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Wave season 2014 offers

The wave season is a cruise industry term for the high sales volume period from January to March. The cruise lines roll out the best of their promotions and discount offers in the first quarter of the year. Travellers can get good wave season offers in 2014, if they are flexible on departure dates or cruise lines.

Many travellers book their cruise holiday for the year during the wave season and the cruise lines take full advantages of it. The offers and promotions range from reduced cruise fares that are half of the original rates to reduced or free fares for third and fourth cabin members.

Some cruises offer reduced fare or free stay in a hotel on selected departures. This type of discount is available for most destinations and on all itineraries.
 
Other offers would be on the lines of two for one fares with free airfare on select itineraries. Reduced cruise fares or free airfare offers are also aimed at specific groups such as couples or singles. These can be only utilised on certain voyages.
 
Some cruise lines are known to offer stateroom upgrades on selected cruises along with a 50% reduction in fares.

Picture: kansasphoto

Travel at sea on the Disney Magic

A Disney cruise is the perfect way to treat your kids, as well as those kids that are a little more grown up now. There are currently 4 Disney Cruise Line ships, each with a different design, but all full of magic and wonder with something for everyone to enjoy.

The Disney Magic has recently undergone a few changes and is now even better than ever before. It was constructed to be a ‘modern classic’ combining beauty and glamour with sturdiness and family friendly aspects. In October 2013, a whole host of surprises will be unveiled in the remodelled ship.

The big kids will be most excited by the most conspicuous change to the ship: the Aquadunk water slide. It begins with a near vertical drop, before the floor appears to drop out under you as you loop over the edge of the ship in a clear tube. There are watery delights for younger ones at the AquaLab with Huey, Dewey and Louie and their water experiments, including Splash Zone and Twist ‘n’ Spout slide.

After Hours there is a whole host of night time entertainment for the grown-ups, including the Keys piano bar and live music at O’Gills Pub.

Picture: Scott Ableman

North Portugal river cruise

The Douro is one of Europe’s most untouched rivers. Now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it ambles through the Iberian Peninsula, from the Castile region of Spain, out to the ancient Portuguese city of Porto, through spectacular scenery and centuries of heritage.

Experience a landscape a world away from the crowded beaches of the Costas or the Algarve. Leave the crowds behind and witness southern Europe at a slower pace. Follow in the footsteps of explorer Columbus in the picturesque city of Salamanca, Spain’s ancient seat of learning.

Deep in the Douro valley, vineyards have been built into the steep terraces to make the world-renowned port wine that for centuries was transported on rabelos, traditional wooden flat-bottomed boats, down the river to Porto. Visit the quintas, where the grapes are grown, as you sail sedately past the Baroque palaces of Villa Real, where the world famous Mateus Rosé wine originates.

At the mouth of the Douro, Portugal’s second-largest city Porto is an enthralling town that combines Roman ruins, winding medieval alleyways, top-class restaurants and a cutting-edge modern art scene.

Affordable Cruise Holidays for Families

Far front what many people perceive, cruise holidays for families can be easily affordable. There are a number of options, which mean taking that dream cruise holiday with you families a reality. A cruise holiday can make a fantastic change to your usual summer holiday, the opportunity to explore and learn about new places, while in port but also keep you kids entertained easily whilst at sea.

It’s not that hard to get cheap cruise deals, the hardest part will be deciding where to go and with which cruise line. Europe is a popular choice for many families; you can set sail from a UK port or choose a short flight to a European city to start your cruise. Lengths vary from a week to three or four, depending on where your itinerary takes you.

For first time cruisers, a mini cruise might be a good starting off point; these are around three to four days long and are a good introduction. However if your confident cruising is for you and your family, then further afield cruise holidays to the tropical climes of the Caribbean may be for you, there are so many different opportunities.
 
You can chose from a number of family orientated, ships, the Disney Cruise line tends to be a firm favourite, with children and adults alike. If you have fussy teenagers then looking at Royal Caribbean’s ships might fit the bill, with their wide range of on board activities and fun entertainment.

Other cruise lines such as Celebrity Cruises also offer free clubs for children of all ages, these include: Toddler Time (0-3), Ship Mates (3-5), Celebrity Cadets (6-8), Ensigns (9-11) and Admiral Teens (12-17). This gives parents the perfect opportunity to get some me time. Many restaurants also offer family friendly meals, and staff on board always put on evening entertainment for the little ones.

