Have you ever gone into overwhelm about the number of cruise ships offering their services these days? And how to make the right choice? Well, hopefully, after reading this page, you'll have a much clearer sense about which cruise is the perfect one for you.
It's not surprising that there are so many on offer, given that cruising has become one of the most popular holidays today. Whether you're taking a quick getaway, or going on a long leisurely vacation, a cruise is a great option for luxury travel packages.
So I'll provide you here with an overview of some of the best cruise destinations... information on some top cruise lines... shore excursions for when you're in port... and places to stay before or after your cruise.
I hope this will help with your cruise planning.
Here we go.
Why is an Alaska cruise so special? Well, for starters, it is truly a scenic splendour. A feast for the senses, of fjords, glaciers, forests and lush vegatation.
In particular, a most popular choice is the Alaska Inside Passage cruise. The waterway that this cruise navigates boasts more than 1,000 islands. Wildlife abounds here with whales, porpoises, sea lions and bald eagles. It is nature at its best. So, it's no wonder that some consider this to be the best Alaska cruise.
And because there is such respect for the wildlife, the cruise ships for this inside passage are small, i.e. around 100 guests. Therefore, it is a far more intimate experience -- a wonderful environment to make new friends with people who share an appreciation for natural beauty.
There are also many "inclusives" on Alaska cruise lines. For more information and to check schedules, you'll find all the details here.Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor
Caribbean cruise ships are one of the top choices. This kind of cruise is all about fun in the sun, cocktails by the pool, exotic ports with swaying palm trees, and love under the stars.
This is also one of the most romantic honeymoon destinations. Who wouldn't want to escape to an island paradise with the person they love!
Imagine dancing the night away to the sound of steel drums and the songs of Bob Marley. If that's your rhythm, then you might like a Jamaica cruise.
To read more about combining a Jamaica cruise with a shore excursion, see what Trip Advisor says:
A popular cruise ship for this region is the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. And other desirable ports of call on a Caribbean cruise include: St Maartin, Antigua, Anguilla, St Thomas, Barbados, the Bahamas and many more.
A good way to get this cruise information is to put yourself on the mailing list of your favourite cruise liner, or subscribe to a good cruise magazine.
See more here about private tours that you can take, while on shore in St Maartin. Read what other Royal Caribbean Cruise Line passengers had to say:
Picture yourself... pulling out of the harbour at Monaco, cruising elegantly along the French Riviera, as you head into the azure waters of the Mediterranean. It's the stuff dreams are made of. And only a choice of whether to veer in one direction towards Spain and Portugal, or in the other, to Italy and Greece.
Enjoy the European cuisine along the way and in each port of call... fresh, elegant and simple... allowing the sun-ripened produce to speak for itself. This is where the flavour of food takes centre stage. Seafood paired with a delicate white wine... game meats matched with a light red.
Small cruise ships tend to be popular in these parts of the Mediterranean, so you have more personalised attention and more meaningful connection with your fellow guests.
And if you are looking for somewhere to stay in Monaco, either before or after your Mediterranean cruise, check out the Monte-Carlo Bay and Resort here, on Princess Grace Avenue:
A Greek Island cruise is another one of those legendary vacations.... Santorini ... Mykonos ... Rhodes ... White washed buildings and blue blue sea.
Start your holiday with a visit to the ancient site of the Acropolis, overlooking the timeless city of Athens. Then soak up the sun and the unique flavours of Greece, as you weave your way through the Aegean sea.
Perhaps you'd like to explore some of the less-mentioned islands.... Kos... Samos ... Paros.... or the very pretty island of Skiathos, the western-most island in the Sporades Archipeligo.
Here is a tour you can take on Mykonos, if you find yourself with some hours to spare on one of your shore excursions:
Or what about heading further east, to the UNESCO World Heritage walled city of Dubrovnik. Croatia has become a very popular destination for Mediterranean cruise lines, taking in the picturesque ports of Split, Hvar and the Bay of Kotor.
I have good friends from my U.N. days in Vienna who often holiday in this part of the world. They always enjoy the Dalmatian coast. There is so much history, culture and art to be discovered in this part of the Adriatic.
Cruise ships for this region often begin the journey in Venice.... which also has its own connections with Byzantine heritage.
Do you fantasize about exotic locations like Tahiti? If you are a fan of the impressionist painter Gauguin, you may like to retrace his footsteps with a South Pacific cruise. Picture yourself now -- balmy nights under coconut palms.
Cruise ships travelling through French Polynesia visit several ports that are found on the top 10 list of honeymoon destinations.
For example, a Bora Bora honeymoon is one of the most desirable of all! A Fiji cruise is another popular one chosen by newlyweds. It doesn't get more romantic than this.
Fancy some authentic margueritas and the best guacamole on the planet? Why not consider a Mexican cruise. You'll see some of the most lush coastal vegetation and splendid rocky outcrops of what's known as the Mexican Riviera.
One of the ports of call along this stunning coastline is the town of Puerto Vallarta. I had the pleasure of going there on a work trip when I was based in L.A. with the Australian Government.
This area was partly made famous by the John Houston movie, "Night of the Iguana". A star-studded cast, with Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr, shot the 1964 film here in this beautiful location.
So a Mexico cruise is definitely an option worth considering.
This has to be one of the most spectacular sights to behold..... when electrons collide with the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere, to create this surreal vision of beauty and splendour.
My photographer friend, Lynda, has travelled many times to see the aurora boreallis. She has this to say:
"As a photographer, this is a dream come true -- to attempt to convey the beauty of the aurora through the lens . You never forget the feeling of total awe that comes over you when you first experience the Northern Lights. If you are in a group, there will be gasps of excitement. But inevitably, silence will follow, as you watch this powerful and splendid natural phenomenon of dancing lights, twisting and swirling all around you. "
So a Northern Lights cruise has become a sought-after experience. A winter voyage to Norway will take you there. Cruise ships that commence in Bergen do great round trips.
Luxury cruise ships are smaller and more intimate. The ratio of staff to passenger is often 1 to 1. Now that's service!
But did you also know that a luxury cruise could possibly be cheaper than the one you might have in mind. With so many extras included in the overall price, including all drinks and gratuities, it's worth doing the maths.
I've created a separate page here for the wonderful European River Cruise that goes from Budapest to Amsterdam... or the other direction... depending on where you'd prefer to start your journey. This is definitely a very romantic cruise option.
Meanwhile, I hope this information has been helpful.