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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

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.

Enjoying the delights of Holland America Cruises

There are cruises to suit all tastes.  Offering a wide range of cruises sailing the world’s oceans is the Holland America Line.

For those seeking late cruise deals with Holland America, there are a rich variety of cruises available. The list includes sailings to Alaska, the Mediterranean, cruising the Pacific, journeys to Australia and New Zealand, as well as to Mexico and South America.

The company, founded in 1873, has built up a rich reputation, firstly carrying cargo and passengers across the Atlantic, and latterly as a worldwide leisure cruise operator.  It also operates a ‘Signature of Excellence Programme’ where the line’s ships and facilities are regularly upgraded.

Not only is there a rich selection of destinations, but Holland America cruises can last from just a couple of days to two and a half months.  An example of one of the line’s longer cruises is the ’50 Night Grand Asia and Australia Voyage’.  Those enjoying the delights of this particular cruise will visit locations in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia.

Holland America is able to offer such a wide range of cruises because of its large fleet.  The company boasts 13 liners, all with Dutch names such as ms Amsterdam, ms Rotterdam and ms Veendam.

Before booking a cruise, customers can see exactly what these liners have to offer online.  The company’s website offers a view of each vessel’s deck plans, and offers virtual tours and videos.

The online descriptions also give details of each ship’s staterooms and even their art collections, exemplifying on board luxury.

The wide range of cruises available means there is something for everyone and at a price that can be afforded.  What is more, there are several bargain deals to be found online.

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.

The Best Ships for Disabled Travellers

Even in today’s modern world, those with disabilities sometimes face difficulties in all areas of their lives. However, today’s cruise lines have made great strides in providing services for the disabled.

Cruise lines have retro fitted some of the older ships with wider corridors, grab bars in the bathrooms and lower thresholds. Some ships include Braille elevator buttons for the blind and ADA kits for the hearing impaired. Some ships will allow a Seeing Eye guide dog, although getting the necessary permits and health records can hinder bringing a dog onboard. However, most cruise lines require that a disabled person have a personal companion.

Newer ships have built-in facilities for the disabled and common rooms are accessible by wheelchair, walker or cane. Some of the cruise lines have special cabins designated for the disabled.

While few ships score 100% in disability services, Royal Caribbean has seven ships that provide accommodation specifically for the disabled. The Freedom, the Independence and the Liberty provide living spaces for over 30 disabled passengers, while the Brilliance, the Jewel of the Seas, the Radiance and the Serenade each have slightly less spaces.

Princess Cruises offer Braille elevator buttons, ADA kits, and wheelchair accessible cabins, suites and staterooms on the Crown Princess, the Ruby Princess and the Emerald Princess.

The degree of disability is always a factor, and some passengers will have greater mobility than others. For those who prefer to travel with others who share their disability, some cruise lines offer chartered cruises for the elderly, dialysis patients, the hearing impaired, the visually impaired, those in wheelchairs and others tailored to a specific disability.

Disney Magic Holiday Cruises

The Disney Magic Holiday Cruise is a totally customer focused experience, and that is likely what brings families back to them time and time again.  The company has gone to a considerable amount of effort to make each cruise a uniquely memorable one and, no matter what destination you are cruising to, there are some things you can expect from your Disney Magic Holiday Cruise.

Boarding the Cruise

The entire boarding process is smooth and help is always at hand.  The crew is always close by to extend assistance with parking cars, locating luggage and getting guests on board.

Fun and Games for Kids

Disney has put a lot of effort into making the cruise particularly enjoyable for children.  There are a lot of activities on offer, including games and contests, which kids of all ages will enjoy.  A lot of thought has gone into making the games safe, with a focus on cleanliness and hygiene.  Parents will not feel apprehensive about leaving their kids in the play areas, thanks to the friendly staff.

Dining

The cuisine is varied and of a high quality.  The cruise ships typically have a number of restaurants each of which serves a different kind of cuisine.
 
Cabins

The cabins are spacious and each has its own cabin attendant.  The cabin attendant typically arranges the cabin for you while you explore the vessel and enjoy your cruise, and the attendant will ensure your cabin is kept in order.

Cruise Holidays for Young People

It is possible to book cruises exclusively for people under the age of 30, so you can guarantee you will not end up on a cruise liner full of those considerably older than yourself.  What is great about cruises for those under 30 is that you can go with a bunch of your friends, and then meet more friends throughout the trip.  This article provides more information about amenities offered in cruises for people who are under the age of 30.

