Cruise lines continue to up the ante for travelers, offering new options, exciting destinations and upgraded services and amenities that, together, create amazing value and an exciting vacation.
Travel advisors know the ins and outs of each cruise line and can help travelers match the right cruise to them. For those curious about what a vacation at sea has in store, a couple of experts weigh in on some the best reasons to book a cruise now.
A Getaway for Everyone
Cruises provide a great option for families, providing alone time for both kids and parents.
“Most cruise lines have incredible programs designed just for younger travelers,” said Lauren Cardinale, Travel Design Co., affiliated with Oasis Travel Network.
“Family vacations are great-but so are parents’ getaways,” Cardinale added. Perhaps you’re not able to arrange for a sitter to watch the children while you get away for an anniversary weekend. Take the kids with you! They can enjoy the kids’ club during the day while the two of you spend time together.”
From shows and dancing to culinary classes and language lessons, there is seemingly no end to the activities available.
“There are many options for entertainment onboard,” said Cardinale. “You can take in a Broadway-style show; laugh the night away at a comedy show; take part in a cooking class, wine tasting, or mixology lesson; visit an art gallery and partake in a live auction; try your hand at the craps table or a game of poker in the onboard casino; and join other guests in daily games like trivia, ring toss, the Newlywed game, and dance contests.”
Adventure-lovers will also find activities just for them.
“Thrill-seekers can soar high above in a zipline, on a ropes course, or race down a waterslide,” she said. “The options are endless—and they’re typically included with the price of the cruise.”
Cruises offer a wealth of culinary adventures where everyone can find something they love to eat.
“Cruises provide endless dining options for even the pickiest of eaters,” said Cardinale. “From soft-serve ice cream bars and fries at the buffet to a five-course steak dinner, there is something for everyone. You also have the choice to dine together or separately. Cruise lines are even accommodating to all dietary needs, with advanced notice.”
MORE Cruise Line & Cruise Ship
“While consulting a travel advisor to pre-book your specialty dining and excursions is recommended, it isn’t necessary in order to enjoy the vacation,” said Cardinale. “I have worked with many couples and families who decide not to pre-plan anything and they come back saying it was the best vacation they’ve taken.
Leaving yourself free to explore and discover can be very relaxing.
“Our lives are over-scheduled so taking a cruise where the schedule is already made for you, dining is available when and where you want it, and all you have to do is walk off to explore the port towns or hail a taxi for the nearest beach, might be exactly the vacation you need,” she said.
“The value of cruising is unmatched,” said Kameish Stanley, vice president of marketing for SmartCruiser.com. “For example, most cruise lines include amenities such as beverage packages, internet access, gratuities, specialty dining and even kids-sail-free perks.”
While onboard options abound, there are also a variety of destinations to choose from.
“Cruises offer the convenience of visiting multiple destinations, but only needing to unpack once,” said Stanley.
No two cruise lines are alike either, meaning there is a lot of variety from which to choose.
“With hundreds of ships and multiple cruise lines ranging from contemporary to luxury to river cruising, there is something for everyone,” Stanley noted.
“Cruising is the best value for travelers when you consider all of the inclusions,” added Cardinale. “Comparing the price of a cruise complete with inter-island transfers, overnight accommodations, all meals and beverages, and entertainment, a cruise will almost always come out on top.”
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