The phrase ‘taking a cruise’ brings to mind thoughts of glamour, luxury, and the chance to see romantic places. All of which are perfectly accurate… but, to make the most of the experience, think first about what sort of cruise is right for you.
There are essentially three types; a river cruise, a sea cruise, or a full-blown transatlantic cruise. Of course, each type varies greatly in their duration and cost etc. and offer something unique in terms of life on board, ports of call, and excursions.
River cruises are a good choice for those who many not have set sail before, but who still want to explore new territory. Traditional destinations have been the Nile, Danube, and the Rhine among many others, but there are more exotic possibilities such as the Amazon, the Mekong or even a steam boat on the Missippipi! Boats will be smaller than their ocean going cousins, with less in the way of on-board entertainment. Cabins tend to be more compact but still very comfortable. It will be rare to have a full day without a stop at a place of interest, and short excursions such as guided walks are often included in the price. As always it is wise to check what is provided before you book, as some companies will charge for more extended or specialist tours.
If you prefer the open sea, then consider a cruise in an area like the very popular Caribbean. This need not cost a fortune; cruises can last anything from a weekend to ten days or more. You will be able to choose the size of boat; larger vessels offer a vast array of entertainment and activities, ranging from water sports and fitness facilities, to cinemas and even golf! When planning a longer cruise there will be a choice of itineraries; so do some research into the sorts of ports of call that suit your interests.
Finally, nothing harks back to the glory days of steamships and refined travel, more than the classic transatlantic cruise. Here you can expect the best of on-board entertainment, activities and facilities, fine dining, as well as great service. There is also the option of a themed cruise, where you might learn a new skill such as painting, or exploring an area of interest such as history. Obviously the number of ports of call is limited on transatlantic cruises, so there will be plenty of opportunity to enjoy life on the open sea. You can indulge in some luxury pampering in the spa perhaps, but above all relax and enjoy the company of your fellow passengers.
Whatever your choice you are sure to bring home memories that last a lifetime, along with some cracking photos and a great suntan!