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Choosing Your Cruise

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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.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –







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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time September 7, 2013 at 6:48 am

This little bit of my personal travel encounters was priceless at the time.

We were sailing ENRICO-C back in the day, a cruise in the Mediterranean. Two older women traveling together, both recent widows, were assigned the MDR table with us. We changed tables ASAP, for the obvious reasons as you will see.

One woman was nice, the other chronic complainer, not one nice thing was said by her for the ship or the ports, she continually berated the Italian food on the ship, and in port, saying how much she “Hated the food” and why did it have to be Italian, as she hate it .

When we got to Malta a new pier was being built with money from the Chinese government, and she went off like a cherry bomb with her slurs and hate for the Chinese.

Then, we were taken on a city tour of Naples, and she was on that excursion as well, and she ranted about the laundry hung on clothe lines above the alleys, and of course, sewer smells, and this went on and on.

Why on earth did she come on this cruise, I asked her. Answer: so my friend the widow would have company, she said.

So, out of friendship, comes a boar, and this lady certainly was not worldly. By the end of the cruise she got it, and loved the reason why people travel, and she finally unwound.

Ironically her friend never criticized her friend, she new her really well.

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