Thursday, November 6, 2008

How The Luxury Cruises Work

caribbean cruise

So you have been kicking around the idea of going on a luxurious cruise for years and it's finally come time to book your reservations. But before you make that commitment, you need to learn more about the many options you have in the choices of available cruises. You'll have a plethora of decisions to make, starting with your destination and then taking into consideration such things as the size of the ship, the size of your cabin, the length of the voyage and of course your budget.

The major cruise lines visit about 1,800 different ports that span the globe, and not all of these ports will be places that you'll be interested in visiting. Because there are so many destinations, the first thing to do is decide which ones hold the most interest. For instance, you can focus on Caribbean or Mexican cruises if you are looking for warmth and sunshine, or you can go for the scenery and whale watching possibilities of an Alaskan or Antarctic cruise. Once you have narrowed down the general area that you want to cruise to, then you can more easily make your final decision.

The cruise companies offer a range of options with regard to how long you want to be away. Some might be for just two-nights, while others will last anywhere from one to two weeks. These are considered to be shorter cruises and are best suited for busy people and family travel.

The major cruise lines also offer longer voyages, with itineraries that span anywhere from three weeks to several months. Often these longer voyages provide opportunities to visit ports-of-call in several countries and sometimes more than one continent. Most of these longer itineraries are especially geared toward the affluent or retirees who have the time and financial freedom to be voyaging for weeks or months at a time.

Some cruise ships are referred to as "megaliners" and are so large that a person can actually get lost onboard. In fact, they are so large that they cannot even go through the Panama Canal. Cruises on megaliners can accommodate up to 2,000 passengers and provide a plethora of activities to keep passengers of all ages entertained and active. The mid-size ships are the most common and usually have up to 900 passengers, but still provide a nice variety of activities. The smaller ships are more intimate and usually accommodate less than 400 passengers.

There is also a class of cruise ships called "boutique ships," which could be compared to luxury boutique hotels. They offer exceptional attention to service and usually have an even higher standard of gourmet food, which is saying something considering that these floating hotels are well-known for the quality and selection of fine foods.

The vast majority of cabins onboard ship are considered to be standard-size and are generally quite cozy, which helps encourage people to take advantage of the many amenities during their time aboard. Cabins with ocean views and verandas are very popular, but will cost more than an interior cabin. Many of the newer cruise ships are being designed so that virtually all of the cabins have at least a minimal exterior view and some even boast that every cabin has a veranda, albeit small ones. For cruisers with the cash, there are spacious suites, but the cost of these puts them well out of reach for the average person.

The internet is a rich source of information about cruises. Not only can you learn more about cruising and how to get the most from your experience, but you can also research your destination choices to help you finalize your decision. Check out the discount travel websites for cruising tips and the travel forums for honest feedback about the different cruise lines. Many times the travel websites, especially those that specialize in cruise information, can lead you to the hot deals and deep discount packages.

There was a time when cruises were not that ideal of a vacation. You had to follow the ship's itinerary and rarely had much choice in what went on. Even the activities were scheduled and sometimes might be very boring. The cruises that are available today are no where near like their predecessors. These ships have a full range of services ranging from gambling to a luxury spa for those who want to unwind and relax. Your cruise on the ocrean is created precisely as they want. No more strict schedules for you. You have the option to select when you wish to eat, have fun or sleep. Click here for more information:

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