Today, cruises are accessible to a wide range of travellers due to a variety of pricing offers made by cruise operators for those who book early, late, or during the low season. And the guests pay the price, having to line at the buffets, get up early in the morning to get a place by the pool or arrange scheduled excursions before ever departing.
In summary, the cruise may become a holiday for the masses, destroying all the poetry and relaxation expected from a vacation.
However, there are some suggestions for making the cruise the most beautiful experience of your life, a holiday of luxury and exclusivity.
According to a recent cruise expert survey, sales for the northern summer of 2022 were nearly at the levels of 2019, the year before the pandemic. It is expected that there will be an increasing number of customers who will occupy the current ships and the more than 75 under construction which will be sailing by 2026.
The largest cruise ship in the world is now Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas, which launched a few months ago and is cruising in the Mediterranean. It has a length of 362 metres and a width of 66 metres, and it can carry 6,988 passengers and a crew of 2,300 people.
It has 18 decks and is as tall as an 18-story skyscraper. It is larger than the USS George H. W. Bush, the world’s biggest aircraft carrier. La Wonder is a true entertainment park with activities, dozens of cafés and restaurants, performances, swimming pools and spas, massive cabins, and much more.
Arguably the largest suite aboard a ship is seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Splendour Regent Suite, located on deck 14, with a 270-degree view of the ship’s bow. It measures over 278 square meters and has a terrace of 120 square meters with a private pool, for a total of 413 square meters of sumptuous elegance on the sea, including a personal spa with sauna, Turkish bath and a wellness area with unlimited treatments and a glazed living area with solarium.
Just one small detail: the bed in the main bedroom is a handcrafted Vividus worth 177,000 euros. It comes with an exclusive butler and, in addition to the guarantee of a reservation at the selected speciality restaurant every evening, a private bar with unlimited drinks, canapes provided daily, and caviar served directly in the suite. Despite the fact that the price per night is almost 10,000 euros, this hidden gem is already booked for practically all departures this year and next.
You spend 274 nights on board, seeing 157 destinations, 65 countries, and 11 world wonders across seven continents in a single journey, the world’s longest on board a cruise ship. This is the Royal Caribbean shipping company’s “Serenade of the Seas,” renamed “Ultimate World Cruise,” a grand tour of the world. The next departure from Miami is scheduled for 10 December 2023, with an arrival in the same port nine months later on 10 September 2024.
The elite guests will travel from Casablanca to Qaqortoq, Greenland, and Shimizu, Japan, the gateway to Mount Fuji. They will also visit several of our planet’s wonders, such as Machu Picchu, the Taj Mahal, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, as well as dock on the coasts of every continent.
For those who do not have as much time or a restricted budget, the trip is broken into four segments that can be purchased independently. Because nearly 100 days of the total are spent sailing without stopping at ports, you must be prepared to enjoy the best of the amenities provided by this luxurious ship, such as the theatre, spa, gym, miniature golf, climbing gym, nightclub, gaming room, games programme, and various organised parties.
Guests can also attend special lectures, take cupcake or sushi workshops, dance or language classes, and participate in a variety of other activities. The complete voyage costs around A$78,6600 per person in an internal cabin, A$108,400 in a cabin with a balcony, and A$153,700 in a junior suite. All shore excursions are complimentary.
Gastronomy is unquestionably one of the most exciting aspects of any cruise ship. Meeting the requirements of thousands of hungry passengers is one of the problems of all ships, and the number of guests rises as the size of the ship increases.
Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s largest cruise ships, requires as many as 23 kitchens to serve its more than 6,000 guests on each trip, supplying the 24 restaurants. This implies that on board, there is a brigade of 250 cooks and hundreds of waiters and helpers capable of turning one hundred tonnes of food into a quarter of a million meals at a rate of 28,000-30,000 dishes per day, and everything must be immaculate.
Large warehouses are required in addition to efficient and well-organized cooks. And the ship’s stats make you tremble. Every week, 3.5 tonnes of rice, 5.5 tonnes of flour, 31 tonnes of vegetables, 8 tonnes of poultry, and 15 tonnes of oil must be stored in its 21 warehouses of various sizes and temperatures. 450 kg of lettuce is consumed every day aboard the ship, two tonnes of bacon is used for a basic meal, and 86,000 eggs are consumed each week.
900 kg of lobsters is required for the gala feast, which is normally held on the final day. Alcohol usage also contributes significantly. Every week, 2,700 bottles of wine and Champagne are used, as well as 20,000 bottles and cans of beer and 15,000 bottles of water.
As more Michelin-starred chefs join the floating kitchens of cruise ships, the cuisine becomes increasingly complex. According to a recent poll, the greatest restaurant on a cruise ship is the Pinnacle Grill, which is available on all Holland America ships and is now regarded as the best on the high seas.
It serves a magnificent meal that is always presented with unrivalled elegance and refinement on Bulgari porcelain china, Riedel glass glasses, and Frette linen tablecloths. And the price is really reasonable, not exceeding €20 euros (A$29.70).
For years, cruise companies have worked hard to provide the greatest onboard entertainment for children and adults, to the point where certain bridges have become little amusement parks.
The water slide, open or closed, lit or not, solo or pair, is always one of the most appealing. With 243 metres, the Blaster of the Navigator of the Seas is now the biggest in the world. Five water sprayers propel two persons through dives and fall, and the slide’s longest section is hung over the water. The Riptide is the only water slide on a ship with a clear curve hung over the sea.
There is a myriad of choices to turn your cruise trip into an unforgettable and luxurious memory; just be prepared to spend a little more, but trust me it’s worth it.