Look for these characteristics as you plan a voyage.

Cruises abound, appealing to all manner of audiences. Many of them are good, but what are the special touches that make certain ones great?

  • More amenities included in the base price. No cruise is totally all-inclusive, but higher-end lines will sometimes incorporate drinks, alternative restaurants, gratuities, spa treatments, and shore excursions into their standard cruise fares.
  • Plenty of port time and overnights. The best lines recognize that you are curious about more than the cruising experience. They will often extend their port stops past 8:00pm or schedule overnight or multi-day stays in port, offering cultural and dining options in that city.
  • Smaller or all-balcony ships. Some lines promote a relaxed atmosphere, and their ships have the feel of private clubs. Their ships often carry less than 1,000 passengers – sometimes less than 200, in the case of European river cruises.1
  • You can find luxury on a mega-ship. Companies like Cunard, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean do have vessels with suite complexes catering to the higher end tastes. These complexes are often separated from the rest of the ship.1
  • You can also make moves to improve any standard cruise. Evade the teeming pool area; head for quieter adults-only decks. Go for a room-service breakfast instead of crowded group dining. Spring for a little gift package – wine, roses, treats, often under $50 total – to kick off the voyage. Lastly, some good advice for any cruise vacation: arrive at your port city the night before your departure.2

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1 cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=1468 [5/28/17]
2 travelchannel.com/interests/cruises/articles/7-ways-to-improve-your-cruise [5/27/17]

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