Are you a cruise newbie like I was? Well never fear! I will tell you what you need to know about cruises. I find this kind of traveling interesting because I like the sea. I'm not into mountain climbing or hiking but take me to the beach anytime and I'll be happy. Lol.
So anyway because I've been on my first cruise, I got interested about cruising more. Last year was the first time a cruise ship made Manila its home port! This made cruising finally accessible to Filipinos. This is also the reason why I and my cousin was able to experience going on a cruise for the first time this year! Since this is a relatively new thing here in the Philippines I'm sure not a lot of Filipinos and other people have gone on a cruise liner to anywhere before.
Below you'll also find links to click on to learn more about related topics. It's like you treating me to coffee when you avail any of them. :) Who knows maybe we'll see each other on the same luxury cruise soon! (^_^)
If you think there's no cure to your fear of flying and you've never tried cruising then this blog is for you. In case you've been on a cruise, like me, but still aren't cruise savvy, read on!
♦ What is a Cruise? ♦
A cruise is a trip or voyage aboard a cruise ship for recreation or leisure purposes. There are many activities on this water traveling experience. Depending on the cruise line, one can swim, play golf, eat at the buffet or other restaurants, watch movies, entertaining shows or concerts, etc., inside. Usually the experience also involves going to other places or countries for short day excursions with or without needing a visa.
Almost everything you need is onboard too. Think of it as a staycation on a water-bound hotel. Everything you will use and consume in it is what you've also paid for. From the housekeeping services to the buffet food and onboard entertainment, you name it you paid for it. You'll also be paying for gratuities (or tips) so be sure to have enough money or credit to pay for it before your vacation ends.
My first cruise was well worth it. At least I think so because I've never been on any other cruise before. Haha. One need not be rich to go on a cruise. It's just like any other trip that you can save up for. We got it on sale too from a travel agent. Which got me thinking, maybe I should start a home based travel agency too. Ah I want to do too many things in my life.
If you want to try cruising instead of saving for round trip plane tickets and hotel accommodations choose to go on the nearest available cruise instead. Like plane travel hacks I'm sure there are also cruising hacks out there. (Share if you know some! Haha.)
There are also many kinds of cruises to choose from depending on your preferences and budget. Let me share what I found out. But first, here's a video on some of the costs you should look out for on a cruise trip.
I have never seen the video before going on a cruise but I definitely agree on what he said. These are things you need to look out for otherwise you'll be paying a lot more while on vacation. If you have the money, go for it, if you're on a budget keep those in mind.
♦ Types of Cruises ♦
There are different types of cruises one can decide to go on. There are also various kinds of cruise ships used for such leisure traveling but let's talk about the basic types of cruises anyone can enjoy.
A bit of online research brought me to various kinds of cruise trips one can take or experience. Since each article has varying terms in it, I will give you a summary or the basics of what I found. Here are the basic types of cruise to think about. Bear in mind that these can be mixed together depending on the cruise line or liner company. I just separated them based on certain categories in no particular order.
1. Cruises based on a certain theme or people's preferences
I define this as a cruise catered to a focused group of people or for a specific purpose for the passengers' enjoyment. A themed cruise can be being on a cruise liner with a given theme and purpose. Apparently there are preferences-centered kinds of cruises too. One can choose specific voyages for LGBT, adventurers, families, solo travelers/singles, music lovers, social change advocates, etc.
Let me break this down further to the following:
♠ Entertainment theme ♠
This can be anything from a music cruise to a movie themed cruise liner. It can even be a combination of the two like what I went on. This usually are cruises with famous entertainers on board
A music cruise can have a rock band or celebrity singer/s on board to perform a concert or concerts as part of the available ship entertainment. The best example is when The Company had a show during our trip. On other cruise dates they have other celebrities on board, even Brother Bo! Cool right? Other cruises have Cirque de Soleil, Broadway shows and other celebrities to entertain guests too.
A movie themed cruise liner can be like what we went on. Starcruises currently has its first-ever thematic sailing for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. During our stay in Super Star Virgo, there were Spider-Man stickers all over the ship. From the windows to the elevators, you will be reminded of Spider-Man almost everywhere inside the ship.
They also have Spider-Man themed games or contests for children and adults alike. It's no surprise they also had Spider-Man cosplayers who interact with the guests during the games and onboard activities plus have photo ops with everyone interested.
♠ Adventure theme ♠
This is best for the active adventurer or the extreme sports individuals. One can join a cruise that will allow you to experience onshore excursions (in certain destination countries) like kayaking, paragliding, hiking, etc. Inside the ship they would also have areas for wall climbing, etc. Or maybe the destinations would be remote areas like the Antarctica and such.
♠ Event theme ♠
There are also cruises meant for you to experience a special event in certain countries. An example would be Japan's Cherry Blossom Viewing Season, Cannes Movie Festival in France or the Rio Carnival at Rio de Janeiro.
2. Cruise based on your travel choices
Aside from just purely riding a cruise ship and going home from the same sea vessel, there are two other kinds of cruises you can experience. There's what we can call a Fly and Cruise and a Cruise and Stay.
