Picking the Best Cabin for Your Cruise

Cabin or Stateroom?

Call it a Stateroom, call it a Cabin – a room on a cruise ship is just a room, right? Well, NO! How do you select the best one for you, then?

Just as you can choose to sleep at a budget motel, or a suite in a five star luxury hotel, you have choices when choosing the best cabin on a ship. And the best choice for you might not be exactly perfect for someone else.

Inside or Ocean View? Balcony or Promenade? Suite, Loft, or Garden Villa? Choosing your stateroom is a big part of planning a cruise.

I’ll show some of the different types of accommodations on today’s mass market lines, starting with affordable inside cabins. Then, we’ll move ‘up’ from there. Along the way, you’ll find some tips for picking the best stateroom for your time at sea.

What are my personal preferences? Well, that depends . . . Let’s get on with it!

Photo: my own

The Queen Mary arrives in New York, 1945
The Queen Mary arrives in New York, 1945 | Source
In the Old Days . . .
There were “Classes” on Ocean Liners

In the days when great ocean liners made Atlantic crossings, “First Class” passengers enjoyed very different accommodations than the less fortunate in “Second Class,” also sometimes referred to as “steerage.” First Class was better attended to, and better fed in a luxuriously appointed dining room.

Today, only the Cunard Line sails true ocean liners , and maintains only a faint vestige of classes. There are (in descending order) Queen, Princess, and Britannia staterooms. Each does have its own dining room, but there’s nothing remotely “steerage” about Cunard. Friends who are Cunarders report that ‘even’ Britannia passengers sail in well appointed cabins (some with balconies) and enjoy top drawer service and food throughout their voyage.

To find out more about the Cunard Queens that once plyed the ocean, see Queens of the Ocean Past

Photo: R.M.S.Queen Mary, having been pressed into war service as a troop transport, arrives in New York, June, 1945. (public domain photo)
Location, location, location
Could Make a Big Difference.

Here are some general considerations in choosing your cabin location:

“Ship Geography” by CruiseReady (affiliate link follows)
“Ship Geography” by CruiseReady (affiliate link follows) | Source

1 – The ship’s stabilizers minimize pitching and rolling to SOME extent – not entirely. The higher the deck, the more you feel rolling (sidewards motion) while the effect of pitch (front to back rocking) is more pronounced when you’re nearer the bow or stern. If you worry about sea-sickness, choose a midship cabin on a lower deck.

2 – Check the Deck Plans on the cruise line’s site. Find out what is nearby the cabin you are considering. Example: What if the one you are considering is located right underneath the Disco Bar? That might be a poor choice if you like to turn in early.

3 – If you have mobility issues, book early to assure availability of one of the limited number of special handicapped accessible staterooms.

4 – Some cabins have an ‘obstructed view.’ Often, they are located right under where the lifeboats hang on the side of the ship. They’re so marked on the the deck plans on the ship’s website. Just be sure to check for this. (Sometimes obstructed view accommodations are discounted!)
US Traveler New Yorker 4 Piece Luggage Set Expandable,Royal Blue,One Size
US Traveler New Yorker 4 Piece Luggage Set Expandable,Royal Blue,One Size

This is a nice looking set, and I have heard good things about it.

It comes in four colors:

Black, Red, Royal Blue, and Gray.
Buy Now

Need New Luggage? – I am seriously considering this set

I should replace our luggage set before we take many more trips. On our last cruise, the couple next door to us had a set like this one, except theirs was in red.

After getting aquainted, I asked them how they liked it, and they went on about how satisfied they were with their New Yorker Luggage Set from US Traveler, and what a good buy it was. It turns out that this was actually the first time they had used the entire set. (The husband had taken the small case on a recent overnight business trip.) So, they couldn’t really speak to the issue of durability, but from what I could see, it looked pretty sturdy.

So, I thought I would pass this along in case anyone else is in need of new luggage.
An inside cabin
An inside cabin | Source
Go INSIDE to Save Money
Big on Affordability- Small on Roominess

Inside cabins are just that – completely INSIDE the ship, with no outside exposure. They are also the smallest and most affordable rooms on a cruise ship.

Did I say small? Oh, yes. For example, on one of the older and smaller Royal Caribbean vessels, you’ll have about 115-122 sq. ft, while on a newer, larger ship in the Princess feet, you get a whopping 160 sq. ft. – and that includes the bathroom!

