The ships and staterooms. Luxury ships tend to be small or mid-size, with all-suite, all-balcony accommodations. In your suite, you’ll find high-end linens and bath products, granite or marble countertops, elegant fabrics and thoughtful touches like fresh flowers or binoculars for wildlife viewing. While sophisticated, luxury ships aren’t stuffy. In recent years, dress codes have become more casual, closer to those of mainstream cruise lines.
The service. Luxury cruises sail with more crew members per guest, and the crew is trained to provide highly personalized service: they will know your name, remember your preferences and anticipate your needs. Don’t be surprised to come back to your suite to find your shoes polished (even if you didn’t ask).
The dining. There won’t be as many dining venue available as on some the largest cruise ships, but there will be options. And, your dining choices will be top-notch from breakfast through late-night snack.
The shore experience. Luxury ships don’t have the space to offer a huge variety of onboard entertainment, as larger ships do; instead, they focus on memorable on-shore experiences. Shore excursions showcase the local culture and often venture off the usual tourist path. Some luxury lines also offer concierge services for shore excursions: just describe what you’d like to do, and the staff will make it happen.
The inclusions. At first glance, luxury fares can be about twice as much as those of mainstream cruise lines. But, take a close look at what’s included in a luxury cruise fare. It will likely include gratuities; all beverages, including beer, wine and liquor; shore excursions; Wi-Fi access; access to all restaurants, with no surcharges; and laundry and dry cleaning. When you consider all the extras, it may be more affordable than you thought: it’s all part of creating an atmosphere of ease and relaxation. Luxury lines want their guests to come on board and simply enjoy, without having to sign for every drink or worry about the cost of Wi-Fi.
Let Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert, help identify what cruise line and itinerary will fit your budget and travel desires.
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