So many cruises, so little time! Luckily, there are certain cruises out there that cater to your specific needs, whether you want something simple, extravagant or over the top.
Smaller Cruise Ships
Not all cruise ships are vast, floating resorts. When you’d rather hear the sound of the water than the roar of a thousand guests, these are the kinds of cruises for you. SeaDream Yacht Club boasts how it differs from big-ships; with an award-winning crew of 95 catering to only 112 guests, you can’t help but feel as though you are on your own private yacht. Frommer’s Guide to Cruises and Ports of Call deemed the vessels of SeaDream #1 in its Notable Ships category in 2011. SeaDream’s cruise from Piraeus (Athens) to Civitavecchia (Rome) runs from July 14-21, when you can explore a few Greek islands as well as ports of call in Italy, including Pompeii and Sicily. SeaDream Yacht Club Piraeus (Athens) – Civitavecchia (Rome) Trip.
For a more tropical vacation, try the Wind Star Cruises itinerary along the western coast of Costa Rica. With six billowing sails atop the sleek yacht accommodating 148, the Wind Star features spacious teak decks, hard to come by on small ships. The seven day sailing from December 1-8, starting and ending in Puerto Caldera, has exciting shore excursions, (zip-lining anyone?). Who knew these small cruises packed so much punch? Wind Star Cruises Central America Trip.
You might be miles out at sea, but it’d be nice to have every amenity and service imaginable at your fingertips- is that too much to ask? That’s why there are the big ships! Celebrity Cruises owns eleven vessels, the majority of them holding more than 2,000 passengers. Along with a luxury spa and exceptional dining, some of the Celebrity vessels even have a Lawn Club, where a manicured grassy area underscores a country club-vibe on the ship’s highest level. Departing on December 23, the 13-day Australia and New Zealand cruise lets you explore the ‘down-under’ in style, from exciting tours on land and quality service onboard. Celebrity Cruises Australia and New Zealand Trip.
If you prefer royal status to that of celebrity status, then maybe Royal Caribbean is more your scene. Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas is one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, featuring its famous “FlowRider®” surf simulator, a rock-climbing wall, mini golf course, and much more. Liberty of the Seas offers a five day Caribbean sailing that departs from Fort Lauderdale, docks in both Jamaica and Haiti for day excursions, then returns to Lauderdale. Though the trip is timed from December 31 – January 5, you may never want to leave the ten pools and whirlpools, the Vintages wine bar, and everything else incredibly enticing onboard. Royal Caribbean Holiday Trip.
For those who want refinement and luxury on the high seas, there’s no better way than a luxury cruise. These types of cruises usually attract an older, more affluent and sophisticated traveler. Silversea offers intimate and all-inclusive ships, where dinner requires a little dressing up and the atmosphere onboard is elegant yet relaxed. Silversea’s Silver Wind whisks you away for nine days on the Mediterranean from Piraeus (Athens), Greece, to Venice, Italy. Recently refurbished, the Silver Wind features upgraded interiors, a new ocean-view spa, new Observation Lounge, and eight brand new suites. Departing July 29, this sailing allows you to explore the Greek islands and enjoy the Mediterranean in a more exclusive way. Silversea’s Piraeus (Athens) to Venice Trip.
Crystal Cruises also hosts a variety of excursions onboard their designer cruises. Via their “Castles and Canals” itinerary, you can explore different cities along the Baltic coast as you sail from Copenhagen to Stockholm on the Crystal Symphony. The ship’s modern design motif doesn’t downplay its refinement whatsoever: tennis courts, fine dining, and a high-tech computer lounge are just a handful of the refined aspects of this ship. From August 3 – 14, the eleven day sailing will be brimming with rich European history as you explore museums and navigate intricate waterways. Crystal Cruises “Castles and Canals” Trip.