Fly and cruise usually happens if your home town or country doesn't have the cruise line home ported at any of the local ports. You'd have to fly in to where the cruise is available before you can enjoy the sea trip. Afterwards you'd have to fly out to go back home again. For Filipino cruisers, I'm sure this was what they usually did if they wanted to go on a river or ocean-based overseas vacation. One has to fly to Hong Kong or Singapore just to enjoy a cruise.
The cruise and stay option is for those who go on a cruise and also want to stay at the place where it's the first or last port of call in the itinerary. It's like a two in one vacation: one on land and another by sea. You can stay longer than a day on land since you'd be checked in at a hotel. This is more than just being on a cruise and experiencing one day shore excursions.
3. Cruise based on the body of water being traveled on.
There's a river cruise and there's an ocean cruise. Sometimes it can also be a combination of such. River cruises can be longer or shorter than the sea version too depending on the destination.
Also, rivers don't get as turbulent as oceans so traveling on the former can be considered calmer than the latter. The vessels for the former can also be smaller as compared to those used on the latter. River liners also holds less people as opposed to ocean liners. If you're not into being around too many people then don't go on an sea cruise. If you're prone to sea sickness you can choose to enjoy river based vacations instead.
River cruises are available all over the world like in Europe, America and Asia. Too bad the majority of Filipinos aren't into cruising that much yet. We've only just begun on ocean cruises. Last year we finally had a commercial and international cruise line that started cruises in our Manila port. Hurray! Time will tell when we can rehabilitate our city rivers and use them for commercial river cruises too.
4. Cruise based on opulence
There are four categories of cruise lines or companies. A Contemporary or Mainstream cruise line is the most popular one as it is also the most affordable and can hold several thousands of people.
A Premium cruise line is a bit more upscale version of mainstream cruises. Next, think of Luxury cruising as being in a 5 star hotel on water instead of on land. You can even have a butler if it's an Ultra-luxury one! Whoa.
Are you curious to know how much it costs to book an ultra-luxury cruise trip? Well upon checking on four of the said uber luxury cruise lines, I saw two will travel in Asia on almost similar routes in January 2019. The lowest price cabin for a 14-day cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong or vice versa would be $5,499. The highest would be $9,600. Oh my, looks like I'm going to keep booking mainstream cruise lines until I am a millionaire, maybe. Lol. Or perhaps I should find out more about insider cruise trip secrets. Hmmmm.
Spending on such an ultra-luxury trip wouldn't be enough even as 10% down payment to a 1 bedroom wellness-focused luxury condo in Ortigas Business District though. But to the ultra-rich, going on that kind of cruise and buying a luxury condo in the Philippines would be easy peasy. If you're not ultra-rich then the same amount would be good enough and more than a monthly amortization for the same property if it is under a deferred payment term.
Anyway, non-luxury cruising is amazing enough in itself. It can already be a luxury to those who aren't used to first world traveling and posh cruising. Take it from me! Haha. I also calculated the cost and can say mainstream cruising is more affordable in comparison to traveling by air in economy class from country to country. You will definitely get to experience several fun and wonderful things on the ship and outside of it so it's a good deal!
If you didn't know, even mainstream cruise ship lines have a casino! What a shocker. Lol. There's even a cruise bingo and lottery if you're into spending more money. Haha. I wonder if lottery tricks and secrets can work on that too.
5. Cruise based on time and number of destinations.
This can be a "going nowhere" cruise where you leave one port and just go around the ocean and back to the same port. Another can be a voyage from a home port to other ports within or outside the country then back to the home port.
It can be anything from short nearby cruises to around the world traveling. Mini cruises can be from 2 to 5 nights and dock at maybe 2 to 3 different ports. On the other hand, world cruises can range from 80 to 130 or more nights and may visit 35-45 or more unique ports of call. Wow!
Curious to know how much world cruises cost? Well on one website, the most affordable room to be booked would cost $62,000! Oh my lord. Where to get that amount of money for a 140 day world cruise? Whoa. Maybe I should learn and find sports betting picks so I'll be rich enough to go on such cruises. Lol.
Do you know, the same amount could cover 20% down payment on the same 1 bedroom unit of the (five star) luxury condo property I was talking about earlier. I bet the ultra-rich don't need to decide on which one to pick out of the two. They can just do both, go on an ultra-luxury cruise and purchase a luxury condo unit to live and come home to, without batting an eye. Haha.
Watch this video for some cruise tips if you plan to be in one for the first time. If you're like me and have already been on one, it still doesn't hurt to watch it.
So there you have it. Do you want to know more? I think I will also blog about What's in a Cruise Ship, What and How to Pack When Going on a Cruise, and What Can Be Done Inside a Cruise Ship. Heck I have a lot of pending blogs I'd like to write. Hang on, I'll get to them all soon enough, maybe. Haha.
All article images from Pixabay.
Written by @artgirl for Steemit.
© Art x Stephanie Rue
@artgirl is a freelance artist, writer and an online seller. For Philippine property inquiries, art and writing commissions, feel free to contact me.
For business inquiries, you can chat me up on Steem.chat, Telegram or send me a Facebook message. Link in my bio.
Upvote, Follow and Resteem for appreciation.
♥ Thanks! ♥