Recently, I began working as a travel consultant for a host agency. I chose Expedia CruiseShipCenters because of the atmosphere of the office, the personalities of the employees and managers, and the endless opportunities for learning. The catch was that they (obviously) specialized in cruising, which was something that had never crossed my mind as a vacation option. Since joining the Expedia team, I’ve learned a lot and have seen a side of travel that was new to me – and as it may be new to you as well, I thought I’d share some of my observations.
Cruising is constantly innovating and revolutionizing the travel experience. Getting to each port of call is only part of the journey, as the ships themselves are now destinations. Each year, cruise lines invest millions of dollars to deliver the most luxurious and creative onboard amenities and features. These ships are like cities on the ocean.
Cruising offers travelers the chance to unwind in modern amenities and luxurious spaces, and the chance to completely explore the best of their dream destinations – creating the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure. While onboard you can savor delicious meals created by master chefs, and on land you can experience culturally authentic local flavors. Of course one of the biggest bonuses of taking a fabulous cruise vacation is also the fact that you only have to unpack once and you can travel to far reaching dream destinations all in one trip.
Most of all, while you make your way to the most idyllic destinations you’ll be taken there in complete bliss with gracious service, exquisite dining, world class amenities, lively entertainment, relaxing spas and the freedom to enjoy them at your own pace! A cruise can take you to a plethora of destinations around the world all in one trip with everything planned out for you in advance.
What am I Paying For?
A common misunderstanding is the difference between what is and what isn’t included in your cruise fare. Though this can differ depending on the cruise line, I’ve summarized some of the common inclusions / exclusions below.
Typically, the following are included in the cruise fare:
- Dining, including room service
- Basic drinks (coffee, tea, water)
- Entertainment (Broadway-style shows, piano bars, poolside entertainment, comedy / magic acts)
The following are generally not included in your fare:
- Specialty coffees, sodas, alcoholic beverages
- Meals in alternative or specialty restaurants
- Spa and salon services, exercise classes
- Casino gambling, shore excursions, photographs taken by the crew
- Laundry, medical services
It is possible to purchase these additional items in well-priced packages prior to your departure, so if there is something you know you’ll want, be sure to arrange it with your travel agent.
|Vacation Details||Caribbean |
|$995 / p||$1070 / p|
|Air & Transfers|
|$685 / p||$499 / p|
|Food & Beverage|
(Three meals daily, snacks, room service taxes, and gratuities)
|$770 / p||Included|
(Brand name entertainment and/or lavish variety productions)
|$100 / p (per production)||Included|
|$365 / day||$225 / day|
Is Cruising for Me?
At the end of the day, the type of vacation you take is entirely up to you and should be suited to fit your needs only! Okay, well, maybe the needs of your family as well – but at the end of the day, you want to feel satisfied with how you traveled, what you saw, and how you came back a different person. Don’t let preconceived notions deter you from something new or different – if it sounds like paradise to you, then it probably is.
If you have any more questions about cruising, check out the Frequently Asked Questions portion of my Expedia web page!