THE TAPAS OF TRAVEL
Forget the blue rinse brigade. Instead, think ice skating rinks, outdoor cinemas, a mind-blowing array of restaurants, West End shows, entertainment – you can even get married on some ships! It’s a holiday where you have everything without moving and still get a taste of different places.
Cruising why has it become so popular?
When you thought of cruising in the past a scene from the Titanic used to come to mind, Ladies dressed in ballgowns and men in tuxedos gliding down a large mahogany staircase to a formal dinner. There are cruise lines which offer this experience such as Cunard. On the other hand, did you know that there are ships as large as small towns which offer up to 20 different dining experiences on board along with Cirque Du Soleil shows, ice bars and the list goes on. Both Elaine and Isabel have been on board the Symphony of the Seas so will be able to give you a first-hand insight into what this massive ship has to offer.
Cruising is for everyone because there is a ship to suit all tastes, you have NCL and Royal Caribbean offering some of the biggest ships at sea to the smaller yacht style cruises such as Oceania Cruises which are 6* service and small enough to get into the little ports that the bigger cruise ships can’t access. Then you have the river cruises now if you have done the largest oceans of the world there is no better way of visiting a county then to cruise its main arteries to the very hearth of it. There is the brand-new U by Uniworld which offers a completely different concept in river cruising it is aimed at the mid thirties to forties market with a cool onboard vibe with DJ’s playing the latest tunes while you relax or party into the small hours of the morning.
I compare a cruise to tapas you get a taste of all these diverse destinations and you only unpack once. The staterooms offer all you need to relax from interior cabins to balcony and suites there are cruise companies now who offer villas with access to a private pool. It is suitable for all generations why not book a family holiday that caters to the whole family granny grandad brothers and sisters make it a holiday to remember. Memories are what life is made up of and puts a smile on our face when we think of all the good times we have experienced together and a cruise offers so many different memories it will be a holiday you will never forget.
Good to know! Cruises can be priced with or without flights to your port of departure.
How about a transatlantic cruise? If you have time, it’s a great way to cross the Atlantic. You still get ports of call such as the Azores, and for 8 or 9 days at sea you can enjoy the full facilities of the ship.
CHOOSE YOUR SIZE
There is an enormous range of cruise ships and types, from the massive Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas, which can accommodate over 6,000 passengers, to the smaller river cruise ships that you’d find on the likes of the Danube or the Volga.
As a rule of thumb, the more exciting or varied the itinerary, the smaller the ship, because the emphasis is on the ports of call rather than on-ship entertainment.
QUICK CRUISE LINE GUIDE
CELEBRITY CRUISES For 5-star luxury and an impressive level of personal service, there is Celebrity Cruises, now part of Royal Caribbean International. You’ll find a good mix of the innovative and the traditional on any Celebrity Cruises ship.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE The world’s biggest cruise line, Carnival offers cruises suitable for families and fun-lovers of all ages.
ROYAL CARIBBEAN The cruise line with something for everyone, Royal Caribbean’s fleet includes everything from mid-size ships to the two biggest ships in the world, Allure and Oasis. Royal Caribbean is constantly innovating and offers activities on its new ship, Quantum of the Seas, which have never before been offered at sea.
NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE Based in Miami, NCL’s informal approach shook up the rather stuffy cruise industry. Its ships are colourful and loud in décor and the dress code is casual. Big into entertainment, it offers Broadway and off-Broadway musical productions, comedy, live bands, lounge singers, piano bars and discos.
OCEANIA Oceania offers a luxury ‘lite’ experience, defined as offering luxury-level food and service with fewer inclusions (such as alcoholic drinks, shore tours and pre-cruise hotel stays) in its base fares. The décor is luxurious in a traditional way; rich carpets, teak and mahogany. Passengers tend to be well-travelled over-50s.
SILVER SEAS Vessels are small by industry standards but the passenger density is low so cabins and passenger areas are spacious. Cruises are all-inclusive and very high end. Silver Seas also offers a luxury expedition cruise to destinations such as the Arctic and Antarctic for more adventurous types.
Because there are so many cruise companies and types of cruises, it can be absolutely baffling trying to sift through the options. At Freedom Travel we have first-hand experience of our own and lots of tips based on our customers’ feedback so we are well equipped to guide you through the choppy seas of booking a cruise. Give us a call today!
MYTHS ABOUT CRUISES
WE ONLY HAVE A FEW DAYS – NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR A CRUISE
Wrong! The two-night cruise is possible. You can cruise from Barcelona to Marseilles in two nights, for example. Your cruise can be as long or as short as you want.
I GET SEASICK ON HIGH SEAS – CRUISES AREN’T FOR ME
Freedom Tours offers tours for groups or individuals to the major Catholic pilgrimage sites including Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje, the Holy Land and Santiago de Compostela and many less well-known sacred and holy places. We are expert at combining the pilgrimage with other sight-seeing or relaxation. Talk to us today about where you want to go.