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How are we doing? The State of Cruise Addicts

Discussion in 'Community Message Board' started by John, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. Beryl

    Beryl Trivia Specialist

    Oh please....not a game page...all the games are exactly where they belong...on the community board where they were generally started on quiet days to keep us all amused!! They always remind me of a family sitting around the kitchen table on a rainy evening playing cards or yahtzee or trivial pursuit...it's a community activity and the games belong on the community board! (JMNSHO :biggrin:)
  2. red stripe

    red stripe Well-Known Member

    I can understand the frustration of people that want to join in group cruises but find that the times do not meet with their schedules.
    But we do all we can to vary them as much as possible.. keeping in mind that we also have schedules, and that the board is not Einsteins place of employment... He is still employed and not retired.. so his boss calls the shots also.:(

    We also have to answer to other responsibilities also.

    I am sorry that you have not been able to make any of the group cruises, either ours or Mary Ann's.

    It was a shame when we saw you in San Francisco for the duck cruise and you were not going on it.
    But as you mentioned.. it was really good to meet up with you in the flesh at long last. These pre cruise meetings cvan be a lot of fun.

    Unfortunately anyone trying to run group cruises are going to get into a scheduling problem now and then. And in spite of their best efforts, they will never be able to get a time when everyone can go.
    But wow.. wouldn't that be wonderful.. a ship totally filled with cruise addicts.

    I can only speak for the ones we run.
    We have run them in January, February, March and April. October, November.
    This means that we are hitting 6 months out of the year.

    And in 2012 we are getting one going for May.. bring it to 7 months out of the year.

    The Duck cruise was in August, yet it still could not fit everyone's schedule either.

    So between the only two sets of people doing group cruising whether formal or informal.. we have covered every month out of the year except 5 of them... December. and the summer months..

    And as Einstein and I usually do the Caribbean, those summer months are not good ones to sail down there.
    I once went on a cruise in June there with my mother.. and it made my weather today look and feel like Spring.:biggrin:

    Also, We have tried other cruise lines, so as to please people that wanted to sail on other than princess.. (our favorite) HAL, Celebrity and RCL

    We prefer the 10 day cruises, but have done 7 day ones, and have one going now (Radiance of the Seas ) that gives the opportunity to do a 5 day, 7 day or both.
    And the Alaska one in May will be two 7 day cruises back to back. Giving people the chance to do either of both. to include a land tour pre or post cruise.

    We have varied sailing ports. Although I am still hoping that we can do one from New Orleans one day.. but so fat nothing has popped up that looks like a good fit.

    The funniest memories are from the Mexican Riviera cruise..
    We had heard from people asking for one sailing from 'their" side of the land. So we ran that one.

    We still get a laugh out of it to this day in that almost all of the cruisers on that cruise flew in from the East coast. and that most of the same people that asked for this cruise ended up not going on it:biggrin:

    It would be wonderful if one of you that have not been able to jump on one of the previous cruises due to scheduling problems run one yourself. After all, there must be a lot out there that also can not sail in Jan through march, and Oct and November.

    There is no lock down on running the boards group cruises, follow the guidelines that John mentioned.
    That is it.

    I think we (me, Einstein, John etc .) thought that when John first asked us to do the first group cruises that by now we would have someone running one for the board about every month of the year.

    There are a lot of you out there that are very organized that would be well suited to running one, so how about it?
  3. BSeabob

    BSeabob Reinststed due to good behavior-Subject to change Staff Member

    Hey Red..

    "We still get a laugh out of it to this day in that almost all of the cruisers on that cruise flew in from the East coast. and that most of the same people that asked for this cruise ended up not going on it:biggrin: "

    You talkin' about me maybe ??? :biggrin:

    Something that I would also like to mention about putting a "Group" cruise together. It sure is not for most of us. Me for sure and I appreciate those that do do it. It's tuff work sometimes.
    I don't want to get stuck on Group cruises but there are so many variables in planning....Timing, Money, Is it "Your Line" ? they are going on, Itinerary, just to mention a few.
    It's a complicated business actually and no one should think that anyone organizing such an effort could possibly please everyone.

