Quick Tips for Picking Your Cruise Vacation

People are always asking me, "Which cruise line should I choose?" Here are some quick tips to use to sort the answer out. The various vacation cruise lines have their own characteristics.

Decide what type of cruise you are interested in, traditional (assigned seating and time at meals) vs. freestyle (eat where or whenever you want), or family oriented vs. adult oriented. Then look at the cruise line that specializes in your preference. Of course Disney is family oriented, but so are some of the other cruise lines. Norwegian, Windstar, some of the Princess and the Disney cruise lines all offer "freestyle" cruises. Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America tend to offer the more traditional cruises. Windstar is more adult oriented.

Disney Magic, Disney Wonder, Norwegian wind and Pride of Aloha do not have gambling casinos.

Decide what age group you want to be with on the cruise . There are some trends among the different cruise lines. Royal Caribbean's most common ages range fro 30 to 50. Windstar 35 to 55. People on the Princess lines tend to be over 50 years old, and Holland American range from 40 to 60. Of course on Disney the age is younger. Crystal cruise line passengers are generally in their 60's. Celebrity passenger range from 30 to 55 and Carnival tend to be fairly even across the board, the most 35 to 65.

Decide where you want to go and check which cruise lines feature those places. Of course you can always just do a short "no destination" cruise, where the boat is most of the fun. These are popular for fun, short, or spur of the moment cruises.

10 Thoughts On Picking a Cruise Ship Cabin

The best advice is to be informed about cabins and pick the right cabin for you among the thousands available on a cruise
ship.

1. One of the most difficult parts of planning for a cruise is choosing the right cabin. Everyone has different tastes, and
what is not important to one person might well be important to you.

2. Look at the cruise ship layout and decks online or in brochures. Know that there are different types of cabins on
different cruise ships. The biggest differences between cruise lines – mainstream and luxury – ships are the quality of
accommodations.

3. Sometimes there are over 20 different categories on a ship! So it is important to know the different cabin categories. One
reason is that thanks to modern shipbuilding, most inside and outside staterooms are standard in size and amenities. Comparison
one vessel's cabins against another is daunting task, so keep your eye on the square footage as the most important criteria.

4. Know your budget and what you can afford. The price of a cruise ship cabin or stateroom (the terms are interchangeable)
is dependent on its size, layout, and location. The cabins on large cruise ships come in standard, ocean view, balcony, and
suite. A luxury line's smallest cabins are much larger than those on large cruise lines and are either ocean view or
Balconied.

5. Know your lifestyle. Price is certainly a consideration, but if your vacation time is limited, you might be willing to
pay more to get a cabin better suited to your lifestyle. It's a personal decision, much like deciding where to cruise and which
ship to cruise on. How about an outside cabin with a window, or better yet a balcony? How about sitting on the balcony with a
good book or using it to catch a breath of sea air?

6. The right cabin is a retreat house after a busy day ashore, or just to get away. A long cruise will have you wanting to
spend a relaxing time in your room, watching a TV-movie, or taking a nap.

7. Lots of people recommend the cheapest inside cabin, because you will not be spending much time in there anyway. This might be
true for short trips, but are you prepared for an inside cabin on the lowest level.

8. Know your location. Cabin, balcony size, and cabin location vary significantly within the same price range on any ship.

9. There's a lot of cruise industry jargon you have to decipher.

10. Yes, there are the obvious questions you should ask: Will I located below the water line? Will I hear the roar of the ships
engines from my cabin? Will I have enough room to turn around in my cabin? Will it be the size of a walk-in closet, with no
windows, a tiny bath, and bunk beds? Will I not be able to tell if it's day or night without going up several decks?

Explore what the different types of cabins are, which locations are the most desirable, and which locations you should avoid if
possible. Pick the right accommodations and you'll have a wonderful time, and get hooked on cruising.

Alaska Glacier Cruises: Alaska Up Close and Personal

What do you have in mind for your next vacation? Are you planning another trip to the same tired beach that you visit every year or an “adventure” to a controlled, commercialized theme park? If so, I have a suggestion for you: Alaska glacier cruises.

What if I told you that you could do something truly unique and adventurous, something that the whole family would love? What if I told you that there was a family cruise destination so breathtakingly beautiful and teeming with wildlife that you could spend days captivated at the rail of a cruise ship and still not get enough? Would you be interested? Sure you would.