Don’t despair. If you spend any waking hours at all in your stateroom, you’ll miss out on all the exciting things happening up on deck! It’s really a sleeping and changing room, and that’s typically all it’s used for. (Honeymooners excepted, but they don’t seem to mind spending hours in close proximity!)

My Word on Inside Cabins
… and Some Tips

Have I / Would I sail in an Inside cabin?

I have, and I would. (It’s not my number one choice, however.)

I would IF it meant the difference between cruising and not cruising, and IF the duration of the voyage were 4 nights or less.

SOME TIPS:

1 – There is NO outside light coming into these staterooms, so switch off the lights, and it’s pitch back. Bring along a travel alarm clock with a lit dial. Otherwise you’ll have no earthly idea when morning has arrived!

2 – Space is at a premium. Hang up evrything you can right away and stow empty suitcases under the bed. Make up for the lack of countertop, shelf, and drawer space with an over-the-door shoe bag. It’s the perfect solution! Use its pockets to safely ‘stow’ your camera, card key, sun lotion, and other gear where you can quickly and easily retrieve them.

3 – If you like to swim, bring AT LEAST two swim suits. Wet suits take forever to dry when hung in the bathroom of one of these cabins. There’s nothing more miserable than having to put on a still-wet suit! Pack a couple of large zip-lock bags for packing still damp things in when going home time arrives, too.
Casio Snooze Daily Alarm Travel Clock
Casio Snooze Daily Alarm Travel Clock

A handy item for cruising – especially if you’re in an inside stateroom!
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Handy Items for Cruising in an Inside Cabin – These Will Be Helpful During Your Time On Board

When you pack to go on a voyage for which you’ve booked an inside cabin, keep two things in mind:

– No matter how small you imagine your accommodations will be, think smaller. Think less storage space.

– There is no ambient light at night once you are at sea. None. Take some small surce of light. A backlit travel clock may be enough for some. Others may prefer a small flashlight.

Some people take an over the door shoe bag for organizing their smaller items without using valuable dresser space.

A hanging cosmetic bag comes in quite handy, too.
Household Essentials 06910 Hanging Toiletry Travel Bag for Men and Women – Store Travel Accessories, Jewelry, and Cosmetics – Black
Household Essentials 06910 Hanging Toiletry Travel Bag for Men and Women – Store Travel Accessories, Jewelry, and Cosmetics – Black

A great storage and organizing aid for when you book an inside is one of these smaller hanging organizers, which is great for in the your cabin’s small bathroom

Best Australian Cruising Holidays – Tours, Sailing Cruises, Adventures, Scenic Boat Trips

Boat cruising is a memorable and fabulous way to see Australia’s wonderful and spectacular coastline, bays and estuaries, spectacular lakes and inland waterways in style and luxury. Boat cruises of every type and location are available for tours ranging from Sydney to the Great Barrier Reef, from the Murray River to the Whitsunday Islands or along the wild Tasmanian coastline, through the NSW Great Lakes region, or through the Swan River estuary in Perth. There are many wonderful holiday packages available that include boat trips and cruises.

Many cruise boat companies offer cruise packages ranging in length from 1, 2 or 4 weeks depending on the provider and location. Cruising vacations provide the best of both worlds – enjoy the fantastic on-board luxurious and stylish facilities and entertainment, while getting the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and the many organized day tours and city visits on stop-overs along the way. Every day you will get the chance to see new destinations, wonderful scenery, fantastic wildlife and be taken in luxury to many new places to explore.
Source
Source
World Cruising Destinations
World Cruising Destinations
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Australian Cruises – Simply Stunning!

There is no better and more relaxing way to see the seemingly endless and diverse expanse of the Australian coastline than by cruising and enjoying scenic boat trips, wildlife cruises and charter boat services, including fishing trips.

There are also many smaller cruises available around Australia for scenic day-trips.

Sydney is one of the most famous and visited cities in Australia with its fabulous harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. This modern and vibrant city has a fascinating history with a plethora of scenic, sites, attractions, places to visit and local tours to fascinate and totally captivate most visitors for days and weeks. You can explore Sydney Harbor by luxury ferry, a jet boat, sailing charter, water taxi or jet ski – the choice is up to you.

The world famous Great Barrier Reef in far North Queensland is a fabulous place for Cruises either on luxury cruise ships, ferries, charter boats or sailing boats.

The renowned Quicksilver Cruises uses large twin-hulled wave-piercing boats to quickly and comfortably takes you out to the renowned Agincourt Reef, on the unique thread of ribbon reefs that run along the very outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef.

