4/12/2023     by Justin Gibson

Ways to Elevate Your Cruise Vacay

Some folks say it’s the little things in life that matter, but that’s only half true: it’s the little luxuries. Priceless moments that by their very nature make you exclaim “worth it!” The same maxim holds true for cruising: A few simple flourishes on an already enjoyable experience can elevate your trip to the realm of exquisite. Here are a few helpful tips on how to transform your simple sailing into one of life’s most treasured experiences.

Upgrade Your Stay

No doubt that your cruise line’s accommodations are already comfortable — but what if yours was more than just cozy? When planning your trip, opt for the best room you can find: maybe that means booking the largest balcony on the ship, or maybe it means choosing a concierge cabin with built-in dedicated concierge services. Maybe the upgrade is holistic in nature, as is the case with Cunard’s Queens Grill — where opulent interiors, VIP-only dining and white-glove service combine to create an air of royalty. Whatever the case, look for the upgrade that elevates your trip from “home away from home” to “this must be a fairy tale.” The payoff far outweighs the bump in price.

Enjoy the VIP Zones

Any vacation is bound to have an “in-between” moment — you’re not out and about at a port, you’re not sitting down for a meal, but you’re not looking to spend your downtime in your room. Luckily enough, just about every cruise line offers some form of public space for good old-fashioned R&R. For a bespoke experience, seek out access to the less-than-public options. While many cruise lines have their own take on exclusive spaces, it’s the larger vessels that offer an outsized benefit to upgrading. Take for example, Celebrity Cruises. By opting into The Retreat®, not only are you receiving stunning accommodations and dedicated attendants guaranteeing you’re pampered every second of your stay, but you’re also receiving exclusive access to private lounges and sundecks. The result is the end-all, be-all best of both worlds when cruising: all the amenities of a megaship, with the (sparse) crowds of a smaller, more intimate vessel.

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Privée Dining, Oceania Cruises

Make the Most of Your Meals

No doubt your cruise ship has all your favorite staples at hand — but this is your vacation, for goodness’ sakes. Live a little! Imagine your meal stripped of all previous habit, experience or expectation: The resulting dish would be one of pure epiphany. Whether it’s dining at an exclusive venue like the aforementioned Celebrity and Cunard options, or dining on a different cruise line, seeking out the specialty restaurants is a surefire way to add the spice of life to your diet. Oceania Cruises is quick to mind: Their culinary program places an emphasis on quality ingredients fueling gastronomic masterpieces. Of course, that’s just half the reason — it helps to have a superstar master chef such as Jacques Pépin at the helm of their culinary endeavors. His proverbial fingerprints can be found at each and every venue, but for a true treat, you have to try a meal at Jacques. Each and every dish on the menu is a French classic, ingeniously reinterpreted by the Master Chef himself.

Spa Days for Days

Even if you’re not a typical spa patron, you should aspire to line up at least two spa days. How often are you walking distance from world-class spa amenities? Spectacular spas are a staple of modern cruise lines, with offerings ranging well beyond typical steam rooms or saunas. Pamper yourself with specialized spa treatments and salon services before enjoying a rejuvenating dip in any of the many luxe pools and saunas. The first spa day shakes away the stresses of your daily life, while the second transports you closer to enlightened state of “peak relaxation.”

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Paul Gauguin Private Beach, Bora Bora

Port Calls Call for Proper Adventure

At the end of the day, all of the above is feasible with the right hotel. The appeal of a cruise vacation is in getting out there — seeing faraway lands and discovering foreign locales! The pièce de résistance of any cruise is the ports you visit, and subsequently, the excursions you undertake. Naturally, your fellow cruise-goers will also be looking to enjoy excursions … and as with deck space, the swankier option entails less of a crowd. Some cruise lines offer private or boutique shore excursions, allowing you and your crew the benefit of having your own transportation and guide who can take you wherever you wish at your destination, the choice of how long to stay or what exactly your visit entails. Of course, you could also ask our agency about our Car & Driver Program. With select luxury cruise voyages, we can offer you the choice of a private car and driver with a preselected tour, a private car and driver to deliver you wherever you’d like or a shipboard credit to use at your discretion.

Have “People”

“I’ll have my people call your people.” Take a second to imagine delegating a task to someone else the second it arises, so that you never need to give it a second thought. Now, imagine that phenomenon applied to all the tips above. It’s not a fantasy; it’s a travel agent. With a travel agent on your side, you have people for the entirety of your trip — from the first brainstorm to when the wheels touch down on your return flight. The peace of mind provided by delegating every element of travel planning to a trained professional isn’t just priceless, it’s the luxury tip that keeps on giving.

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