Millions of people enjoy cruises in the warm Caribbean waters, especially around Christmas, in the Mediterranean Sea and in teh Baltic Sea in the summer, and in the Far East almost year around.
Cruise ship companies are building bigger and bigger boats, with more amenities than ever, and several offer food five or more times per day. Small luxury boats offer superior service and more refined food. Luxury cruise lines call on small exotic ports where large ships cannot dock.
While only three decades ago “cruising” was a travel mode very few people heard of, and fewer could afford, today it is very popular and affordable. The popularity of “cruising, at least in North America, is mostly due to the TV series titles The Love Boat. I am confident the whole series was partially, if not fully, financed by cruise lines. They popularized “cruising to an unprecedented popularity and at low prices.
With low prices, several things happen including sharing a table with `cruisebores`. They will mention constantly cruises they have been on, the ports of call, food quality, and service on different boats as they perceived it. If you are annoyed just approach the maitre d`hotel or cruise director and ask to switch the table assigned.
You must also be aware that the bigger the boat (some accommodate up to 4000 passengers), the greater the chances of epidemics. American port authorities inspect cruise boat kitchens frequently and thoroughly. Their evaluations are posted on web sites everyone can access.
Security is also closely monitored. Most, if not al, cruise companies x-ray all baggage before entering the boat, all passengers a re given identity cards and discretely screened when boarding, going on land, and returning.
Natural disasters can also spoil a leisurely cruise as it happened in 2005 with 21-meter high waves. The boat was sailing from Miami to New York. Always book a cruise in calm sea seasons.
There is no guarantee that natural disasters will not occur, but chances are less when the sea is calm.
Most cruise companies prefer to sell their offerings through travel agents. Often managers and sales agents of these agencies partake in familiarization sailings to experience the boat.
When booking, ask agents’ about their recommendations, but above all, research the reputation of cruise ship corporations on the internet.
Many people eat too much and gain weight. After the cruise weight loss becomes a major problem. Select your food judiciously, and be careful with your choices. Many cruise companies offering low-priced sailings feed passengers with a lot of starchy and fatty foods.
If you like cruising and have special interest like wine, intelligence agencies, archaeology, criminal investigations or other areas there are specialized companies.
Some white-collar swindlers who book cruises and actively look for potential “clients” to elegantly part them from their money.
Beware of companies that treat cruises as “vehicles” to sell tours to ports of calls, helicopter flights to nearby sights, push drinks all the time.
If you prefer to cruise with like-minded individuals ask the travel agent to recommend a company and itinerary that suits your life style. This will prevent encountering “cruise bores”.
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.