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Consider the benefits of seeing the world from the bow of a ship, spending time touring more than one destination, with the added bonus of unpacking only once. Whether you set sail looking for specific destinations or your destination is actually the ship experience itself, there are as many choices as there are unique guests ready to embark on a vacation at sea. Finding the perfect fit for your trip is key to making an enjoyable vacation into a truly memorable event that you will cherish for years to come.
Purpose of Your Cruise
The first determining factor in looking for a cruise is what your goal is for traveling. If it is a romantic getaway for two, your choices will be far different than what you may be looking for if you are a family with young or teenage children. If you are planning a multi-generational family reunion or anniversary celebration, the features that are important could have different priorities than those for a young party group, a seniors social dream escape, or a golfer’s tour of exotic foreign courses. Even for those who wish to cloak their cruise in the guise of a ‘business trip’ as they plan Incentive Reward Trips for their employees or conferences at sea, there are a multitude of choices.
If your goal is simply to escape the cold and languish on a sandy beach, cruise ships in the Caribbean offer a wide variety of choices including popular resorts for first time cruisers like Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Maarten or the Bahamas, where guests can bask in the sun for a perfect tan or shop for duty free gifts to take back home. For those who have already had some island experience, a cruise to Mexico or the smaller island retreats of the rich and famous like St. Lucia or St. Barts may be just the ticket to banish the winter blues and offer some bragging rights on the return home. Foreign destinations are the dream of many travelers and cruising the Mediterranean or Baltic or perhaps an adventure to the Far East or South Pacific can provide insight into historic or exotic locales while still providing the comfort and safety of returning to your luxurious, familiar surroundings each night on your worry-free hotel at sea.
What Ship or Cruise Line?
Most cruise destinations are offered by a number of different cruise lines on a variety of different ships. Each provides its own unique experience with amenities and activities that are geared to a variety of different demographics. If the ship itself is your destination, there is an array of mega-ships that offer an endless array of pools, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, zip-lines & rock climbing walls, gym & spa facilities, as well as onboard entertainment ranging from stage, ice and water shows to bowling alleys and bumper cars with something for everyone in the family. For guests looking to see the sights and explore the cultures of far-flung locations, or who prefer a quieter and more intimate vacation, there is a vast array of smaller ships that provide access to ports that are inaccessible to the larger vessels. These cruises often include celebrity guest lecturers or speakers; who provide background and insight into the themes of a particular cruise or the destinations along the ship's itinerary. In addition, boutique cruises often offer shore excursions and private escorted events that are created solely for the benefit of the guests of that ship.
Even if you have never considered sailing for a vacation, a cruise affords a unique opportunity to serve much like a ‘sampler platter’ at a restaurant, in order to get a ‘taste’ of a variety of destinations before you commit your time and money on an unknown experience. You can discover locations that you would want to return to and spend an extended time exploring and enjoying on a future vacation, comfortable in knowing that you have some insight into what there is to offer in a previously unfamiliar locale. Cruising affords a known complete package price that allows you to unpack once and then relax, dine, and be pampered with friendly, attentive service as you enjoy waking each day to an exciting new port of call. Cruising can also be seen as budget friendly since cruises can be comparable to, or even less expensive, than the cost of an all-inclusive resort. For example, a seven-day stay at an all-inclusive resort in Cozumel, Mexico including airfare would cost approximately $1789.00 CAD per person based on double occupancy. A seven-day cruise for the same week onboard one of the world’s largest cruise ship's in an Oceanview Suite leaving from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and visiting 4 ports including Cozumel as well as Jamaica and Haiti would be $1716.00 CAD per person based on double occupancy including airfare. Inside or Central Park View cabins would be even less expensive.
So Many Choices!!
All of the discussions above have been mainly about Ocean Going Cruises, but there is another whole range of options available by sailing on River Cruises, which provide for relaxed, smooth sailing with an up-close viewing of local sights, as you leisurely cruise through the European, South American or Asian countryside. If you are feeling overwhelmed with the choices and are unsure of how to proceed to the next step in choosing a specific cruise, consider some of the questions above to narrow your search criteria; then call a Travel Consultant that specializes in Cruises they will be more than happy to help you book your vacation and answer any questions or concerns you may have about your cruise.