    & I really really would like to cruise with a C@'s group some day. but you know I have all these other things I need to do and WANT.
    If it works it will work and no one should feel left out for any reason here at Cruise Addicts.
  4. nieciez

    nieciez Well-Known Member Community Sponsor

    Good reminder Red that anyone can "Step Up to the Plate" as long as they follow John's guidlines :doubleup:. And even if you can't get a blessing for an "Official" group cruise, you can always organize a unofficial group like we did with our ABBBA group to Bermuda from Philly and there were the Crabbies the week after us from Baltimore.

    We've had a lot of teacher's on the board who say they can only cruise in the summer and I've always been surprised between them and @ddict's with children haven't organized a group cruise in mid-summer. I know when Maw planned her Alaska cruise in August a few years ago with her family that she put out an open invitation that Jan, Leatherneck and I took :biggrin: We weren't an "Official" group cruise but we sure had a good time. Sometimes small groups are just as fun as you have more time to inter-act.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  5. Mgram

    Mgram Well-Known Member

    Glo.........really good to see you! PLEASE keep posting.......you have been missed. You know this is the places where friends hang out.....even ones who rarely cruise now for various reasons......mostly the lack of $$$! I don't go on the group cruises.......but I do cruise with a group of friends who ALL met because of this board.
  6. red stripe

    red stripe Well-Known Member

    hummm.. actually I had forgotten you.. but now that you mention it.:biggrin:

    Although to give you your due.. you had not asked us to do a cruise from the left coast either.
    But... I know that you like Celebrity... Oh yes.. we did one ..er two on Celebrity also.:hammer:


    very good points Denise.

    Also, although we have been blessed with some of you doing more than one group cruise, we have also had a bunch of them that only did one.
    To meet all of them if only one time was a real treat.

    Hopefully one day in the future one of the group cruises will fall at the right time, in terms of not only the time of the year, but also financially, port of departure, destination and ship.

    We look forward to meeting everyone.

    And if anyone wants to run one and needs help, we will do all we can.

  7. iluvcruzin

    iluvcruzin Well-Known Member

    You know Denise.. I had the same thoughts. We had an "unoffical" group cruise in which each person decided who they wanted to book with. It doesn't take long to gather up a group if people have similar interests. I remember how quickly we put together ABBBA.

    It doesn't take much to start up a group cruise. It's a matter of picking a date and itenerary you want to go and then asking if anyone wants to join you. If you get enough interest to get perks and free berths or discounted prices that's great. If you don't then that's ok too.

    For the "official" group cruises, I personally think they have run their course to the point that it's the same small group of close knit friends. There is usually a winter and fall cruise selection. It just complicates things when adding survey posts to who wants to go when and where. By the time a group cruise is announced, the itenerary is selected. Either people want to or not. It's that simple.

    I like going on group crusies because it's fun to travel with others more than just as a couple. Official or not. I wouldn't mind going on a European cruise in 2012 if anyone else is game. I don't see being able to draw a great deal of interest on that but even a few would make it memorable.
  8. NiteStar

    NiteStar Well-Known Member

    OK Red.....I vote for that one you mentioned you hoped to do out of New Orleans! I can drive there! :sunny: However.....even better.....I think you need to give Carnival a chance and book one on the brand spanking new Carnival Magic out of Galveston! :biggrin: :whistle:
  9. red stripe

    red stripe Well-Known Member

    Good statement...:doubleup:
    That is the way we feel too, as by no means do ALL group cruises reach the "free Berth" stage.

    That is why although we do try to meet peoples needs.. 7 day cruises VS. 10.. different cruise-lines etc. the bottom line is that we also want to do that particular cruise.
    As once we have put one out there, we will do it no matter if it only ends up with 4 or 6 couples. As in no way will we bail out just because it does not meet the count.

    NiteStar. I would love to do one from that area in the future. Either Galveston or New Orleans are fun ports to sail from.

    We are also thinking about doing a Summer one that goes up the coast to places like Halifax, Nova Scotia etc.

    I was reading a lovely article on these cruises in the "Cruise Travel" magazine the other week, and mentioned that it was a good itinerary. And that they were running them not only just for Autumn, but in the summer months too. Summer appeals to us.

    And if someone gets one up for Europe, then that gives even more options.

    So fortunately there are about as many ports to cruise from as there is people able to run them.

    And if group cruises are not your thing.. then the informal ones that have been mentioned are great fun too.

    Lets face it, with those no one has to run anything, you just agree to sail together, make your own bookings and turn up.

    No organized parties, just informal gatherings as you want them.

