Some of the best and most affordable cruise lines include Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess and Holland America Cruise Lines. These companies have fabulous crews, tremendous ships that can accommodate thousands of guests and most importantly: low rates. Prices start as low as $150 per guest and include room, meals and onboard activities which can consist of swimming, exercising at the gym, enjoying fully stocked libraries, catching the latest releases or classics at movie theaters, bowling, dancing in the ship’s own night club, shopping at a variety of retailers and experiencing Broadway-style performances. For additional fees, you can take advantage of the many off-ship excursions or on-board classes like gourmet cooking, dance and photography, or you can enjoy the casino, a manicure or a Swedish massage.
Before you pick a cruise line, ask yourself whether your ideal cruise would include fine dining, a singles party scene, outdoor adventure-type oriented activities or just endless lounging time around the pool or verandas. Each cruise line has its own personality of sorts. Carnival Cruise Lines appeals to a broad range of vacationers who want a fun vacation at a reasonable price. Norwegian is perfect for families but Royal Caribbean is a favorite with families with teens. No cruise line rivals Disney when it comes to serving the needs of babies, toddlers & children! Holland America is preferred by more mature cruise enthusiasts. Celebrity is known for having great entertainment and for those seeking a cruise vacation that is a notch above, there Cunard, Azamara Club Cruises and Lindblad Expeditions are definitely a notch above the rest – as well as their prices.
After choosing a cruise line and a destination, don’t forget to pack the essentials. The name of the game is versatility! Make sure you can mix and match your clothing to make a few pieces go a long way. You will need: medications (include sea sickness/nausea meds), toiletries, sunscreen, suit case tags, bathing suit, ear plugs, hat, small flashlight, a formal jacket, a windbreaker and warm jacket , underwear, formal wear, comfortable walking shoes as well as more formal shoes for dinner, a water-proof bag for your camera or phone and don’t forget to pack several pairs of sunglasses. If you wear eyeglasses, take at least 2 pairs of Solar Shield fits over sunglasses or clipons. Heck, pack 3 or 4 pairs, you might meet a friend in need. Keep in mind that water and shiny surfaces (like that of the ship) reflect sunlight and as we know, UV rays are awful for our eyes! Finally, don’t over pack your suitcase –leave room for souvenirs!
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