With so many cruise companies, ships, itineraries and shore excursions- how do you choose the right one? Travel agents or specialists can really come in handy. Even if you’ve been on a cruise before and think you know what you want, do you know the best cabin or location? Ever booked what you thought was going to be a relaxing cruise only to find out you are directly below a dance club that goes all night?
Below is some insight on the different types of cruise ships but keep in mind, the right travel agent will give you competitive, comprehensive information, plus honest advice and recommendations built on years of experience, knowledge and feedback from other travelers (as well as their own observations).
They Keep Getting Bigger!
It’s the big ships that feature the headline-grabbing innovations like surfing simulators, rock-climbing walls, movies under the stars, ice skating rinks, wave pools and so many choices that it takes a week to visit every restaurant or dining room for dinner! They also feature some new twists on cruise-ship staples such as health spas, libraries and game rooms.
These innovations, along with award-winning children’s programs, make the major cruise lines, like Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line an ideal choice for a family vacation. Disney Cruise Line also offers a fantastic experience for the young and young at heart!
Traditional yet Innovative.
Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises are great examples, and loyal customers continue to rave about the excellent service and amenities whether sailing aboard the more traditional mid-size ships or the fleets’ larger ships. But how do you know what one is right for you? A travel agent can recommend the most suitable ship based on your tastes and interests.
As the popularity of cruising continues to grow, so does the need for an even broader range of experiences, which has charted the course for new deluxe, or “upper premium,” cruise lines like Oceania Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises. Both emphasize fine food and wine, well-appointed accommodations and personalized service aboard intimate, mid-size ships. They also offer unique itineraries with more overnight stays that allow travelers more time to explore.
All cruise vacations are inherently luxurious, but some are more luxurious than others. For over a century and a half, the iconic ships of Cunard Line have defined sophisticated travel, carrying guests across the great oceans and to the far points of the globe. The mid-size ships of Crystal Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and the small ships of Silversea Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn, offer itineraries that appeal to people who may have already been there but are looking for new insights.
Onboard, superior service standards ensure that every wish is anticipated and preferences are remembered. The food is gourmet, the spa is exquisite, and all the details are taken care of unobtrusively. Plus the all-inclusiveness of the price, or in the case of Crystal Cruises the very generous “As You Wish” shipboard credit makes these luxurious experiences an incredible value.
Great Things Come in Small Packages.
For many travelers, the slower pace of river cruising is perfect for getting the lay of the land. Sitting on the top deck of a ship under brilliant blue skies, you gaze on fabled landscapes dotted with castles, villages and vineyards. A flight of stairs down, and you have all the amenities of a fine hotel — restaurants, bars, lounges, fitness facilities, spas, internet access and comfortable staterooms. AMA Waterways and Uniworld offer a diverse array of Europe cruise options, but you can also cruise Egypt’s famed Nile, the Mekong River in Vietnam and the Yangtze in China. Many avid cruisers have become devoted fans of river cruising!
Windstar Cruises and Star Clippers offer intimate experiences that connect you with wind and wave while providing a closer view of marine life and ship operations. It can be an exhilarating experience, feeling the power of the wind as it fuels your voyage. However, it is reassuring to know that these ships also have engines that are quite capable of keeping you on course should the wind not cooperate.
Expeditions and Adventures
If you want an active vacation in out-of-the-way destinations, like the Arctic, Antarctica, Alaska, Baja California, Central America, Galapagos and Europe, and you desire to travel with like-minded people who want to learn more about the world they live in, the travel specialists at Carefree Vacations can give you more information on small ship explorations. From Cruise West and Lindblad Expeditions, who have specialized in expedition cruising for decades, to Celebrity’s Xpedition and Silversea’s Prince Albert II, they can help you select the experience that best suits your preferences.
JetSet Jen for Carefree Vacations
Tags: All-inclusive, AMA Waterways, Azamara Club Cruises, Big ships, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Cruise West, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Expeditions, Food and wine, Holland America Line, Luxury, Mid-size ships, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Premium Cruises, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, River Cruising, Royal Caribbean, Silversea Cruises, Small ships, Star Clippers, Uniworld, Windstar Cruises
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