Choosing Your Cruise
Written by: Kuki
There have quite literally been thousands of articles written with advice about how to choose a cruise.
That’s due to several factors; the evolution and continual changes within the cruise industry; the broadening appeal and size of the cruise audience; and the fact there is really no “right” answer.
When attempting to offer useful advice to an audience of 16-20 million people it’s obvious that the goal is to provide general information to those contemplating a cruise, rather than a completely objective rating system of the various choices.
Today’s cruise world has truly gone global. If there’s a significant body of water, these days it seems as there is some sort of cruise vessel plying it.
In my view there’s really three types of cruises – the travel cruise; the adventure/exploration cruise; and the pleasure cruise.
While there are some features or amenities which cross-over amongst each category, the differences between them are fairly simple to spot, and to understand.
So your first job in choosing your cruise is to decide what type of cruise you are looking for.
Part 1 – Pleasure Cruising
The largest category is the pleasure cruise, and the largest sector within that category are the Caribbean cruises.
If you’ve never visited the islands of the Caribbean you might think of them as a travel cruise. Yet, the attraction to it is normally the ease of it – the ability to travel while enjoying the pleasure cruise portion.
The pleasure cruise segment, and Caribbean cruises, attract the largest number of repeat cruisers. While many experienced cruisers, at one time or another, will on occasion at least try one or more of the different cruise categories, there’s also a significant portion who will repeat the same Caribbean cruises (or alternating Caribbean itineraries) over and over again.
In many cases their attraction to it is the ease of getting to and from the ship’s embarkation port. For some it may be their desire to scuba dive, or snorkel, or hike in tropical yet familiar areas, or simply visit beaches they’ve grown to love. But the basics behind it all is the desire to cruise for simple, easy to do, pleasure cruising.
There’s also the segment within the pleasure cruising category who’s priority is to sail for the ship; the more days at sea, the better. They want to partake of and enjoy the entertainment, the dining, the shipboard activities, and the nightlife. And they may indeed even skip getting off the ship in ports of call they’ve visited before.
In choosing a cruise, it’s up to you to decide, if the pleasure cruise is what you are looking for. Once you’ve decided on that type of cruise, your choices are still plentiful, but much easier to narrow your search.
In part 2 I’ll talk about the “travel cruise” category.
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Posted: September 3rd, 2013 under Kuki.