Friday, June 15, 2007

Why Take A Cruise Vacation?

By Colin Hartness

Have you considered taking a cruise vacation but just aren’t sure if it would be right for you? With all the cruise lines available, all the cruise destinations, the range of prices, there is a cruise for just about everyone.

Do you commute to work every day, sitting in traffic for perhaps hours? Think about it, on a cruise you don’t drive anywhere for 7, 10, 14 days or more. Now, even if you were on a bus tour with no driving yourself, you haul your luggage or at least pack and unpack it at each stop. On a cruise, you check your luggage when you check in and it magically appears in your cabin, stateroom, or suite. You unpack once, feeling at home for the duration of the cruise. The cruise staff will tell you when to place your bags outside your accommodations at the end of the cruise and, just a magically, your luggage will be waiting for you on shore at a designated pick-up point. Taking a cruise vacation frees you from some of the hassles of traveling.

If you take a driving vacation, there’s always the question of where to stop to eat. All meals are included in the price of your cruise and great food is one of the main attractions of taking a cruise. Most contemporary cruises take into account the modern casual lifestyle and provide a variety of restaurants and snack bars on board. Typically, there is a varied and plentiful breakfast and lunch buffet similar to what you find in Las Vegas. Or you can eat breakfast or lunch in one of the ship’s restaurants, ordering exactly what you want from the ample menu, prepared fresh for you. Restaurants are usually open for meals for extended hours and buffets are generally open all day and into the night. Have you heard of the midnight buffet available on some cruises?

Dinner is an important event on a cruise ship, a tradition dating back to the late 1800’s when cruises were for royalty and the wealthy who expected elegant formal dinners. Again, in today’s lifestyle the elegant dinner is optional, and for those who prefer to dine casually, the dinner buffet is available usually until 9 pm. Most cruise ships offer excellent cuisine, especially at dinner, in the main dining room or rooms plus offer meals at upscale specialty restaurants at additional cost. Cruise lines base much of their reputation on their food service, and terms such as “world class cuisine” and “gourmet meals” are combined with “impeccable service” to insure that the onboard dining experience is truly memorable. Many cruises still offer one or more optional formal dinners where ladies where long formal gowns or other evening dresses and gentlemen wear tuxedos or dark suits.

Once onboard your cruise vessel, there are activities 24 hours a day. Modern cruise ships boast state-of-the-art 700 plus seat theatres for quality shows and entertainment, all included in the cruise price. There is unique entertainment in the theatre every evening of the cruise. Most ships also have a number of themed bars, lounges, and discos with live entertainment that are open into the early morning hours. Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks are seldom included in the cruise price. Most ships also provide a casino that is open while the ship is in international waters.

If night life isn’t your style, you can enjoy the onboard pool, spa, library, fitness center, and other amenities. Many cruises now offer instructional classes on a variety of topics during the day. If you have children on the cruise, there are usually play areas and programs geared to different age groups.

Did we forget about the cruise destination itself? Cruises typically stop at a different port of call each day or every other day, depending upon distances and sailing time between points of interest. You may stay aboard the ship all day or disembark at any stop. You are free to explore each destination on your own as long as you return to the ship by the designated time.

Also cruise lines offer a variety of shore excursions at additional cost. These adventures are geared toward the unique features of the destination. For example, Caribbean cruises offer snorkeling, diving or beach excursions while Alaskan cruises offer helicopter tours or dogsled trips. For the less adventuresome, normally there are bus tours or supervised shopping excursions in the local port. Everything, including meal stops, is prearranged. All you need to do is find the correct line onshore and an experienced guide handles the rest of your tour.

With all these great services available at a reasonable cost, why not take a cruise vacation?

About the Author: Looking for information about cruises?
Go to: 'What Cruises' is published by Colin Hartness -
An excellent resource for Cruises!
Check out more cruise articles at:


Family Cruise: Family Get-Together for Fun

By Colin Hartness

A family cruise is a perfect getaway with loads of fun and excitement for everybody. Whenever you have kids bored with the usual stuff amusement parks, theater and all and your spouse needs a change, plan a cruise. You will get addicted to it. Family cruise is a sure shot way to drive away boredom.

A movie to watch, a relaxing massage, snooker game…anything, you just name it. You have many activities to choose from, actually that is the most difficult part- to decide what to do. Family cruise is one of the healthiest entertaining ways to enjoy your vacation with your family and cherish the memories forever. You will find selective activities and tailor made services for all of you. You just need some planning.

Start planning your family cruises, by defining your budget. Once you know your budget look for cruises that fit into your budget. After short listing, the cruises look for the facilities and services they are offering along with the nature and types of activities suitable for children. You of course want them to enjoy the cruise so there should be sufficient provision to keep them happily occupied. If you have very young children, make sure cribs and babysitting facilities are available. While for a bit older children loads of activities like dancing classes, escorted tours, parties, games and contests are planned. Every cruise has its own bag of goodies for children. Keep your children’s age in mind when you re going through these activities.

Some family cruises do not allow infants or pregnant women onboard. Check at the time of booking whether infant care and baby-sitting facilities are available or not. Keep ample stock of the things your baby might need like baby food, diapers, as you might not find them onboard.

While embarking on a family cruise, make sure there are proper medical facilities are available for emergencies. Also, make enquiries about fees for cancellation or changing dates for the trip, in case any such need arises. It is better to check latest information about the cruise schedule on the cruise’s website. A weeklong cruise is perfect for families and you are sure to find more families joining the fun.

One of the popular family cruises is a Disney cruise. With many special facilities and fun filled activities to occupy young and old alike, Disney cruise is a perfect setting for fun, fun and more fun. You have a club and lab for kids, Flounder’s reef nursery for your babies, a coffeehouse, specially designed programs in filmmaking and photography plus interesting teen outings along with live shows.

Another interesting family cruise is the carnival cruise with its special fun ships. The fun ships have special entertainers, Karaoke parties, teen makeovers and art & photography classes, water slides, ship tours for children etc. There are special camp carnivals for different age groups. There are specially designed virtual reality machines in the entertainment complex along with disco and video arcade. There is a playroom with loads of toys and electronic games.

Family cruises are joyous occasions for the family where they can spend some quality time with one another. Simply put, are great places to unwind and enjoy.


Looking for information about cruises?

Go to:
'What Cruises' is published by Colin Hartness -

An excellent resource for Cruises!

Check out more cruise articles at: