For those out there who have never cruised before it can be difficult to overcome the stereotypical view they may have and actually jump in and go for it. What do you mean by stereotypical view I hear you ask, well, it can sometimes leave you imagining OAP’s galore with lights out by 10pm.A drab, dreary old and extremely tired ship dragging itself from port to port, where it is greeted by taxis awaiting the arrival of their geriatric passengers. It can even suggest for some people the feeling of claustrophobia.
But is this really what cruising is all about? In one word, NO.
Cruising is not for “old” people. Cruising is for anyone and everyone. Cruising is for explorers, families, couples, adventurers, those seeking to see the world from a different point of view and yes OK the elderly of our time do like the relaxation of a Cruise but they don’t own it.
Initially Cruising was reserved for those who had a few shiny new pennies in their pockets, but it has today evolved into a giant community with so many ships to choose from and itinerary’s to pick that it literally makes you want to burst just trying to decide which one to pick.
So with that in mind I wanted to put together something that may help you on your journey to finally discovering your first cruise and maybe for you avid cruisers out there it might be something you can relate too and laugh at, I hope 😉
Let’s talk family fun! So you have a brood of hyper active youngsters who are constantly climbing the walls, even sometimes drawing on them, tearing down the curtains and terrorizing the family pet then I would advise you aim towards the likes of Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean International. Although more or less every liner out there today has a wide range of children’s facilities these ships really are family aimed and focused. There is a never ending array of fun to be had and I am more than sure even 2 weeks would not be enough time to conquer everything that they have on offer. On board you will find water parks, huge outdoor cinema screens, enough kids play space for the even the most hyperactive of youngsters to get rid of all their energy and no shortage of cool places for them to eat.
On Disney you will also experience a ship’s whistle with a, well, with an interesting difference. Yes ladies and gentleman the sound you will encounter is “when you wish upon a star”. The sound alone is enough to light up the face of your adoring little sweetheart. Don’t be shocked though, the first time you hear it can be a little eyebrow raising but I assure you it has that Disney magical way of eventually making you fall in love with it.
OK now it’s time to introduce the teenager. You know that being who occasionally appears late in the afternoon only to forage for food and return back to their hole. Yes this person is probably your child and probably a teenager and there are actually cruise line’s out there that cater for them, shock horror. There are clubs for all ages usually up to 17 years old but even older teenagers have plenty on offer. Again I would recommend Carnival and Royal Caribbean but also check out P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Costa Cruises. They all have amazing kids clubs on board.
Now it’s time for you. Maybe you are looking for something a little more relaxed where there are activities on offer but where you can also get some quiet relaxation time on deck. If so then look into P&O Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and should you be a more mature cruiser give Fred Olsen a peek too. They still offer kids facilities (Fred Olsen only offers kids clubs during the summer school holidays) so if you do have an army of little ones you desperately need putting in a kids club for as long as the law will allow then they are great for you. If not and maybe you are travelling as a couple or even on your own they are also ideal for you too. The balance really is just right for everyone. P&O Cruises also offer adult only ships so these can be slightly less traumatic especially during school holidays.
If sheer 5 star luxury and the chance to feel like you may have just stepped back in time are for you then there is only one choice and that is Cunard.
Cunard have the youngest fleet of ships in the world. If you want luxury like that you would have experienced in the days of first class with White Star Line then there really is no compromise. Cunard is the epitome of class and distinction, where more or less every evening is formal attire. This means no football shirts or flip flops at meal time’s folks.
To step up the ladder even further and really immerse yourself in what you can only imagine ever seeing in the movies then you must look at SilverSea, Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn. These cruise line’s invented the word luxury I am sure. 6* and beyond is the minimal you can expect on board these vessels and nothing at all is ever too much trouble.
Overall there are a million different ways to see the world and cruising is just one of them. It is an experience however that once you embark on (no pun intended) is very hard to not do again and again.
If you want to relax there is a cruise ship for you, if you want to party 24/7 then again there is a cruise ship for you and if you want to zip-line from one deck to another then jump on a full size merry go round believe it or not there is a ship for that too!
Happy Cruising!!!! 🙂