From the friendly crew you will learn about the reef ecosystem and its diverse range of fish, turtles and other fauna, which can introduce you for the dazzling and brilliant kaleidoscope of color and abundance and diversity of the fish you will see when snorkeling through the coral outcrops.

You can choose to stay dry, and see the stunning reef from the comfort of a Quicksilver semi-submersible vessel, or a glass-bottomed runabout, or even from a small helicopter. You may also want to go scuba diving on the reef if you are qualified.

The renowned Queensland Gold Coast, Broadwater and Surfer Paradise areas boast hundreds or kilometres of waterways that are a boating paradise. There are many boat cruises and charter boats with easy access from Brisbane.

You can wine and dine on a fabulous floating dinner cruise on the Gold Coast waterways or at Harvey Bay just north of Brisbane.

Spend the day sailing on a tall ship, go on a whale watching cruise, or catch your own dinner on a fishing charter adventure. There are many options to suit every taste and desire.

You can even hire a bare boat charter boat and spend a week or so cruising on the magnificent waterways of the Gold Coast or Whitsundays in Tropic North Queensland. There are so many options involving cruises on the Gold Coast you will need weeks to experience them all.

Fantasea Adventure Cruising offers award winning cruises in the Whitsunday Islands area off the coast of tropical north Queensland. Their air-conditioned high-speed catamarans and ferries provide smooth and comfortable passage showcasing the delights of the Whitsundays icons. You can take a trip to the visitor platform on the Outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef and try snorkeling. Visit the famous Whitehaven Beach, which has the whitest sand in the world, the fabulous resort island of Hamilton Island with its new Hamilton Island Golf Club on nearby Dent Island. You can take the 5-island cruise around the Whitsundays.

In West Australia you can take a fabulous 5-day Cruise that includes all the delights of the Coral coast and Kimberley Region – Perth, Monkey Mia, Pinnacles Desert, Kalbarri, Ningaloo Reef and Carnarvon

Another fabulous wilderness area to enjoy on a cruise, is the majestic Gordon River Cruise in the World Heritage Wilderness area on the West Coast of Tasmania, departing from Strahan. For a more comprehensive Tasmanian tour, the Pacific Princess sails from Melbourne to Devonport, which is famous for its dairy products, honey, beef, farm cheeses and sweet berries. You will then cruise to Coles Bay and see Wineglass Bay on the stunning Freycinet Peninsula. The cruise then visits Hobart for an opportunity to enjoy Hobart’s historic sites, antique shops, museums, restaurants and cafes. Next the cruise visits Tasmania’s more famous historical site, Port Arthur and the picturesque Tasman Peninsula. You will see a diverse range of spectacular scenery on this fabulous cruise. There are many other beautiful cruises around the Tasmanian coastline.

© 2010 Dr. John Anderson

Sea Travel – Luxury on the High Seas

A Popular Way to Vacation

Cruising is a major segment of the tourism industry and a popular way to vacation.

Unlike other means of transportation, where the vehicle is simply a means to get to one’s destination, on a cruise, the ship is the destination as one’s entire vacation centers around the ship.

My wife and I recently took a cruise on a recent vacation. Like other cruise ships, our ship, the Royal Caribbean Lines vessel the Serenade of the Seas, was basically a floating resort.

On board was every amenity imaginable including eight dining rooms, pool, spa, climbing wall, miniature golf course, theater, lounges, casino, mini shopping mall, art gallery and more. It had more things to do and, with up to 2,490 passengers and 890 crew, a population larger, than can be found in many small towns.
The The Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship “Serenade of the Seas” docked in Vancouver, BC Canada
The The Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship “Serenade of the Seas” docked in Vancouver, BC Canada | Source
Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship “Serenade of the Seas” anchored in harbor of Icy Point Strait, Alaska
Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship “Serenade of the Seas” anchored in harbor of Icy Point Strait, Alaska | Source
Cost Can be Very Reasonable & Fare is All Inclusive

While the total cost of a cruise varies depending upon the type of accommodations and extras one chooses, the range of prices varies from what an average income couple or family would reasonably expect to pay for a week’s vacation to very expensive luxury travel.

As with other types of travel, taxes (including port fees in this case) figure significantly into the price and, depending upon the ports of call, the taxes can, and sometimes do, exceed the lowest cruise fare.

However, the cruise price is all inclusive in the sense that one can take a cruise and not incur any additional expenses from the time they board the ship until they leave the ship at the end of the cruise. In fact, the only additional costs of such a vacation besides the cost of the cruise and taxes which are paid at time of booking, would be transportation to and from the port of departure and return.

