Cruising can be a wonderful way to travel. If you have not been on a cruise, you may have images of gigantic floating cities, and long lines. While the mainstream cruise lines are generally large ships, they also have a lot to do, and are especially good for traveling with family members of all ages. If you re feeling like you have “been there and done that”, perhaps it is time to consider an upgrade to luxury. After all, you deserve it.
As a top producer in the Virtuoso Voyages program, I have a lot of experience in the luxury cruise world. I’d like to share with you my Top 8 Reasons to Choose a Luxury Cruise.
Mainstream cruises offer ships that carry between 2,000 – 6,000 passengers at a time, while luxury lins carry between 60 (yes, you read that right!) and 1,000, with the majority averaging 400 – 600 passengers. Fewer passengers means there is more space for everyone, with no crowds and no waiting in line.
Seabourn, for example, offers all-suite ships, with the smallest suite measuring about 300 square feet, with a 65 square foot balcony. Compare that to a mainstream balcony room measuring around 170 square feet with a 40 square foot balcony. That adds up to a lot more elbow room and comfort. (Plus, there is space to enjoy room service!)
Drinks, gratuities, specialty restaurants, and more are usually included in your luxury cruise fare. Some lines, like Regent, also offer included air and excursions in each port. Yes, the cruise fare is higher, and so is the value. Imagine getting off a ship with no bill at all. Dreaming? Nope, luxury cruising.
Imagine sailing through the Aeolian islands in Italy, and seeing the volcanic activity of Stromboli. Or anchoring off the coast of St. Barts and strolling over to shell beach for a couple of hours. Picture yourself stopping at Komodo Island, Indonesia, and walking among the famous Komodo Dragons. Each of these, and more, are possible on your next luxury cruise vacation.
Being greeted by name is the rule, rather than the exception on a luxury cruise. Don’t be surprised if by day two, the bartenders know your favorite drink, and your cabin stewardess has left extra bottles of Pellegrino for you. With a ratio of 1 or 1.5 crew members for every guest, excellent service is the standard on a luxury ship.
Have a special request? Don’t be shy! Most of the time these are handled with ease.
Visualize yourself on a secluded beach, frosty beverage in hand, making the hard decisions: should I go in the water or read my book? What cocktail should I try next? Then picture your ship’s crew members driving up on a boat filled with caviar and champagne. All this is followed by a lavish buffet, including lobster, and another tough decision about cocktails.
It may seem like fantasy, but this is how cruise lines like Seabourn and Seadream host a beach party. Read more about my last experience at a Seabourn beach party here. (Now that I have your attention, call me to book your next luxury cruise. The Caribbean season for 2020 – 2021 offers some very attractive pricing right now.)
MEET SOME NICE PEOPLE
It is super easy to meet new people when nobody has to pick up the tab for beverages. It is also easy to have a conversation with someone and then meet up with them again on a small ship. On larger ships, I have enjoyed conversations with strangers only to never see them again in the sea of thousands of guests. Smaller ships allow for more passenger interaction.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people from Munich and London (to name a few places) and subsequently visit those new friends on future travels. Again, this is the norm rather than the exception.
GREAT FOR SMALL GROUPS
Milestone birthdays or anniversaries are just two excuses to grab a group of friends and head out to sea. It is always easy to find a place to hang out or play a game on a luxury ship. Gracious spaces and ample seating, and easy-to-achieve special requests make this type of cruise perfect for your next gathering. As a Virtuoso advisor, I can often get even more added amenities for your group.
As luxury lines come out with new ships, and even smaller expedition ships, luxury and adventure can often go hand in hand. You do not need to sacrifice luxury to enjoy an adventure to the Arctic, or an expedition cruise to the Galapagos or Northern Europe. From ships with helicopters and submarines to ice-rated hulls, we can truly get you anywhere you want to go.