A wild new wave of chic and savvy itineraries, a strong fleet of ships that have just been christened and a selection of nine different pillows while you are at sea -accept it-this is not a cruise belonging to your grandmother’s time.
Not long ago, , traveling aboard cruise ships considered as the ultimate benchmark in luxury-with a high-society gala being played out over many weeks at a time. Business was done. Friends were made. A lot would happen aboard ships that sailed across the continents-think Titanic. Well, the era died out in the latter half of 20th century, with cruising becoming synonymous with travel plans that were less than chic.(image by Original Reals)
However, things have taken a turn for the better in the last few years with Generation Next discovering both the value and pleasure of cruising — à deux or en famille. It now appears that the current year is shaping up to be the best in the history of cruising. Top-tier lines are fast investing in the sleekest new vessels to have ever hit the waters-and heavily too!
By and large, these vessels are of the sub-500-guest, intimate variety and come packaged with amenities that are capable of competing with those provided by the finest resorts world over. Here, you can think of personalized sessions along with a fitness guru, made all the memorable by an Elemis seaweed wrap later -as in the list of services offered by the yachts managed by Seabourn’s Sojourn.
And yes, these services and added packages have been taken note of by sophisticated travelers too. According to travel experts, the changing times are seeing a growth in the segment of energetic and young travelers trying a cruise for the very first time or trading up to luxe. In what appears to be one of the last bastions of elegant privacy; cruise lines are refraining from dropping the name of their passengers. However, grapevines do let us know for a fact that James Taylor took Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 recently– from New York to the port of Southampton; while Oprah Winfrey treated her team to an exciting ten-day Mediterranean vacation aboard the exotic Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem.
The global economic crisis/downturn has created the platform for never-before-seen values available at the high end. While round-trip airfare to most departure ports is free and common; cruisers can even find business classes included on certain itineraries. Also frequently offered are onboard credits for boutique shopping and/or spa treatments; free shore excursions; exciting two-for-one offers and other deals and plain old lower prices-which are more often than not discounted by more than 50 percent from the available rack rates.
Rather than lamenting over potentially lower bottom lines, cruise companies are now welcoming this season as valuable opportunities for showing off their ware to more youthful clienteles, globally. The good news is that these deals are not coming through at the expense of quality-instead ship directors are striving hard not to dilute the first time cruise experiences for fresher eyes. (image by Barbara)
So, if you are looking towards a vacation of peace, relaxation and quietude-far away from the maddening lands, then simply book your cruise and set sail -you will not be disappointed!
Related post: Exciting Adventures by Cruise Ships
Feature image Barbara