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Cruises.jpeg

Cruises

A cruise experience offers the opportunity to experience the world as you choose. Whether you’re looking to spend a week relaxing with family in the Caribbean, or a quick getaway with a loved one on a 3-4 day cruise, cruising offers a world of opportunity.

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CRUISE BENEFITS

WHEN COMPARED TO LAND VACATION, CRUISING OFFERS A NUMBER OF BENEFITS:

  • You can tailor your experience based on your budget, selecting specific accommodations, dining arrangements, and even shore excursions. Most cruises already include dining, entertainment, and gratuities, offering options for even the most cost-conscious traveler.

  • Additional expenses may include drinks, casino play, spa treatments, shore excursions, and shopping.

  • For those looking to indulge a bit more, many cruises offer additional premium dining options, entertainment, and even exclusive spaces, such as spas, pools, and restaurants.

  • A week onboard one cruise ship will offer you a chance to experience a number of enticing destinations, across the globe. In one week, many ships sailing through the Caribbean will bring guests to four exciting ports of call, whereas a land-based resort only offers the same destination each day.

  • A cruise experience offers you the ability to experience as much, or as little of the world as you prefer. Cruises also offer the most flexibility in pricing, allowing all travelers the opportunity to cruise with their preferred budget in mind.

CRUISE DETAILS

Every day, more and more people are discovering the all-inclusive pleasures of a cruise vacation.

 

More singles, families, couples, honeymooners, and groups of friends are sailing away on the vacation of their lives. To ensure you have a smooth trip, consider these cruise tips, including what to pack on a cruise, what to bring on a cruise, and more. Remember to consult a Travel with Sparkle agent for your next cruise to ensure you have the best experience possible.

MAKING RESERVATIONS

  • If you’re cruising alone, consider participating in a cruise line’s “guaranteed share rate,” which is a program that finds you a roommate of the same sex. This will help you avoid paying the “single’s supplement.”

  • One way to reduce the expenses of a longer cruise is to choose a repositioning voyage, which is when a cruise line moves a ship from one region to another between seasons.

  • You can also save money through early-bird discounts, which are discounts given for advanced booking.

  • Heavily discounted rates are often available during a destination’s off-season. Determine when that off-season is and look for cruises during those months.

  • Book a 3- or 4-day cruise if you are crunched for time. You’ll save some money and still enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

  • Compare different cruise lines that operate similar itineraries in the geographical region you’d like to cruise.

  • Compare ship sizes and facilities.

  • If you are worried about getting seasick, book a cabin in the middle portion of the ship, both vertically and horizontally.

  • Inside cabins, which do not provide an ocean view, are the least expensive.

  • Outside cabins have a porthole or a window. More lavish outside cabins may have private balconies.

  • If you smoke, consider a balcony stateroom where you can smoke outside.

  • Suites usually provide a separate bedroom, a living area, and a bathroom, and are the most expensive. They may or may not come with a private balcony.

  • If you’re traveling with your partner, make sure that any smaller beds in your cabin can be adjoined. Or request a double bed.

  • If you have a disability, make sure that the ship can accommodate your needs.

  • Because of noise problems, avoid booking a cabin near the ship’s laundry, generator, galley or clubs.

  • Many cruise lines describe suites as accommodations that are simply larger cabins with a curtain dividing the sitting and sleeping areas. Before booking a suite, make sure it is what you envision.

  • If you need to stay wired while onboard, find a cruise ship with an Internet caf? or in-cabin data ports.

  • An increasing number of cruises offer accommodations for birthdays, anniversaries, business meetings and other special events. If you have reason to celebrate, find out what packaged amenities are available.

  • Most cruises offer pre- and post-cruise packages that involve accommodations, excursions and transfers. These packages are excellent ways to extend vacations.

  • Check the demographics of ships carefully, especially if you are traveling alone or with children.

  • Many cruise lines offer special children’s programs and activities. If you have kids, inquire about children’s facilities before booking.

  • Remember that 3- and 4-day cruises typically attract younger passengers, as do cruises on weekends and school breaks.

  • For a more intimate cruise with personalized service, choose a smaller ship that accommodates roughly 500 passengers.

  • For a good choice of company and more activity, select a medium-size ship with 500-1,000 passengers.

  • In you crave lots of organized entertainment, high-tech facilities and lots of potential friends, choose a large ship with 1,000-3,000 passengers. These ships are destinations in themselves.

  • If you seek relaxation, a “port a day” cruise may become exhausting. Choose an itinerary that balances sea days with port days.