Let’s go cruising

In the last few years, the British have gone mad cruising. Let me put that another way, in the last few years the British have gone cruising mad. Yes, over the last few years cruising has been all the rage. On reflection that might seem a little odd, as afterall aren’t we in a recession, and isn’t cruising meant to be very expensive? Well, yes and yes and no. A little explanation may be called for here. There are some compelling reasons why people go on cruises. Firstly, the send off or arrival can be an absolutely unforgettable experience. If you have ever had a send off, or an arrival in Southampton, or any other port for that matter, you will know what I mean. The crowds, the ticker tape, the cheering, the noise and the honking of horns lives on in the memory. You get caught up in the joy. You feel on top of the world, and the centre of it, if only for a while. You hardly get such a welcome or send off on a normal holiday do you? Except may be from your dog… A lot of people go on holiday for a rest. They want to do nothing, not even lift a little finger. Recuperation is the word. Well, cruises are definitely made for these types of people. You do not have to do a thing, except a few decisions about which restaurant to go to eat in, and how you want to be entertained. A lot of people want to go on holiday but do not want to spend beyond their budget. How many people go on their holiday, go overboard with spending on a few good restaurants at the start of the holidays, and end up eating sandwiches and little else for the last few days before going home? We have probably all made this type of mistake at some stage or other. On a cruise there are no mistakes with the budget. You bite the bullet up front, and after that it is all plain sailing. Everything is included in the price, and it is just as well, especially in the recession. The food is usually of the highest standards and in great abundance. There is usually a very good choice of restaurants for each occasion. There are no sandwiches, except if you want them for tea, or you are on a day excursion. If you do want to lift a little finger, there are many opportunities to do something interesting and different. The list of activities on cruises is as long as your arm, and includes swimming, aerobics and fitness classes, golf and many more. If you prefer more intellectual like activities, there are courses such as photography, cuisine, history classes or even meeting celebrities. There is also the opportunity to meet different and interesting people of one’s own social status or higher. There are plenty of opportunities to socialize if you would like to from the invitations to the Captains cocktail parties and to dine at his table at dinner, to organizing your own dinner arrangements with your chosen guests. The most compelling reason for going on a cruise, however, has got to be the enormous thrill of waking up in a different port each morning. How cool is that? No other type of holiday can offer you this kind of excitement. Seeing a new city slowly approach into view is a remarkably exciting and relaxing sensation. All of this comes amongst the news that P & O Cruises has ordered it largest-ever cruise ship, which will weigh 141,000 tons and carry 3,611 passengers. It will operate out of Southampton from 2015 and sail around the Mediterranean and Baltic seas. However, there is a twist in the tail. Cruises have been affordable for many people because of their all-inclusive pricing and the flexibility of travel agents who have been willing to reduce their commissions to attract customers. But one cruise line has announced that they will be increasing their pricing by ten per cent to reduce travel agents commissions. It is thought that in practice other cruise lines will follow this will result in the pricing of all cruises going up. This all goes to show that even going on a cruise may not be plain sailing after all. Gerard Moxon is Founder of Luxury Hedonist. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Gerard Moxon

Gerard Moxon travelled widely during the course of an international career which including living in Brazil, France and Portugal. Gerard is a Director of Carte Blanche Travel and the Founder of Luxury Hedonist, a blog on the luxury industries.

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One Comment

  1. Cruising is great. I worked for Crystal Cruises in the 1990’s in the LA offices. The best perk of working for a cruise line (especially a best of the best line) is that you get almost free cruises out of it ($15 per day for worker and spouse/kids, $100/day for in-laws).

    However, your note about the all upfront expenses is not always true. We we went to Alaska and each stop provided the option of tours. My in-laws took the helicopter ride to a glacier to sip champagne and then went Salmon fishing. We did not join them as the price tag was way out of our budget. Cruisers should make sure they are aware of those expenses. Of course we did not have to do a tour; just going into town and walking around was free.

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