Just to follow up, there are plenty of people who book travel with a specific boat, regardless of where it will be or who are looking for boats in an area-- neither of these things are going to be covered in other guides. Booking and going on a cruise is really a different sort of travel -- I know cause I'm trying to book on for my birthday right now! It's a whole weird world unto itself... Majnoona 15:15, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
Hmmm... I plunged into the fray here, perhaps without understanding intent, and certainly not knowing about the Cruise Lines article. Also I created and redirected Cruising as I thought the intent was to cover the whole subject. A list of Lines and possibly Intineraries could be a useful thing. There probably needs to be a general article on cruising. That's what I thought Cruise ships was. It's kind of a large subject however as generalizations do not cover the premium or smaller ship options. OldPine 15:36, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
Agreed that they're not quite the same, but currently the Cruise Lines article contains a list of one cruise ship. I realize that we don't really have any standards for travel topics other than the "it could be a valid topic for travelers" test, but the standard for geographic articles is to only split things up when the article becomes "large and complex". In this case it seems like it might be more useful to combine the two, and then we can always split them at a later date if needed. -- Ryan 15:55, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
I started this article for the simple reason that I'm being (willingly) dragged on another cruise with my parents and sisters' families in December, and figured it would be useful to explain a bit about them to those who don't know what to expect (as I didn't before my family insisted I join them) and provide enough basic - and objective - info to help people decide if they'd enjoy one. I didn't realize Cruise Lines existed because nothing in the main article space links to it. I can see that getting included in this article, but I don't think it needs to be. I'm not familiar enough with the cruise industry as a whole to know how difficult it would be to maintain such an index. - Todd VerBeek 16:02, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
Maintaining that would be a bit much I guess. I'm not sure such specifics are necessary and wouldn't add them here. More useful might be a general description of itineraries and a list of cruise lines with contact info. OldPine 16:12, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
I just took a look at the cruise ship listed on Cruise Lines and I'd have to call that experiment a success... in demonstrating that individual cruise ships don't make good subjects for articles. There really isn't much more (and in many ways less) to be found there than I could get from the primary source of Carnival.com. A list like you describe of operators and itineraries might be more maintainable, but also no better than available from primary sources. - Todd VerBeek 17:03, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
Well, we at least have to list the primary sources don't we? As in the Alaska article? I can certainly do without the itinerary listing. OldPine 18:49, 20 July 2006 (EDT)
The article's eat section now says that ships will "may rotate scheduled dining between different restaurants, to provide more variety during the cruise". Is that correct? I have not seen that. My original text meant to refer to Norwegian's practice on several ship, of having the choice of multiple restaurants. I believe they have one with no fixed or "traditional" service at all. (Although on any of these "freestyle" ships one can usually request and get the same table and time for each night.) OldPine 16:52, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
Disney does it. One night you eat in the animation-art-themed restaurant, the next in the jacket-suggested dining room, the next in the Caribbean-island place, and I assume you keep rotating for longer cruises. All with a fixed seating time, and your wait staff follow you around, so it's traditional except for the change of scenery and menu. - Todd VerBeek 17:56, 21 July 2006 (EDT)
There are some "typical" cruise itineraries in certain parts of the world, but even within a single cruise line there's variation, with one cruise stopping in Mazatlan, but another going directly from Cabo San Lucas to Pto Vallarta. The best we could do would be to list ports that are likely to be included. I've looked at offerings for, say, the Caribbean, and the itineraries were literally all over the map.
Meanwhile, I really don't see that many decisions to make once onboard. Even on the biggest boats (the last one I was on carried almost 3,000, the one I'll be on next was briefly the record holder) there are only a few restaurants; if you're on the ship for seven days, you're probably going to try them all (or avoid the ones you obviously wouldn't like)... and on the under-1000-passenger ships, you may not have any choice at all. Info about which deck to sleep on is analagous to suggesting which floor of a hotel to ask for. I hear the "a cruise ship is a floating city" metaphor a lot, but a better analogy is a theme park, because it's just tourists... and employees all working for the same management. Even Skagway has residents who don't work for the tourism industry (and those who do are often competing with each other), but the only non-employee I've seen living on a cruise ship was Captain Steubing's daughter Vicki.
