Now is the Time for that Next Great Cruise Adventure!
It seems like that thought rises up, just as New Year’s resolutions fade and summer break is a just few calendar pages away.
The "Next Great Cruise Adventure” is, of course, a relative feeling, unique to you or your family and very, very personal. We all have lists. Lists of things to do or yet to achieve, adventures, waiting to be shared.
Hey, the list of…lists, is never ending, but the circumstances that make today’s list important – may never be the same again. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- Your folks, who have been very good to you, are aging.
- The kids are just at the right age to try something new and challenging.
- Your spouse has a window of time from his or her job (only certain for this summer).
- Or, you been moving too fast for too long and just need to reconnect.
These are all great reasons for making now the time – for that Next Great Cruise Adventure!
Here is a brief list of possible cruise adventures. Let’s explore.
Cruises this summer are still a value, large in size and adventure.
We are experiencing a renaissance in the number of new ships on the market these days. In April, Celebrity cruises launched Eclipse, the third in its Solstice class. It actually entered the market by transporting from Bilbao, Spain, to Southampton, England, approximately 2,200 vacationers who had been stranded by the travel disruption caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland. Holland America Line will introduce its ms Nieuw Amsterdam in July 2010. Its interior design and art collection will reflect the glamour and history of New York City, formerly called Nieuw Amsterdam. And who can forget two of the most attention-getting entries into the cruise market in 2009 – Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas and Carnival Dream. That’s just a sampling of what is out there.
In recent years, more cruise lines have begun introducing their own version of "any-time dining” and casual-attire specialty restaurants. For example, the Solstice features no less than 10 different dining venues.
Cruise prices reached historic lows in 2009. It has been said that the bargain basement prices are all swept up for 2010, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great value. If you find something you’re interested in, lock in the pricing with a $100 -$250 deposit. It is fully refundable until final payment, usually around 70 days from sailing. Deals are out there and your local travel professionals can help you match up with the right product and price.
As cruise lines position their ships for the summer months, Alaska and Europe are perennial favorite summer destinations. Alaska, Mother Natures’ playground, is where people are small in numbers and significance. While visiting, you get the feeling that each moment may present a natural drama from the days of Wild Kingdom. Animals going their own way, never giving us a thought or a glance. Flowers are blooming in the morning and completing their life-cycle that night. Oh! And if a four-story glacier of ice crashes in the sea, bobbing five times before it floats away on a Tuesday morning, who hears it?
While there, whale watching, gold panning, hiking, fishing, white-water rafting, dog-sledding, tobogganing in shorts on a glacier – and of course continuous sight-seeing in 60-70 degrees in August is possible. Really, there is something to see or do for every member of the family, grandpa through 5th graders, and they can do it, together.
When it comes to Europe, think of cruising Europe in four parts, each with its own history, weather and charm.
The Eastern Mediterranean from Italy to Spain is easily the one Americans try out first, and it is also the most popular. Book the "Med” early, on just about any cruise line you can think of. European cruise lines like, MSC and Costa (Italian) and Cunard are real values in comparison to the bigger players that only go there seasonally. There’s even a luxury line that is a tall ship with sails. Windstar enters a Mediterranean port with masts flying and beckons the town folk to come welcome her, right around dusk and dinner. Awesome experience.
Greece and Turkey are for the sun worshippers from May to September. Warm waters and cloudless skies are the norm as one approaches a port with history as old as Troy and authentic food that has not changed in as many years. Island hopping in the Aegean or Adriatic Seas is perfect for those who love to explore small villages and talk with residents about their wonderful heritage. Visit Athens and Istanbul for sure, but don’t miss the islands of Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes.
Scandinavia is a classic land of seafarers and monarchs, historically speaking. Stylish clothiers, night life, and fine seafood dining are the staple of safe cities like Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo. For the sightseers, fjords and handcraft shops abound.
Lastly, we return to the Baltics. These are countries rushing onto the world’s scene of commerce, yet with their own golden history prior to the influence of the Soviet Union. The Baltic people are proud of their independence and offer us a real European value for our money.
You see, this summer really has great choices for your Next Great Cruise Adventure. What’s on your list?
Now is the Time!