Cruising can be an adventure, an escape, a romantic getaway or a relaxing recharge. A cruise can be whatever you want it to be, with ships designed and built to suit the needs of every type of passenger. Booking a cruise that suits your style of travel is the first consideration for an enjoyable vacation.
The various cruise lines attempt to capture a market share of their chosen passenger demographic. In some cases, the strategy involves creating huge mega-ships with all the bells and whistles of a theme park-style floating resort. Other lines cater to the high-end market, where onboard pampering and luxury is a 5 star lifestyle choice. Traditional cruisers and seniors usually prefer a cruise that is high on quality, without too many gimmicky attractions, and one that provides a relaxed pace.
Not many people would consider a cruise boring. After all, cruising is designed to seduce senses, tantalise taste buds and capture the imagination with an ever-changing array of entertainments. Discerning passengers have high expectations for fulfilment of desires, and ship’s staff and crew do everything possible to turn dreams into reality.
It’s important that we don’t confuse relaxation with boredom. Cruising is a great opportunity to do as little or as much as you like, and there should be no pressure or expectation to perform for the crowds. After initially settling into their cabin, some people just want to relax for a day or so and maybe catch up on much needed rest. Other passengers hit the deck running, wanting to make the first splash in the pool and try out every available entertainment. Choosing an appropriate cabin style on the right vessel will ensure your voyage meets expectations.
Kids will get bored on an adult-style cruise without fun distractions. Watching parents talk with strangers over a glass or two of wine really doesn’t ramp up the fun level for kids and teens. At the other end of the spectrum, elderly travellers might feel overwhelmed on a ship designed for children and family fun. It’s hard to appreciate natures serene beauty when assailed by dozens of children screaming while riding a giant water-slide or soaring above on the flying fox. In such an environment, some older people will prefer to hide out in their room until the coast is clear, before taking a chance on an uncrowded supper sitting.
Many newer cruise ships are built with kids (and parents) in mind. Kids clubs are now commonplace on most cruise ships, and some vessels have kids-only pools, games arcades, and even stage shows. Family-friendly and adjoining cabins are often available for groups wanting to stay together or bring an extra friend along. Attractions that make certain kids don’t get bored can include:
- Ice skating at sea
- Circus school
- Kids talent shows
- Animation and movie characters
Cruises for Couples
Boredom shouldn’t be an issue on a romantic getaway, but the right balance of serenity and stimulation is still required. Onboard ambiance on the vessel is important for romantic couples. Considerations might include:
- Decadent pampering services
- Private dining options
- Cosy corners
- Balcony cabin for outdoor/indoor living
- Adults-only spa and retreat
Many of the smaller and boutique market vessels are perfect for couples. Cruise lines such as Windstar, Seabourn and Regent Seven Seas all cater admirably to couples. Larger lines including P&O and Princess Cruises, although evolving with modern trends, still attempt to emulate traditional ‘Love Boat’ romance and beauty.
As a percentage of population, Australians are ranked number one in the world for cruise passenger numbers. More cruise lines than ever before are basing major vessels in Australian ports to accommodate the growing industry. The great plus of all this is that options are better than ever, not only regarding where to go, but also what ship to sail on and which entertainments to enjoy along the way.