Many travelers, even avid ones, still have not had the opportunity to sail on a luxury cruise ship. The majority of travelers go land based, but times are changing. Based on research from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), cruise industry growth is 23 percent higher than land-based travel.
For 2016, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is estimating that 24 million passengers will take a cruise. That number is 1 million higher than in 2015. From appealing destinations like the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska, Panama Canal and more, cruising is extremely popular.
So what is driving the growth and strong interest in cruise travel? Of course it’s a combination of various factors, but a popular trait felt by many is – variety. Today cruise options are plentiful. They range from family cruises with kid friendly experiences, to singles cruises to find that special someone, to a luxury cruise where you feel like you’re staying in a five-star, luxury resort with endless amenities.
The luxury cruise ship sector has seen a surge in popularity. These cruises appeal to a traveler who wants to experience the best services available. Rivaling many of the best resorts and hotels around the world, a luxury cruise provides a unique VIP experience. Attention to detail, the finest quality, high-end accommodations and personal service are important to the affluent traveler.
The luxury cruise ship industry is also in tune with vacationers who desire something different. With a few traditional cruises under their belt, customers begin to demand more and seek new services or destinations. The luxury cruise brands need to stay one step ahead of consumer demands. Once they stagnate, cruise passengers will begin to plateau and eventually decline.
Luxury cruise lines have focused on upscale cabins, non-stop activities, personalized concierge service, unique ports of call and all-inclusive travel packages. The majority of luxury cruise lines today are all-inclusive. This is an important key to their appeal and how they have differentiated themselves from the rest of the cruise industry.
Although appealing at first, many travels balk at the high price for a luxury cruise. But is it really all that expensive? Let’s take a closer look and compare apples to apples. Competition among the numerous, cruise industry brands is very fierce. They often compete simply on price to attract customers. But is that rock-bottom cruise deal really a good deal? We need to take a look at what is included in that package and what the customer must pay once the cruise commences.
In addition to a basic, discounted cruise fare, the cruise passenger will need to pay for many extras. For example there are fees for some restaurants, laundry services, various cruise staff tips, beverage packages, internet access and much more!
For almost all of the luxury cruise lines, there is no charge for alcoholic beverages. These drinks are quite expensive and just a couple a day can really add up over the course of a week or two of traveling the high seas. This usually covers your alcoholic beverages during restaurant meals, in a lounge or bar and even in your cabin’s minibar.
Unless you want to stay on your cruise ship during the entire trip, taking advantage of a shore excursion is a great way to see the world. Learn about a destination’s culture, history and try their local cuisine. These port calls can be really pricey and travelers get home shocked at how much they actually spent. Including free shore excursions is another awesome perk you often receive on a luxury cruise ship. For example, Regent Seven Seas Cruises claims it’s the only luxury cruise brand that offers Free Unlimited Shore Excursions in every port of call. Take as many as you like at no additional fee. Now that’s a terrific deal!
Gratuities is another area that can really add up. During a typical day, you are dealing with various onboard ship services. There is the dining room staff, room steward or stewardess who does your cabin cleaning, concierge, bartenders, wine steward, and maitre d’. The tips or gratuities can be either daily or per occurrence. You’ll notice a no-tipping policy on a luxury cruise ship. It’s due tot he fact thse fees are included in your per-passenger cruise fare.
Cruise ships get bigger each year and hold many more passengers than ever before. But for those who desire a quiet and relaxing cruise experience, they may not happen with thousands of other passengers. Luxury cruise ships tend by smaller, so it’s more of an intimate environment. Enjoy a luxury experience with higher crew-to-passenger ratios. The service is top notch and you’ll notice an unlimited number of luxury amenities you won’t find on a standard cruise ship. Due to the smaller ship size, you’ll be able to visit intimate ports that the bigger ships can’t access.
Many teaser rates on standard cruises advertise an inside cabin. No window, no fun. Then when you inquire, you notice upgrade costs can be steep. Most luxury cruises offer all-suite accommodations. These provide awesome ocean views and many of these staterooms even have a balcony! Relax, read a book, sip your favorite cocktail and enjoy the view. Now that is what cruising in VIP style is all about.
Seabourn Cruise Line
Of course, one of the highlights of any cruise is the dining. Food is available 24 hours a day. Enjoy fine cuisine and Michelin star dining. Your taste buds will come alive with delicious meals made by the best chefs from around the world. You’ll quickly notice that luxury cruise brands have invested millions of dollars toward renovating their dining rooms. The ambiance is spectacular and provides an appealing environment to enjoy your fine dining experience.
We wanted to share a few, incredible luxury cruise deals available today”
Regent Seven Seas Cruises:
* Their 2017 World Cruise sails roundtrip from Miami, Florida. The cruise on their Seven Seas Navigator ship starts January 5, 2017 to May 13, 2017. Cruise to 6 continents, 31 countries and 62 ports. You will visit 29 UNESCO World Heritage sites and the package also includes 6 overnights stays. Fares begin at $55,999
* They offer 75 different cruises as part of their 2016 Summer and Fall collection. Passengers can enjoy 2-for-1 All-Inclusive Fares. Receive free Roundtrip Air and plus free unlimited WiFi. Take advantage of early booking savings as much as $6,000 per suite.
* This brand offers luxury cruise deals starting at just $1,845. If you dream of a boat cruise to Europe, take a look at their Enchanting Europe cruise options. Embark on a 7-day Europe escape on their Crystal Serenity ship. It departs from Barcelona and travels to Monte Carlo. There is also a 12-day itinerary option leaving from Rome and ends in Lisbon.
* Alaska has long been a popular cruise destination. Now sail Crystal Serenity to become the first luxury ship to sail the legendary Northwest Passage. Enjoy a incredible Pacific-Atlantic sea journey and sail beyond the magical Arctic Circle. Take this luxury cruise from Anchorage to New York, leaving August 8. Pricing begins at $21,855.
Seabourn Cruise Line:
*Offering intimate ships with none more than 300 suites, cruise the Mediterranean with your choice of 7 to 21 day itineraries. See Greece, Turkey, Spain, Italy, France and more! Prices begin as low as $2,999 per person.
* Their 21-Day Mediterranean Nights cruise is amazing. Ranging from $8,999 and up, you sail on the Seabourn Sojourn ship. It departs on July 14 from Monte Carlo, Monaco.
There are many luxury cruise ship lines to choose from – Regent, Azamara, Seabourn, Paul Gauguin, Silversea, SeaDream, and more! Isn’t it time you travel in VIP style and take a luxury cruise? Let our luxury cruise booking service make your next vacation magical.
Are you finally ready to enjoy a memorable experience on a luxury cruise ship? Contact The Life of Luxury for help in booking your vacation of a lifetime. Read about other luxury cruise deals by returning to this luxury blog.
Featured photo: Silversea