Cruise vacations have become a popular choice for many folks looking to getaway from it all. And, what’s not to love? Your hotel, food, entertainment and activities are all included for the most part and you’ll explore amazing parts of the world that otherwise you might never see.
Let’s look at three awesome cruises on mega ships that promise fun and frolic for all ages: Disney, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
Cruise Vacations – Disney Cruise Line – Fantasy
The Disney name is one synonymous with family and entertainment, so it is no surprise that the namesake’s cruise line is of the same values. The newest ship in the Disney fleet is the Fantasy ship and it is definitely every child’s biggest fantasy.
Debuting in 2012, the five-star cruise ship features 14 decks and has a passenger capacity of 4,000. The magic of Disney is present around every turn with the use of animation, innovative technology and family fun! Kids will beg for more time dwelling in the charm of the children’s areas where storytelling and activities are a daily routine. Adults can escape to grown up areas and families can enjoy first class entertainment.
Dinner is a real treat at Animator’s Palate where guests can draw on placemats which will be collected before dinner is served, and then toward the end of the meal, these drawings will appear on screens dancing around the walls!
Disney caused a big splash with the cruise industry’s first onboard water coaster – AquaDuck! Travel over 765 feet through an acrylic tube and experience a thrilling four-deck drop carrying guests over the side of the ship before returning safely to the end of the ride. And, the kiddie pool is a hot spot being in the image of Mickey Mouse.
To keep up with where the Disney Cruise Line Fantasy is sailing, enhancements and bookings, check them out online.
Cruise Vacations – Carnival Cruise Line – Breeze
Two thousand twelve also marked the release of a fabulous Carnival vessel – the Carnival Breeze – which saw a 2017 renovation. A four and a half star cruise ship with a passenger capacity of 3,690 and some 15 decks, this was a great addition to the Carnival line. Built to sail the Caribbean with stops in lovely places like Grand Turk, Casa de Campo (Dominican Repubic), Curacao, Aruba, Ocho Rios (Jamaica) and Nassau (Bahamas), the Breeze engages passengers of all ages with tons of amenities, modern entertainment and fun activities.
Looking at the exterior, you will be drawn to the iconic tail fin, but there is so much more! Tiki huts and palm trees are used throughout the Lido Deck and the ambiance is just begging for a Southern cruise path. The WaterWorks area is a hit for kids (of ALL ages) with exciting water temptations including the massive water bucket that fills and empties onto passengers below,
Adults can enjoy the over-the-top Serenity adults retreat with expanded sun-bathing areas, cushioned lounge chairs, hammocks and clam shells (round, cushioned lounges with half coverings). Soothing tunes play in the background and a private bar is available.
The Lido Deck is always buzzing with activity from the Beach and Tide pool areas, Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint, Blue Iguana Cantina and Red Frog Rum Bar. Kid’s Club facilities are expansive and age specific with the exciting addition of Dr. Seuss at Seas activities, a unique partnership that folks of all ages are loving! Be sure and plan to attend the Green Eggs and Ham Brunch for an over-the-top breakfast that includes character visits.
Other don’t miss features include the beautiful Cloud 9 spa, the Library Bar (where you can enjoy self-serve wine by the glass along with a good read) and the casino. Of course, the after dinner entertainment options are many with karaoke, piano bar and major productions just to name a few.
To keep up with Carnival Cruise Line itineraries, enhancements and more information on the Carnival Breeze, visit them online.
Cruise Vacations – Royal Caribbean Cruise Line – Allure of the Seas
Allure of the Seas is a five-star ship built in 2010 with a renovation in 2015, and currently sailing from Fort Lauderdale on seven-night itineraries to super cool spots like Labadee (Haiti), Falmouth (Jamaica) and Cozumel (Mexico). This 18 deck ship can house a whopping 5,400 passengers!
The ship has themed areas onboard like the Boardwalk featuring restaurants, shops and carnival games, and Central Park which is filled with lush vegetation, flowers and a canopy of trees. The pool and sports zone is complete with a sloped entry pool and FlowRider wave simulators.
Other special Royal Caribbean attractions include the AquaTheater (amphitheater located at the stern of the ship), spa and fitness center, DreamWorks® Experience and Youth Zone (activities and entertainment for children and teens) and an industry first zip line and carousel!
As with the other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean offers excellent cuisine, evening entertainment including the Broadway musical Momma Mia, a casino and much more for perfect cruise vacations.
For more information on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships, itineraries and more, visit them online.
What’s not included in the Pricing of your Cruise Vacation?
While the value of cruise vacations is reason enough to sail, be prepared for the out-of-pocket expenses you’ll have once on board. Alcohol is probably the biggest thing I hear folks complain about. Vacationers aren’t good at keeping track of expenditures and on the last day when they settle up, it can trigger all kinds of anxiety if you’re a heavy drinker. Establish a budget in advance and keep receipts on your cabin desk. Tally them each evening to see where you are with regards to your budget.
Excursions are another thing you’ll pay for if you decide to take one. If you are on a strict budget, look at excursions on the cruise line’s web site in advance and have an idea of what you can afford. It might even be worth it to book them in advance from home. That keeps kids from tagging along to the excursion desk and begging for an expensive adventure that you cannot afford.
Rounding out the list for on board expenses: upcharge restaurants, souvenirs, soda, spa treatments, the casino, Bingo and, of course, your gratuities (which can be pre-paid). It varies from cruise line to cruise line and this is just a quick list. Be familiar with your specific cruise line policies before you sail.
Many cruise lines offer less expensive sailings on the smaller, older ships, but a note for those wanting to sail on newer, larger ships is to go (if you can) when kids are in school. For example: if you are a couple wanting to go on a new ship like Carnival Vista or Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas, look at October – mid-November or February – early March. You can sail for a lot less than the summer season price and yes, the weather is amazing year-round in the Caribbean. Disney Cruise Line doesn’t do a lot of discounts, so I suggest using a travel agent to find the cheapest rates for the time frame you want to travel.
Have a favorite cruise or cruise line? Tell us about it below!