There’s probably a Cruise suited to your style

Cruise lines are launching more than a dozen new ships this year, many of which are stuffed with waterslides, restaurants, bars, spas, shows, clubs, and enough cabin categories to make your head swim.

So what’s the right cruise line for you?

Condé Naste Traveler: Finding the Right Cruise for You

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7 Truths about cruising

Here are seven “truisms” to keep in mind about geography and cruising:

1. Certain places are best seen by ship. Sure, not every destination is solved by cruising. But consider Alaska. A few miles outside of Juneau and the road literally ends. And so does your client’s vacation if they think they’re going to see Alaska by car. If they want to see the astonishing glaciers and cute cities that Alaska is famous for, there’s only one solution: a cruise.2016-09-21-11-10-20

2. Visiting certain “destination clusters” are best done by ship. Many people like to sample several different destinations while on vacation, right? But flying from St. Thomas to Tortola or driving from Rome to Nice wastes a lot of your client’s money and precious time (or isn’t even possible). Not so on a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise, where they can efficiently explore a number of interesting places. For example, our 7-day Hawai’i itineraries stop at as many as six must-see destinations, each offering something a little bit different for your clients’ enjoyment. Or, if they choose to stay on the ship and do one of the zillion activities on board (or none at all), that’s OK too. Freestyle Cruising doesn’t take a vacation when the vessel is in port.

3. A cruise maximizes vacation time. If your clients want to visit more than one place, they won’t waste valuable daytime vacation hours to get from one destination to another by car or motorcoach. On a cruise, much of the traveling between places is done while your clients are sleeping or enjoying the nightlife on board the ship. When they wake up the next morning, they have arrived. If the distance is too great to get there overnight, they’re being entertained and enjoying themselves while being transported to the next destination. No boring time on a bus just to get there.

4. In many of the world’s destinations, a cruise represents a great value. Europe is a prime example. Let’s assume your client wishes to visit southern Spain, France and Italy. They typically take their vacation by car. They decide to do the same in Europe. They’re prepared for Europe’s high costs for car rentals and better hotels. But, odds are they haven’t factored in $9 a gallon fuel, $20 tolls for a single tunnel and $80 a day for parking. Or the strength of the euro against the dollar. Or the fact that they may have to take out local insurance for their auto rental. Or – well, you get the point. With a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise, those issues are eliminated or minimized.

5. Travel agents are more geographically literate. Most people today don’t know the Italian “boot” from the Florida Panhandle. They mix up Austria and Australia, Oakland and Auckland, Grenada and Granada. The word “clueless” comes to mind. But as a travel professional, you don’t need clues. You know places. And places are the building blocks of any trip and certainly of a cruise. But wait a second. You feel unsteady with geography? Don’t worry. You still know more than the average traveler. The same can be said about those amazing people who craft cruise itineraries, who shape geography into a ready-made package for you to sell with confidence. But first you have to…

6. Match the right destination with the right client. Your clients expect you to have not just geo-confidence, but also some sort of instant matchmaking ability. Travel agents in cold-winter regions know that their clients need warm, tropical destinations during January, February and March. (Perfect for Norwegian Cruise Line’s Hawai’i and Caribbean cruises.) Clients who are lifelong learners respond to the idea of visiting Europe. (Think Northern Europe or the Med with Norwegian Cruise Line.) And venturers are more likely to want to explore Africa while authentics opt for Canada and New England. Bottom line: If you don’t know the destinations, or you don’t get to know the client, you can’t do the matchmaking. It’s that simple.
7. Every cruise has an extra destination: the ship itself. All of our amenities are the latest and greatest. Our ships are like floating resorts with on-board entertainment, a fabulous spa and programs for kids and teens. And look at our newest ships, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway – they offer something for everyone. Innovations await around every turn including The Waterfront, 678 Ocean Place, Aqua Parks and more.
Source: Norwegian Cruise Lines

Top Misconceptions about Cruising

17-cruise-lies-505x1030When I talk to people who haven’t cruised before, some are adamant that it’s not for them. Now, this isn’t based on any level of factual information. But it could be stigma from the way cruises were and were marketed decades ago.

Some of the “lies” include:

  • I’ll get sick
  • it’s too crowded
  • it’s too formal
  • drinks are too expensive
  • there’s not enough to do … and on and on.

I’ve heard them all, but rather than me listing the misconceptions that non-cruisers have about this type of vacation, I’ll leave it to the folks over at Cruise Radio who pretty much nailed it.

17 Cruise Lies Everyone Believes via CruiseRadio.net

Cruise Pier Runners. What are they? Who are they?

I’ve you’ve had the opportunity to take a Caribbean Cruise, then you’ve probably seen cruise pier runners.

Yes, they’re the folk in the more popular port towns like Cozumel that hold the ship up from departing while they walk, run or stagger to board the ship. Most of the time the ship waits until they’re on, but in some cases not.cruise-pier-runners

We’ve had the occasion to watch a few and it can be both funny to watch but frustrating as well; since they’re delaying the ship from leaving port.

Cruise Critic has found five hilarious cruise pier runners.

5 Hilarious Cruise Pier Runners via Cruise Critic

What’s included and what’s not on a cruise vacation?

For the most part, once you’re on the ship, you can get by without spending much at all.

But to help you out, I’ve tried to outline below what’s included and what’s not>

Included:2014-12-02 15.24.28

  • your accomodation
  • daily cleaning of your stateroom
  • most meals and snacks
  • room service
  • coffee
  • movies
  • shows
  • comedy clubs and other entertainment
  • most on-board activities
  • some childcare

What’s not included:

  • tips
  • specialty restaurants
  • shore excursions
  • alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and specialty coffees
  • specialty spa treatments
  • gambling
  • internet access
  • laundry and dry cleaning

…..
Jeffrey Brookfield
The Real Life Traveler | Cruise & Vacation Specialist
Expedia CruiseShipCenters | Guelph, ON

I’ve heard that a cruise vacation can be boring. Is that true?

Some vacationers think that spending seven days on a boat must be pretty boring.

I can can tell that that’s the farthest thing from the truth. In fact, you can be as busy or laid-back as you like.

Depending on the ship, you will be able to ice skate, bumper cars, visit the art auction, rock climbing,  golf cages, basketball,  casinos,  Broadway-style shows, shopping, fitness facilities , spas, swim in the pool, relax in a hot tub, take time to relax with a good book in a quiet adult-only area, visit the library, take a short-course or seminar, take part in Lido deck games, dancing and more. And that’s all without even leaving the ship!

Every ship has a Cruise Director whose job is to make sure each guest makes the most of their vacation. In fact, there are so many things to do while cruising that you will probably book a longer cruise next time.

In addition, every other day or so, you’ll visit a beautiful historic or island port, so that you can get off the ship and hit the beach, do some more shopping, take an excursion, enjoy food at a local restaurant. And more!

If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about getting bored.

Jeffrey Brookfield
The Real Life Traveler | Cruise & Vacation Specialist
Expedia CruiseShipCenters | Guelph, ON