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CruiseGuide 2011


 

 
 
 

 

Luxury Cruise Lines

If you're looking to raise the bar on your cruising experience, then luxury cruise lines may be just what you're looking for. And considering that these lines may also include valuable amenities like airfare in their pricing, going first class may be less expensive than you think.

 

Choose your luxury cruise line from the best

Luxury cruising is about traveling in style and class, no work and complete relaxation. You get into a beautiful and elegant stateroom or suite... whatever you have opted for. With private balconies, and cabins facing the ocean that give you a magnificent view, these cruises offer the best of dining cuisine and treat you with the utmost respect and service. If you wish to dine alone, you can bring an elegant dining experience right into your cabin.

 
 
 
 
Video: Explore Cunard's Queen Mary 2
 

Onboard, luxury cruise lines are not a crowded place. With few a hundred people, or around a thousand at the maximum, there is enough open air and space to move around without the congestion that's typical of other cruise lines. What's more, although the price of a luxury cruise may seem overly expensive, be sure to pay particular attention to what you get for the price... some of these lines even include the price of your airfare in the cost.

Traveling on these higher-echelon ships also brings an elevated social experience. You could be sharing a table with very well-educated and successful people in their respective fields, and get to exchange views, learn new things, and make valuable social or business connections. You could try your hand at the piano, attend a few dance lessons where you could learn dancing with your loved one, attend lectures by prominent personalities on varied topics that range from the social, economic to political, or chill out at the poolside or go in for a complete body massage in one of the fully-equipped spas.

A luxury cruise line is generally defined by the following traits:

  • Luxury cruises will usually offer an all-inclusive package that could include extra facilities such as a specially arranged tour to an exotic location.

  • Unlike regular cruise lines, luxury cruises are characterized by more space and fewer passengers, reducing ‘passenger gridlock‘ aboard the ship.

  • Since most luxury cruises carry less passengers, you will be treated to an extra degree of care and attention by the onboard staff.

  • You are sure to find high quality amenities, appointments and services in the staterooms that are beyond the scope of what most cruise lines offer.

  • Onboard dining will likely be a new experience as well, allowing you more freedom to choose when, where, and what you’ll dine on each day.

  • Luxury cruises are often more adult-oriented, so programs and activities for children may be limited.

  • Luxury cruises may offer their guests world tours occasionally, such as once a year.


Many of the ships used for luxury cruises are smaller in size, compared to those normally used by the regular cruise lines. This is an advantage as these luxury ships get to park in smaller ports that may not be accessible by larger vessels.

 

The Changing Face of Luxury Cruises

Gone are those days when luxury cruises were meant only for the ultra-elite class. The contemporary generation of hard working, well-paid professionals is increasingly looking at luxury cruises as a stress-free way to see the world while enjoying the best of service.

More and more luxury cruises are adapting to the needs of a growing group of busy professionals who don’t have much time to spare for a holiday. Keeping up with the demands of travelers with the highest of expectations, luxury cruises provide exciting activities both on board and on the shore. Crystal cruises, for example, offers its customers a thrilling chance to pilot a Russian MiG jet fighter over Moscow.


Discounts on Luxury Cruises

Although you may not be able to get a deep discount on luxury cruises, you could still benefit from several other offers that could include early booking discounts, great prices for repeat passengers, two-for-one offers, and the like. Luxury cruises may not offer the huge discounts you’ll find with the mainstream cruise lines, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth shopping around. Do your homework on things like what’s covered in the ticket price. Checking ticket pricing at various times of the year can also yield pleasant surprises on when you can make a steal on the cost your voyage. A little research on specifics like these can help you to get the most out of your cruise vacation investment.

If you are a regular customer with one of the many luxury cruises, you may be in line to benefit from some type of discount offer. Both Silversea Cruises and Crystal offer around 50% discounts to repeat passengers for certain cruise packages. However, these discount offers tend to be short-lived, so don‘t waste time on taking advantage of these. If you are not a repeat passenger with a luxury cruise line, one great idea is to go for short Caribbean cruises that may offer several incentives for new customers.