The shore excursions are perhaps a different matter, because they're not done by cruise line employees, but they are selected by the cruise line, and Wikitravel's primary role – of informing people what their options are – is also already done by them. All we could add is "hated it"/"loved it". Which is why I keep coming back to the question of what we can do that the cruise lines don't already do better? I'm happy to support an article that does that, but all the guide I feel I need for my upcoming cruise is the primary source of their web site, and the Wikitravel articles for the ports we'll be visiting. - Todd VerBeek 20:07, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
I think there's some powerful argument there. Still, I think that one thing that we can do better than cruise lines might be formatting. I have often been frustrated by trying to scope out shore excursions where I had to access the descriptions one at a time. Similarly, the ability to quickly determine what lines went where might save one from bouncing around to the cruise line sites. On the other hand, I have no powerful urge to see these articles created. OldPine 22:06, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
A good starting point would just be to list the biggest operators and where they sail. Jpatokal 22:31, 23 July 2006 (EDT)
I accept many of the limits noted above, such as the points about variances in itineraries and about limited numbers of restaurants; but does that make moot writing port descriptions and shore excursions organized by cruising region? Since when does raw popularity or singular ownership structure make a travel destination less worthy? The Vatican suffers from both! So does the U.S. Capitol Mall, Orlando, and most of China. :-) 18.104.22.168 10:04, 25 July 2006 (EDT)
Hi, I just recently came back from a cruise of the Western Mediterranean, and multiple times while I was on the cruise, I was thinking to myself that when I got back, I should start a wiki for cruise ship passengers. (Then I came back I found Wikitravel.) The reason why I wanted to start a wiki for information on a cruise ship is because I have very often found times when the cruise lines profit from a cruiser's ignorance --- or put more positively, knowledge is power, and if you know more about various options you can save a heck of a lot of money.
For example, in some ports of call, particular for cruises going to in Alaska and in the Caribbean, it is not really worthwhile to book shore excursions on board the ship, because the moment you get off the ship, there are plenty of opportunities to purchase equivalent tours, usually for half of what it will cost if you buy it on board the ship. In other places, particularly at the European ports, you are much better off booking a shore excursion from the boat since there aren't those alternatives, and very often the port where the ship docks is quite far from where most of the interesting tourist attractions are located. (For example, Civitavecchia is a good 90-120 minutes from Rome. On my most recent cruise, we only had 13 hours at port, and once you include the overhead of getting to the train station, catching a train, and allowing for train schedules, you have very little time in Roam to actually see any of the many attractions. You're better off either taking a shore excursion, or just accept the fact that you can't see Rome in a day, much less 6 hours, and just stay on the boat and enjoy the on-board amenities.)
I'd also love to see a series of articles about various ports of calls, and recommendations about what can be done given the limited time a cruise ship is normally is docked; information about where to find Internet cafe's so you don't have to pay the 65 cents a minute to use the on-board wireless service, etc.
I'd like to contribute articles about this, as well as descriptions of various cruise ships that I've been on, since I think a wiki is a much better way of finding information that spending hours and hours searching through web forums such as those found on CruiseCritic for various tidbits of information. And while I could set up my own wiki (I've created other special-purpose wiki's before, such as the Linux Real-Time Wiki), it seems like it might make more sense to put the cruise-specific topics here on Wikitravel. But when I arrived here, I see a discussion to delete an entry describing a specific Cruise Ship (the Carnival freedom) and a merge in process to merge Cruise_Lines into a single Cruise_ships article. So it's not clear whether or not a series of articles that provide a larger amount of detail about cruising would be welcome or not at Wikitravel. How can I find out what would be considered welcome additions and what would not be? Tytso 18:25, 6 December 2007 (EST)
My recollection on the consensus about this is that we would try to cover cruise ship excursion information in the articles about the port. This could be accomplished in detail in the "See" or "Do" sections or possibly in the "Get in" section with a subsection "By ship" or maybe "By cruise ship", indicating the relative availability of tours competing with the ship tours, and even listing tour operators and contact info.