Entertainment

In terms of the entertainment offered, most cruise liners feature a number of bars and restaurants, while some cruise liners even have nightclubs.  In the evenings, guests on board the cruise liner can spend time socialising and meeting new people.  Daytime entertainment typically includes the usual facilities, such as sports amenities, a gym, and often a spa or health club.

Stops

Where the cruise stops depends, of course, on what part of the world your cruise’s itinerary includes.  A great feature of cruises for individuals under 30 is stopping at fun places with many activities and events beyond simply sightseeing. 

Budget

Cruise companies offering cheap cruises exclusively to people under 30 understand that you are likely to be travelling on a budget.  The cruise package, therefore, tends to be less costly than on a luxury cruise liner, and the rooms offered typically are basic in nature.

Take a Cruise for your next holiday

Try taking a cruise holiday next time you’re in an agony of indecision over how best to keep the kids entertained and enjoy a welcome break yourself. Many people are finding that cruise holidays offer a wealth of attractions that they’d never imagined, and often on the advice of friends they’re coming to see that cruise holidays are something special.

A lot of time is wasted on holidays in general, getting to the hotel, being delayed at airports, packing and unpacking at regular intervals and putting up with complaints of boredom from the kids.

All of this is history when you purchase a ticket for a cruise holiday, with a wealth of entertainments on board for all members of the family. The great thing about cruise holidays is that once you step on board you can leave your troubles behind. There are no hidden costs involved because everything is included in the fare, so your budget will be under strict control. Take into account the unexpected costs and accompanying frustrations of most traditional holidays and this removes a real headache from the holiday equation.

With cruise operators like P&O, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Princess Cruise Lines to name just a few after your custom, there are always lots of great cruise deals on offer, and the prices for a spectacular cruise holiday are very affordable.

Do yourself and the whole family a favour next time you’re stuck for ideas and take off on a cruise holiday. You won’t regret it.

Food on Cruise Holidays

If you are heading off on a cruise this year, you will want to know what kind of food you can expect to be served on board.  When it comes to cruise holidays a lot will depend on the ship you are booked on.  They all have their own special touches and although you will see phrases like ‘world class cuisine’ and ‘top restaurants’ in the sales literature, you need to know what this means before you book a cabin on board the ship.

Cruise holidays can actually vary quite a bit when it comes to the food.  And since you will very likely have a week or more on board the ship, you will want to ensure you like what they have to offer.

The best way of finding out what to expect is to start narrowing down your options for cruise holidays to begin with.  If you have a particular company in mind to book your cruise with, you can look at the various ships they have and see what restaurants and options are available on board.

For example, some ships may have a restaurant where a waiter will come and serve you.  Others may have more flexible opportunities for eating where you can enjoy a buffet instead.  This may prove easier if you are going on cruise deals with children.  In some cases one ship may offer both options so you have the best of both worlds.  This can be the best option of all.

Carnival Cruises – providing fun for the whole family!

Carnival Cruise Lines is one of the world’s most popular cruise providers. Carnival Cruise Lines have a fleet of 19 ships, all of which are family-friendly floating cities offering loads of activities to keep the kids happily occupied and plenty of entertainment for adults in the evenings.

The atmosphere on Carnival cruises is relaxed and informal, and there’s everything you could possibly want from a cruise holiday, with the added bonus of constantly changing views. Carnival cruises have spacious cabins for families, couples and singles alike, and there are child-friendly menus in all the restaurants as well as kids’ clubs and great excursions ashore. Or just stay on board and take advantage of the many facilities on offer.

Carnival cruises offer all the advantages of a traditional holiday, with lots of group activities thrown in as the vessel moves from one exotic destination to another. There are wine-tasting classes, trivia quizzes, and even volleyball and professional golf coaching to keep you stimulated and occupied.

With many bars, bistros, restaurants, stage shows and cinemas available across the decks, you’ll never be short of something to do, and late in the evenings with the kids safely wrapped up you can enjoy a bottle of wine on your own balcony and watch the world drift by.

The kids probably won’t want to come home after experiencing the rich variety of foods and entertainments available on a Carnival Cruise Lines break, and you’ll wonder why you’d never thought of cruise holidays before.

Try a Carnival cruise the next time you’re looking for a fun holiday.