Once aboard, other than cabin size and location, there are no real distinctions between passengers as the crew goes all out to pamper and treat everyone as if they were all nineteenth century aristocratic tycoons.
Ballantyne Pier (built in 1923) in Port of Vancouver, BC
Ballantyne Pier (built in 1923) in Port of Vancouver, BC | Source
Loading Luggage on to a Cruise Ship
Loading Luggage on to a Cruise Ship | Source
View of Ballantyne Pier in Port of Vancouver, British Columbia from a Cruise Ship
View of Ballantyne Pier in Port of Vancouver, British Columbia from a Cruise Ship | Source
Passengeers are Welcome to Spend As Much Money as they Wish

Of course, the cruise line spares no effort in giving those who wish to spend additional money every opportunity to do so.

First of all, passengers are not only asked but also given a list of suggested amounts, to provide a gratuity (tip) at the end of the cruise for the staff who clean their cabin and the serving staff in the restaurants. Given the service received, it seems more than reasonable to show these people your appreciation for their outstanding efforts in this area.

While access to most dining areas is included in the cruise price, there are some specialty ones in which you pay extra and, of course, there is a charge for any wine and cocktails you have with your meal.

Then there is the mini shopping mall which is stocked with expensive cameras, liquors, jewelry and designer clothing among other things. Our cruise included an art gallery stacked with art supplied by a major art dealer, a representative from which was not only on the cruise selling the art but also giving free workshops on art collecting and conducting two or three auctions during the cruise.
Marc Chagall: My Life
Marc Chagall: My Life
Buy Now

A Lecture on Marc Chagall

I attended a workshop conducted by the representative of the art dealer on the artist Marc Chagall and his friendship with and collaboration with Walt Disney.

The workshop was fascinating as was the auction that followed.

Given that many of the bids were well in excess of the cost of our entire vacation of which the cruise was only one part, I did not raise my hand to bid.

However, that was ok and I was still served free champagne and everyone else seemed to assume that I must have owned enough of what was being offered that day and was looking for something else.
Views of Our Cabin
My wife relaxing in cabin aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Serenade of the Seas”
My wife relaxing in cabin aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ship “Serenade of the Seas” | Source
View of cabin aboard the cruise ship “Serenade of the Seas”
View of cabin aboard the cruise ship “Serenade of the Seas” | Source
Entrance to cabin on “Serenade of the Seas” cruise ship
Entrance to cabin on “Serenade of the Seas” cruise ship | Source
Cabin on Royal Caribbean Lines “Serenade of the Seas” cruise ship
Cabin on Royal Caribbean Lines “Serenade of the Seas” cruise ship | Source
Spending Money in Ports of Call

Optional excursions and activities in the ports of call are another opportunity to spend money. These are sold by the cruise line and you can sign-up and pay for them when you purchase your cruise or sign-up and pay while on the boat.

We took one bus excursion in one of the ports we visited as that excursion provided an interesting tour of a large area well beyond where we could make it on our own in the time we were on shore.

In addition to commercial excursions on shore, there are numerous opportunities to spend money in the local economy on shore.

Many high end jewelry and similar stores provide coupons and free offers to the on board activities director to hand out and direct people to their establishments.

The activities director or cruise line usually receives a commission on purchases made by people from the ship from these establishments. Other retail establishments simply take advantage of the traffic coming off the cruise ships of which there is are usually more than one in port at a time.

Enjoy The Family Vacation Aboard A Luxury Cruise Ship

Luxury cruise ships have been systematically sailing for a number of years. Numerous families love taking their holiday vacations on a luxury cruise ship. Often times though, even more families think it is not the kind of thing they can undertake. If you are looking for something completely different for this year’s summer holiday, you might want to look at taking a family luxury cruise.

It is sad, but there are lots of people who instantly believe that luxury cruise ships are not family friendly. If you fall for this widespread misunderstanding, you could be missing out on one of the grandest times of your life. Because of so many cruise lines in operation today, and each one featuring various trips and ports of call, you are sure to find a cruise that is perfect for your own family.

Just a few of the many family activities found aboard a cruise liner include wonderful meals, movies, and swimming. Lots of other more things to do will probably be readily available. The family oriented forms of entertainment provided during a cruise trip usually are dependent on the cruise line. Along with pursuits for the entire family, many luxury cruise lines provide entertainments that are intended especially for kids. When your children are engaging in these supervised, entertaining functions, you may be making the most of a personal moment of your own.

