the controversial clamps designed to attach to the arms of your tray table and prevent the person in front of you from reclining (possibly inciting a confrontation, though you can always hand your fellow passenger a Knee Defender Courtesy Card, which notes that you “realize that this may be an inconvenience”).
All I know is that should there be more overseas travel in what remains of this life, it will either be Business Class or simply "forget it". I could not foresee any reason to go overseas, such as a family emergency, for other than discretionary travel.
Posts: 9390 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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