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After the destination is chosen, one of the most important decisions to be made is how to choose a cruise ship. With almost 200 ships in more than 20 major cruise lines that may seem like a daunting task at first, but you'll find it easier than expected to narrow down the field.
Make sure to select a cruise line that matches your personality and your expectations from your vacation. Are you taking a family vacation? The Disney cruise ships, not surprisingly, are geared towards families and children, but Royal Caribbean also has an excellent reputation for ships that are family friendly and have great teen programs. If you're looking for a cruise ship for the perfect honeymoon, Princess is associated with romance, while Windstar or Regent Seven Seas are outfitted for luxury and private intimate moments.
Decide whether you're most interested in the time spent at the destination, or in how you want to spend the time on the ship itself. All but the smallest cruise ships generally offer such amenities as spas, gyms, shows or entertainment and a variety of dining options. Travelers that are more interested in the destination itself will find that Carnival is known for offering some of the best shore excursions, although lines featuring smaller cruise ships can often visit exotic smaller ports that are inaccessible to the large ships
On the other hand, if you're more interested in your time on the ship, perhaps you should consider Norwegian, which features cruise ships known for his or her suites and also their entertainment. Norwegian is also more casual than other cruise ships, and skips the assigned dining times. If you are looking forward to an excellent dining knowledge, Oceania is well known for great specialty restaurants, while Celebrity is well-known for alternative and healthful eating choices. But if luxury may be the objective, Crystal Cruises offer among the best high end ships and great dining found at ocean, or have a look at Costa Cruises' Concordia course for an unbelievable spa experience.
Of training course, for most people, the spending budget is an essential issue. Cruises could be split into three basic classes - budget, premium, or extravagance. On-board amenities along with on-shore activities are likely involved in cost, but probably the major difference in the classes would be the staff-to-client ratio. If customized service and having someone at your call and beck is important to you, opt for a cruise trip ship.
Cruise ships come in an array of sizes also, although size might not be the primary concern. Cruise West and SeaDream Yachts offer a few of the smallest ships, under 200 passengers. Small ships will offer a more personalized experience, and their size allows them to visit smaller and less-traveled ports. As a down side, smaller ships aren't able to offer the extravagant entertainment of larger ships. If you're prone to sea-sickness, a larger ship is definitely the better option. The larger the ship, the less noticeable the rolling motion of travel at sea.
One last consideration that might not come to mind - is this a maiden voyage immediately, or are you considering traveling on a recognised ship? As the first thought could be "the newer the better, " there are drawbacks to getting on the initial trip of a fresh cruise ship. Everything is completely new certainly, and there are particular bragging rights when you're able to state, "I was on the 1st voyage of ship XYZ. "
But the first cruise is sometimes a shake-out cruise. The staffs probably haven't worked collectively before and are still trying to come together as a team. They may be inexperienced and going through on-the-job training. And of course, a ship is a massive construction project, like building a new apartment or office building just, and like a fresh building just, a new ship may have glitches in the plumbing or the wiring to be exercised. If you would like perfection on your own cruise, you might want to be sure you've chosen a recognised ship.
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