You may think that luxury cruises are quite expensive, but what you get in the bargain is truly worthwhile. From a luxuriously done up ship to the exquisite gourmet cuisine, and not to forget the impeccably hospitable staff, you have everything you could ask for a in superb vacation experience.

For first time luxury cruise travelers, it is recommended to experiment with a shorter cruise to see how it fits your taste, and then move on to something more adventurous such as a world cruise package on a luxury liner.

Want to look a little deeper into luxury cruising? Here's a brief list of some of the most prominent luxury cruise lines that offer the best of amenities and unparalleled service and pamper you without compromise.

 

Popular Luxury Cruise Lines

Some of the more well-known luxury cruise lines are Silversea Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, Seabourn, Regent, Crystal, Windstar, Oceania Cruises, and Cunard. All these luxury cruises have distinctive features that set them apart from the regular cruise lines.

Crystal Cruises

There are generally around a thousand passengers onboard. On these cruises, a lot of activities are also organized for children, and they are among the best when compared to other luxury cruises. Generally, gratuities and alcohol are not included in the package on these cruises. More than half of the accommodations onboard have private balconies. Alternative dining options are also available. If you wish, you can dine with just your spouse on a two-seater table, giving the two of you a rare opportunity to focus on each other. The cruise offers destinations on their itineraries that are not included in those offered by most other cruise lines.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Many times Regent has been voted as the best cruise line by travel agents. Professionals above 40 and elderly couples frequently travel on this cruise line. There are large suites with excellent amenities. You will find in-suite bars, and private balconies to relax and unwind. If you look at the statistics, Regent cruises have the most number of rooms with private balconies when compared to other cruise lines. The service offered is simply superb. Alternative dining options are available. Wine, beverages are gratuities are also included in the package. Unique itineraries offering a long list of ports to visit and offshore excursions are also included in the package.

 

 

Uncompromising Elegance: The Yachts of Seabourn offer a first class cruising experience, both while onboard and at exquisite ports of call.

 

Seabourn Cruises

The now very popular “Odyssey” cruise by Seabourne can carry 450 passengers and is much bigger than their original cruise lines of Seabourn, namely, “Legend”, “Pride” and “Spirit”. Passengers who have travelled on a Seabourne cruise at least once are often offered tickets at around 50% of the fares on their future trips. Wine and beverages are all included in the package. There is one offshore excursion that is offered free. You can also enjoy a soothing body massage on the deck once without having to loosen your pocket.

 

Windstar Cruises

Windstar cruises have a very casual, yet beautiful atmosphere. People can relax, explore the vessel, and do what they like best. Fewer entertainment activities are organized by the cruise line, while people can indulge in activities they enjoy. It is a perfect setting if you wish to be away from the sheer hustle and bustle of city life and just spend quiet, romantic moments with your spouse. You're free to unwind, by spending the day enjoying activities that relax you and put your mind at ease and peace. Have a steam bath, enjoy a soothing body massage at the spa, attend a yoga class or few enrichment lectures. While in port, escaping with a shore excursion to an exotic location could just be the perfect relaxation medicine for you. With just around 150 to 300 passengers, Windstar is less crowded and has a more peaceful atmosphere. You can enjoy water sports offered on the ship like snorkeling, windsurfing, etc.

 

Video: Learn about the Silversea Cruise Line experience.

 

Silversea Cruises

Silversea offers a unique cruising experience where the traveler can decide his own itinerary, get off at any port, and spend an extra night on land at any of the ports. This cruise line offers you a lot of freedom. Being less crowded, you're more at ease to enjoy the waters below you and the open sky above. You do not have to stand in lines for any activities, be it at dining time or when partaking of their various entertainment options. Suites have a beautiful ocean view, and most of them come with your own private balcony. Featuring Italian-built ships with a European crew, this cruise line offers some of the most personalized service in the industry.

Luxury cruise lines bring their guests an intimate, luxurious cruise experience that is beyond the scope of what others in the industry ordinarily provide. Expect the unexpected. Be amazed at the refusal to compromise. Be enchanted by voyages to foreign places that are untouched by the average cruise traveler. In short, be prepared for an unparalleled experience that is a far better value than you may expect.

 

 

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