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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.

Cruising in the Hurricane Season

It might sound certifiably insane, but cruising through the Caribbean, the Bahamas or the Mexican Riviera during hurricane season maybe nowhere near as reckless as it seems. The chances of being affected by a hurricane are, in reality, extraordinarily slim; but cruise operators have reliable contingency plans in place in the event of the worst case scenario. You may have to cope with a change in itinerary at the very worst depending the vagaries of the weather – satellite technology and state-of-the-art engineering ensure that, today, no one is going to end up with a ‘Poseidon Adventure’ experience.

You simply have to approach these hurricane season cruises with a flexible attitude. Don’t bank on getting married in a specially chosen port on the original itinerary, for instance. You may arrive at a port of call a day or two earlier, or a day or two later, than planned. And an Eastern Caribbean itinerary may quickly shift to a Western Caribbean alternative if weather conditions are considered unacceptable. Just make sure that your holiday insurance covers disruption due to weather-related conditions.

Cruise lines have been successfully and smoothly operating throughout hurricane season without untoward events for years; they’ve evolved highly effective (and extremely safe) ‘hurricane and storm response’ strategies, ensuring that their vessels avoid rather than confront a weather crisis. Modern ships can outrun a storm by a safe margin – they’re much, much faster. But one condition is altogether more predictable: people who cruise in hurricane season are sure to end up with some superb deals.

Cruises with a Theme

Theme cruises are becoming more and more popular every day. Theme cruises are designed to help people live out their dreams and wishes in amazing settings and beautiful places.

If you love to experience fine wine and dining every night, love to play golf and wish you could be taught by experts, if you have always wanted to master Photoshop or learn how to take that ‘perfect’ picture in a photography master class, you can on theme cruises.

More and more cruise holidays are becoming theme orientated, due to the overwhelming interest in these types of holidays. In some cases, the theme holidays onboard cruise ships require you to sign up to certain events, while in other cases, the entire ship is turned over to a specific theme.

You might want to take a Christmas or a New Year themed cruise; they are usually the most popular and the most frequent. Theme cruises usually take place in December and January, as these are the quietest holiday times for cruise lines. These cruises tempt travellers to go on holidays they might not have bothered to go on, which is good for both the traveller and the cruise companies.

Some operators organise theme cruises throughout the year, so if you are interested, check with your travel agent or directly with the cruise company.

Some of the more popular cruise themes include dancing, food and wine, history and world affairs, fitness and recreation, hobbies, crafts, sports, lifestyle and music, though there are many more to choose from.

How to find cheap cruise holidays

Cruise holidays are often associated with high cost, but there is a wealth of cheap alternatives to choose from that will not compromise on entertainment and excitement. A good place to start when searching for the best budget cruise deals is to choose one of the older ships from the main operators. Royal Caribbean, Thomson and Costa cruises all have older ships covering a wide range of destinations and they will be significantly cheaper than their newer vessels.

However, perhaps the best way to find a cheap cruise is to book a weekend or four-day break. If you are only a spending a night or two at sea, there will be no need to book a lavish cabin and there will still be plenty of routes to choose from. Princess cruises, for example, sail from San Francisco to Los Angeles as well as Seattle to Vancouver.

If you would prefer a slightly longer time at sea, 4-night cruises are highly recommended. Both Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises are extremely popular with travellers looking for a short trip. Royal Caribbean ships visit the stunning islands of the Bahamas with three and four night voyages.

Shorter cruise holidays tend to attract younger travellers, so you can be sure there will be plenty of exciting entertainment and activities lined up for the journey. Looking out for off-peak cruise deals is also highly recommended and it will be well worth checking out when your favourite destinations are out of season.

Specialty Cruises – for the explorer in you!

Different people have different needs. Should you decide to go on a holiday on a cruise, then you might want to check on the specialties of different providers. A wide array of options are available to those who want go onboard a luxury ship, and these won’t fail you – whether you are someone who seeks adventure or someone who wants to get pampered, single or first time cruiser; many cruise lines can cater to your requirements.

