If you’ve ever considered upgrading from mainstream cruise lines to luxury cruises, the price tag may have given you pause. However, a luxury cruise holiday generally offers passengers a great value, considering all the extras that are built into the cruise fare. Just crunch the numbers: Take the cruise fare of a mainstream cruise line, add on the extra costs – such as beverage packages, specialty restaurant fees, Wi-Fi packages, shore excursions, spa and beauty treatments, laundry services, etc. – and compare that number to the cruise fare of a luxury cruise line, which would already have several if not all of those costs calculated in. Cruising on a high-end ship may seem like a huge investment, but the price you would pay on an intimate luxury ship wouldn’t be much more than what you’d be paying on a mega-ship.
You are more likely to get an unforgettable onboard experience on luxury cruises because luxury cruise lines excel in providing a high standard of personalised service. Even though their ships are relatively smaller than mainstream ones, you are guaranteed a lovely holiday. Look into Azamara, Crystal Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Silversea Cruises, among others, if you’re looking to book a luxury cruise. If you’re still not convinced, here are eight reasons why you should make the switch to luxury cruises.
In order to maintain a high standard of excellence, luxury cruise lines like Seabourn Cruise Line and Silversea Cruises have developed demanding crew training programmes. Crew members are trained to anticipate the needs and desires of the passengers. Because the staff wants you to have an exception journey, there is almost no need to voice your requests because the crew has probably already done it for you, whether it be steaming your evening gown before dinner or shining your shoes for a formal night. On some luxury cruise lines, the crew might even know you by name.
Stateroom and suites on luxury cruise ships are generally more spacious than what you’d find on a mega-ship. And to make your suite even sweeter, it may be outfitted with a vanity, a granite or marble bathroom with a full bathtub and shower, and designer toiletries.
Inside cabins will be impossible to find on a luxury cruise ship. All accommodations on board are oceanview suites, and a majority of them are outfitted with a balcony. If you’re cruising picturesque destinations, such as the crystal-clear Caribbean Sea, the evergreen wilderness of Alaska, or the mighty Norwegian fjords, access to the outdoors from your stateroom will be a must.
Among others, Azamara, Crystal Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Silversea Cruises do not require their passengers to tip as the gratuities have already been calculated into the cruise fare. However, if a crew member has gone above and beyond in delivering personalised service, you are more than welcome to stop by the reception desk to make a donation to the crew fund.
On luxury cruise ships, fine dining should be called “finest dining”. If you have any special wishes, get in touch with the maître d’, who will be more than happy to accommodate your request. And whether it’s local specialties or delicacies from far away, the chef can craft a meal fit to your specifications if you just let them know in advance.
Started by Crystal Cruises years ago, it’s a common trend now that luxury cruise lines team up with celebrity chefs to deliver great memories and even greater flavours. If you happen to be sailing on Crystal Serenity, Japanese-Peruvian fusion restaurant Umi Uma is serving up chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s specialties. Silversea passengers should not miss Le Champagne: Its membership in Relais & Chateaux, a global fellowship of luxury hotels and restaurants, promises world-class cuisine.
Drinks on the House
Whether you’re at the bar, in a restaurant, or in a lounge, most luxury cruise lines will provide alcoholic drinks and soft drinks for no extra charge. Coffee lovers should rejoice because premium coffee beverages are also free of charge in restaurants and cafés.
Depending on your stateroom category, suites on luxury ships are equipped with mini-bars stocked with soft drinks, beer, and a bottle of wine or Champagne as well as state-of-the-art espresso machines.
Secluded Ports of Call
Because luxury cruise lines operate smaller vessels, they can reach destinations that their larger counterparts can’t. Passengers can come ashore from the remote ports in Alaska, the hidden marinas in the western Mediterranean, and the small islands in Southeast Asia.
Expect to spend a night at port at more popular destinations. This will allow you to explore the port during the day and night. And if you’re wondering where the crowds are, luxury cruise lines usually plan to visit popular ports when it isn’t overflowing with tourists from mainstream cruise lines.
Pre- and Post-Cruise Itineraries
If you want to take your holiday to the next level, some luxury cruise lines offer pre- and post-cruise land packages for an additional fee. Visit our own backyard and explore the Outback, observe all Big 5 games animals in a South African wildlife reserve, make the trek up to Machu Picchu in Peru, and much more!
While mass-market cruise lines generally provide bus transportation from the airport to the port and back, luxury cruise lines offer more polished ground transportation in the form of shared vans, taxis, and private cars.
Free Tours and Special Events
Some luxury cruise lines provide free shore excursions in every port, and outside of tours, some hold exclusive events. Azamara, for example, hosts an “AzAmazing Evening” once every cruise. An example of these exclusive experiences is a trip to the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, one of the oldest opera and ballet houses in Russia. Seabourn hosts a similar event on select itineraries.
However, if you want a bit more freedom and some time away from the traditional guided tours, Silversea Cruises and Azamara provide their passengers with free transportation from the port to the town centre.
If you’re ready to benefit from the incredible advantages that luxury cruises have to offer, then upgrade today! Ring our Australia-based cruise experts on 1300 857 345 or browse our extensive online catalogue of luxury cruise deals!