Cruising Is Easier Than Ever
Written by: Kuki
From step 1- choosing a cruise, to booking a cruise, to preparing for your cruise, to shipboard activities, to port of call tours, though it may seem complicated, cruising is actually quite a bit simpler than it used to be.
At initial glance, with many more ships, and many more cabin categories on ships, and a seemingly cornucopia of events and activities onboard, one might argue that cruising has become more, not less, complicated.
However, I’d argue the access to the “information highway” has taken the guess work out of cruising experience. While the internet has been available to search for cruise information for some time, we have arrived at the point where there are almost unlimited of numbers of sites, blogs, etc. covering most every aspect of cruising. General questions are easily answered, but with our message boards, and Google searches, even the most specific questions (such as questions about a specific cabin on a specific ship) can normally be answered in a matter of minutes.
For a long while the cruise lines were slow to build and develop their own web prescence. While cruise related web sites such as CruiseMates learned to use the available technology quite quickly, the cruise lines themselves had fairly rudimentry web sites. Today the majority of the cruise lines have very sophistocated and user friendly web sites; with many cruise lines now embracing social media as well to communicate futher with passengers and potential passengers.
Pretty much every travel agent now also has a presence on the Internet.
Pretty much any question anyone could think of asking about a cruise ship, amenities, ports of call, transportation, and accommodations can be found in a matter of minutes.
The only danger-zone one has to watch for is when it comes to opinions. Opinions are like eyeballs; everyone seems to have at least two. But I do believe we are all bright enough to watch for the trappings of overly positive, as well as overly negative, opinions.
While the impact of advancing technology on the industry is undeniable, the non-technological areas of cruising have also been simplified.
One major area of impact has been a change to dress codes. The days of seeing ships filled with gentelman in tuxedos, and ladies in long fancy decorative gowns is pretty much a distance memory. You may still see a few nostalgic passengers “dressed to the nines”, but generally cruise wear today is much simpler, and more about personal choice.
A number of cruise lines still designate a night or two as “Formal”. However it’s much more likely you’ll see men in simple suits, or even sports jackets and slacks, and ladies wearing what might be called cocktail dresses.
With the changes to dress codes, combined with weight restrictions on luggage implemented by the airlines, people are much more likely to think of clean and comfortable, and more minimalistic when preparing their cruise wardrobe. No need to stress anymore about what you “should” be wearing.
Even dining on board has been simplified (in what some might see as a more complicated manner). The majority of cruise lines continue to offer a set dining time, with a set table seating. However, most have also added alternate choices for venues, as well as the ability to dine at any time of your choosing.
At first glance this may seem more complicated, but in fact, one has the ability to choose the dining style you feel best suited for, before you cruise. You can book the alternate restaurant choices in advance, and make reservations, or you can choose to simply show at a time of your choosing, which might involve a short wait until a suitable table is available (which is no different than going to a restaurant on land, without an advance reservation.
While many people believe it’s simpler to book their cruises directly with the cruise line, to cut out the middle-man, the fact is that working with a professional, qualified, and experienced cruise sales specialist is the best and simplest way to book. The services of the cruise specialist come at no extra charge to the purchaser, as their commissions are paid by the cruise line, not the purchaser. And once you are working with that cruise specialist, they assume the responsibility of being your representative in any and all dealings with the cruise line. They simplify the entire process by removing any of the stress in the booking process from your mind.
Perhaps the only area that can still remain complicated is budgeting. Budgeting is a very personal issue, and that is why it remains complicated. Several weeks ago I wrote a blog, whose topic was budgeting. Cruise Budgetting.
That, and many other easily accessed articles on the same topic, simplify even the budgeting issues.
In today’s cruise world, with a bit of advanced research, and in the hands of a travel agent specialist, you really can relax, and enjoy the positive anticipation of your cruise experience.
And, if along the way you some questions pop up, simple jump on our message boards, and in no time at all you’ll get an answer.
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Posted: February 28th, 2012 under Kuki.