Read these 12 Special Interest Cruises Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cruises tips and hundreds of other topics.
River and canal cruises offer the opportunity to explore interior destinations traveling the rivers and canals of
Popular river cruises feature itineraries on the great rivers of
If Pirates of the Caribbean stirred the desire to run away to sea, consider a sailing ship cruise. If you have sailed before, you know what to expect. If you don't have your sea legs, you will either love sailing or not. (Note: Sailing on a genuine masted sailing ship in rough seas is not for those prone to motion sickness.) With the exception of powered luxury sailing ship cruises, don't expect glitz, glamour or large scale entertainment on sailing ships. Sailing is all about camaraderie and the experience.
Like other cruises, sailing ship voyages run the gamut from a no-frills to laid-back luxury. A hands-on working cruise on a former fishing schooner (Maple Leaf Adventures - (www.mapleleafadventures.com) to barefoot-sleep-on-deck-if-you wish
Cruises are a perfect environment for a family reunion, business retreat or friends' getaway. There's plenty for everyone to do. You can mix business with pleasure. It's easy to arrange special activities for your group. And, groups get special cruise discounts.
There are also advantages for the organizer of a group cruise. Many travel agencies offer special perks for cruise organizers who refer additional cruisers to them. Most cruise lines offer a free cabin for a cruise organizer who fills ten or more cabins. Be aware that with perks come responsibilities as “cruise group leader.” Members of the group look to you to arrange activities and handle problems that crop up. Unless you are a veteran cruiser, it pays to use the services of an experienced travel agent as a group cruise escort to handle the logistics.
Of all types of travel, cruises are one of the best ways for a disabled traveler and their companion to enjoy travel with minimal hassles and maximum benefits. But, do not assume that all ships can accommodate your unique needs. Newer and larger ships are usually more accessible than older ships. Some itineraries are also more accessible for than others.
Ports that require the use of small boats (tenders) to go ashore may not be able to accommodate wheelchairs, especially in rough seas. In some cities, sidewalks and streets may be cobblestoned and impassable in a wheelchair or tour buses may not be accessible. Once you are in international territory,
Areas you need to question include:
Many gay and lesbian cruisers enjoy cruising with a diverse mix of fellow travelers on whichever cruise line meets their personal interests and budget. However, there is also a growing cruise market specifically for gay and lesbian single travelers, couples and families.
If you are seeking a cruise with an open environment and the opportunity to meet other gay and lesbian travelers or families from around the world, look for cruises marketed by companies like RSVP Vacations (www.rsvp.net), Atlantis Events (www.atlantisevents.com) and Olivia Cruises and Resorts (www.oliviatravel.com).
A singles cruise may mean a cruise filled with single people who enjoy connecting with other singles or a singles cruise may mean you have no travel partner. If you are single and looking for romance, don't believe cruise marketing that promises you will meet the guy or gal of your dreams onboard any cruise. Statistically, single women far outnumber single men on cruises, especially in the over 40 age set. Research cruise market demographics before choosing a singles cruise. For instance, the average age of cruisers on
If you are simply traveling solo and not interested in making connections with other singles, the most important criteria for a cruise is usually the cost of occupying a cabin that is priced for double occupancy without having to pay twice as much. Look for cruises that offer discounts on single occupancy cabins.
Heads Up: Some cruise lines and travel agencies offer to match single travelers with a roommate. Think twice before agreeing to room with a total stranger. Even for the most flexible person, sharing a room and bath with someone who has different sleeping patterns and personal habits can turn a dream vacation into a nightmare. Get to know a potential roommate before committing to the intimacy of sharing close quarters.
A honeymoon cruise is a natural setting for romance. Take advantage of all the ship has to offer or escape the world in the privacy of your stateroom. No need to worry about making dinner reservations or finding a hot nightspot. Everything is there for you.
When considering a cruise honeymoon look for a cruise line that meets your demographics as a couple. Most honeymooners don't want to cruise on a ship filled with kiddies or seniors (unless they are seniors). Ask about special discounts or cruise amenities for honeymooners. Request dinner seating with other honeymoon couples. Take advantage of luxury and pampering with leisurely champagne breakfasts (lunch or dinner) in bed. Book a couple's massage. This is your special time; make the most of your honeymoon cruise. The
Heads Up: If you are newly married without a passport or photo identification with your new married name, clearing airport security and immigration is complicated. It is best to book your cruise under your maiden name so that it matches your photo identification.
Imagine a wedding onboard ship or in a romantic port paradise. Getting married on a cruise places a whole new twist on a destination wedding for the wedding couple and wedding guests. A cruise ship wedding is usually less stressful and often costs less in the long run than a traditional wedding. Best of all, you are “on location” for a great romantic honeymoon immediately following the ceremony. For wedding guests, a cruise wedding combines celebrating the wedding and a dream vacation. Compare costs for guests who travel to a traditional wedding, paying airfare, accommodations, local transportation, food and entertainment with the cost of a cruise that includes these factors.
Cruise weddings can be simple or elaborate. Some cruise lines offer services of a wedding coordinator to handle all the details, including flowers, music, photography/videography and the wedding cake. Although most cruise ship wedding take place while in port, some cruise ships have added wedding chapels or offer sunset ceremonies on deck.
Here are some important considerations when planning a wedding cruise:
Family cruises offer something for all ages and interests. There is time for togetherness and time for separate kid-fun and grown-up fun. Parents relax while the kids are entertained and even educated in creative shipboard programs. Evening in-cabin babysitting or group babysitting is available on most family-oriented cruises. Cruise lines with high scores from families include: Disney Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises.
When considering a family cruise, look for:
Baby boomers are classified as people born between the years of 1946 and 1964, putting this generation between 43 to 61 years old. Proclaiming that 60 is the new 40, baby boomers (76,000,000 strong) are currently the leading cruise market segment. After years heading the workforce and being avid savers, boomers have raised their family and are ready for quality “Me” time and experiences. It's time to re-kindle romance and fulfill long-awaited travel dreams.
The majority of baby boomers want to be entertained, have it all and do it all in style. As a diverse group, some boomers are all about the luxury experience; other boomers are all about adventure. Cruise lines are more than happy to provide the pampering and pleasure they enjoy. Some of the cruise lines preferred by baby boomer cruisers include:
In addition to general cruise market categories, there are cruises for just about any personal demographic, interest and special occasion. Until recent years, seniors were traditionally the leading group of cruisers. After all, they are retired with plenty of time to travel. Today, seniors still make up almost one-third of the cruise market. Savvy cruise lines cater to seniors with enrichment programs and upscale entertainment rather than wet T-shirt contests and all-night discos.
With diverse personal tastes and budgets, there is no single “best” seniors' cruise line. However, some of the cruise lines favored by mature travelers include: Holland America, Cunard and Crystal Cruises. Regardless of which cruise line you choose, if you want a cruise experience without toddlers and teens check the school calendar. Avoid traveling in summer and during winter and spring breaks when school is out. Cruise during off-season and shoulder seasons when the kids are in school and enjoy the benefits of best cruise prices!
In addition to diverse passenger demographics and destinations, cruise lines often feature special theme cruises. Examples of theme cruises include: