Planning a Cruise Vacation
Vacationing on a cruise ship is an increasingly popular option for travelers of all ages and stages of life. According to the Cruise Line Industry Association, more than 13 million people choose cruise vacations each year. Cruises are essentially all-inclusive vacations that take place on large, luxurious ships, and are ideal for single and attached adults, as well as young families with children of varying ages. Many ships have onboard swimming pools, nightclubs, casinos, and spas, as well as live shows. Cruise vacations can last from as few as two or three days to several weeks, traveling both near and quite far. While there are many cruise lines, destinations, and packages to choose from, we’ll review three of the top cruise lines that deliver the most bang for your buck.
Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruise Line, and Carnival Cruise Lines! These three cruise ships are said to give cruise-goers the best bang for their buck, and after delving into the details a little deeper, it’s easy to see why. Reading reviews about these cruise lines make it known that these are the cruise getaways everyone needs to experience for themselves!
There are several kinds of cruises for people of all ages, and they are categorized in order of ascending price. These categories include Contemporary, Premium, Deluxe, and Luxury. The Contemporary cruise lines are the most commonly known, such as Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Premium cruising include Disney and Princess Cruises. The Deluxe and Luxury cruise lines offer more personal cruise vacations and state of the art luxury, spaciousness, and comfort…at a price. Regardless of how much travelers are willing to pay, cruise vacations offer the basics across the board.
Included in cruise package prices are staterooms, all meals and all non-alcoholic drinks, and most on-board activities. Some shore excursions are also made available during the booking process and are included in the package prices offered to travelers; however, many shore excursions will cost extra money. Also not included in the overall cruise costs are spa treatments and trips to the onboard casino, as well as alcohol provided to adults onboard; these add-ons, however, can often be negotiated into the overall price when travel details are confirmed.
The dining options afforded on cruise ships are one of the most popular aspects of these types of vacations. Cruise lines tend to have many options for breakfast and lunch, including the ever-popular buffets. If they prefer, travelers can also get sit-down meals for breakfasts and lunches. Dinner, however, is often a more formal affair on cruise ships. Travelers are assigned specific dining times at ship restaurants, and are seated at tables with fellow travelers. This adds a festive air to dinner each night, especially when there are designated formal nights onboard. For travelers who want more private dinner options, room service is offered all day and night.
Because cruise vacations are subject to weather changes, it is important for travelers to know approximately what times of year and possible destinations that they intend to travel when beginning their research. While many cruises are offered all year long, there are a few destinations that are seasonal. For example, cruises to Alaska are limited to summer months when temperatures are warmer. Because weather patterns can change in an instant, it is also important for travelers to keep in mind that cruises can be changed or even canceled for the safety of the crew and passengers. Because these possibilities are included in cruise line company contracts, passengers are often not reimbursed for costs associated with weather-related problems. Regardless of the weather, however, booking a cruise vacation is deemed well-worth it by most travelers.