It is the time of year the cruise companies saturate the mail with advertisements for the upcoming year's cruises. To get you out of the winter doldrums, their brochures depict turquoise waters, sandy beaches, coral reefs teeming with colorful fish; scantily clad lovers exploring an underwater world.
It already sounds inviting, and if I was smart I would book a cruise right away and forgo this article, but then I wouldn't be able to finish this, and no one would have anything to read. Cruising is a great vacation experience. Bargains can be had on all major cruise lines, and for the more discerning tastes, if they book an early all-inclusive cruise then the 2 for 1 price usually applies.
But I am getting ahead of myself. As a travel writer and agent, I get tons of information on cruises this time of year. I receive information from the major cruise lines, but also get mail from the more exclusive lines. All those advertisements whet the appetite of any vacationer, but it is the exclusive lines that take a little more care in their advertisements to get the attention of the cruise vacationer.
We know that major cruise lines offer something for everyone. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Norwegian, to name a few, cater to the masses. They have fine tuned their cruises to accommodate food, entertainment and ports of call that are popular with most cruisers. They sail the Caribbean throughout the year, the most popular destination for cruises, catering to the whims of the majority.
Carnival caters to the young and adventurous; both in age and spirit. The waterslides, golf range and rock wall are a few of the old adventurous standby's. The surfing pool is an added sport on the newer ships. Carnival still caters to the young family. Carnival has a great price to fit any family vacation budget. It has added value in that lodging, most meals and entertainment are included. Shore excursions add on extra money, but a family can choose excursions that do not cost a ton of money.
Royal Caribbean Cruises is another great way to vacation. The good thing about RCCL is that not only does the cruise line give the adventurous something to do, but the couple who want a little more quiet time can also find their niche on cruises from this Sunset cruise koh samui. They visit the most popular destinations, as well as, Carnival, but are a little pricier, but they do give the cruiser more for their money.
Celebrity and Norwegian, cater to the older generations, or those who want quiet cruises with no or few children. These cruises are little longer, add more ports of call, but still stop at the most popular destinations. Celebrity's rooms are a little larger and many feature balconies. The romantic room service is another way to set themselves apart from Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
But there are some adventurous vacationers who want more out of their cruises. Cruise lines like Seven Seas, Seabourn, Crystal and Princess give the discerning, adventurous traveler what they want. Most of these cruises are all inclusive. Many Seabourn and Seven Seas cruises charge 1 price for the cruise that is the only fee paid during the cruise. Everything is paid for. There are no hidden fees at the end of the cruise because you had two bottles of champagne or a margarita by the pool every day. Most ports of calls are also included. Some may be extra, but as a rule the majority are included in the cruise fee.
Not only is the cruise all inclusive, but many times there are specials that include airfare, upgrades and no fees for special ports of calls. These cruises seldom just visit the Caribbean. It isn't that they don't sail the Caribbean, but they too are more adventurous and like to sail Europe, Mediterranean, China, Baltic Seas and Hawaii to name a few destinations. These destinations take longer to cruise. The average cruise on these lines is 11 days. Some do offer 7 day cruises, but those cruises usually means that the end port is where the cruiser disembarks and flies home from a different destination than their arrival. Seven Seas has a wonderful Athens/Monte Carlo cruise that begins in Monte Carlo and ends in Athens. Cruisers will book a flight into Monte Carlo and the return flight will be from Athens. But don't despair; Seven Seas cruises have FREE *airfare to Europe, so when you book all of those arrangements will be made.