Because a lot of cruise holidays can be booked on an all-inclusive basis, you can save money whilst your away, other options also include pre-paid cards which you can spend whilst your n the ship, helping keep credit card costs down.

Going on a cruise

Cruising is one of the most versatile types of holidays available, as it offers constantly changing sceneries, a fantastic range of facilities and a great source of the local culture, all without setting one foot on land.  Many cruises will, however, allow you to go to port for a limited time so that you can experience the fresh new environment first hand, and purchase some souvenirs to take back home.

On board

Inside the ship you will typically find: a bar and restaurant, waited on by helpful, friendly staff; a swimming pool with water slides and wave machines, ideal for children; a nightclub, brimming with a variety of shows and entertainment; a gym, furnished with all the equipment needed for you to exercise to your full extent; and a spa, attended by a masseur, ready to relax the muscles and the mind. 

Latest offers on cruise holidays include discounted speciality food and dining, free spa treatments, VIP suites, and champagne on the house.  Coupled with the facilities that are available on board the ship, these deals certainly give you value for money.

See James Bond in Phang Nga Bay

Cruising from Bangkok to Phuket is one of the sweetest deals in Thailand for a number of reasons.  One of the most important sites on the island of Phuket is Phang Nga Bay. Other than for its beaches and temples, tourists from all over Europe come to Phuket to see this majestic bay in the idyllic province of Phang Nga.

Which popular Englishman has visited Phang Nga Bay?  None other than the secret service agent, James Bond himself.  In fact, one of the islands is named James Bond Island!

The ninth bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed here in 1974 and catapulted the bay to international fame.  The island’s original name was Koh Ping-gan but the local government was more than willing to give that up for “James Bond Island”.

Visitors to the island will not be disappointed.  It has majestic rocky pinnacles and mysterious rock formations and simply looking at them makes the trip worthwhile, although the island can become crowded with tourists and local hawkers at times.

There are several cruise deals for 2013 to Phuket.  Many of the tour packages include both the cruise and hotel stay.  From the east coast beaches of Phuket, tourists can travel to Phang Nga Bay on board a canoe or speedboat.  From there, several outriggers take tourists to James Bond Island.  Another option is to take a boat trip from the northern tip of Phuket straight to the island.

Other places to visit in Phang Nga Bay are several uninhabited islands, towering limestone formations, prehistoric rock paintings, rich wildlife, sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and Gypsy Island for its rocky mountains and Muslim village on stilts.

Phang Nga Bay is often crowded but it never ceases to wow foreign visitors.  The scenic province of Phang Nga welcomes tourists with its official slogan: “A town with valuable minerals, a water village, fantastic caves, peculiar mountains, the Champion flowering plants, and fertile natural resources.”

Cost Effective Cruise Holidays

Cruising does have the reputation of been very expensive, but you can actually find plenty of affordable cruise holidays. The hardest part of booking a cruise holiday is where to go, a cruise to the Mediterranean, or the Baltic. Fancy a Nile Cruise or how about around the Middle East, even further afield to the Far East. The Caribbean is always a popular option for a Winter Sun holiday, or around South America and the Panama Canal. USA and Canada cruises are also affordable, as is a transatlantic cruise from the UK to New York.

Inside cabins, will often be the most affordable, but you can catch some good deals for rooms on the outside of the ship, with sea views. If you want a balcony cabin, they will be more expensive, but if your visit a warm destination then they are worth it. Cheaper cabins tend to be quite basic, but with so much entertainment going on on-board many cruise ships, plus stops at ports of call you will on find yourselves in your cabin for sleeping.

If you’re worried about spending money whilst abroad, why not have a look at all-inclusive cruise holidays? This means that whilst you’re on-board you won’t have to pay for food and drink. You may still find extra supplements which depend on the cruise line, but at least you won’t have to worry about having enough money for food. Some restaurants may insure extra charges and treatments in spas and beauty salons normally also incur a charge but there will be a number of other on-board activities include.

If you’re not sure about all-inclusive holidays, many travellers enjoy the ease of using a pre-paid card. A bit like your own cruise ship credit card, the only difference is you have to fill the card up with money to spend on board before you go. It does take the hassle away of having to be organised with money whilst you on board, but it does mean you have a bit more freedom.

