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 What is the deal with inaugural cruises?

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NDJollyMon
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PostSubject: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeFri Jun 27, 2008 6:49 pm

What is the attraction to inaugural cruises...I just don't get it?
I understand the attraction to cruising new ships...but the first sailing? I would think an entirely new crew on it's first sailing would be just short of complete Kaos. And then...to actually pay more $$$ for the experience? Maybe I just don't get it.

I cruised Navigator in it's inaugural season, but not it's first trip. I'm not trying to stir it up...just want to know what attracts you to them?

Thanks

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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeFri Jun 27, 2008 7:35 pm

I can only speak from my experiences. I was on a Carnival Inaugural that was wonderful, we had the best of the best including the crew. The crew had to go through screenings and it was actually an "incentive" to be able to sail on the ship during the first season. We received a nice gift to take home. All and all it was an excellent experience.

I was also on an NCL inaugural, think Hawaii, and it was a complete diasaster. I was waiting for a mutany to take place! Shocked

While a lot of inaugurals are hype but, I think that's part of the fun. And, the bad experience I had on NCL isn't going to change my mind about the
Oasis inaugural. Oh sure, there might be a kink here and a bump there
but, overall, I know it's going to be fun. For me, it will probably be
my first and last time sailing on such a large ship but, I want the
experience of being on the ship when it first goes to it's ports of
call, etc.

Does that help makes sense of it all a bit?
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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeSat Jun 28, 2008 11:32 am

RCCL does not use brand new crews on new ships. When I was on the Liberty of the Seas pre-inaugural I was told that the crew were all experienced RCCL crew, from other ships in the fleet.

They will also have pre-inaugurals (invitation only) that will allow them to work out any problems before the public actually steps foot onboard the ship.
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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeSat Jun 28, 2008 7:55 pm

I've done a few Inaugural/Maiden Voyages. And, some get more hype than others - Oasis is one of the ones getting a lot of hype. Personally, the attraction for me is trying out a new class of ship which I might not otherwise sail. Another reason to meet friends I've met on message boards such as Cruise Freeks.

Are the inaugurals worth the extra $$? In my mind yes! Of course, not everyone feels the same way but, my attitude is that no cruise or vacation is ever "perfect". You have to remember on any cruise you might have a noisy neighbor or food that was so-so or a waiter who's mind seemed to be elsewhere or a toilet that won't flush. I think most experienced cruisers have gone through these things at least once in their cruising careers. Right?

I think it's a matter of attitude and what works for you personally, like everything else in life. What is bliss for me might be horrible to you or someone else.

In other words, whatever floats your boat! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeTue Jul 01, 2008 10:56 am

Like Susan says, the lines do not use an entirely new crew. All the officers are experienced, and may get promoted / sidestepped into their new positions. The ratings are also generally from other ships in the fleet. The hotel staff, on the other hand are often new to the tune of 1 newbie to 1 experienced. Remember also, that the lines all have a huge pool of crew to cherrypick from for the new ships. For instance, upon Queen Victoria's launch, they used crew from QM2, QE2 and various Princess ships.

It seemed to work, they didn't have the same kind of problems that beset the QM2 when she launched. But then, QM2 was a first in many respects (and a 1 ship class), making it more difficult to launch and "shakedown" than the "class" ships such as the Vista's etc.

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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeTue Sep 09, 2008 8:53 pm

NDJollyman,
Being on inaugurals or seeing a ship at the very start of it's life is a kick and gives a slight edge to me as a travel professional. I take my little notebook along and write down everything that I think the travelers "might ask later". Checking out cabins and public rooms, trying to find little corners people might like, seeing if the elevator might be noisy, plus now with the ships having the cabins around the middle "bubble' of the ship I want to see if one can really enjoy their view or balcony without intrusion from neighboring cabins, or seeing if the restaurant is noisy and what table might be the best.

I'll be going on the Celebrity Solstice in November this year just before the public can cruise. So I feel fortunate to get the opportunity to see the ship first hand so I can alert future cruisers

One experience I would like to share: sometimes the first sailing of a new ship may prove to be a challenge for passengers. One inaugural I was on didn't have the carpet down yet and the workers were scurring to get that tacked down during the voyage. Passengers didn't seem to mind. But knowing these things could happen is important when going on an Inaugural.

Because it is the first sailing people tend to never forget that either so MEMORIES are good. It is special! Are you one of the lucky ones getting out of the cold and going on an Inaugural with CruiseFreeks?
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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeTue Sep 09, 2008 9:03 pm

Lonalee,

Which pre-inaugural of the Solstice will you be on??
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NDJollyMon
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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeTue Sep 09, 2008 10:46 pm

Like infamous line in my favorite movie...

"It's been 84 years, and I can still smell the fresh paint. The china had never been used. The sheets had never been slept in. Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was. "

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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeWed Sep 10, 2008 12:14 am

Susan, I'll be on 18November. If you will be on I hope we can meet.

NDJollyMon.... very appropriate quote. (I loved that movie too, I have a Titanic Bouy hanging in my office...I won't be taking it along)
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PostSubject: Re: What is the deal with inaugural cruises?   What is the deal with inaugural cruises? Icon_minitimeWed Sep 10, 2008 12:23 am

Lonalee,

I'm waiting for confirmation. If I go, I'll be on Nov 17 to Nov 19. Wink
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