Luxury cruising has evolved, and more choices are available to travelers interested in some high-level pampering at sea!
Mainstream cruise lines are creating new and luxurious spaces on board, including deluxe suites and posh lounges. Others offer a luxury ship-within-a-ship experience: you can experience the fun features of a mega-ship, then retreat to a special area that’s all about lavish furnishings, service and amenities.
But, if you’re looking for an exceptional travel experience from beginning to end, a traditional luxury cruise won’t disappoint.
From the moment you board the ship until you say farewell to the friends you met on board, the entire experience will be filled with exquisite service; opulent ocean-view suites with the highest quality furnishings, linens and toiletries; inventive gourmet cuisine; spas and fitness centers that offer the very latest in wellness and exercise techniques; and only the finest wines and spirits.Actually, the pampering starts before you step on board: your transfer to the dock will use a luxurious transport (such as a private car or luxury van).
Taking All-Inclusive to the Next Level
If you think a traditional luxury cruise is outside the limits of your budget, perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at all that’s included in a luxury fare. You may find that, when compared to all of the extras you’d be willing to pay for on a mainstream cruise line, a luxury cruise is more affordable than you think.
So, just how much is included in a luxury cruise fare? The details vary among luxury cruise lines, which include Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea. But, in general, luxury cruise fares include:
Beverages, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. In addition to liquor and wine, this includes specialty coffees, juices, bottled water and soda. It even includes the items in the well-stocked minibar you’ll find in your stateroom. Liquor can be a big-ticket item on a cruise when it isn’t included in the fare; on a luxury cruise, you probably would only need to pay for some super-premium liquors and wines.
Specialty restaurants that rival any found on land. It’s nice to be able to treat yourself to a really special dining experience without any extra cost; and, to try as many of the specialty restaurants as you like.
Gratuities, which can also be a significant budget item – especially on a luxury cruise, where the staff-to-passenger ratio is higher and the service is stellar. There’s no need to even think about gratuities, though, when they are included in your fare.
Fitness and enrichment classes to keep your body and mind active. On a luxury cruise, it’s unusual to encounter a fitness class or an enrichment activity that carries an extra fee – except, perhaps, for a high-end wine tasting.
WiFi access, though the amount of complimentary daily minutes may be limited. (As it becomes more affordable for the cruise lines to purchase WiFi access, unlimited access may become a luxury line staple.)
A few luxury lines, such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises, actually include airfare to and from the ship in the base fare. Others offer discounts on airfare, as well as pre- and post-cruise hotel stays.
Most luxury cruise lines offer have at least one special onshore event that’s included in your fare. This is often an evening cultural event while the ship has an overnight stay in port, which gives you more time to enjoy a beautiful port of call. Again, Regent Seven Seas is a standout here: the line includes many of its shore excursion options in the base fare.
More Inclusive = More Relaxing
Why is so much included in a luxury cruise fare? It’s all part of creating an atmosphere of ease and relaxation. Luxury lines want their guests to come on board and simply enjoy, without having to sign for every drink or worry about the cost of WiFi access.Of course, you’ll enjoy a luxury cruise more when it takes you somewhere you really want to go. Luxury cruises can take you around the world (literally, on a luxury world cruise); to exotic ports of call not frequented by mainstream lines; or to close-to-home destinations like Alaska and the Caribbean.
Let one of our cruise travel professionals who specializes in luxury cruises help you pick an itinerary on the luxury line that best suits your style!