Comparing prices online is the best way to ensure you’re getting the best deal; you can easily find Med cruise deals or great reductions on cruises to the Caribbean. Booking well in advance can also mean you get great prices, however there may some last minute deals to be found however you may need to be ready to travel within a few days’ notice, plus there may be less choice on rooms. One thing is for sure though, a cruise holiday is a lot more affordable than people realise, so book yours today.

Destinations around the World: Cruise Holidays

The brilliant thing about cruise holidays is that you can visit destinations around the world with ease; they are the hassle free way to see some of the greatest places in the world. Many people choose cruise holidays because of the choice, there are many different cruises offering itineraries around the globe; you never need to on the same cruise twice.

Online cruise companies such as Bonvoyage can help you to find the right cruise for you. They can search all the cruises offered by the different cruise companies, including Royal Caribbean, P&O, Cunard and Princess Cruises just to name a few. The hardest thing will be deciding where to go, because with a cruise holiday the world really is your oyster.

Popular cruises tend to be to the Mediterranean or the Caribbean and North America, but other regions are becoming increasingly popular as people look to travel further afield. Pacific cruises, Asian cruises and Baltic cruises offer travellers the chance to explore areas, they may not have considered before because of price constraints through flying.

And speaking of price, cruise holidays aren’t expensive either, that’s just a myth. Cruises are just as affordable as other types of holiday and in some cases cheaper or better value for money. It’s easy to find good deals for cruise holidays, checking online and comparing different rooms can save you £’s. Also you don’t have to factor in many extras such as travel, because, well that’s done for your courtesy of the captain.

There really is no excuse not to take a cruise holiday. You get to explore far off destinations around the world, experience different culture, travel with ease and have your needs taken care of on board.

Taking a Mediterranean Cruise Holiday

There are some fantastic stop offs on Med Cruises, no matter which part your cruising. The hardest part is finding a cruise which fits in all the stops you want. Popular calls of port include; French Rivera, Spain (Barcelona, Palma), Italy (Rome,) Greece and Greek Islands (Athens, Mykonos and Santorini) and Turkey (Kusadasi) just to name a few.

For most Mediterranean Cruise holidays, the area is broken up into two. Eastern Mediterranean which covers Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, Malta and Turkey and Western Mediterranean which is a bit closer to home and covers Spain, France, Italy and even North Africa.

In the East you get to discover wonders such as Acropolis in Greece, Ayios Neophytos Monastery in Cyprus and Ephesus in Turkey. And in the West you can explore cosmopolitan cities such as Barcelona with its fantastic Gaudi Architecture, Rome where you can see the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain.

If you are new to cruising then a Mediterranean cruise holiday will be a good option. They tend to be shorter in length, include less time at sea and depart from the UK without the need of a flight. However they don’t have to be short, most cruise holidays around the Mediterranean are anywhere between five days and thirty five days in length depending on the number of ports of call.

Bonvoyage.co.uk
has a wide selection of cruise holidays to this region at affordable prices.

Intimate and Luxurious Cruise Holidays

Large cruise ships can’t really offer you the intimate surroundings smaller vessels can. Sharing sea space with over 5000 passengers isn’t exactly intimate. Plus with larger cruise ships you are only restricted to larger ports whereas with a smaller ship you can visit unique destinations which are only available to smaller vessels.

There are a number of cruise lines which offer a more intimate setting fir a cruise holiday, have a look at Bonvoyage Cruise Holidays for a selection of some of the best and our choices below:

Silversea Cruises

The Silversea line has six small cruise ships. Each offers an individual adventure to a far flung destination or closer to home. The intimacy found on board the Silversea ships is what keep bringing travellers back year on year. Because their ships are luxury cruise ships, all your wants and needs are taken care of in their all-inclusive packages.

Azamara Club Cruises

When you holiday on the Azamara Journey or Quest cruise ships you will find the experience second to none. Both ships normally make it to number one in many top ten lists because of the service offered on board and the fascinating destinations these ships visit. The Journey and the Quest are like floating boutique hotels and are individual and unique and don’t necessarily follow the tradition cruise ship format.

Seabourn Cruises

The Seabourn Cruise line does have some of the smallest ships in its fleet, with 104 or 225 suites available on their ships. They are described as a private club on the ocean, completely exclusive.  They praise themselves on their ‘intuitive, gracious service’ provided by their staff that will take care of your needs whilst on board. Everything about their ships is pure luxury from the suites, to the restaurants and bars.