Cruising has evolved so much in the last three decades that I have been in travel and cruise holidays are now one of the biggest success stories in the travel world, even throughout the last recession.
The range and standard of the accommodation and facilities on-board can’t fail to impress and there truly is ‘something for everyone’.
More and more people are choosing cruise holidays than ever before and once they get a taste of cruising they come back for more again and again.
Cruise holidays offer fantastic value for money when you consider that the price includes fabulous accommodation, a huge choices of dining options, an endless array of activities, top class shows and entertainment and the chance to unpack just once and experience lots of different places all in one holiday.
I took my family on a cruise holiday last November so I thought I would share some of our experience with you:
We sailed on the Norwegian Epic from Rome on a 7-night Western Mediterranean Cruise.
1st impressions: The ship was HUGE and looked so impressive, we couldn’t wait to get on board and start exploring!
We had a balcony cabin and it’s well worth paying slightly more for this cabin type as it was wonderful to wake up in the morning and go out to see where you had arrived or even just to watch and listen to the sounds of the beautiful azure blue seas as the ship made her way to the next port of call.
There was a huge choice of activities on offer - culinary demonstrations, magic show master classes, spa services, fabulous swimming pools and water slides, just discovering what was on offer inside that huge ship transporting us across the med was an adventure in itself!
As a family you can spend quality time together but still have the opportunity to do your own thing. I knew my son would either be in the swimming pool or hot tub or tackling the climbing wall and he knew I would probably be relaxing by the pool with a book.
In the space of just one weeks we managed to fit in the following impressive experiences:
A visit to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona; watching the rich and famous arrive by helicopter in Cannes and trying to see who could spot the most expensive supercar; tasting the best pizza and Gelato in Rome after, of course, a visit to the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, The Pantheon and the Vatican City; Admiring the millionaires Yachts in Palma Harbour in Majorca, getting lost in the maze of cobbled side streets behind the magnificent Cathedral and eating Tapas and drinking Coke and Cerveza whilst watching the street performers; Exploring the ruins of Pompeii , seeing Mount Vesuvius and climbing to the top of the leaning tower of Pisa!
We rounded off our days of adventure with a soak in the hot tub, cocktails on the promenade deck, a fabulous evening meal and then a top class show in the theatre, a comedian or magician in one of the smaller venues or just a fun game of cards in one of the many lounges and bars throughout the ship.
All in all a fabulous holiday and despite managing to pack an awful lot in we all managed to relax and re-charge our batteries – Perfect, can’t wait for the next one!
- Research your ports of call – certain ports are commercial in nature and not walking distance from the nearest city so unless you plan a transfer or an excursion there will be nothing to see or do there. E.g. Livorno, Italy a commercial port but great excursions on offer to Florence, Pisa and more.
- Shore Excursions can be pricey and sometimes especially if you haven’t been to a place before it is much cheaper and just as much fun to explore on your own.
- Consider adding an all-inclusive drinks package; There are various drinks packages available to pre-purchase including a soda package for children. In my opinion you will save a fortune as on board drinks can be expensive and even if you only have a few G&T’s before dinner and wine with your evening meal the price can really add up. It just means you can relax and not worry if you can afford that one more cocktail! Also kids are always thirsty, its staggering how many cokes, orange juices and lemonade they can consume in one day.
- Wi-fi – you can buy Wi fi packages on-board but they are expensive, if you must get your Facebook fix then you could use cafes etc. in the main city’s that offer customers free Wi fi.
- Come and see one of us at The Destination Lounge – if you’ve never been on a cruise before the myriad of offers, ships and itineraries can be daunting so let us steer you(excuse the pun) in the right direction. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience of all the cruise companies and will have access to exclusive offers including suite upgrades, free drinks packages, free on-board spending money and more and can help you in choosing the perfect cruise for you…