A great cruise is much more than a journey. Blending the grandeur and nobility of seafaring with the imagination and style of the good life, it is my favorite way to explore the world. Moving up to a luxury ship helps make memories that endure forever.
The right ship or cruise line is one that makes you very comfortable and very special while fulfilling all your vacation desires. You need to look at the size of the vessel, the nature of the experience, the activities available, dining schedules, on board dress code and the style of service. Equally important are your itinerary, the type of accommodations, and the cost of the cruise, along with the inclusions that may be offered.
Ships in the luxury category are generally smaller than the mass-market vessels with passenger capacities ranging from less than 100 to near 900 and offer the most generously proportioned and inviting accommodation. Many of the staterooms will feature private verandah, sitting areas and rich d?cor and deluxe amenities. The standard of service you will enjoy can be measured by looking at the crew to guest ratios. Exceptional service will be found on ships that have a ratio of one (or more) crewmembers to every two guests and mirror the warmth and discretion of finest hospitality. The following unique cruising styles can be celebrated each in its own right - so you can choose to travel elegantly with companions who share your sensibilities.
Ultimate luxury cruises are quite formal and embody the ceremony of cruising, recalling the days when traveling by ship was an event in itself. Voyages in this category offer the ultimate travel experience and excellence in every detail. These cruises are breath taking in every respect and offer you an atmosphere of sumptuous refinement with service that is truly indulgent. Guests are treated to the finest meals in exquisite dining rooms and in a single seating. Jackets and ties are generally the rule for dinner and tuxedos are not uncommon with a dress code that is observed faithfully.
Casual elegance cruises offer a luxurious cruise experience with a "resort elegant" country club type of shipboard atmosphere. Windstar Cruises, vessels are wonderful examples for traveling in unregimented, graceful and subtle luxury. Shipboard lifestyle on this type of cruise is generally unstructured, with few organized activities. In keeping with the contemporary, easygoing atmosphere on board these ships, the style of dress is casually refined. Jackets, if worn, are casual and ties must be left at home! The dining experience is flawless with the added flexibility and convenience of open seating. You ennjoy dining at your leisure with your choice of new found friends. Ships in this category tend to be smaller and the service on board is of the highest calibre.
The last category of luxury cruise is "unique exploration". You can explore many of the world's most intriguing destinations while enjoying a friendly comfortable cruise experience. The ships in this category offer overall excellent cruise value. The ships themselves are anything by ordinary and each have their own unique features and highlights. The emphasis for these voyages is on the special itineraries.
Ports of call have been carefully selected to highlight the history and culture of each region. Each offer you the opportunity to experience, learn and explore. Most of the vessels in this class include an official guide or guest lecturer, theatres for lectures, enrichment programs and often an extensive library. The on board environment is relaxed and the service is very personal.
The dress is generally resort casual by day and varies for evening dining depending upon the ship. Whether experiencing an Antarctic expedition, the Amazon River or the national heritage of the legendary clipper ship, this class of cruising gives you a unique blend of style and adventure.
When choosing your next cruise, take time to examine the possibilities of Seabourn, Windstar, SeaDream Cunard, Radisson, Crystal, and Silversea. These cruise lines allow you to follow your own desires and inner rhythms, discovering your own unique vision of Utopia.
Sid Kaplan has extensive experience in the travel business. He owned and operated a large retail cruise only agency in Canada and his wife has 25 years experience working for major cruise lines. Their website is Cruise Vacations Guide which offers advice and tips to those look to create memorable cruise vacations. Shore excursion and land tour information is also provided.