Who knows what lurks in the wake of cruise ships in 2009. The economy is bust, people are staying home, is anyone out there booking a cruise? We hear from insiders that cabin rentals are down, but most cruise lines won’t admit this. Cruise pax seems to be falling like flies in more ways than one. An elderly couple recently went missing over Carnival’s Paradise somewhere between Mexico and the US. Did they jump? Are they still wandering aimlessly around a port, left behind? A realy mystery. The FBI’s on it. And their cabin door was locked from the inside leaving the only way out through the balcony. Hmmm. A few other pax seem to have fallen in the sea. What’s going on with that?
Bookings up or down with the tide…If the cruise lines use good marketing ploys, you should see extra savings on some voyages. Still unless you opt for all inclusive luxury lines like Silversea, Seabourn and the like, the extras charged on board will add up big time. So maybe you’ll spend $50 to $100 pp daily but you’ll also shell out $$$$$$$$$ in tips, drinks (even bottled water and soda), Internet use fees, excursions and other money making fees. So be careful out there. It’s the dawn of a new era of saving, scrimping, prioritizing spending. But it would really be a shame to miss out on one of the most enjoyable travel experiences known to man(and woman)–CRUISING.
Savvy Seafarer Knows
With more than 200 cruises behind me, I can vouch for the industry. There’s nothing like it. You pack once, unpack once. See the world without having to board and reboard airplane. Breathe fresh, sea air. See, in some cases, fantastic entertainment, in some instances no so entertaining, but hey, life is an experience and experiment. You can laze in a chaise all day or work out in a world class fitness center, pamper yourself silly in the spa (and pay big bucks for the privilege, but well worth the splurge), enjoy life on your private balcony
gamble (good luck, it’s a crap shoot), visit exotic ports on your own or with a guide (for a fee), eat a lot, dress up on formal nights (or not), learn things like a language (yes many ships offer free lessons) or even to sew, use the computer, self improvement and more. See movies you missed, some under the stars like on Princess Cruises that offers outdoor viewing on a large screen, complete with free popcorn and even blankets on cool evenings. There’s so much or so little, but always your choice. So if you’re one of the lucky few who haven’t lost your life savings, IRA or house in the Bush-driven recession, get out an cruise. It’s still the easiest, cheapest way to see the world, or just relax and let the Captain do the work.
Other options: Celebrity Cruises (sedate, smart), Royal Caribbean (young, fun, testosterone-driven),
Windstar (white mast sailing)
Costa (cruising Italian-style)