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cruise ship

cruise beachviewGlobal Link Travel - Cruises
Set sail on a unique vacation adventure!  On a cruise you can experience serenity on the open sea while stopping at exciting ports of call along the way.  Cruising is a travel option for those seeking leisure and adventure all in one!

Choose to cruise for YOU. You can have the vacation of a lifetime, see the world, completely unwind, dance the night away, feast on fabulous cuisine, learn something new, make new friends, bond with your family, steal quite moments. Whatever your heart desires, you CAN have it all when you choose to cruise. Consider these perks:

  1. VALUE: One price purchases your cabin, dining, entertainment and more!
  2. ROMANCE: Secluded beaches, pampering, ocean-view dining and spa services are just some of the romantic pursuits of cruising.
  3. CUISINE: Tantalize your taste buds with exotic gourmet meals. Prefer pizza or ice cream? Or a healthier spa choice? Many cruise lines offer a wide variety, from a traditional ballroom setting to a small bistro to a casual eatery.
  4. VARIETY: With more than 150 ships, 1,800 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, your Global Link Travel cruise counselor will find the perfect cruise for YOU! You also have the option of adding on a pre- or post-cruise land tour.
  5. ACTIVITIES: Fill your days with sightseeing, sports, cultural lectures and educational tours. Or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dancing, musical revues, gaming or quiet stargazing.
  6. SIMPLICITY: Don't come back from your vacation needing a vacation! Planning a cruise is simple – leave the details to your Global Link Travel cruise counselor. Once you're onboard, many of your expenses are pre-paid and hassle-free.
  7. NEW HORIZONS: Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon. And the best part? You only have to unpack once!
  8. FAMILY: Families love cruising! Children's programs, swimming, kid-friendly menus and ship tours will keep your kids happy and give you some much-deserved time alone. What's more, children often travel at a reduced rate.
  9. PAMPERING: Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.
  10. SATISFACTION: Cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience. See for yourself!

cruiseship bayNot only are there different destinations for cruises but each cruise line tailors its activities to suit a broad range of lifestyles. Here are a few considerations you should keep in mind while sifting through brochures.

For Families -- Cruise ships with trained youth counselors and the most extensive facilities for children and teens, as well as a full roster of activities for parents and grandparents, include Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

For Sports Fans -- Royal Caribbean can't be beat for on board sports; each ship has a rock-climbing wall and sports courts, while some have miniature golf courses, roller-blading tracks, and ice-skating rinks.

For Water-Sports Enthusiasts -- Snorkelers and divers rate Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises highly for their organized tours and diving instruction programs. Small ships with retractable marinas offer the opportunity to sail, windsurf, and water ski from the comfort of your ship.

For Romantics -- Smaller ships with intimate lounges, such as SeaDream Yacht Club, Windstar Cruises, and Royal Clippers are the favorites of many couples. But don't overlook the cruise line that introduced us to the Love Boat -- while Princess Cruises' vessels are large, their signature feature is an abundance of private balconies.

For Foodies -- The importance of cruise food can't be overlooked and the hottest dining experience at sea is found on ships with specialty restaurants. Some feature regional cuisines, such as the highly rated Italian and Asian restaurants on Crystal Cruise Line ships. Others, like the fleets of Princess Cruises and Holland American Line, have upscale steak houses that serve the highest quality cuts of beef available. For a nominal fee, the meals are an exceptional value and the wine lists feature some of the world's finest vintages.

cruise-alaskaCruise Ship Categories
Finding a cruise line that matches your personality is as important as finding the right ship. Some cruise lines cater to families, others to couples, active singles, and even food and wine aficionados. Selecting the right one can mean the difference between struggling with unmet expectations and enjoying the vacation of a lifetime. Some of the differences are subtle, but today's cruise lines fall into three basic categories: Mainstream, Premium, and Luxury.

What is a mainstream cruise?
Often referred to as resort, contemporary, or mass-market cruises, these ships provide an experience similar to that of a resort. The hallmarks of the mainstream cruise lines are large ships and plentiful activities. The ships usually hold 1,000 to 3,000 guests, and because of the sheer number of people, you may find smaller standard cabins, long lines, and acceptable (but not amazing) service. On the plus side, these ships offer an incredible number of activities. "Anything they can think of to put on a ship, they do," says Mike Wild, vice president of industry affairs for Cruise Planners in Coral Springs, FL. "You can do everything from napkin folding to ice carving to climbing a wall." Ships can have multiple pools, waterslides, ice skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, and several lounges and dance clubs. Mainstream cruises also are the best for families with children, as the ships include children- and teen-specific lounges and activities.

Mainstream lines include Carnival, Costa, Disney, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean.

What is a premium cruise?
Premium cruises offer many of the activities of a mainstream line, but with more upscale amenities and service. Ships range from mid-sized to large, holding between 500 and 1,500 guests. Staterooms will be slightly more spacious than in mainstream ships, food will be more gourmet, and the decor more elegant or conservative. You'll have plenty of choices for activities, but without the summer camp sensibility that mainstream cruises have. Children are welcome, but facilities won't be as extensive as on the mainstream ships.

Premium lines include Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and Oceania.

cruiseship closeupWhat is a luxury cruise?
Luxury cruises offer the utmost in personalized service. Ships to tend to be smaller, holding from 100 to 1,000 passengers, but staterooms tend to be bigger and often all cabins are suites or have balconies. The space to guest ratio is high and the staff to guest ratio is often two to one, leading to excellent service. Amenities will be high quality, with many little touches such as designer linens and bath products and fresh flowers. Alcoholic beverages and gratuities are often included in the cruise price, as opposed to mainstream and premium cruises. The itineraries tend to include more exotic and international destinations, and cruise lengths are longer, anywhere from seven days to several-month world cruises. Ship activities are confined to guest lecturers and cooking demonstrations, art auctions, and other refined pastimes; you usually won't find loud, all-night discos or bingo competitions on a luxury sailing.

Luxury lines include Crystal, Radisson Seven Seas, Seabourn, and Silversea.

Which type of cruise is right for me?
In most cases, the type of cruise you choose may be limited to your budget. However, if money is no object, you should choose a mainstream cruise if you like constant and varied activities, want to interact with a lot of people, and have active children. You should choose a luxury line if you prefer to be pampered with service, dine on gourmet food, visit exotic destinations, or spend a lot of time relaxing in your cabin or on deck. If you want a choice of activities with a more refined atmosphere, go for the premium cruise.

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