Booking Tips: Be A Good Fit For The Cruise Line, Ship

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Cruise CompeteCosta Cruises will be sending Costa Luminosa to North America for a short series of 10-night deep Caribbean sailings, starting in December. Luminosa, a very similar ship in size and feel to Carnival Legend, has prices starting at $499 per person + kids sail free. Still, what all passengers on board will find is a very European experience that can be interpreted as a ‘bad’ experience if expecting a North American-style. This is not it.

On board and anticipated to make up 80% of the total passenger mix, Europeans will smoke more, be thinner and have more fun They will probably get more out of the experience than demanding North American passengers, of whom there are bound to be a few. Open-minded North Americans, on the other hand, will have some unique opportunities to experience European cruising without having to buy airfare, experience jetlag or deal with icky things like foreign currency conversion rates.

To some, this is a dream come true. Parents wanting teens to have an international experience, say playing soccer on deck with a team from Germany, they can do that on Costa Luminosa.

Others, buying only because of the extraordinary value, may be in trouble. Self-blindsided by the European cruise experience after thinking primarily of price, the style can be pretty overwhelming. Get prepared in advance, not so much.

Quick story: On the Italian Night dinner they do the swinging the napkins thing and people doing a conga line around the dining room like on a North American cruise. Here though so many more people participated. Anyone not filming it was doing it and no one was sitting. How any one at that event (and it was an event) could have been thinking of their land-based concerns at that time is beyond me…and that’s what it’s all about.

Price indeed may be a heavily weighted factor in the buying decision. But to get the most out of a cruise vacation, there are other factors to consider as well, factors that might not seem so important at the time of booking that can come back to bite later.

Also consider the destinations, accommodations available and appropriate, the cruise line, the timing of it all and any special concerns of others traveling.


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