Those who want to go on a different adventure can try out expedition cruises. Unlike other cruises, expedition cruises, or adventure cruises, offer you worlds that you haven’t imagined. From the icy lands of the Antarctic to the wonderful world of Galapagos, you will surely find the adventure right for you. If seeing seals and polar bears is what you want, then this kind of cruise is for you. If you want to see far different creatures, like wingless birds and land tortoises, then an expedition cruise is your best bet.

A trip to the Galapagos Islands will feed the hungry minds of scientists and other people who have eyes for the sciences. Some cruise lines even have professional scientists and historians on deck and in port to help you with your adventurous quest.

If utmost pampering is what you’re looking for, then a spa and wellness cruise is the right fit for you. Crystal Cruises, for one, offers spa services at a high level. They have some of the most extensive facilities onboard and very well-trained staff. Otherwise, you can get on a Royal Caribbean ship and experience rock climbing while at sea. Talk about the best of both worlds!

Cruise on the Red Sea

Beautiful vistas aren’t just found on land. Actually, many are found underneath the sea. In a diver’s paradise, you’ll surely be tantalised by white sands, and seas so blue that you won’t be able to see where sky starts. If you’re longing to take a visit in a picturesque environment, then Red Sea cruises onboard Thomson Spirit is one you should definitely try! You’ll love the spacious and clean environment of the cabins, and it’s a place where you’ll find friendly and helpful staff in the dining room.

Want to dive and snorkel while having a romantic moonlit walk on an ultimate excursion to Ras Mohamed? Or feel like sailing at Dahab where families can share a walk in a starry setting? Amazing as this could be, a Red Sea cruise differs from many other cruises all over the world. Here you can do your initial dives in a pool on deck, and then explore one of the world’s finest coral reefs throughout the ports you visit.

Travelling across the sea has never been this exciting. Imagine sailing overnight to Jordan to visit the lost city of Petra. The try-dives are one of the most unique activities you’ll see on board, plus, they’re pretty much free. From quizzes to dancing lessons, musical stage plays to talks by the resident Egyptologist, cruisers will surely love this experience of a lifetime. Cabin crew members also organise refresher sessions for experienced divers during the daytime and training sessions for beginners in the afternoon.

For over six decades now, Red Sea’s step to history has brought thousands of inspired writers and explorers to discover more about the Pharaohnic constructions close to the Nile Valley and Biblical Sinai. This long corridor of wonders explored by Captain Cousteau in the 1950’s will definitely astonish you with their imposing sights.

Activities to Keep You Entertained When Aboard a Cruise Ship

When you decide to go on a cruise you will be expecting to relax and unwind on your holiday for some of the time; that will be no problem. However, if you want to be more active while aboard your cruise ship there are many leisure activities you can become involved in to keep you entertained.

Cruise ships usually post or announce the events for the day and the coming days of the trip. Be sure to read or listen to the announcements about the onboard activities to give yourself the opportunity to select which you will participate in. If you truly are a ‘party-person’, don’t miss the many social gatherings that will be arranged throughout the duration of the cruise.

You will never get bored on a cruise ship because they have such varied forms of entertainment. If you’re a gambler you can chance your money at the casino. If you love music and theatre, you will enjoy the cabaret shows. If you’re a movie buff, you can enjoy the selection of movies provided on the cruise. There are also disco’s or clubs for people who love to dance. Furthermore, talent shows that require the willing and enthusiastic participation of the passengers are also organised on most cruise ships.

If you’re a sports buff and are afraid that you might lose your muscle tone after eating a lot of scrumptious meals onboard, do not fret! There’s a fitness and recreation area available on all cruise ships. Top quality gym facilities are available as well as equipment for games like ping-pong and shuffleboard. Plus, some cruises provide volleyball courts and rock-climbing walls for the fitter and more adventurous passengers.

If you get tired after engaging in any activity onboard, feel free to try the relaxing treatments offered in the spa – massage, facial, manicure and pedicure.  Hair styling is almost certain to be provided.

But do not worry if you are the quiet type and prefer to unwind alone. The libraries, Internet cafes and card games rooms are perfect for you.

No matter what activity or kind of leisure you seek, the activities on cruise holidays will keep you happily entertained throughout your trip.

