Cruising Trip

Archive for May 2009

Small Or Large Cruise Ship

leave a comment »

When choosing a cruise vacation it can be easy to get carried away by the destinations and exciting ports of call. Often times it can be easy to forget about the cruise ship and what it offers. When it comes to booking your cruise vacation the size of the cruise ship should be considered along with where you want it to go.

Cruise type

Cruise vacations offer a range of options from expedition-style journeys sailing to far-off destinations to classic voyages that visit the world’s greatest cities. You name it, traveling by cruise ship offers a wealth of things to do to suit all tastes, abilities and inclinations.

But,the size of the cruise ship does matter. There are benefits to both large and small ships. Therefore, it’s imperative for prospective cruisers to define what’s important to them. Do you want a vessel small enough to call at remote ports or one large enough where there’s a never ending list of organized activities? Do you prefer to wear formal clothes or will casual options suffice?

Also, keep in mind the kind of facilities you want on your cruise. After all, the amenities of the ship are considered an essential part of the cruise experience. What matters to you most: a state-of-the-art spa and gym, a lively casino, multiple dining venues, Vegas-style entertainment, children’s program – or all the above?

Small ship

Anyone who cruises knows the potential for crowd in ports when numerous large ships have tied up to the pier on the same day. There is something to be said about the more personal and intimate aspects of small ship sailing. When docking in port small vessels are often able to moor at the center of town allowing more accessible sightseeing without the big ship crowds. Additionally, getting on and off the ship is much easier so there are less lines and more time to spend in port.

Smaller ships have an advantage over bigger ships in that they can visit remote destinations and undiscovered areas. With their smaller size, these ships can visit more exotic ports, traverse rivers, and call at tiny islands off limits to larger cruise ships.

An important factor in choosing a ship is the other passengers. At the end of a cruise on ship with thousands of passengers, you will still be seeing people for the first time. Whereas small ship cruises have a small town atmosphere where you’re more likely to socialize and see familiar faces.

Still there are some issues to consider with smaller ships. The numbers of dining areas are limited and seating options could vary from open to assigned tables. Nightlife tends to be less vibrant and that could pose an issue for those who prefer a robust entertainment selection. Some expedition vessels don’t have elevators and that could pose a problem for older or mobility challenged guests. Additionally, for those travelling alone, smaller cruises rarely offer dedicated singles events like the big ships do.

Big ship

When it comes to booking cruise vacation, it’s easy to think bigger is better. Indeed, the majority of new ships are getting bigger and bigger each year with many carrying over 3,000 passengers. The aforementioned figure can be hard to comprehend. With so many passengers how will the onboard service be? Regardless of size, cruise lines do a very good job taking care of their guests. It’s also worth noting that the bigger the ship the more facilities and capabilities to absorb those massive numbers.

If you’re looking for premium restaurants and extensive facilities with large spas, gyms, organized activities, casinos and glitzy shows, the bigger cruise ship tends to offer more round-the-clock entertainment choices.

If you’re a family with young children, booking cruise vacations on larger ships is always more likely to keep the kids entertained since these vessels tend to have more to offer for children including children’s clubs and children’s entertainments on hand, as well as babysitting facilities.

Cruise vacations are traditionally popular with older travellers since facilities are accessible and easy to get around on. With on-board facilities and entertainment, elevators from deck to deck and organized activities, cruise vacations are the perfect option.

Big or small, there is a cruise ship out there that will fit your idea of the perfect cruise vacation. All it takes is a little detective work to end up on your dream boat.

Written by Leon

May 27, 2009 at 5:24 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Cruise Travel Tips – 5 Ways to Save Money on Board a Cruise Ship

leave a comment »

Cruising can be a great way to save money on your vacations, but what most people don’t think about is the price of the cruise itself is just the beginning when it comes to how much they hope you will spend. The cruise lines are happy to get you on board the ship so they can get you to pull out your wallet for drinks, purchases in the gift shops, money in the casino, shore excursions and activities, and so on. Here are 5 cruise travel tips to help you hold onto more of your money on your next cruise.