    There is tons of people, cabins and ships for both these ways of doing it.. also for the couple that want to stay the heck away from any group and just sail on their own.

    Hopefully we will see the economy turn around, and more people getting involved in putting them together in the next few years.:spyglass:

  10. tango55

    tango55 Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything you say about groups. I can't remember what the official rules are about starting an official group cruise. But for some reason I didn't do it. Can someone post the official rules again?

    I have a group in Europe next September that maybe some would be interested in?

    Thanks, Terry
  11. red stripe

    red stripe Well-Known Member

    That is great news Terry,

    John did say how to go about it somewhere in this thread.
    And I found the document that was originally posted to spell it out, but think that perhaps it is a bit out of date.
    So I would send John an email telling him what you would like to do, and asking him for the up to date guidelines.
    good luck with this.
  12. tango55

    tango55 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Red I will do that. I seem to remember though that one of the conditions was using the official travel agent (Skyscraper Tours I think) and while I have used them in the past, I am now a travel agent, and would like to be the travel agent for the group.

    I will send John a message and see if that has changed.

    Thanks, Terry
  13. bob

    bob Chief Engineer Staff Member

    The official agent just has to be an accepted agent, there is not a cast in stone official agent but just one that John approves and is capable of handling a large group, and is willing to accepts the Cruise Addicts terms.
  14. Lurline63

    Lurline63 Well-Known Member

    Bear with me, please. This is going to be a two-parter.

    John, I had no idea this existed... and I will use it now that I know it is available. Thank you for pointing this out. I'll get the ball rolling on this through a post in Aft Deck, where we'll decide on a couple of times. Should I create a new chat room name, or just use the one for Aft Deck that is already there?

    Now, part 2, as this part of my post seems to have been overlooked:

    I was going to forget it, but as I was addressed either directly or indirectly in subsequent posts about group cruise participation, and what I should be doing about it, I have to respond.

    Another member and I attempted to put together a group cruise a few years ago. There was little interest. The main reason we kept hearing -- and understandable at that -- was that many had just been on the official group cruise and couldn't swing another so soon. That's fine -- I can cruise only once or twice a year (usually once), so I certainly understand.

    As for not being able to join existing cruises -- one key issue for those of us with kids is that our summer cruises need to be planned out way in advance as cabins that accommodate three or four are more difficult to come by as time passes. This is why I couldn't go on this particular, unofficial cruise. I had already booked a cruise with extended family (who are also teachers, BTW). We were unable to join another unofficial cruise last year as we had already booked the deal of a lifetime on Prinsendam.

    This all said, it does not address the point of my initial note: I perceive two sets of members -- those that go on the official group cruises, and those who don't, so improving this site must involve some way of bringing us together in real time. That's how my solution of reinstating regular chats came about. (BTW, this is not a replacement for Maw's Office Ramble, which is certainly a VERY inclusive and appreciated part of this site -- just a real-time addition.)

    I am hopeful that the chat solution will help bring these two groups closer. That is, if you are all still talking to me. :truce:
  15. John

    John I'm on Island Time Staff Member

    Hi All, I will be looking up what was written previously and reply to the PM's about this. Thank you so much for the interest. We'll see how it all works out.
  16. herb

    herb First Original Member

    I would like to openly discuss my dislike of PM's instead of sending this to John via PM..

    I am constantly reading posts about how civil and endearing everyone posts are on this site... as opposed to many posts on cruisecritic. That's because the only posts replied to "openly" are the civil and endearing

    It just so happens that cruisecritic has disabled their PM's ... therfore the only way to voice an opinion (good or bad) is on the open forum.
    I'm sure there's alot of "ruffled feathers" and "negativity" here on c@ but it's all hidden in personal PM's... doesn't make it any better IMHO. Actually I think that it's even worse that way... it gives a false impression...
  17. John

    John I'm on Island Time Staff Member

    Hi, I understand your feelings and I'm happy to learn each users perception of what they find and more importanly feel when here within this community. I think its important that each user be able to express themselves and feel good about their visit here. Especially If they feel excluded or limited. I'm glad you feel the chat solution will help bring these two groups together. It is always my goal that everyone feel empowered and freely part of one large community of Cruise Addicts. Its definately human nature for people and/or groups to pair off over time as they build personal relationships.

    As the moment every registered user can easily share or do the following.

