When it comes to choosing a cruise, however, it is important to take into account that not all cruise lines are alike and similarly not all cruises are the same either.
Some cruise lines offer a more formal, stately experience aimed at a mature clientele. The ambiance and entertainment onboard will reflect this reality. The going will generally also be more relaxed. In this regard Cunard would be a great choice.
Other lines, such as Royal Caribbean for example, cater for the whole family. Their ships feature amenities such as zip lines, casinos, rock-climbing, ice skating, basketball, volleyball, mini-golf, boxing and surfing rings. The onboard restaurants cater for a wide variety of tastes: there are a choice of formal restaurants and informal eateries such as Johny Rockets Diner.
Then there are also cruises catering specifically for the younger crowd, who want an active onboard experience. Windstar Cruises, for example, offer sailing, wind surfing, jet skiing and snorkeling opportunities on many of their cruises.
Expedition cruises is a fast-growing segment of the cruise market. Here the emphasis is entirely on the destination, which is usually exotic and off-the-beaten-track. Examples include cruises to the Arctic, the Galapagos Islands and Alaska.
The one drawback of a cruise ship is that it can’t go overland. So there’s simply no way to see Machu Picchu from the deck of a cruise liner. And sometimes one wants to spend a little bit more time at a particular destination than allowed by the tight schedule of the cruise. This is when an option such as Jetline Cruises’ Cruise and Stay program is a great alternative. Not only can one spend time at the arrival or destination port before or after the cruise, but it is also possible to combine a cruise with a land tour.
Apart from the destination and the onboard facilities, there are other factors to take into account as well. Cost is an important consideration for most people. In this regard it’s useful to know that booking long before the date of departure can often secure great bargains.
The duration of the cruise is of course also an important factor to consider. Retired people with sufficient funds would undoubtedly love a 120-day world cruise, while younger people with less money and time might prefer a shorter mini-cruise.
(Photo via rhythmtravelandtours.com)