Lora and her family are avid cruisers. In fact, it has been a family vacation tradition since the late 1980s. Cruising is a great way for families to travel. Activities are available for all age groups and interests. Most cruise lines have incredibly strong children’s programs. There are strong safety measures to assure parents that their kids are safe and protected. Cruise ships also cater to adults with plenty of “kid free” areas. Whether you are traveling as a family, with a group of friends, or solo, you will surely find the perfect vacation as there is a plethora of cruise lines and ships from which to choose.
Cruising has changed over the past 20 years. It has become less regimented and much more flexible and personalized. In the past, dining was limited to two seating times in the main dining rooms. Now, you can choose to do the more traditional dining or you can dine at the buffet, at a specialty restaurant, or have room service. The choice is yours! The number of activities has exponentially increased. It seems that with each new ship, there are more features packed into the ship. It’s not uncommon to find waterslides and ziplining on board. Many ships have rock climbing walls, and ice rinks, and outdoor movie screens. If you want to work out, the gyms are usually filled with the latest equipment. There are various pool areas to suit your needs. Usually there is an adult area that tends to be quieter than the all ages pool. The spa area is becoming much more luxurious and a wonderful way to lounge the day away. If you are into shopping, there are a number of stores that feature specials each day. Casinos are on board nearly every ship. In the evening, there are numerous shows to attend. After the shows, stop off for a night cap at one of bars. If being in a quiet place is more
your pace, then no worries! There are many quiet nooks and crannies to hide away with a book or to take a nap. The choice is yours!
Lora and her family went on a cruising frenzy and, over a two year period, enjoyed three Caribbean cruises and one European cruise. Two of the Caribbean cruises were with Carnival Cruise Lines, and one with Norwegian Cruise Lines. The two week European cruise was with Princess Cruise Lines. Carnival prices are generally more affordable. However, cruising is becoming a terrific vacation value and other cruise lines are closing in on Carnival’s lower prices. We prefer Norwegian’s selection of specialty dining options and we enjoy Princess’ overall experience.
There are so many cruises available from which to choose, that you will undoubtedly fine one right for you. One resource that we highly recommend is Cruise Critic. This site has both professional and traveler reviews of the ships. There are also forums available on the different ports to get ideas for excursions. Also, don’t ever pay full price! Look at different online sites to compare. Our favorites include: Travelzoo, CruisesOnly, and Travelocity. It’s not uncommon to find a discounted rate along with free beverages and/or paid gratuities and/or shipboard credit and/or cabin upgrades. Take advantage of this “buyers” market and take a cruise! You deserve it!