Few people have visited Alaska without having been changed by the experience. Much of the terrain consists of gorgeous, formidable glaciers and ice fields which cover over 5% of Alaska’s land surface.

This natural beauty can be seen from many top tourist destinations of Alaska including Juneau, Valdez, Seward and the Matanuska Valley, but is usually only fully appreciated with an up close and personal view that only a cruise through the inland waterways can afford. From this vantage point you will stand spellbound by tidewater glaciers that reach over 100 ft. in height and the antics of wildlife such as humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, dolphins, brown bears and bald eagles.

In Alaska, there is a multitude of attractions that will keep you coming back for more. Cruise the smooth inland waterways of Alaska and come surprising close to the sheer ice faces of these magnificent, natural phenomenons; port at luxuriant destinations complete with fine dining and unique entertainment; and make memories that will last a lifetime.

The truth is: The popularity of Alaska glacier cruises is growing in leaps and bounds due to the awe-inspiring beauty of Alaska’s glaciers and the affordability and wide range of cruise packages available. You can choose from one-day inland cruise packages which are as priced as low as $50 per person to a luxurious six night cruise on a deluxe designer yacht for as little as $4,000 per person. Of course there is a wide range of cruise options that fall between these two extremes. Take for instance the seven day voyage available through a well-known cruise provider. For under $2,000 per person, this trip affords passengers the opportunity to cruise several top Alaskan inside passages aboard a luxuriant cruise liner and port at several top destinations.

As you can see, there is no end to the possibilities associated with Alaska glacier cruises. Why don’t you look into the possibilities that these cruises can open up for you and your family? The only thing you have to lose is another boring summer vacation.

Taking A Mediterranean Cruise

If you’re looking for a real getaway to relax, see new things, and escape the cold weather, nothing beats a Mediterranean cruise. Without tons of internal flights and changing hotel rooms, you can see several different and unique places in the Mediterranean in one short trip.

You can see incredible places including Malta, Rhodes, Corsica, Sardinia, Crete, Marmoris, Istanbul, Antalya and more. You can see ancient and modern Greece, experience the beauty of Turkey, and see the unique culture of Cyprus. It’s an incredible opportunity to learn about ancient and different cultures, taste a variety of different foods, and even taste wines unique to their individual regions. For example, Santorini’s wines have a unique flavor due to the volcanic ash that is part of the island’s soil.

Of course, when you’re on board, you can enjoy a plethora of great activities. Mediterranean cruises offer three delicious meals a day but the buffets run all day and night, not to mention the Midnight Buffets and Chocoholic Buffets. So there is simply no way you will ever go hungry. They even offer you free 24 hour room service! You can join the exercise classes on board, swim in the pool, or just relax on deck with your favorite book. Most cruise ships offer an onboard casino and almost all offer spa treatments, albeit usually at an extra cost.

You should certainly make every effort to catch the evening shows. Many Mediterranean cruise ships offer a different show every night. You can see everything from singing and dancing to incredible acrobatics, and sometimes even a whole musical production. If shows aren’t your thing, you might want to head into an onboard nightclub for a few drinks and some music. It really all depends on your mood, but you can be certain that you won’t be bored no matter what you choose.

Crazy Facts About the World’s Largest Cruise Ship

The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas is a marvel of modern engineering. Launched in 2010 the ship holds the record as the largest passenger ship ever constructed. There are many well documented facts about the Allure of the Seas but the information below illustrates the sheer scale of this mighty vessel. The video of the ship barely passing under Storebaelt Bridge after being constructed is an extremely popular video on Youtube.

The Gross weight of the Allure of the Seas is 225,282 tons. If you wanted to put this ship into Space it would take more than 1848 Saturn V rockets (the rocket that first took man to the moon) and would use almost 1.8 Billion gallons of fuel in the process.

The cost of building the Allure of the Seas was $1.4bn. That’s the same cost as Wembley stadium.

There are 150 miles of pipework running through the Allure of the Seas plus a further 3,300 miles of electrical cables (the distance from Lisbon to New York). The ship also boasts 100,000 lighting points that have to be rigged up.

The ship has 4 bow thrusters that manoeuvre the ship. Each of them is capable of producing 7,500 horsepower. That’s 10 times the power of a Formula 1 racing car each! And that’s not even the main engines.