Daycare is another of the many benefits of experiencing your family vacation on a cruise ship. Almost all luxury cruise liners have childcare. When you are vacationing with little children, these daycare facilities may help you to have private moments by yourself or with your spouse. Daycare centers are often run at no charge. You could drop your little ones off and be moving right onto doing something exciting in a very short time.

You will need to do a little investigation whenever you are interested in learning more pertaining to the family amusements and recreation offered aboard a luxury cruise ship. This research can quickly be conducted online by looking at a number of different cruise lines. You will likely discover that there are quite a few cruise ships designed particularly for people with kids in the course of the inquiry. You definitely don’t have to limit yourself to only family oriented cruises, but you might find them beneficial for you and your family.

You might decide to obtain the assistance of a travel broker to find a family cruise, instead of performing all of the research on your own. A professional travel broker can research, and schedule your next family cruise line vacation, for a small charge. In addition to compiling data on family cruise holidays, your travel adviser is also likely to provide you with a guarantee. These types of guarantees are intended to aid you or offer you a reimbursement whenever your vacation is not successful, or not what you envisioned. This will be very improbable.

If you don’t want to pay for a travel broker, you must manage to reserve your own cruise vacation on the web. A lot of well known cruise lines, like Carnival, Celebrity, Disney and Royal Caribbean now have websites. The web pages may be used to view the activities on-board a particular ship, evaluate the expenses related to booking a luxury cruise, and to generate online bookings. Arranging for your personal cruise ship vacation is a good method to look for the most suitable cruise ship for your family members, plus help save your money at the same time.

Whether or not you make a reservation for your family cruise getaway, or you go with the expert services of a travel agent, you’re going to have fun during your holiday cruise. The truth is, lots of families like their family holiday they had on-board a luxury cruise ship so much, that many go again for their next family vacation.

Voyage With Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines For An Entertaining Family Vacation Experience

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is an outstanding solution when deciding to take a holiday cruise, regardless of whether it is your first luxury cruise, or you have gone on a vacation cruise previously. Cruise trips are regarded as one of the most luxurious vacation holidays you could get for yourself and your spouse. Despite the fact that cruise trips are magnificent, that does not always mean they are overly costly. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines offer a variety of vacation cruise package deals, so virtually anyone can manage to sail with them on a cruise. Going on a ship, to marvelous and exotic locations, is suitable for a family holiday or simply for a couple.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is managed by Royal Caribbean International. They have 22 cruise ships, which set sail out of forty different starting locations all over the world. Fourteen of these departure ports are located within the United States, which should make it fairly simple for US residents to have access to a departure port, in spite of where they are located.

When thinking of taking your family vacation on a cruise trip, you should consider cruising with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. They provide terrific vacation cruise havens. They sail to 15 various areas of the world, and provide you with a wide variety of options for you to select from. They have one of the best reputations in the cruising business, and the services they make available to their clients aboard the vessel are all rated top-notch.

If you are unfamiliar with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, you may assume that its cruise ships just travel to the Caribbean. This is not the actual fact. Not only do they sail to the Caribbean, but they also sail to other delightful regions such as Mexico, Bermuda, Europe, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, along with many more. There’s a cruise destination available that will satisfy just about anyone.

They also give numerous fantastic land cruise excursions, which usually includes a conducted seaside expedition at your harbor. It can be done on a first-rate motor coach or railway. It lets you choose whether you would like to discover more of the countryside you have traveled to.

All of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines 22 ships are named with titles ending in “of the Seas”. Every one of their ships have a lounge located at the very top of the ship. It is called the Viking Crown Lounge, and allows for an all-around look at your surroundings.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines offers a range of high quality on-board entertainments and activities to their clients. There are enlightening lectures pertaining to your destination, along with the amusements the ship itself has to offer. You will be guided around the cruise liner, where you will discover lots of on-board amenities, like skating rinks and gambling halls on-board. It also has a program called Adventure Ocean that is planned just for kids.

There is also a massage center and health spa on-board the cruise ship for you to take benefit of. They offer a fully outfitted fitness center and exercising facility for you to avail yourself of, too.

For children, there is a Adventure Ocean Youth Program, which consists of Aqua babies and Aqua tots for young kids.. There is a kid friendly rock climbing wall that will certainly help keep the children happy, as they play together with other kids they meet at the play center. The children will be interested in doing their own great activities, while you and your spouse slip away for a seaside expedition by yourselves, if you would like.