1. If you are going to spend money in the casino, set a predetermined daily amount beforehand and stick to it. You can win in these casinos but not as easily or as much as you will in the ones in, say, Las Vegas. It can still be a lot of fun but keep your budgeted amount in mind and don’t go over.

2. Art auctions. A lot of cruises have these, and I tend to get sucked into them for some reason. I bought about 5 pieces one time and they are still sitting in a box in the spare room. I just have never gotten around to having them framed and put up. If you have a lot of need for art, it can be a decent place to get some and the auctions are fun, but if not, try and resist this because you can spend quite a lot of money on art that can be obtained elsewhere for probably less money.

3. I love to shop, and when limited to the gift shops on board the ship, that doesn’t stop me from shopping. However, I tend to spend too much for things that I definitely don’t need and probably could buy on eBay or on shore for a lot less. Sure, go ahead and pick up a few souvenirs of the ship, but don’t go “overboard.”

4. Before using your cell phone on the ship, check and see what you’ll be paying per minute. Often the charges are quite high, up to around $3.00 per minute in some cases and sometimes more. Wait to go on shore to use your phone or laptop if possible.

5. Many cruises now offer the choice of an “alternative” restaurant in addition to your included meals. There’s really no need to take advantage of this as it means extra money, since all your food is included in the price of your trip. However, if you hear fellow passengers giving rave reviews to the meals there, you might opt to eat one of your dinners there as a special treat. But otherwise, save your money.

Written by Leon

May 21, 2009 at 5:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

What Are Gay Group Cruises All About?

leave a comment »

If you’re not ready for an all-gay cruise, or there’s something you don’t like about them, the next best thing is gay group cruises. Gay group cruises are basically an organized group of gays on what would be an otherwise straight cruise. They’re treated like any other group, such as a company or other arranged group. It’s like a cruise within a cruise!

The gay group on a large ship might be between 1 and 10% of all the passengers. The experience is somewhere in between being on a mainstream cruise and an all-gay cruise, as you might expect. Meetings and activities will be arranged, which will make it easy to find friends and dining buddies, but gay activities will sometimes be in closed quarters, so as not to offend other passengers. There are some special events though, parties, bar events or access to certain areas or lounges that might otherwise not be available.

The good thing about gay group cruises is that there are far more options than with gay cruises. They have different ports of call, destinations, timings and are far more numerous in availability. As a result, pricing may also be more competitive than it would be with an all-gay cruise.

Gay group cruises are like a half-step into all-gay cruises. You get to sample a lot of the benefits, but aren’t forced into that atmosphere. On the other hand, all-gay cruises go to destinations that they’ve found to be gay-friendly, and there’s no chance of weird looks from other passengers.

As always, the best option is to thoroughly investigate your options, give it a lot of thought, then make your decision and be happy with it!

Written by Leon

May 15, 2009 at 5:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tips to Find Great Last Minute Cruises and Deals

leave a comment »

So you have a destination in mind, you know what time of year you want to set sail – you have a plan. Well that’s great, the hardest part of booking any cruise holiday is choosing your destination, and the second hardest is actually in the booking. Many people ask me when to book their holiday, do the same rules apply to package holidays as cruise holiday, well, put simply yes, and they do, to a certain extent.

The first question you will be asked after choosing your destination is where on the ship you want to stay. Now if you have a cabin in mind with limited availability and you have set your heart on staying there then booking ahead isn’t such a bad idea. You will know where you are staying and you know you will have the best seat in the house, however, if your not too concerned about the location of your cabin then booking last minute might be the way forward.

Here are my top tips for making a last minute cruise booking…

1. Don’t be too picky about what cabin you want, you are only sleeping there after all, there is plenty to do above deck!

2. Compare prices on all the latest deals and use this information to get a ball park figure of what you should be paying.

3. Book online and take the hassle out of call queues.

4. If you’re offered an upgrade on a cabin, ensure the ‘special rate’ isn’t just the standard rate; make sure you’re getting the best deal.

5. You can get an even better deal if you’re not bothered about your destination.

Well, that’s about it really, not that hard is it! Just following these simple steps can ensure you get a cruise bargain. Oh, and one more thing – enjoy your cruise holiday!

Written by Leon

May 8, 2009 at 5:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized