In line with our newsletter introduction this week, I really wanted to continue the conversation about large mass market ocean cruising and small luxury vessels. There will be two types of folks who find interest in reading this. Loyal large ocean liner vacation seekers who have only sailed large ocean cruise lines and brand new readers who have never once stepped onto an ocean cruise who are interested in learning more.
Large ocean going ships are wonderful if you are into that kind of experience. 5000 plus passengers on the largest ships at sea with a playground of amazing and diverse things to do. A large ocean cruise is a floating city and fun for all ages. The message isn't Big = Bad, Small = Better. Not a true statement at all. I just want to bring to the table is that there is a huge difference in experience from large mass market cruises and smaller more intimate luxury cruise experiences.
Caught you in an eye roll right there when I said luxury right? It's OK. Luxury my friend is not a price tag. Luxury is how something makes you feel.
Cruising; so many types of cruise experiences: River (my favorite, my life) Mass Market Ocean Vessels that carry up to 5000 passengers, small ocean liners that carry 500 to 1000 and then of course your specialty cruises that carry 100 to 300, often called Expedition Cruises. Which one is for you? Depends, what do you want? What do you want your take away to be? Long lines, crazy end of cruise Ship Account Bill you have to pay before you exit? Or short, customer service orientated, port immersive, longer stays, relaxing vibe?
One of my absolute favorite small ocean ship experiences have been with Azamara Club Cruises, a luxury line. I know, there you go with the possible eye roll again but let me just discuss a few things because now is the time since it is Wave Season.
Azamara Club Cruises carry 700 passengers, smaller more intimate ships that you can really relax on. Great entertainment, phenomenal culinary experiences, very comfortable cabin state rooms, You get to stay longer in ports of call and you can get closer to the attractions in some of the more remote areas because the ship is smaller.
The point of this blog is that you CAN take your cruise experience up a notch and this is why. When you consider all the expenses of a large ocean cruise experience and add them all together, it will align quite nicely to a luxury small ocean liner. With an mass market cruise line, you purchase the cabin, but you will need to add in port fees and tax, add in gratuities, add in your round trip airport transfers, consider a healthy budget for shore excursions, add in the cost of WiFi program because everyone today wants to stay connected and then add in the cost of a beverage package but make sure you calculate into the budget an 18% beverage gratuity that is not included in the beverage package. Consider as well that not all dining is included on the larger ships, you have to add in the cost of specialty dining if you want to eat outside the main dining room or buffet. That amazing low price you saw online, it's not so amazing anymore.
Take it up a notch. Azamara, during wave season, has some promotions of up to 40% off the second passenger. A lot of options and sailing dates. Azamara includes gratuities, entertainment, luxurious cabin accommodations, bigger guest to crew ratio, self serve laundry on every other deck, quiet spaces, excellent bars. Something unique on every voyage is an included AzAmazing event. An AzAmazing event is a complimentary shore excursion offered once during the cruise. Azamara will take you to a very unique location in one of the ports of call where you will be treated to a concert, a performance or dinner. They are different on every cruise!
I think, outside of river cruising, the best ocean experience I have ever been on was with Azamara when I sailed on the Azamara Journey to Alaska. My biggest take away (other then big beautiful Alaska) was how relaxed I truly was and how much I loved the library. Big warm leather sofas, a Jameson and Ginger and a good book.
So before you jump on one of those too-good-to--be-true cruises you see on the internet, call Lisa or I. Especially during wave season. I confirmed 3 Azamara vacations this week, veranda cabin, fare more amenities and priced lower than a regular large mass market product. True story Azamara's Wave Promotion of 40% off 2nd passenger ends Feb 28, 2020.
We are always happy to answer your questions. We truly want you to bring it up a notch and experience a different side of the mass marketing cruise lines and try something different.