I recently had an eye opening experience that made me realize I have some explaining to do!
A person who had never been on a cruise but had been receiving our Cruise News came to see me. He questioned how I could always write such positive reports on every cruise line when they were obviously not all the same. His question made me realize that there are probably others out there wondering the same thing.
The truth is, we only write about the cruise lines and tour operators that we personally feel are of the quality we want to represent. Therefore, it is easy to show them in a positive light. But having said that, they are all very different.
If you look at the Las Vegas hotels, there are a large variety of choices. While all may not be your style, that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the majority of them.
Take the MGM for example. It is huge—there could be over 6000 people staying there. Does this make it a bad property? No! While it may not be for everyone, there are going to be people who love all the action, the variety of restaurants, etc. I would equate the MGM with one of the Royal Caribbean ships that, when sailing full, sleep over 6000 people. Again, lots of restaurants and entertainment.
But if you are not into crowds—would you prefer to stay at a Four Seasons where the atmosphere is more intimate? If so, then look at a Seabourn, Regent or Silversea cruise where there are only 300-600 people onboard.
And in between, you will find the Bellagio which is a little larger but still has a very luxurious feel. If this is your style, a Crystal cruise will be right up your alley!
Do you like the Park MGM? It is a very nice property but maybe not quite as upscale as the Bellagio (e.g., Crystal), so I would have you look at booking an Oceania cruise.
As you are reading my analogies, you also need to realize that where you want to stay may depend on whether you are vacationing with just your spouse, or if you are planning a family gathering with kids and grandkids. The Four Seasons may not be the appropriate choice if traveling with young children. The kids are probably going to have a lot more fun at the MGM (e.g., Royal Caribbean or Disney).
So, what I am trying to explain, is that whether choosing a hotel, a cruise or a land tour, there is something for everyone, but one size does not fit all.
This is where your professional travel advisor comes in. We can help you navigate the waters and choose the appropriate vacation.
When speaking to someone who has never cruised, my biggest concern is having them go on the wrong ship. I have had people come in and tell me they will never cruise again. But when I begin asking questions, I realize they should never have been on that ship in the first place.
The client who started my thinking for this article is clearly a Crystal client, but will be sailing on Royal Caribbean with family and friends. To make him feel more at home, he will be in a Royal Suite which gives him lots of additional amenities including priority checkin, plus he can dine and relax in the room if things get too crazy. But, he will still be able to enjoy all of the entertainment and activities with the family.
So, when planning your vacation, take the time to talk to your travel advisor to make sure you are going to come home a happy camper!