There are a variety of theme cruises to choose from, ranging from family-friendly ships to intense exploratory vessels. Great for the family is the Disney Cruise, where kids can enjoy being kids and so can the adults! There are age-appropriate activities available for everyone from toddlers to teens and of course the lovable Disney characters will be onboard! The seven-night Mexican Riviera itinerary on the Disney Wonder has several departure dates in November that include colorful cities, beautiful beaches, and endless water sports and recreational activities for the whole family. Disney Cruise 7-Night Mexican Rivera Trip.
For this adventure themed cruise, you might want to leave the kids at home. Aimed for those who dive head first into new experiences, Celebrity’s Celebrity Xpedition takes you to the fascinating Galapagos Islands. Even though you’ll be snapping away at untamed wildlife and travelling over rugged terrain, the vessel still measures up to Celebrity Cruise’s level of comfort and style. You and the Galapagos tortoises can simultaneously sunbathe together, although you have the opportunity to do so on the Sunrise Deck and they have to stay on the beach. And no, the tortoises aren’t allowed in the cruise’s Blue Finch Bar either. This cruise offers a variety of departure dates. Celebrity Cruises Galapagos Islands Trip.
You don’t have to sail the ocean for a decent cruise when there are a variety of river cruises available. Euro River Cruises’ cozy River Ambassador can host 120 guests and sails down the Rhine River. The itinerary “Treasures of Prague, The Rhine & Main” is a seven day cruise that departs from Cologne and sails to Nuremberg. It features a two-night stay in Prague out of port, an aerial cable car ride over the Rhine, and an opportunity to get better familiar with Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture and art. There are a variety of dates for this trip. Euro River Cruises “Treasures of Prague, The Rhine & Main” Trip.
Experiencing Vietnam on a river cruise will allow you to sail right into the heart of the culture. Viking River Cruises’ itinerary “Magnificent Mekong” sails from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City along the Mekong River. You’ll witness Vietnam’s floating markets of the Mekong delta as well as the ancient Khmer Monuments. The vessel, RV Tonle, incorporates Old World elegance into its handcrafted design. Each of the 66 guests will explore all the sights, sounds, and tastes of Asia while enjoying the comforts provided by the RV Tonle. Viking River Cruises “Magnificent Mekong” Trip.
Certain sailboats and windjammers offer exciting and breathtaking sailings that differ widely from other boating experiences. Sometimes you can navigate the vessel yourself, but if you enjoy being pampered, maybe leave the steering to the captain and go catch some rays instead. Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships offers great sailings around the Chesapeake Bay, the Bahamas, and the waters off New England. Liberty Fleet’s windjammer vessel, Liberty Clipper, offers a cruise aboard a historic tall ship, where you can help raise the sails and even man the wheel. The “Islands of New England” itinerary departs from Boston harbor and sails to New York City. Because sailboats are subject to wind direction, the itinerary can vary but includes visits to Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Block Island and Long Island or any other coastal port on the way to NYC. The sailing is from September 29 – October 5. Liberty Fleet Boston to New York City Trip.
Another windjammer experience offers the Grenadines & St. Vincent, where Island Windjammers operates a 13-day sailing. Ports of call are not pre-planned, so each day will be a surprise destination for the twelve guests aboard Diamant, a 101’ brigantine schooner. The trips are selling out fast, but as of this writing the September 21 – Oct 4 sailing is still available. Island Windjammers 13-Day Grenadines Trip.
SeaDream Yacht Club: www.seadreamyachtclub.com
Wind Star Cruises: www.windstarcruises.com
Celebrity Cruises: www.celebritycruises.com
Royal Caribbean: www.royalcaribbean.com
Silversea Cruises: www.silversea.com
Crystal Cruises: www.crystalcruises.com
Disney Cruises: www.disneycruise.disney.go.com
Euro River Cruises: www.eurorivercruises.com
Viking River Cruises: www.vikingrivercruises.com
Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships: www.libertyfleet.com
Island Windjammers: www.islandwindjammers.com