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Cruise How-Tos

Cruises have become a trendy vacation option, from South American sightseeing excursions to Disney theme trips. Proprietors of these floating resorts are heeding the challenge to keep cruises interesting for those who frequent them, and novices can reap the benefits on their maiden voyage.

Travel agencies are a safe place to start gathering some sailing know-how. Specialized agencies like Cruise Planners can provide price quotes and valuable advice on areas travelers might not think of, like trip cancellation insurance, proof of citizenship and dining preferences.

Search the American Society of Travel Agents page to find a professional who specializes in cruises. For those who want to plan the trip themselves, the Cruise Lines International Association offers a cruise vacation planner free of charge.

What to Do

Not sure what theme you're going for? Savvy cruisers have posted their stories about jungle cruises with monkey sightings, exotic trips to Asia and calm landscape cruises at the Romantic Getaways website.




Mode of Travel

A ship, of course, but what kind? There are a lot of options floating around.

  • Princess Cruises and Tours places travelers in the lap of luxury with the Grand Princess, which only recently lost its distinction as the largest cruise ship. If her prices are a bit high, check out her 856-ft. sisters, the Sun Princess and the Sea Princess, which have 14 decks and hold 1,950 passengers.

  • The Radisson Seven Seas Cruise Line boasts the magnificent Seven Seas Navigator, which tours the world on 10-and 11-night voyages. Private balconies are available.

  • The Royal Caribbean International owns the Voyager of the Seas, a 136,000 ton ship that carries 3,100 passengers. It provides guests with an ice-skating rink, a wedding chapel and a rock-climbing wall.

  • Disney Cruises offers packages that combine Bahamas cruises with a stay at Walt Disney World. While on board a Disney theme ship, children can revel in visits from Mickey, kids-only activities and interactive restaurants. Parents can join their youngsters or slip away to the adult-only areas: the nightclub, spa, select restaurants and the Beach Club.

Ships with Style

Every ship has a personality, and some lines specialize in specific traits. The active adventurer may want to try Carnival Cruise Lines or American Cruise Lines. Want to sit back and watch a different part of the world go by? Take a look at lines specializing in nature and landscapes, such as Seabourn Cruises. Small Ship Cruises specializes in vessels carrying fewer than 500 passengers. For more ship profiles, visit Ship Stats.


Smooth Sailing

Whatever your choice, a few hints can make for smoother sailing. Cruise experts at Romantic Getaways offer wonderful tips, such as:
  • Bring lots of one dollar bills for tipping.
  • Fight seasickness by fixing your gaze on the horizon.
  • Buy a guide book and study up on ports before you arrive.
  • Bring extra swimsuits!

Bon Voyage!




   --- J.H.

 
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