To regular visitors here it should come as no surprise; cruising is hotter than ever and popular with more travelers than ever before. After all, by default, visiting here does indeed make you too a Cruise Addict. But something I have noticed over the last year or so: it seems that visitors are coming for new reasons, and rightfully so. Cruise lines are branching out and going after more different groups of travelers than ever before, building new ships custom designed to appeal to, well, just about everyone. Let’s take a look at some new reasons to love cruise vacations
- Family Cruising Is Better Than Ever – Families have found a home on cruise ships for decades now, leaving the old saying that a cruise is for “the newlywed or nearly dead” in the dust. Diverse childrens programming reflects current, relevant educational standards while still making it fun for everyone. Kids go to safe facilities staffed by qualified crewmembers, many of them degreed teachers.
- Solo Travelers Finally Catch A Break – Not all that long ago, a solo traveler had few options other than paying nearly double the price per person that two travelers would pay for the same space, occasionally catching a reduced price for singles. Now, as new ships are rolled out, cruise lines are adding solo accommodations designed with them in mind as opposed to cutting them a break if and only if they really badly need to fill up a particular sailing.
- Celebrity Chefs Come To Sea – More than simply lending their name to give standard cruise line fare a bit of credibility, celebrity chefs are all in on creating exclusive dining venues with cruise travelers in mind.
- A Floating Food Court – In house dining options too are more diverse, reflecting the changing tastes of cruise travelers today. Yes, there is no shortage of all-you-can-eat buffets. Better yet, we are finding more options than ever before with
- Top Recording Artists – Themed cruise sailings, basically partial or full ship charters, have been around for quite some time. Today though, in addition to the rock stars of yesteryear (fun to see in the comparatively intimate setting of a cruise ship as opposed to the giant arena we saw them at in 1982), cruise lines are bringing on board top name acts with
- A Wide Variety Of Accommodations – Not all that long ago, the choice was inside, outside, balcony or suite; four basic choices on a first-come, first-served basis. Today, those four basic categories have been multiplied many times over as cruise lines learn and deliver more of what individual travelers want. Still available: an inexpensive inside cabin on just about any ship. Not as much available: oceanview staterooms which now have more-popular balconies attached.
- Priced Better Than Ever – Just for fun, I looked back a bit over ten years in our cruise history and found a November 6, 2005, 4 night cruise on Carnival Fantasy then sailing from Port Canaveral, priced at $1624.29 total for three in what was then categorized as a category 11 mini-suite. Today, I priced that same ship, sailing a 4 night cruise in the same accommodations on October 31, 2016, about the same time, noting the ‘Halloween factor’ thrown in which one might reasonably expect to be a sailing priced higher than normal. The price? $1508.14 total for three. That’s $116.15 less than the exact same ship was ten years ago. Which brings us to our
- A Better Value Than Ever – Since that 2005 sailing, Carnival Fantasy has undergone major remodeling two times adding more features for, as we see here, a lower cruise fare than paid over a decade ago. Is it the newest ship in the ocean? Oh my no, but the comparison here highlights the extreme value cruise vacations offer today; one that is better than ever.
On the horizon, even more options for more travelers as new ships are launched by a number of cruise lines and the universe of cruise vacations continues to expand. If history has taught us anything it’s that cruise travel is here to stay. Unlike land-based counterparts that probably won’t increase in options unless a volcano erupts and makes new land, cruising has just begun to explore what the oceans of the world have to offer and you never know what might be coming next. Case in point: cruise travelers will have a new place to go shortly very close to home in the Caribbean as Cuba opens up for visitors more every day. Stay right here, we’ll have all that for you too.
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