Superb meals and dining entertainments are also one of the primary lures when you go on-board with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. They offer a wide variety of gourmet foods that can be located in the different eating areas.

When booking a cruise, all you need to do is go to a travel agents website, and ask that they book a vacation cruise to your preferred place for you. You can also do this yourself by going straight to Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s official website. They are giving discount rates on several cruise packages, and you may even come across remarkable deals on last minute cruises, which will be specially designed to fill vacant cabins on the cruise ship.

Spend Your Holiday On A Luxury Cruise!

Cruise holidays are becoming increasing popular as they have lots to offer for a very nominal price. The price of rooms on a luxury cruise would be almost as much as a luxury hotel, or probably less and the food is usually great with lots to offer and costing you as much as in a mid-priced restaurant. One also gets to see a lot of places as a part of the trip. So a cruise holiday is like a jumbo combo, which comes with a variety of packages to cater to everyone.

The luxury cruise concept has evolved over time to cater to those set of people who want to travel in style. The rooms are more spacious than in a regular cruise and the facilities are first class, though one would hardly spend time in a room when you can explore the ship and relax to the silence of the sea. One may find it surprising indeed, but on the luxury cruise you can find all facilities provided by most quality hotels and not to forget the flawless journey through the sea. Most luxury cruises have entertainment for the night ranging from massage centers or gaming places to a dance floor where you can dance amidst the sea breeze.

Cruise holidays come in packages ranging from 2 days to about a month, hence I would say why not plan your next weekend on a luxury cruise and also get the chance to see a new place. The best part of a cruise holiday is the possibility of an absolutely customized tour. Whether you plan to get married on the sea or spend a month’s time travelling around the world from place to place, cruise holidays are the best deals you can ask for.

Luxury Cruises – 2 Outstanding Luxury Cruise Companies

Why Take A Luxury Cruise?

If you want to get away from it all, travel to exciting parts of the world that you’ve never gone to before, relax, and be a bit pampered, you should definitely consider luxury cruises. Take your first luxury cruise and you will find out some of the secrets of how some people make fantastic lifelong memories.

Whether you go alone, with your partner, or bring the entire family, whether you enjoy luxury Mediterranean cruises, luxury Nile cruises, luxury Alaskan cruises, or luxury cruises to any other part of the world, you will create wonderful, lifelong impressions

There are a couple of companies to consider when you want to take a luxury cruise.

The Luxury Cruise Experts Company

One of these is the Luxury Cruise Experts Company. They specialize in premium cruises, luxury cruises, and ultra-luxury cruises and are led by respected travel industry veterans Susan Reder and Penny Entin. They are supported by an elite group of travel professionals that have more than 500 years of combined experience.

Their parent company is Altour – Classic Cruise and Travel and they guarantee the highest levels of amenities and special shore excursion packages and that your overall experience will be beyond expectation.

It’s no wonder that they have annual sales of over $350 million.

With Luxury Cruise Experts you can travel to Alaska, Asia, Canada / New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, Mexico, the Panama Canal, take river cruises, go to South America, the South Pacific, take a transatlantic cruise, cruise the United States, or enjoy a world cruise.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Another wonderful company to consider is the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. They are one of the oldest and most well known cruise lines in the world. With them you can cruise almost anywhere in the world with the confidence of knowing you’re getting the best amenities that money can buy. Remember, like most things in life, the more you spend on a luxury cruise the more luxurious it will be.

Luxury cruises are wonderful adventures throughout the year. They seem especially wonderful when the weather’s turning cold and you want to get some sun or just get away from the gray skies and cold wind. Another great time of year is during summer vacation, when you can bring the entire family and have memories you’ll still talk about when your kids have kids of their own.

No matter where or when you end up going, the most important thing to do is to prepare properly before you go.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1255445

Expect Royal Treatment On Luxury Cruises

Commercial cruises are fine, but for a really delightful experience wouldn’t it be better to be able to relax on a private yacht? And wouldn’t is be great to travel at your own pace rather than be rushed to get back on the cruise liner before its sails away? Hard as it may be to believe, many people actually pay more for a trip aboard an overcrowded cruise ship. Why not discover the ultimate way to cruise in style, your ultimate luxury cruise? That’ where yachts charters are making their marks. They are becoming increasingly popular. Why? Because they make it possible for discerning travellers to enjoy an intimate as well as flexible vacation. Add to that the fact that they staff pampers you to your heart’s delight, and you may never go on a “regular” cruise again. With Private Yacht Charters you are in complete control of your itinerary. With private yacht charters you can change your mind and stay that extra night on your favorite island or do whatever else you please. This would never be possible on a commercial cruise line… you would simply miss the boat, literally and figuratively.