My personal feeling is there isn't that much to be gained by providing articles for each ship here. I feel that Cruise Critic covers that in an easily accessible way, but usually feel that I don't gain tremendous insight from those articles. As I mentioned in some other discussion (somewhere) I can see usefulness at a very detailed level of information (such as how noisy a particular room is), but I think that might be a little too fine a level for Wikitravel. -- OldPine 21:16, 6 December 2007 (EST)
Generally agree with above discussions of cruiselines, ships and cruising regions. Separate articles could well be referenced by this article.
Levels of detail
Some care about detail in this article appears needed, e.g.,:
The list of "Major cruise lines" needs introductory context (if to be developed), appears quite incomplete, and some lines listed do not even consider themselves "major".
Does this topic need to be developed in/on this page? Would we not better reference quality web sites whose primary purpose is to track and describe them?
While the numbers/names of cruise-lines remains fairly stable (since settling from the impact of "9-11")...
Several "lines" listed as articles lead to blank pages.
Many new ships have come "on-line", with more pending. A nearly equal number of old ones have been retired by the major lines to lesser known lines.
Just a meaningful list of lines/ships with basic features of each could be challenging.
Several web-sites are largely dedicated to providing only that.
Surely, our readers deserve better. Do the rules allow us to enter links to cruise-line and third-party commercial cruise web sites for readers to consult instead?
Itineraries (i.e., of specific ships in given seasons) might not be wise...highly dynamic from season to season. But cruising regions and their features, benefits, idiosyncracies and servicing ports might be quite useful for readers.
Concur that many ports/cities are already addressed in wiki articles of varying detail. Surely those articles that need it could be improved for cruisers, with encouragement to create needed new ones.
Include a section about cruise line loyalty programs. Most of the major cruise lines offer loyalty programs; some of those perks are very lavish (such as free cruises, gifts, cocktail hour, etc.) It might be of interest to those reading about cruises.
Main Article Title:
Having made many recent content additions...nearly all within the existing outline...the article seems to deserve a title such as Ocean Cruising. But because I focus primarily on content, not advanced page management, I have little confidence I could make such a change, even if permitted.
Believe this article deserves another parallel article with a title such as River/Barge Cruising...unfortunately, I have no experience there.
Also note that nearly all other posts to this discussion are dated 2007 or earlier. Reason?
Regarding several comments above about external links, it is fine to link to the web site for the cruise operator, but links to third party guides would go against Wikitravel:External links. Also, I'd agree that cruising regions would be a better focus than cruising itineraries, although I have extremely limited knowledge on this topic so can't really add much value to the overall discussion.
As to why most discussion stopped in 2007, I believe it was because there was a big push to figure out how to handle cruise lines and cruise ships, with no consensus ever reached, and I suspect many people sort of burned out on the topic as a result. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:10, 7 February 2011 (EST)
Corrections and Question.
Have "corrected" entries in this article that had links to what may be "improper" web sites.
Have noted parallel article "Packing for Cruise" needs more development, especially to address idiosyncracies of some regions of the world.
For Europe, have noticed that articles from the Rick Steves web site would be highly useful, e.g., 
Believe site only markets materials produced by the author...with no profit-based references to third-party marketers.
Yeah, input on the more general question - and hopefully a consensus - is needed. This question has come up before and was never really resolved, and it's coming up again. - Todd VerBeek 23:04, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
Keep. Cruises are a popular form of travel and this provides an unbiased opinion of one cruise ship 22.214.171.124 15:26, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
The question is whether that's enough to be the topic of an entire article. We don't have separate articles of that sort for hotels, for example. Please join the discussion linked to above. - Todd VerBeek 16:53, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
I echo BigPeteB's frustration...I drafted that demographic discussion. Unfortunately, every web-site giving good information I know of also aggressively offers or links to third-party sellers of cruises, etc., and so violates Wikitravel content rules. Can anyone suggest some that don't? (In self-defense, with just a few of the right keywords in a decent search engine, most of the sites I know of will pop-up...some quite good. If your browser supports the "World of Trust" add-on, many sites will also be flagged for how well they respect your privacy.) Regards --Hennejohn 12:32, 18 July 2011 (EDT)