Let’s Go CruisingApril 4, 2011 By: Ruthanne Terrero Travel Agent
|Vice President—Content/Editorial Director, Ruthanne Terrero|
What do you like the most about cruising? The ability to see several destinations on one trip without having to pack and unpack is always at the top of my list. When I hit each port, I typically visit the luxury hotels in the area so I have new fodder to write about. For me, that’s heaven.
That’s the big picture. When I actually embark on a cruise, however, I find that dressing up for a lovely dinner that’s only an elevator ride away—without having to get all bundled up in a coat and gloves, and get in the car and drive for miles—is another luxury I love, as is realizing I’ve forgotten something in my room but still need only two minutes to run back to get it. So, I suppose you could say the convenience of having everything under one roof appeals to me, as well.
But then again, some of my best memories of cruises I’ve taken are the people I’ve met. They’re very often from other countries or clear across the U. S. and you tend to form wonderful relationships that you never would on land because you socialize with them in such a quality setting. What’s better than having cocktails at seven every night in a great piano bar, or dining together in an exotic port?
I have to admit, though, that I also love the seclusion a cruise can provide. There are some days you just don’t want to see another person and explain how your day has gone, and a good cruise can really let you hole up in your room for a day, ordering through room service when you’re hungry or slipping out at odd hours to quietly have a cheeseburger by the pool deck. There’s also an odd sense of elation at deciding not to get off the ship at every port; seeing everyone disembark and staying onboard and having the entire ship to yourself can be pretty swell. On those days I love to have lunch in the main dining room. The service is usually excellent and the quietude is heavenly.
When I was in Nassau recently, sailing on Oceania’s new Marina, I was excited to see several other brand-new ships in port. There was Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas and the just-launched Disney Dream.
The many travel agents aboard the Marina, with its great service and sleek design, had already decided that the new ship was a game changer. But they’d also been buzzing about the new Disney Dream, which was right next door (you could practically hop from one ship to the next, though, I’m sure that wouldn’t have been appreciated). We could even see the AquaDuck “water coaster” from our ship. The irony was that the Marina and the Dream were the newest vessels in the lineup that day in Nassau, even younger than the enormous, entertainment-packed Allure of the Seas, which had just launched late last year. Talk about a game changer.
With this trio of ships alone, there was truly something for everyone. Oceania’s Marina is a sophisticated new option for “upper premium” cruisers. To quote Mary Jean Tully, chairman of The Cruise Professionals, “the suites are the best I have ever seen…and many of the public rooms look like a very exclusive private club.” (For photos of the christening event, see page 62.)
These were just three of the new ships that are out there. For a great tip sheet on the entire cruise landscape, see Susan Young’s cover story, which starts on page 50.
|Allure of the Seas in Nassau|