Private Yachts Are The First Choice Of Honeymooners

Many honeymooners prefer the private yacht charter as do families who wish to have a reunion or wish to spend time together without the crowds, the hustle and bustle of large cruise liners. Most of all, when you choose a yacht charter with crew, you can be sure that your every whim will be catered to. Also, the private yacht charter captain acts also as a personal guide who can lead you to the most secluded beaches or the quietest anchorages to suit your individual tastes and preferences.

Though most cruise lines offer luxury in their cruise plans, there are some that push the limits and are often referred to as Luxury Cruise Lines. You’ll find much more than what is available on the typical cruise line offerings. For one thing, you can expect a memorable experience that is far above and beyond standard luxury concepts. Some of the notable luxury lines worth mentioning are Crystal Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, and Windstar Cruises.

The well trained staff aim to please, and they are good at it. You will receive service amazing service aboard these luxury cruise liners is amazing. There offer more staff, more exotic itineraries and more all-inclusive services than you would ever imagine. You can expect almost telepathic service because crew and staff are trained to anticipate the guest’s every whim and fancy while providing courteous and quick service. The luxury cruise ships are generally smaller than mainstream liners and typically cater to fewer than one hundred and fifty to just under four hundred guests. If there is one exception to the rule, it would be Crystal Cruises. It has three ships with a capacity of around nine hundred guests. Still, this is significantly less than what you would find on the crowded decks of the mainstream cruise lines.

Luxury cruise ships display high priced art, delicate china, rare woods as well as the finest fabrics and best in leather on board their liners and have expansive wine cellars as well as relatively bigger accommodation to provide the best of the best. These luxury cruises do not come cheap. You can expect to pay anywhere between three hundred dollars to two thousand dollars per person per day, depending on the ship you choose, the length of cruise as well as type of accommodation and destination you choose.

Cunard cruise line also offers much in the way of luxury cruises. It typifies the best in luxury cruises and offers relaxation with a level of pampering that makes them the first choice for the demanding traveler. With such amazing ships like the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth 2 and the soon to be completed Queen Victoria, you can expect their luxury cruises to be a unique experience, unmatched by any other ship in the world. The Queen Elizabeth 2 is renowned for catering to millionaires, royalty as well as celebrities and you will be transported to exotic destinations while indulging yourself in the ultimate in luxury aboard these famous ships.

The primary attraction of luxury cruises is the fact that they offer lots of fun, adventure and freedom and integrate it all seamlessly with a liberal supply of indulgent service, pampering and unequalled luxury that you can enjoy for the entire duration of the cruise. Regent Seven Seas Cruises is unique in luxury cruises in that it is the first cruise line to provide all-suite, all-balcony ships and is first also when it comes to providing Le Cordon Bleu restaurants at sea. In addition, it provides an all-inclusive value that includes gratuities, non-alcoholic beverages, and wines at dinner as well as an in-suite bar without having to pay extra for it.

For those that wish to experience a floating country club, the Oceania is a luxury liner that lays emphasis on excellence in cuisine, and is an entry-level luxury line whose ships travel to unique cruise destinations and have distinctive stateroom amenities as well as. The Silversea is the elite of the elite mid-sized all-suite ship whose privileged guests are served unparalleled cuisine with sophistication and intimacy. These luxury liners cater to anyone who desires the finer things of life”… love, laughter and untold luxury!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/582004

SA ports getting ready for a busy 2016/17 cruise season

With at least 14 luxury cruise lines and 20 vessels of all sizes set to ferry domestic and international tourists across the country’s port cities, South Africa’s ports are getting ready for another busy cruise season kicking off on 1 November.
MSC SINFONIA – the largest and most popular cruise ship in the local cruise calendar – will be a highlight when she arrives in her home port of Durban in the early hours of Tuesday, 1 November on a journey from Venice, Italy, carrying 2,600 European and South African passengers.

MSC Sinfonia
MSC Sinfonia

The ship has been accommodated at the Port of Durban’s longer M-berth since last year after being lengthened by 24 metres and undergoing a multi-million Euro revamp.

Also returning this season are Oceania Cruises with its vessels INSIGNIA and NAUTICA, Regent Seven Sea Cruises with VOYAGER, Silversea Cruises with SILVER CLOUD, MS AMADEA, owned by Amadea Shipping Company, and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ EUROPA.

