Top Reasons to Upgrade to Luxury

 

Consider making the leap from a mega ship

to a luxury vessel

David Rentsch

President, Cruise Holidays

Itineraries

Smaller ships in the luxury category are able to visit places that their bigger brethren can't. In Alaska that means the likes of Wrangell and Haines, Misty Fjords and Sawyer Glacier. In the Western Mediterranean, they'll visit more exclusive places like Portofino and Capri. Not only are these ports of call a bit more exotic, it's also more personal to be, for instance, part of a group of just a handful of passengers of the only ship in Haines that day than a tourist in Juneau when four or five mega ships are in port.


Service

There's a reason that service staff give excellent service on the luxury ships: They're paid better than their counterparts on mainstream ships. And because they are paid more and are

There's a piece of advice that I have heard for many years for anybody planning a cruise vacation: Buy as much cruise as you can possibly afford.


A cruise in any category of room tends to be a great travel investment, so why not get the most bang for your buck, and the most satisfying vacation experience? Why settle for the lowest-end inside stateroom if another couple of hundred dollars will get you

outside accommodations? Don't take a standard outside room if a few more bucks will get you into a unit with a balcony and don't book a basic balcony room if you can make your budget stretch to a mini-suite or suite!


And in that same vein, why not consider traveling on a small luxury vessel rather than on a mainstream cruise line's massive mega ship? Many people never give the likes of Oceania, Silversea, Seabourn, Crystal and others in that upscale niche a second thought when they get down to making their cruise plans. That could be a mistake. Sure, these companies charge more. But they tend to give a lot more as well.


Here are top reasons why you might want to think about moving up to one of the luxury lines. It should be stressed that not all of these apply to all luxury lines. Policies, practices and ambiances differ from company to company. But they're the kind of things you are more likely to find on luxury ships.

therefore not as reliant on the generosity of passengers for their income, these lines manage to attract a higher quality of employee, well-trained, well-disciplined operatives who better understand the concept of "the customer comes first."


Accommodations

By definition, almost all luxury ships are all-suite, no-inside-rooms vessels. How important is that? Very. It's especially important in a destination area such as, say, Alaska, where the weather is not always your friend and where shore

excursions, however informative and exciting they are, can be tiring. It's so nice after outings to put your feet up in an airy, well-appointed, super-comfy suite. And the balcony that invariably comes with the suite makes wildlife and scenery viewing so much more enjoyable. And for the most part, even standard cabins on luxury ships will be outfitted with luxurious appointments, from high cotton thread count sheets to flat screen televisions.

Attention to Details

There's no other way to put it. It's the little things - the attention to design, detail and layout - that make the

difference between a luxury experience and "just another" cruise. Things like Bvlgari toiletries; twin sinks; separate bathtub and shower; terry robes; a well-lighted dressing table. The stateroom drapes will form a real blackout over the windows, eliminating once and for all those annoying chinks of light that keep you awake at night and intrude on your early morning slumber. In Northern Europe and Alaska, where it's light most of the day in the summer, that is a real blessing.

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