The Benefits of Cruise Ship Vacations | Travel
 
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The Benefits of Cruise Ship Vacations

For more than one hundred years, travelers have taken to the seas not for defense or commerce, but for luxurious and exciting voyages. Starting at the turn of the 20th century, shipbuilding firms began adding various amenities to their vessels to encourage passengers to arrange transatlantic trips. During the 1980s the routes, ports of call, and onboard experiences were dramatically improved and thus transformed the cruise ship industry to be seen as a distinct travel experience in its own right. Thousands of families, couples, and even some individual travelers, take to the high seas and navigable rivers of the world every year to enjoy the numerous benefits of cruising. The ships are safer, more comfortable, and offer more amenities today than they ever have before. Whether you want to board a 5,000 passenger megaship or join a more intimate river cruise of 100 guests, there are some fantastic benefits of cruise ship vacations that you can enjoy.
Benefits
1

Locations Out of This World

The dominant trend in cruising is to visit far off exotic and tropical locations for a fantasy-like experience. Some guests claim these places to be like heaven on earth, but rest assured you will find the pristine beaches and warm tropical waters that you crave by coming here. Most cruise companies offer frequent voyages to places such as the Caribbean, Hawaii, Bahamas, and the South Pacific. If your dream vacation includes any combination of beaches, palm trees, snorkeling, clear and warm waters, or cool island breezes, then you owe it to yourself to take a tropical cruise. As a general rule of thumb, the larger your ship is, the fewer ports you will be able to visit. Just imagine trying to get a ship whose weight is more than 200,000 gross tonnage and has a length of more than 1,000 feet into a local harbor in a tiny island chain. It just doesn’t happen that way, so book with a company that offers smaller vessels if you want to visit less traditional or commercialized ports in some of the world’s most exotic locations.
2

Amazing Extras

During the past two or three decades, cruise ships have become increasingly luxurious and entertaining. For first time cruisers, you can expect the larger ships to be more like floating resorts boasting not only well appointed cabins but also offering many other amenities. Aside from traditional dining rooms for your sit down meals, some ships have a variety of other restaurants options on board for guests to explore. Taking advantage of pools, spas, and fitness centers is a popular activity especially on days when you are at sea. For the more festive passengers, many ships come standard with a couple bars and night clubs for adult entertainment into the wee hours of the morning. And a select few cruise ships offer things such as rock climbing, bowling alleys, miniature golf courses, and water slides right on the vessel! Most ships offer entertainment shows and movie screens that passengers young and old will appreciate. You may be surprised to learn how much is available to you while on board, it may be tough to leave the ship when you dock in port.
3

Visit a Private Island

An increasingly popular trend in the industry is for a cruise line to buy an entire island along the travel routes for the enjoyment of passengers. While it’s not private in the sense that you and your lover will be the only ones on the whole island, these scenic locations are only served by one ship at a time. With features including white sand beaches, numerous restaurants, water sports, shopping areas, and other luxuries, these islands are a great way to feel like a rich and famous island hopper but without the outrageous costs.
4

Comfortable Accommodations

If you imagine that your cabin will be the size of your closet at home, you better think again. The floating accommodations on many ships are on par with, if not superior to, their landlocked counterparts. Generally there are four options when it comes to booking your cabin on most ships. These include an inside cabin with no window and positioned within an interior corridor, outside cabin that features a porthole or window, balcony cabin which includes a verandah for outside access without having to go to a public deck, and a suite cabin that allows for a larger room often with separate sleeping and living areas and other amenities. Having a balcony with your cabin lends itself to being a great place to relax when the public decks are crowded, a spectacular area to enjoy the sunrise and sunset at seas, or a prime location to watch the scenery as you arrive and depart from each port of call.
5

Exquisite Dining Options

One of the best things about a cruise is the food. With options ranging from 24 hour buffets and snack shops to formal multi-course meals and elegant specialty restaurants, a cruise ship can be heaven in the eyes of many foodies. You’ll want to enjoy it all, so pace yourself and savor every bite. On large cruise ships it is common to have multiple seating sessions for dinner in the main dining hall where half the passengers eat early and the other half eat later. There might also be alternative restaurants that seat patrons on a first come first served basis. You can also expect at least one formal dinner night on your cruise, where the men don their best tuxedo or dark suit and the women glow in elegant gowns and dresses. All-you-can-eat buffets are also a favorite on board, featuring a wide range of ethnic and regional cuisines from all around the world. And if you prefer the more informal dining options, some ships have bar and grill options, serving up your favorite charbroiled treats and snacks for a quick bite to eat. No matter what you choose to indulge in, the culinary choices on most cruise ships are highly regarded within the industry and among passengers. Just be careful of packing on the pounds while you lay out on the lido deck all week.
Plan Your Cruise Ship Vacation
If you're interested in finding a cruise ship vacation, consider using the extensive MagicYellow directory to find the cruises of your dreams. If you prefer to meet or discuss your ideas with a professional, you will also find local travel agents ready to help.

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