Cunard Lines will again bring two prestigious vessels to the country this year, QUEEN MARY 2 and QUEEN ELIZABETH, both of which will call at Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Queen Elizabeth

Australian ship, OCEAN DREAM, chartered by Peace Boat, and Semester at Sea’s charter ship, WORLD ODYSSEY, once again make once-off calls this season to Cape Town, bringing international students to the country as part of their respective global study programmes.

Peace Boat in Cape Town 2015-16

Newcomers

New vessels this season includes LE LYRIAL, which was built only last year for Compagnie du Ponant. The vessel will call at Durban and Cape Town.

Another newcomer is AZAMARA run by Azamara Club Cruises, which will call at Cape Town. Germany-based travel agency Phoenix Reisen which sailed South Africa last season with the MS ALBATROS will bring its MV ARTANIA to Cape Town this season.

Upgraded N-Shed

In Durban, cruise vessels other than MSC SINFONIA continue to use the port’s N-Shed, which was upgraded ahead of the 2015/16 cruise season in a joint exercise between TNPA and MSC Cruises. N-Shed now boasts a number of new features for an improved passenger experience such as new signage, immigration and check-in desks, a new fast track lounge, new baggage scanners and conveyor belt, an air-conditioning system, extra seating, balustrades, turnstiles and sail shades, new ramps and a backup generator and UPS in the event of load shedding. TNPA has also made a number of changes to its operational processes to ensure visitors to the passenger terminal enjoy a smoother boarding and disembarkation.

The Port of Durban is set to award its tender for the development a new passenger terminal by February 2017.

Enhancing the cruise passenger experience

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, the V&A Waterfront (Pty) Ltd has taken over operation of the passenger terminal as part of its contract for operation, maintenance and transfer of ownership of the Cape Town passenger terminal back to TNPA after a period of 20 years. The Cape Town facility will remain at E-berth, Duncan Dock, in the Port of Cape Town. V&A Waterfront’s focus is primarily on enhancing the cruise passenger experience. The operator completed the first phase of improvements at the terminal ahead of the last cruise season as part of a three-phase growth plan.

Both passenger terminal projects fall under the Section 56 allowance of the National Ports Act 12 of 2005 which mandates TNPA to enter into agreements with private companies to design, develop, construct, maintain and operate facilities to ensure the provision of port services.

Local cruising industry on the rise

According to Antoinette Turner, product manufacturer for cruising at Flight Centre Travel Group, while the stereotypical profile of people who go on cruising holidays is older and wealthier, this is not the case in South Africa. In South Africa, cruising is the first travelling experience for many young people and has contributed to a 27% increase in the South African cruising industry in five years.
MustangJoe via
MustangJoe via pixabay
“We have loads of families, as most modern ships cater for children more than adults, with a variety of onboard activities to keep children busy. And we also have many honeymooners. It’s more the luxury cruises – which generally involve smaller ships and longer itineraries that are more expensive – that appeal to the older traveller,” she says.

Local cruises let travellers dip their toe into cruising

Turner says cruising is proving to be the first choice of holiday for virgin travellers in South Africa. Apprehension and cost are the reasons for this.

“We are finding that local cruises are very popular with people who have never cruised before. Cruising allows them to experience travelling in familiar surroundings before they embark on an international journey. Local cruises also depart from Durban and Cape Town, which means that they do not have to fly, but can drive to the point of departure. Local cruises are also great for families as two children who share with two paying adults often get to cruise for free, so it’s very cost-effective,” she says.

Turner says the cruising industry grew from at least R340-million in 2010 to R431-million in 2015, a year-on-year increase of almost 5%. This was based only on sales booked through travel agents and did not include those who booked directly with cruise operators.

All-inclusive travel options proving to be popular

She attributes the growth of the industry to convenience and cost-effectiveness, as well as the fact that South Africans are continuously on the lookout for all-inclusive travel options.

“You get to see five different places on one cruise and only unpack once. It is also a much more cost-effective way to travel. With cruising, all the meals and selected drinks (coffees and teas) are included. Shore excursion and drinks are payable on board, as well as any additional personal spending, but what most cruise liners have done is bundle drinks packages so that the South African market can pre-book and pay in rands, meaning they don’t incur any other costs for drinks when they get on board,” says Turner.

A local cruise lasts three to four nights on average, while an international cruise is about seven nights. Turner says the most popular cruises for South Africans are local voyages with MSC Cruises. Popular international cruises are Mediterranean, Dubai and Caribbean voyages.