The power plant on the Allure of the Seas generates enough electricity on average to power 44,000 homes or to light Blackpool Illuminations for an extra 600 miles.

The time spent building the Allure of the Seas is 7.5 million man hours. Compare this to the Empire State Building which was built in a measly 7 million man hours.

The Allure of the Seas from keel to funnel stands 75m high. That’s 50% higher than the Coliseum in Rome which is 50m high.

The ship’s main dining room keeps 50,000 pieces of cutlery for use.

Cruise guests are expected to use around 60,000 napkins on every cruise.

Decorating the Allure of the Seas took 600,000 litres of paint.

Passengers and crew on board will use 2.35 million litres of water every single day.

If you were to attempt to power the ship using only 12V car batteries it would get through 17,000 of them per hour.

The smallest TV on board the Allure of the seas is 32 inches in size. Every cabin, including all the staff cabins has a high definition TV included in it.

Caribbean Cruise – Expert Guide

Comprising of around 50 islands (750 if you count the

archipelago of the Bahamas), the Caribbean is a real

treasure trove when it comes to cruising. A rich

variety of vistas, people and places await, along with

swaying palms and idyllic beaches of golden sand.

The network of islands in the Caribbean is in fact so

extensive that it is possible to book several Caribbean

cruises and avoid going to the same islands twice!

There are four basic Caribbean cruise routes used by

cruise operators:

Western Caribbean Cruise Route – Departing from

seaports in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, the Western

Route takes in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the

island of Cozumel, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and

any number of islands off the coasts of Honduras and

Belize.

Eastern Caribbean Cruise Route – One of the most

popular Caribbean cruise routes, the Eastern Route

typically departs from Florida and other seaports

along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The

route calls on destinations such as Key West, The

Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands the Virgin Islands

(including St. Thomas and St. Croix), and Puerto

Rico.

Southern Caribbean Cruise Route – This route

normally commences at San Juan in Puerto Rico, and

takes in many possible destinations along the Lesser

Antilles and the Netherlands Antilles as far west as

Aruba.

Exotic/Long-duration Caribbean Cruise Route – This

route takes in any/all of the above destinations,

and can sometimes end in a different place to where

the cruise started.

Given this broad assortment of destinations available

in the Caribbean, it can be a bit overwhelming when

trying to make that crucial decision on which islands

to fit into your itinerary. After all, you don’t want

to miss out on some true Caribbean gems, do you? So,

whether you’re planning a short vacation or a longer

cruise break away from home, here is a selection of

‘must-sees’ & ‘must-dos’ on your Caribbean adventure.

St Croix (Virgin Islands) – Take a night kayak trip

in Salt River National Park and visit the first

landing site of Christopher Columbus on his voyage

to the New World.

Grenada – Although ravaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004,

Grenada is still well worth a visit for its scuba

diving. You can explore the largest shipwreck in the

Caribbean here and see an underwater volcano.

St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) – The Cinnamon Bay

National Park offers excellent snorkeling

opportunities. You can see a wealth of underwater

life in the shallow waters around St. Thomas.

Jamaica – Why not try your hand at bamboo rafting in

Montego Bay?

Puerto Rico – No Caribbean cruise would be complete

without a visit to the world famous Condado Beach on

the island of Puerto Rico.

Aruba – Want to find Caribbean paradise? How about

relaxing on one of the 365 beaches that surround the

Dutch island of Aruba.

St Kitts – Swim with the turtles in the waters around

St Kitts and then relax on the pink sand beaches on

this beautiful island.

Good luck with planning your trip and happy cruising.

Caribbean Cruise Weddings

One of the most important events in your life is your wedding. It can also be one of the most stressful events of your life with all the planning involved. One plan that can avoid stress is having your wedding on a Caribbean cruise. There are many Caribbean Cruise wedding packages to fit your style and budget. All you need is a dress, a groom and a guest list and the wedding experts aboard ship will take care of everything else.

Wedding cruises are becoming quite the rage. Within the last five years there have been thousands of weddings held aboard cruise ships on the warm Caribbean seas. In any given year, on any given cruise line over 2,000 weddings is held. This increase is actually not very surprising, because it is so romantic, easy and convenient to hold a wedding on a cruise ship. Not only is the wedding ceremony spectacular, but also your honeymoon is a built-in added commodity.