Cruise and Stay Holidays

Holidaying on a cruise ship can be a fantastic way of taking a break. Many people dream of experiencing the famous Caribbean cruises, Mediterranean cruises, Nile cruises, or one of the many other exciting destinations now available.

Cruise and stay holidays are becoming increasingly popular as they allow some time on terra firma as part of the package.  Why not spend a week in a popular Mediterranean coastal resort or major city before starting a cruise, or at the end of it before flying home.

Many cruise lines now offer cruise and stay holidays that cater for the specific needs of their passengers. Since some people, especially the kids, may get bored after some hours of touring on land, there are now plenty of activities that they can do to enjoy their time onboard.  Women can browse in the ship’s shopping stores, whilst the kids can play in the arcade centres.  Most passengers though will enjoy sunbathing on the ship’s deck and taking time to feel the tropical breeze and enjoy the sounds of waves splashing nearby.

Today’s cruise and stay holidays offer a wide variety of packages for tourists and typical cruise goers who look forward to enjoying the luxury of a cruise without missing the adventure of exploring a new holiday spot. For instance, people can opt to spend a week or more at a destination, such as Hawaii, Orlando in Florida, or Miami, before going on a cruise around the popular waters of the Caribbean or the South Pacific.

There are indeed many available options for cruise holidaymakers to consider when planning their holiday. Though cruise and stay holidays will entail spending a considerable amount of money they are exceptional experiences that you will remember for a very long time.

Cruises for the Health Conscious

Active people need a break too. However, when taking a break one’s life should never be put at risk. It may seem counter-productive to some, but believe it or not there are cruises that specialise in fitness and recreation.

For the Food Conscious

Dining rooms have taken into special consideration the requests of those who are interested in healthy eating. Fruit and vegetables have found a front-row seat in the kitchen of cruises. Low-calorie food variations have also made their appearance – the terms ‘low fat’, ‘high in vitamins’, and ‘sugar-free’ are mainstays as well. Celebrity Cruises even list the calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium contents of the “spa” food choices. Trans fat has also been eliminated from several cruise lines, including Crystal, Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Carnival.

Laid Back Cruise Activities?

Work-out plans have been designed specifically for the health-conscious cruise-goer. Gyms on cruise lines are equipped with high quality machines and other gym facilities.

Fitness classes are also offered on spa and wellness cruises. Yoga, cycling, and even Pilates are available to those who want to engage in healthy activities while at sea. Royal Caribbean Cruises also offer group boxing sessions. Excursions are designed for getting great exercise and workout plans out of your trip.

Relax

After all the travelling and working out, nothing beats a good pampering session. Luxury ships offer spa services to help calm down the senses and soothe the body and your weary mind. Some services include a massage, facial, and steam room. Celebrity Cruises has also introduced the unique practice of acupuncture while on deck, and Royal Caribbean Cruises has followed this trend too.

Learn

Some cruises, like the Royal Caribbean Cruises, offer personal trainers to those who wish to start a fitness programme. Seminars about fitness are also offered on deck.

Popular Cruise Destinations

Lewis Carroll wrote in ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland‘ that you’re sure to get somewhere as long as you walk long enough. This quote doesn’t exactly apply to cruise ships; why would you even want to get somewhere else when you’re enjoying the trip itself?

Although one of the main reasons why people go on cruise ships is the enjoyable time spent onboard the ship itself, deciding the right place to go to is also one of the factors involved in this kind of holiday. There are a lot of destinations to choose from, and where you want to go will vary depending on what the places have to offer.

The Caribbean Cruise is one of the most popular cruises currently on offer. Having “1.8 million cruise-ship arrivals in 1994”, the awe-inspiring Bahamas can be considered one of the most popular ports of call. Other ports in the Caribbean that may ring a bell include Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Cayman Islands. Some cruise lines operating here include: Royal Caribbean International, P&O, and Carnival Corporation (Costa Cruises is part of this corporation).

For those who are seeking more of a cultural experience in a place that is rich in tradition, they may want to take a Far East cruise. Asia and the Orient are places rich in culture, offering you serenity and calmness. Some of the places included in these cruises include Singapore, Vietnam, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Hong Kong. If you are more interested in the eclectic, then these are the destinations for you.