Add a vast array of cruise packages, on-board accommodation and dining choices, ship and land-based activities, and the decision-list gets longer.
So, for starters, consider your preferred style of travel.
Here’s a helpful list to navigate the many cruise options available so you can find the perfect sailing adventure.
Cruise lines are betting that bigger, really is better, but there’s more to the mega-liner than meets the eye.
More like a floating resort, these massive ships offer everything from water parks and adventure rides, to casinos, cinemas, ice-skating rinks, bumper cars, green spaces, sports decks and of course, a bountiful array of delicious dining options.
If you’re looking to really splash out, try a two-storey luxury loft penthouse with glass walls and an oversized balcony. On a mega-liner cruise, the ship is often the main attraction.
While mega-liners can accommodate 6,500+ passengers, the average small-ship cruise will carry between 600 and 1,000 passengers.
Offering a more relaxed and intimate on-board atmosphere, many small ship cruises focus on immersive shore tours with a cultural twist.
On sea days, expect to find guest lecturers, a focus on local wines and cuisine, as well as top notch spas.
Small-ships can vary from budget and family friendly, to all-inclusive uber-luxe journeys.
If you prefer culture and adventure over water slides and cabaret, then expedition cruising may be for you.
Shore excursions could include everything from hiking, biking and diving in the tropics, to zodiac adventures in the Arctic or Antarctic.
Visit a remote village or observe the local wildlife as you venture beyond the typical tourist hotspots.
Cruises of this nature are often limited to a few dozen to a few hundred like-minded passengers.
Similar to expedition cruises, adventure cruises are generally smaller ships that specialise in on-board lectures, nature, culture and history.
Enrichment programs are often a highlight, providing a multi-layered interaction with each destination.
Because of their smaller size, these ships can access those hidden destinations with small, tucked away ports and shallow bays.
On a luxury cruise, it’s all about you. From Michelin-Star chefs to personal butlers, top-shelf drinks, award-winning spa retreats and extra inclusions such as Wi-Fi, luxury bath products, and even shore excursions, a luxury cruise offers the royal-treatment to each and every passenger.
It may cost a little more, but you will find the pampered inclusions are well worth the upgrade.
Embrace your sense-of-adventure and set sail for the trip of-a-lifetime on a tall-ship.
Your dedicated sailing crew are marine ambassadors with a love for the open seas.
These grand sailing vessels cater to a small number of people and can sail where the bigger ships can’t. If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to cruise on a traditional sailing ship, this may be the cruise for you.
But don’t worry, you won’t be asked to learn the ropes … unless of course, you really want to.
While most ships are child friendly, some are dedicated solely to family fun.
Kid’s clubs, elaborate swimming pool decks and adventure parks, baby-sitting services, adjoining family rooms and activities for tots to teens, can all be found on the family getaway cruise.
Look out for special kids discount deals and cruise lines with full time programs for younger children.
On most cruises, you have to pay for items from beverages to shore tours and Wi-Fi. On an all-inclusive cruise however, everything is included in the price of your initial fare.
Do you feel like a cocktail and lunch at the pool? How about a 5-star dining venue for dinner? With the all-inclusive cruise, there’s no paying extra for such treats.
Even things like on-board Wi-Fi and shore excursions may be included.
The up-front fare may be higher, but when you add it all up, it just might be worth the extra cost.
Each season, cruise lines often need to reposition ships to a different region or part of the world.
Not part of any scheduled itinerary, these cruises can offer exceptionally discounted fares.
Regardless of the length of journey or the route, the on-board experience remains the same.
What you will find are plenty of long stretches of sea days to really enjoy the ship and its amenities.
Generally lasting from 75 to 100+ days, an around-the-world cruise will visit most of the world’s top ports.
Often the ship will be filled with experienced cruisers and you will need to choose your style of ship wisely, considering it will be your home-away-from-home for months at a time.
But these itineraries often include many bonus options not normally offered on standard itineraries so there’s plenty to keep you occupied.
Ready to cruise? Speak with our friendly Cruise and Travel Solutions Specialist at Cruise Megastore on 1300 657 948.
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Blog authored by Jason Dutton-Smith