Most cruise liners have their own chapels aboard ship, and the captain is authorized to perform ceremonies at sea. Some ships have chapels, but you are required to perform the ceremony while you are in a port of call, prior to departure.

The expenses of wedding on a cruise depend on your budget and taste. If you elope on a cruise, then you are basically just paying for the cruise and a small fee for the ceremony. However, it you choose a traditional wedding with guests, the costs can mount depending on what expenses you are willing to cover. Your best bet is to contact the cruise line you are interested in and talk to one of their wedding planners. They can give you all the details and estimate what your wedding will cost. You can modify your plans or add to them depending on how much you have to spend.

Cruise Ship Activity

There are so many activities to do on a cruise ship, the only problem you will have is deciding what to do. There are on board activities, port of call activities, age related activities, and special interest activities. Generally activities on board the cruise ship are free, but you have to pay for an on shore activity or excursion.

Most cruise lines have a children’s program, divided by age group. Games and activities are age appropriate. Children can participate as much as their parents want them to. These generally include games, physical activity like using a playground or pool, and arts and crafts. Sometimes there are dances and social activities for the teen group.

Some activities involve more physical activity than others. There are ships that have pools, water parks, ice skating rinks, climbing walls and areas for golf (lessons or miniature golf). Skeet shooting off the deck is another option.

Arts and crafts are usually available for all ages. Some ships even have art fairs!

The on board theatre will run movies, both general and adult oriented. Board games, bingo and keno are examples of more sedentary activities to engage in.

Some cruise lines feature lessons, all sorts. You can learn a foreign language, how to cook foreign fare or gourmet meals, how to play golf, poker or dance.

Spas provide massages, hair care, manicures and pedicures and other special types of treatments for the body. Think how good that would feel after dancing in the disco all night!

If you have a special interest or avocation there may be a cruise with it in mind. The sounds of the blues, or a family oriented cruise, or special cruises for singles.

Of course there are shows with all sorts of entertainment, comedians, dancers, magicians, or singers for example. Often there is a casino 24 hours a day. And then night clubs for dancing and merriment. If you consider eating a cruise activity, there is someplace to go almost 24 hours a day.

Glacier Bay Cruises

Many people have already discovered the majestic beauty of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve when it plays a part in Alaska among embarking on an lavish cruise. There are a few cruise lines that bestow packages to Glacier Bay, so you’ll forever maintain the ability to find the perfect cruise to match your manageable as well as preferences.

The rational ground people are drawn to this far-off part of the is plainly considering it holds so much natural beauty . While on a cruise through Glacier Bay, you can expect to see massive, beautiful glaciers, White covered mountains and exotic wildlife such as whales as well as harbor seals.

Because most of the square footage of the Glacier Bay National Park is water, the real action lies on the shore. Shores of the bay are lined with thousands of species of flowers as well as lush trees. The array of plant life when it plays a part in Glacier Bay makes it the perfect environment for 220 various species of birds.

Proprietors of Glacier Bay cruises advise on bringing your binoculars to get a close-up estimation of land mammals such as moose, mountain goats, brown and black bears, wolverine as well as coyotes.

These amazing life forms can all be seen from the comfort of the ship’s deck. If your low-priced allows, you may even get to see these thrilling sights from your own private balcony .

For a usual 5 day, 4 night cruise you can design to spend between $1600 as well as $2600 per person. It all depends on what sort of amenities you want. Greatest packages include shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation, on-board entertainment, on-board meals and non-alcoholic drinks. Continually included is transportation to as well as from the airport. Once budgeting for a cruise to Glacier Bay, remember to invite money if you wish to partake when it plays a part in a shore excursion. Prices for these vary dramatically from group to enterprise, so be sure to ask before you reserve your cruise. Some other expenses you should take into consideration are alcoholic drinks, personal expenses as well as gratuities. Yet another overhead that’s not typically covered when it comes to an advertised rates is government local tax. These can range from about $5 to $110 per person.

The finest time to plan your Glacier Bay cruise is during the summer months. From May to September, the climate is typically nicer as well as Glacier Bay National Park services, such as wildlife-sighting rangers, are when it plays a part in lined swing. The earlier when it plays a part in the season you book your cruise, the less it will expense.