    1. Post or reply to a forum post
    2. Create, Edit and Decorate an original Blog
    3. Create, Add, Edit and Share Photo Albums
    4. Post a Ship Review with photos, videos and more with a new WYSIWYG editor.
    5. Post and Edit a Cruise Tracker Entry
    6. Comment and Discuss a News Articles
    7. Chat, Play Games, Draw.. and More via our Chat Bar

    Why did I list all of this? Because we have over 7 different ways in which each user can express themselves as individuals... talk about their lives, their cruise, their day. Could this also be about a group.. sure. But.. my point is this site is a platform to communicate and share with one another. Each user will find themselves enjoying some features more than others (some like Photography, some like the forums, some enjoy ship reviews, chat rooms, etc).

    This may be alittle long but, I think I wanted to express my philosophy on this. I can't control everything help provide solutions.
  18. John

    John I'm on Island Time Staff Member

    Hi Herb, I know some users find confrontation and arguements entertaining. I've seen this on many sites and some of the threads are vey long and it can be interesting. Its kinda like how some drive by a car accident and ask "What Happened? Is everyone OK? Or Maybe Not?" and rubberneck.

    We chose to intentionally limit this type of atmosphere. Would we be more popular with more debate or confrontation? Maybe or Maybe not?

    I think its an interesting question, thanks for bringing this up. It makes me wonder.
  19. Einstein

    Einstein Well-Known Member

    Due to my busy work schedule I have had little or no time to participate in this thread lately. Perhaps that's a good thing as well as a bad. So briefly here is my take on what I have read.

    I believe there are some VERY constructive comments and as always EVERYONE'S opinions are warranted. I think to a degree Maureen is correct in that some of the involvement in the so called Group cruise offerings has decreased.

    How much is debatable and I will go into it a bit here. I am throwing out the MOSAIC because it was inflated due to Johns wedding involvement and other large family bookings.

    Without that particular Group the largest Group sailings after that were in the 60 - 70 person range and there were only 2 or 3 of those. Most have been in the 20 - 40 person range.

    As has been stated when we make mention of a cruise that may or may not become a official Group Cruise sanctioned thru John and C@'s we do so know that whether it grows to 60 or meanders around 15 or 20 we will still be going and having a good time associating with whomever decides to go.

    So when its mentioned that others have tried and failed to establish a Group Cruise I guess the explanation lies in the meaning of failure. Since our happiness is just gathering at sea with othe C@'s whether it be with 10 or 70 it still is the same in our mind as we are cruising with folks from this site. Some that we have met and others that we have NEVER met.

    I would like to believe that the failure that others believe they have in establishing a Group cruise is more in mindset of what they believe is successful vs unsuccessful. With 1000's of registered members I would like to think that even if there were say 50 registered members on one so called Group cruise that there are still 1000's of other members to appeal to for other Group potentials.

    I do believe that the Group concept is one that is in the minority as most folks tend to cruise on their own, It takes a special concept to be successful in the Group environment and I think MANY folks here at C@'s possess that potential. I belief the REAL issue is with setting reasonable goals when stepping into the Group settings.

    Our belief is and always has been that any group NO matter how BIG or HOW small of C@'s on a ship is going to be a successful and fun gathering. I guess that is why we do have a good time whether it be 15 or 50. I also believe that the downturned economy has had a LARGE effect on the cruise industries and the # of folks that cruise on perhaps a MORE limited basis.

    I guess I also am a bit befuddled at the split community concept with an US vs THEM vision. I am and always have dispelled this belief as I think the belief is a bit overblown. But that is only belief and others have the right to theirs.

    I do agree with John here in that there will ALWAYS be a tendency for some people to fit better with others and therefore they will tend to be perhaps a bit closer. That concept starts out in our younger years of our schooling unfortunately and never leaves us after that. That being said this community tends to be about the friendliest in nature that I have witnessed thru the internet and that says a LOT for its members. As for still talking too U Lisa63 ( or ANY C@'s for that matter who have a differing opinion) ... Of course we will as debated issues are NO reasons for separation. They are merely a means for agreeing to disagree on certain topics. As stated ... There is REALLY NO Wrong or Right on Many topics.

    Its now time to ready for another BUSY day at the office with capture of some ZZZZ's so later gators.

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  20. tango55

    tango55 Well-Known Member

    I almost wish this thread had never been started - I say if it ain't broke - don't fix it!

    We all seem to get along fine and those that don't - aren't here.

    Just my 2 cents worth!


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