Cruising is a wonderful, relaxing experience, especially if you like being pampered. However, there are so many choices that it can be overwhelming trying to find one that meets your needs. That’s where I can help. I’ll save you the time of searching every cruise line and every itinerary and find for you the perfect cruise package. I know what questions to ask, I’ve been trained on the products, and I’ve cruised many times myself. This all adds up to you getting on the perfect cruise vacation with less hassle.
Ocean or River?
There are really two major classifications of cruising: ocean and river – and they are very different. Let’s have a brief look at them:
|Characteristics of Ocean Cruising||Characteristics of River Cruising|
|Ships can be very large with typical capacity of 2,500 to 6,000 passengers.||Much smaller ships designed to navigate rivers with varied water levels. Typical capacity of 50 to 200 passengers.|
|Itinerary lengths vary from 3 days to several months.||Itinerary lengths are typically 7-21 days.|
|Excursions cost extra and can really add up.||Most excursions are included in the cruise price. Optional excursions may be available for an extra fee.|
|Internet / Wi-Fi tends to be an extra cost and can be significant unless part of a promotion (but watch out for restrictions).||Internet / Wi-Fi is generally included in the cruise price.|
|Typically, tap water, coffee, tea, lemonade, and fruit juice are available at all times. Pop and alcoholic beverages are available at an extra cost per drink or through packages.||Soft drinks, wine, and beer included with dinner. There may be “happy hour” style times and places where alcoholic drinks are offered.|
|Ocean conditions can vary dramatically. Individuals sensitive to motion may need to take precautions to avoid feeling ill.||Rivers are calm and motion sickness tends not to be an issue for most people.|
|Ocean cruise ships, due to their larger size, tend to offer a lot of variety in the entertainment and activities – from large theater productions to small intimate piano bars, pubs, and discos. Also popular on many ships are casinos. Newer, larger cruise ships also have adventure style activities, like water slides, zip lines, wall climbing, and go carts!||Entertainment tends to be small scale and in a more intimate setting. The entertainers are often local, from the port of call, offering a more cultural experience.|
|Ocean cruises used to really offer two dining experiences: a large buffet for quick or informal eating, and the dining room for a more refined experience. While these are still the two most popular choices, many ships (especially larger ones) now offer specialty dining choices, usually for an additional charge.||Everyone dines in the main dinging room in what can only be described as a white glove experience.|
|Popular suppliers include: Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Paul Gaugin, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Scenic, Viking, Windstar||Popular suppliers include: AmaWaterways, Avalon, Emerald, Scenic, Tauck, Uniworld, Viking, St Lawrence Seaway, Mississippi River cruises|
|Is ocean cruising for you? If you’re into varied on board experiences, higher energy activities, beach & sun destinations, or multi-generational family vacations then an ocean cruise might be in your future. Call me to discuss.||Is river cruising for you? Have you ever spoke to someone who has been on a river cruise? Everyone loves it! My first river cruise was in 2015 and I still recall how amazing it was! You are treated like royalty with highly personalized service. The ships are small, so the staff get to know you, your likes, and dislikes. If you’re thinking of an experience that is more intimate, cultural, and “white glove”, then call me to discuss river cruising.|
Note: The comparisons above are intended to give you a sense of the major differences between ocean and river cruising. Naturally, specific cruise lines, itineraries, and promotions may conflict with some of the statements.
Here are the most common suppliers that I work with and my clients request:
- Ocean Cruising
- Holland America
- Norwegian Cruise Lines
- Paul Gaugin
- Royal Caribbean
- River Cruising
- St Lawrence Seaway
- Mississippi River cruises
- American Steamboat
If YOU have a preferred supplier that you like to work with, just let me know as it’s likely I will have access to them as well.
I would love to help you find the perfect cruising holiday! Your vacation needs to meet your expectations or you won’t feel that you got value for your hard earned money. I am trained and experienced to ask you all the right questions so we can weed out the endless options and then zero in on the one that’s perfect for you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll help you discover the ship, the itinerary, the ports and all it has to offer. If she’s not the right ship for you, I’ll help you find the right one!
Contact me and I’ll help you find the cruise that ticks all your boxes.