Everyone knows about the popular cruise companies out there but did you know there is a much wider variety of cruising available. On a cruise you can go to all 7 continents, sometimes even all on one cruise! There are huge mega-ships, small ships, expedition ships, yachts, and luxury cruises. These types of cruises range in prices and experience and can fit almost anyone’s budget and travel style.
One of the great benefits of cruising is that you get to visit multiple destinations and only unpack once. There is a wide variety of food on the ship and you can try things you would not normally try. Why not, if you don’t like it they will bring you something else! They can be great for large families or other groups where interests may vary, almost everyone can find things to do and eat on a ship or in the ports.
These are some of the ones you see on TV all the time. The ship its self is a destination, who cares where you go! They have shopping malls, ice rinks, bumper cars, massive water slides, and even roller coasters on them! Some of these things are included in the cost of the cruise and some are not. They have shows every night and there is always something going on for you and the kids to do.
These ships range in size and price but are still larger ships. They may not have as many bells and whistles as the mega-ships but they still have a lot of entertainment and can keep you entertained from early in the morning to, well, VERY early in the morning. Some cruise lines are known for their excellent food, some for their educational programs, some for their music and entertainment. When I hear people complaining that they had a horrible time on their cruise, it is usually because they were not on the right cruise line for them.
Round the World Cruises
These can go from around 120 to 274 days on your cruise around the world. Many cruise lines have their own variation of this and believe it or not, they sell out quickly! You are of course going to visit many countries and have some amazing experiences on this cruise. These will often include things that other cruises do not like shore excursions in every port, wifi, specialty dining, airfare, drink packages, and more. Royal Caribbean has a world cruise that is broken up into 4 different trips that you can book separately or bundle as you wish.
These are small ships that are often designed just for expedition cruising. Some of them have VERY cool features like their own submarines. These ships often have a scientist on board that is an expert in the destination. Sometimes they may even be doing research. If there is not a scientist they do have people on the ship that are experts in their destination. You will learn about the flora, fauna, and history of the area. Some of them even provide great local experiences with the people that live there. With these cruises, you are very likely to see the local wildlife and go to places people on larger cruise ships cannot go. Some of the more popular cruise lines do have expedition cruising but there are a lot of smaller cruise lines that have been specializing in this type of travel for 20+ years. If you have children and think that this might be boring for them, but valuable too, Disney also does expedition cruising with Adventures by Disney, they have land options also. The destination is the star here, not the ship but there are some amazing ships out there in the expedition cruising arena. There may be some entertainment on the ship but it is not the focus of these cruises.
You may know that you can cruise the rivers of America, or Eurpope but did you know you can cruise other exotic rivers? How about the Nile, Amazon or Yangtze? These often feature locally inspired and purchased food as well as entertainment. These ships are smaller and have a more intimate feel and are usually port intensive. Often at least one shore excursion is included and beer or wine with meals.
Yes, as the name implies these do have a larger price tag. What you probably don’t know is that they often have a lot more inclusions. Instead of spending more on a drink package, wifi, specialty dining, and excursions, it’s all included! So yes, while there is some sticker shock, once you add everything up that you are going to pay for by the end of the cruise, it might be worth it.
Want to live like the rich and famous? There are large and small yacht options available. Some of them are larger ships and some are very small. If you have a group of family or friends you can even rent a yacht and staff in the Caribben and it might be more budget friendly than you think.
If you are interested in more information about any of these types of cruising let me know!