With your cruise fare already representing a big purchase, you want to make sure any additional things you choose to ring up on your tab during your voyage are truly worth it.
We’re here to help. Based on our thorough research, we’ve discovered a few things that won’t disappoint. Consider some (or all) of these added items that just might help deliver the best cruise vacation.
A Spacious Suite
If you want to enjoy your voyage in ultimate comfort, a spacious cabin with a large balcony and posh amenities could offer what you are craving. Of course, many cruisers view a stateroom as simply a place to get some sleep and keep their clothes — planning instead to spend most of the time immersed in activities with new friends around the ship.
But it can also be a wonderful experience to use your cruise to celebrate a special occasion or to immerse yourself in a romantic getaway. Cruise lines offer all kinds of specialty suites, and when you book a large suite you might be able to enjoy a range of upgrades like butler and concierge service, Jacuzzis, large balconies, spa services and exclusive dining rooms and private pool areas.
Princess Cruises offers a Princess Suite Experience, for example, that features cabins up to 932 square feet with large balconies, priority embarkation and disembarkation, Elite Lounge, Club Class Dining with exclusive menu and a specialty dining experience.
Our favorite suites are contained in the “ship-within-a-ship” concepts on line’s like MSC Cruises (MSC Yacht Club), Celebrity Cruises (The Retreat) and Norwegian Cruise Line (The Haven). These exclusive areas require room key access and feature lounges, special dining rooms, butler service, private pool decks and other perks.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll really appreciate the multiple dining venues offering a broad range of cuisines on modern cruise ships. To give your taste buds a journey, too, you’ll have to pay for these experiences, though.
You can find American-style steakhouses, Asian-fusion eateries, French bistros, seafood houses, Chef’s Table extravaganzas (multi-course gourmet meals with wine pairings), Italian restaurants, sushi bars and celebrity-chef branded dining options — like Guy Fieri’s Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse on Carnival Horizon and Carnival Panorama.
If your meals are a big part of your cruise experience, you’ll be happy you spent the money to try a little bit of everything your ship has to offer for its culinary program. Restaurants may come with a cover charge or a la carte pricing, and you can often get a price break by pre-booking a dining package that includes several restaurants.
Looking unwind, recharge and refresh on your vacation? The cruise ship spa is a great place to start. You can book massages of all styles, deep-tissue, Swedish, hot stone and others. The spa also offers hair care, nail treatments and shaving services. You also can try a variety of treatments like seaweed wraps, facials, body scrubs and salt scrubs and cellulite-reduction detoxifications.
If you’re not into any of that, you can still check out the spa to book a day pass or cruise-length pass for access to the thermal spa, which will have steam rooms, saunas, plunge pools, hot tubs, ceramic loungers and thalassotherapy pools in a relaxing and exclusive retreat.
A Great Excursion
When you visit an iconic destination you sometimes will have to splurge if you want to fully enjoy the signature experiences at these places. This might mean shelling out for a helicopter ride to soar above the glaciers in Alaska or for a concert in Vienna, a visit to the Louvre in Paris or a day of snorkeling or scuba diving on your cruise to Tahiti.
The right cruise excursions help round out your understanding and appreciation of the spots you visit.
If you enjoy a few beers, wines and cocktails while on vacation, you’ll want to consider the value of purchasing a drinks package. They are priced around $60 to $75 a day and offer a great convenience. They also can be a decent discount from paying for each drink individually.
Packages include specialty coffees and sodas, too, so they offer a good value and allow you to enjoy a hassle-free cruise as you’re able to sample a wide range of drinks that aren’t included in your base fare.
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