While Glacier Bay cruises can seem expensive, most people find the experience they have to be benefit every cent they took out for it. The truly boundless sights will turn into etched into your memories for a lifetime. The peaceful, relaxing atmosphere mixed with the novel, crisp air of the north will leave you more relaxed and happy than you’ve felt when it plays a part in a long time. Indeed, if Glacier Bay isn’t on the overhead of your vacation destination list, it should be.

Ideal Cruises For Ultra Active Adventurers

Think cruises are all about lounging on sundecks and doing a whole lot of nothing? The truth is quite to the contrary. Cruises today offer a variety of activities for people of all ages and with all types of activity preferences. Whether your favorite way to keep active is in the gym, climbing a mountain, ice-skating or golfing, there’s a particular cruise that caters to your needs. Before you book your trip, check out these ideal cruises for ultra active adventurers.

5 Night Western Caribbean Cruise

The Celebrity Century is revamped and ready to wow you. New accommodations include private verandas, sky suites and gorgeous, luxury-level staterooms offering the best of everything.

This cruise offers activities galore. If you can do it, the Century can deliver it. Start your day with a revitalizing dip in the pool, then meet your cardio needs with a sunny jog. Next, take an hour or two to treat yourself in the AquaSpa, which offers full service spa treatments and even has a Thalassotherapy pool.

After lunch, try your hand at golf. Yes, golf – on a cruise! The Century’s golf simulator allows you to play on a state-of-the-art course, all from the comfort of the cruise ship. But the whirlpool is beckoning. Take a dip and perhaps a nice nap in the sun afterward. Then, take part in one of the wide variety of specialized daily activities or shore excursions led by the cruise staff.

After an evening of fine dining and dancing, it’s time to call it a night. Sleep well, and start all over again in the morning. Life is good!

8 Day Bermuda Cruise

Take your vacation activities to the next level on an 8 day Bermuda cruise on the Caribbean Princess. This luxury liner features nearly 900 balcony cabins, which is more than any other year-round Caribbean sailing vessel offers.

This cruise is a top choice among those who like to mix their activity with entertainment. Movie buffs will adore the ship’s Movies Under the Stars, featuring an enormous (we’re talking Times Square dimensions) poolside video screen, premiering hot, new movies and sporting events. Gamblers will delight in Caribbean Princess’s decadent, London-themed casino and card room. Cigar buffs rejoice, relax and get your “guy time” in the ship’s cigar and sports bar, then enjoy the nine-hole putting green and golf simulator.

For those who love to break a sweat, make a run for the ship’s sports court. Tennis, volleyball or basketball, anyone? Perhaps a jog around the track? Gym buffs will enjoy the state-of-the-art onboard fitness center with supreme ocean view. Then, relax and nurture those muscles in the Asian-themed Lotus Spa.

13 Night Panama Canal Cruise

All aboard the Norwegian Star! Adventures galore await you on this long, luxurious cruise of the Panama Canal and more. This ship has just about everything anyone could ever want or need. Sample world cuisine at their 13 top-notch dining venues, or relax in their plush staterooms, suites or the crème de la crème: the rooftop Garden Villas, which offer 5000 square feet of all-yours space. Not to be outdone, the Villas feature three bedrooms, private garden and deck for sunning, as well as your own personal hot tub and -get this- a baby grand piano!

Activities abound on this floating, five-star fantasy. Fitness buffs will have plenty to keep them occupied. The onboard fitness center offers plenty of your favorite gym equipment, plus awesome classes such as yoga or spinning. Afterward, treat yourself to a massage or body wrap in the high-end Barong Spa. On-deck activities include volleyball, shuffleboard, a golf driving range, a fun batting cage and more.

If those adventures aren’t enough, experience the ship tours, shore activities and special, staff-selected events for more fun and excitement. As if your onboard activities weren’t fantastic enough, you also have the promise of exotic shore adventures to look forward to. Just imagine all the fun you’ll have!

Clearly, these cruises have it all: Plush, spacious comfort, exceptional dining selections, gorgeous sea vistas, fast-paced deck activities, leisurely spa treatments, tours of exotic destinations, entertainment under the stars, mind and body fitness… the list goes on and on. Now that you know that cruises are far from dull, are you ready to get moving and book your trip? All aboard!