There is good reason why eleven million adults and one million children opt for cruising holidays every year. With a hefty number of attractive cruise liners to choose from, it is quite possible to see every corner of the globe in a matter of months.
From the ancient ports of Western Europe to fascinating archaeological sites like Pompeii to shopping hotspots on the Balearic Islands to breathtaking glaciers in Alaska to paradise in the Caribbean, you can luxuriously sail your way through your bucket list.
A cruising holiday is as hassle-free as they come. All that is required from your side is to arrive, board, unpack (once only) and indulge in all the luxuries onboard, such as all-inclusive meals, spa treatments and multi-generational entertainment. Today’s major cruise lines are continuously coming up with innovative ways to fulfill the needs of every kind of traveller. Whether it’s a golf-themed cruise aboard Celebrity Cruises or an Atlantis cruise aimed at gay travellers, the choices of cruises are endless. With far-reaching and varied cruising itineraries, you may find yourself swimming alongside dolphins in the Caribbean, eating pizza in Naples, sailing up the Nile, riding an elephant in Phuket, gazing at killer whales in Alaska or dancing the tango in Argentina. Besides the itinerary, selecting a cruise that matches your needs is key to the perfect getaway. Discount Cruises, specialists in cruising, shed light on what’s out there.
There are few holidays more suited to the whole family than cruising. Through specialised toddler programmes, babies are treated like royalty on Royal Caribbean Cruises. This kid-friendly cruise line is heaven on earth, complete with rock-climbing walls, zip-lines, mini-golf courses, sheet wave surfing and indoor ice rinks. Other favourite cruise ships among kids include Disney and Carnival Cruises where enthusiastic camp counselors, interactive programs and fun activities keep the little ones entertained.
On-deck water slides, talking paintings in the corridors and the latest Disney blockbusters screened in the cinema are some of the special features on Disney Cruises. Celebrity Cruises also offer a well-received teen programme that entails dancing, karaoke, fitness programs and video games.
While children have the time of their lives, parents can explore new destinations during days ashore or kick back and enjoy spa facilities, onboard entertainment and special dining experiences.
Romantic Cruises for Couples
Endless horizons, sunsets, cozy cabins and new destinations to wake up to are a handful of the romantic perks aboard cruises. Whether you’re interested in a wedding, honeymoon, vow renewal or simply a beautiful vacation with your sweetheart, taking to the high seas may be the perfect choice for you.
Princess Cruises max out on romance with special occasion packages that include a bottle of champagne, canapés and petit fours waiting in your stateroom. Choose a room with a balcony and indulge in a private lobster dinner while overlooking the sparkling seas. Norwegian Cruises offer in-room massages for couples, while Holland America offers fun couples’ gourmet culinary lessons. On a Carnival Cruise, couples can enjoy live entertainment worthy of Broadway.
Single and Mingling at Sea
Cruises are ideal for both single travellers who prefer quiet journeys and for singletons who fancy a bit of socializing. Holland America goes out of its way to make singles cruisers happy and comfortable. Their Single Partners Programme features dance partner pairings, dining with other solo cruises on request and many activities perfect for making new friends. Choose to room with another solo traveller, or indulge in a stateroom all to yourself.
Princess Cruises too have extensive programmes for singles cruisers. Special singles events let you easily meet your shipmates. And once you book your cruise, you’ll have access to an online community where you can chat with other singles cruisers before your ship departs.
Sea Adventures for the Senior and Disabled
Mature travelers will find camaraderie, adventure and comfort while cruising with peers. Aboard Cunard Cruises elderly travellers enjoy enrichment and lecture programmes that let them exercise their minds. Favorites include the book club, workshops on oceanography, a theatre class and more. Heart-healthy and delicious dining options are readily available on many cruise lines. In addition to Holland America’s Health Conscious dining option, guests are welcome to request any dietary needs, such as vegetarian, diabetic, gluten-free and kosher meals. Guests who are physically challenged or have medical needs will find Celebrity Cruises quite accommodating. Those with mobility disabilities are able to board early, have access to scooters while onboard and can take advantage of hydraulic lifts into the sauna/pool on select ships. Guests who have visual or auditory impairments will also find that every attention to detail has been made to assure a comfortable and enjoyable travel experience.
Cruising Around the World
If time and money allow, world cruising can be the holiday of a lifetime. Cunard’s luxury cruises include three-month journeys that take you from America to the Caribbean, then to Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe and beyond. Around the world Princess Cruises are well equipped with every comfort and amenity available. Brimming with entertainment, spacious surroundings and indulgent dining options, you’ll feel at home during your world journey.
There’s no experience quite like that of a luxury cruise. With the finest bed linens, most exquisite gourmet dining options, white-glove service and the best amenities possible, you will feel as if you are aboard the Titanic (but without the hitch!). Cunard’s ultra-luxurious cruise ships are the epitome of indulgence at sea. Guests dress to the nines in tuxedos and gorgeous gowns for elegant ballroom dances. Several bars, clubs and lounges serve fine wines alongside world-class entertainment. Exclusive culinary creations are presented to you by waiters expertly trained in Cunard White Star Service.
Azamara Cruises also take pride in impeccable guest services and luxury amenities. Boasting one staff member per two guests, you will undoubtedly be well taken care of on Azamara Cruises. In-room spa treatments and acupuncture at sea are a few ultra-luxurious services on offer.
Local is Lekker
MSC Sinfonia and MSC Opera are the primary cruise ships operating from South Africa. Both ships set sail regularly from Durban and Cape Town. As the largest and most modern cruise ship to operate from a South African port, MSC Sinfonia boasts 777 cabins (of which 132 are suites with private balconies), four restaurants, ten bars and two pools. With a business and conference centre, internet café, casino, cigar room, disco, fitness centre, golf simulator, library, card room, mini club, teen’s club, exchange office and medical centre, travellers are sure to be kept busy. MSC Cruise ship itineraries include destinations around South Africa, as well as Namibia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion and St Helena. Accommodation, meals, and entertainment are all included in the cruise fare and children under-18 cruise for free, making it one of South Africa’s best value family holidays.
For something unique, take an adventurous trip on the last working Royal Mail Ship (RMS) to the isolated island of St. Helena. This cargo-passenger ship sails between Cape Town, St. Helena, Ascension Island and Walvis Bay and returns to England twice a year. In addition to carrying passengers in well-fed comfort and old-world charm, she is the sole source of supplies to St. Helena. The average duration of journeys aboard RMS is 18 days and guests enjoy the personal attention and new-formed friendships that make this ocean experience distinctive.
By Franki Black http://www.travelideas.co.za/
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