While we may be in the thick of winter, there’s no better time to start planning that summer getaway! For many, a cruise brings together all the best elements of a tropical journey: multiple destinations, excellent food, plenty of activities, and world-class service. The best part is the convenience – forget flights and transfers! The ship is a floating luxury home, bringing you all the highlights of your region of choice.
There’s plenty to keep in mind when planning a cruise – and now is the time to get started! Even if you won’t be traveling until next summer, it always helps to be ahead of the game. When cruising comes back, it’ll be in a big way…you’ll be happy you planned ahead!
Summer Cruising: Regions & Styles
Name an ocean or sea, and there’s a good chance you can take a luxury cruise there. There’s an itinerary for every kind of traveler; long-weekend jaunts along the coast, round-the-world odysseys, and everything in between. The plethora of choice means there’s a perfect cruise out there for you – it’s just a matter of finding it.
For many travelers – especially North Americans – there’s simply nothing like a Caribbean cruise. With an array of stunning islands close enough for easy transit, it’s the perfect region for tropical exploration. If you like sun, sand, and easy living, this is the pick for you! This is particularly fun for families, as most Caribbean islands are super kid-friendly. There’s tons of fun to be had; snorkel through crystal-clear waters, sail above the waves, or construct elaborate sandcastles on some of the world’s best beaches. There’s something for all ages!
Maybe you’re off on a romantic holiday with your partner, celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or simply your love for one another. The Caribbean is lovely, but for that element of sophistication, the Mediterranean can’t be beat. It’s a region long favored by luxury travelers, and no wonder – every ingredient for a top-notch summer holiday is here. Picturesque coastal towns, exquisite cuisine, and shimmering seas – what’s not to love? Whether it’s the gleaming Greek islands in the Aegean or the glamorous French Riviera, there’s no shortage of five-star style; and a cruise will let you have it all.
Perhaps you’re keen for a unique cultural experience; you’ve done the usual tourist stops, and are looking for something new. If this sounds like you, a river cruise might be just the ticket. This is a rapidly-growing facet of the cruising world, as more travelers look for intimate, curated journeys that dive deeper into the fabric of each destination. Think private tours of a market with a Michelin-starred chef, and a meal in their restaurant made from the day’s selections, or an after-hours visit to a prominent cathedral. The rivers of Europe provide the most choice, but for a true adventure, the rivers of Southeast Asia are an exciting frontier; and let’s not forget the mighty Amazon River. No matter what, you’ll come away with something new!
Summer Cruising: Tips & Tricks
Every journey requires planning, and some know-how goes a long way towards the success of your travels. Taking a cruise is no different. It’s a unique form of travel, with its own benefits and challenges; luckily for you, our Luxury Travel Advisors know all the ins and outs! Here are a couple of our most important recommendations when planning your cruise:
- Booking well in advance is always encouraged, particularly if you’re traveling as a family. Each ship has a limited number of larger suites, so if you want to cruise in comfort, we recommend booking up to a year in advance.
- Another option for families: ask about connecting staterooms. This is an excellent choice for many, especially those with older children who need their own space.
- Make sure to ask your Advisor about visa requirements. Most cruise ports waive these for ease of access, but certain spots can be a bit tricky – you don’t want to miss out, or worse, get stuck!
- When you return to port at the end of the cruise, most travelers choose to overnight before heading home. If you do intend to fly that day, leave plenty of time for your transit to the airport; the more the better. After a relaxing vacation, the last thing you want is to rush around in a frenzy!
- If you want to make the most of your cruise, booking shore excursions is a must. The best ones get booked up in advance, so don’t save it for the last minute – talk with your Advisor about those must-dos so that we can get them in your itinerary.
- Know your onboard allowances. Each cruise line has their own rules on what you can bring aboard (especially regarding alcohol, tobacco, etc.); it’s far better to know in advance, and avoid the hassle when you embark.
- Most cruise ships – especially the big ones – will have plenty of dining options to suit every style. However, some of the best onboard restaurants will require reservations in advance. You’ll want at least one or two meals at these, so it’s always smart to scout this out in advance.
At the end of the day, if you’re ever unsure, just ask your Luxury Travel Advisor – they’ll have all the answers! One thing’s for sure: if a summer cruise is in your sights, now is the time to start planning. Contact us today to make your marine dreams a reality!