By Cruise Professionals: “This is the only travel agency I would ever use to book a cruise” – Forbes.com.
When it comes to cruising, everyone has their own style.
You might be the type of traveler who enjoys smaller ships. These tend to be the luxury class of ships offering a more intimate experience. With a high ratio of staff to guests, passengers receive top-notch service throughout the ship, more refined entertainment including lectures and workshops and gourmet food and wine.
Other travelers prefer to travel on larger ships, either the premium lines or what the industry calls “mass-market ships”. These ships tend to house more guests and offer greater amenities on board, including spectacular bells and whistles like indoor skating rinks, water parks, comedy clubs and a wide choice of dining options.
Although these ships are often a more economical option for travelers, cost is not always the reason passengers chose to travel on larger ships. For some, the pace of the smaller ships might just be too slow and they prefer to have a wider array of amenities and activity options.
Cruise lines are starting to recognize that certain travelers fall in between the two levels: they want a more refined travel experience while also enjoying the larger ship options. For these travelers, premium lines are now offering VIP accommodations on larger ships, creating a more intimate feel without all the trappings of a smaller ship.
One of the best examples we’ve seen is The Haven on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Located at the top of the ship, this exclusive area houses luxurious, well-appointed and spacious accommodations as well as 24-hour butler service and spaces reserved for Haven guests only. A quiet oasis on a busy ship, The Haven offers privacy and tranquility that can only be accessed by a special card. Guests here can chose to dine in their rooms or on their private balcony and they also receive priority access to all the other amenities on the ship, including reservations to restaurants and entertainment.
Other premium lines are also offering these types of private ships-within-a-ship. Holland America, for example, provides a similar service for guests choosing its Pinnacle and Neptune suites. These spacious suites come with access to a private lounge and the services of a personal concierge for organizing spa, dining and shore arrangements. The suites themselves are well-appointed and come with perks such as complimentary laundry, corsages and boutonnieres for the first formal night and priority boarding.
Luxury-minded passengers often aren’t just looking for a private escape from the bustle of a larger ship — they also want VIP service when it comes to disembarking the ship and going on shore excursions. To this end, most premium cruise lines offer special small-group or private excursions where guests are given priority to disembark the ship before the crowds.
As VIP lounges, suites and shore excursions become more common on the premium lines, travelers find themselves with many options. A Cruise Professional can explain these options to you and, given our first-hand knowledge of the cruises we sell, can help you decide what type of cruise is best for you and your party.
Start planning your next cruise experience with a Cruise Professional today. Call us at 1-888-335-9223 or visit us at www.cruiseprofessionals.com.