Luxury travel means something different to each individual. But, make no mistake, most travelers like to enjoy at least an occasional bit of pampering or poshness, alongside gourmet food, while traveling in style surrounded by gorgeous amenities and designs.
The right cruises can offer a great mix of everything you might be looking for to treat yourself.
Admit it: Sometimes, you just want to enjoy the finer things in life while you explore unique destinations and dive into your adventures.
Luxury cruises offer amazing food, attentive service and an all-around hassle-free experience.
This really gives your trip that added something special. Adding an element of luxury can make a good trip great.
Here are a few reasons why it can pay off to spend a little extra -- OK maybe a lot extra depending on the cruise -- to take a luxury voyage.
While the crew on most cruise ships are generally outstanding, the staffers on luxury sailings truly go above and beyond. They have more time to get to know your personal preferences, daily habits and what you love. With a smaller passenger-to-crew ratio, these friendly people -- from wait staff to cabin stewards and bartenders -- are able to be more attentive.
This is easily the No. 1 reason we love a luxury cruise. We truly feel special while onboard.
These upscale cruises are either all-inclusive or mostly inclusive. This means that you pay one price upfront without added a la carte fees that you see elsewhere. Your all-inclusive fare includes things like gratuities, wi-fi, all meals and drinks, shore excursions and airport transfers.
Some luxury line packages also include items like airfare and hotel stays in their pricing.
Luxury cruise ships feature top-notch fine dining options, with some gourmet cuisine crafted in partnerships with award-winning chefs -- like Nobu on Crystal Cruises and Thomas Keller on Seabourn. You dine in eateries that offer intimate settings for special meals that will be among the highlights of your trip.
The culinary programs offer delicious meals with special touches, like free-flowing Champagne and bottomless caviar. Most luxury lines offer an amazing amount of flexibility; if you can't find something that appeals to you, just ask for something you'd like! Menus onboard are often just a starting point.
Cruisers can enjoy top-deck barbecue extravaganzas, wine tastings and memorable experiences like a chef's table meal during which you can often see the kitchen in action as each course is prepared and then introduced by the chef.
Beyond the highly attentive service, special touches onboard a luxury cruise ship include such things as the decor and design features of the ship. You will travel on ships that have high-quality and well-thought-out designs. The ships can serve as art galleries.
You can wander the decks to see pricey works of art, such as sculptures and paintings.
Brass railings and other shiny trimmings, as well as plenty of glass let you know you are immersed in a world of luxury and comfort.
Also, cruisers may be treated to butler service in their suites, which means you can have a romantic meal in your room or on your verandah or have them provide other services such as packing or unpacking your luggage or taking care of dinner reservations or other requests like setting up a cocktail party in your cabin.
Luxury cruise ships offer more square footage per passenger -- and the ships are much smaller than the mass-market mega-ships that you might be familiar with. This means, most of these cruises will be on ships that carry anywhere from 140 to about 1,000 passengers. This is a much more pleasant experience because you never feel crowded, whether in the theaters, dining rooms, in bars and lounges, during embarkation or when going ashore with your fellow cruisers.
The smaller luxury ships can get to ports and destinations that the big ships can't visit. Itineraries might include fascinating ports like Tangiers, Morocco; tiny Greek islands like Hydra and stunningly scenic Kotor, Montenegro. These are just a few of the hundreds of exotic and lightly visited destinations that you and your like-minded fellow cruisers can seek out. Plus, you get a more highly curated onshore experience, so the itineraries and excursions offer a more intimate and engaging experience with the people who live and work in these places.
There you have it!
A luxury cruise is worth the splurge for an extra special travel experience. These cruises might be just what you want for a change of pace or to celebrate a special occasion like a retirement, milestone birthday or anniversary.
We love all kinds of travel and cruises, from budget road trips to joining a mega ship for a rocking theme cruise.
But every now and then, it can be nice to immerse yourself in a vacation where you will be pampered completely and where you can just lose yourself in the comfort and wonder of it all.
Let us know what you think about luxury travel. Have you had a memorable experience? What did you do? Drop a comment below and join the conversation.
Thanks for reading, and remember to always travel happy!