CRUISING THE WORLD
For People Who Love The Water But Want To Experience The World, Too!
What Are Your Cruising Options?
How To Find The Right Cruise Option For You
Let's Compare Ocean Cruising to River Cruising and Entertain Another Option For Those Looking for Ways to Build Client Relationships, Customer and Membership Bases, and Make Your Own Groups.
Get More Detail About The Various Styles Of Cruising
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS
Ocean Cruising has long been the leader in giving people a sea-going experience with more sailing than port excursions. River cruising offers customers the sailing experience with a bit of a twist. You can always see the shore when you are sailing on a river cruise and the ports are made every day. There are no days at sea. These cruises are more culturally based and lend themselves to being more of a land & water journey than a sailing experience. In the last decade however, River Cruising has purposely been gaining more and more of this mode of tourism's market share. There is a real battle going on to hold customers to the sea and by contrast, bring them over to the rivers. River cruising has now steadily been growing and is now the fastest growing segment in the cruise industry. This is all good news for the cruise lovers. This means there are more options for cruising and with fierce competition, comes better choices for the customer.
These inclusions vary widely so it is very important for the cruiser to choose a travel professional that knows these lines and understands the differences, not only between river and ocean cruising, but also the vast differences between both Cruise Lines many different styles and ships.
Size Does Matter
River Cruise ships must be small in order to navigate the river's many bridges, locks, and water conditions. To compensate for the intimacy of the ships, the experience has always been more about the scenery on the journey and the ports of call experiences throughout the itineraries.
By comparison, ocean cruise ships are designed larger to navigate the world's oceans. Ocean Cruising has always been about the on-board experience of sailing, adding some short experiences in ports along the routes of their itineraries.
This has changed a little in the last few years, adding an occasional overnight in one or two ports on some itineraries.
Many Ocean Cruise Ships have chosen to complete by building even larger ships and to add more and more recreational activities on-board.
What used to be a nice pool deck is now almost an amusement water park on many ocean cruise lines. Cultural experiences have been added with celebrity lectures, workshops, and other events.
Besides theaters, there is now almost anything you can find on land, available on the ocean cruise line ships. In truth, many of these ocean vessels have become "floating cities" with the accommodation for close to 6,000 passengers.
The Competition Is On
Many travelers find these larger ships appealing but many find it all too much like life in their communities, with all of the crowds.
To compensate for the split in ocean cruise passenger desires, many of the luxury ocean cruise lines have begun to offer the "small ship" experience. Keeping the number of passengers closer to the size of the river cruise lines with more staff to passenger ratio than the larger ships.
These small ships on the ocean have been the leaders in adding the all-inclusive or at least more inclusive, programs to ocean cruising in an effort to retain their customers on the high seas. They are also instrumental in adding the shore excursion inclusions to their price.
Traditional Or All-Inclusive
For the last several years, on both river and ocean cruises, passengers are gaining many perks, benefits, and amenities with their cruise experiences.
The rise of the River Cruise market, has brought with it, more Ocean Cruise all-inclusive ships and itineraries. This has been a big help to people who want to better manage their budgets. They have more elements of their trip included with the journey, and have more options along with the new inclusions.
As river cruise lines began to offer more of these benefits, the luxury ocean cruise lines have began to follow this lead, in an effort to retain their clients, which means the customers are getting more...more of everything.
Meals & More
River Cruise Ships are not large enough to have the options in dining that the large ocean cruise ships offer. They rely on one or two exquisite restaurants with well known chefs to entice the culinary travelers. They also have the advantage of being in different ports every day so they have chosen to offer some additional dining options on land included in the price. They have also added complimentary wines, beer and spirits from the local areas they are traveling through on their itineraries. This adds a whole new meaning to local culinary offerings and most large ocean cruise ships cannot deliver this option.
On Ocean Cruise Ships, not only are buffet meals included, which has always been the case, but now there are many more culinary options; a large number alternative restaurants, fast food kiosks and cafes, 24hr room service, and bars & Lounges also including light food options. Many of these are still at an extra cost but there are now at least a few of these options that are being included in the cost of the ocean cruise.
Beverage packages (both alcoholic and soft beverages) used to cost cruisers an extra big chunk of money but now with the river cruise lines leading the way, more and more ocean cruise lines are including some additional beverages in their cruise prices. Most ocean cruise lines now offer wine with dinner in the main restaurants, and soft drinks are now also being added to the list of included beverages with dinner.
However, on the ocean vessels, there are still many places that are not offering complimentary beverages. Dining venues such as, bars, lounges, gourmet coffee bars, fast food dining, and cafes are still charging extra for all beverages. Specialty restaurants typically don't offer complimentary wines, beers and spirits. Instead, they offer premium wines and spirits at additional costs.
Tours & Excursions
Another huge change in the industry is the inclusion of shore excursions, tours, and other on land options in the price.
Again the river cruise lines have been leading the way with these changes and most of them offer at least 3 different land excursion options per port plus the option to explore on your own and bicycle rentals.
Only some of the Luxury Ocean Cruise Lines are offering shore excursions included in the price. Most of the moderate and budget cruise lines are still charging extra for these experiences.
For these paid for shore excursions, Ocean Cruise Lines offer a much wider selection of options, mainly because there are so many more passengers and there would not be enough time or space to accommodate the bulk of the passengers on only a few excursions. This does offer passengers more varied experiences, compared to the River Cruise shore excursion offerings.
Staterooms - How Important Are They
Another important difference between Ocean and River cruises, is the cabins. Ocean cruise ships have been making their cabins larger as their ships expand. The river cruise ships are much smaller and don't have the ability to increase the cabin size much. However, the river cruise lines have fought back with making incredible use out of the space they do have. Instead of going out on balconies, many river ships have created doors on the staterooms that open completely making the cabin also the balcony. Other's have gone to the french door with balcony option (losing some cabin space in the process). However, river cruise ships have gotten more and more elegant with staterooms providing many additional amenities contained within these smaller spaces than ever before. The overall luxury experience in the travelers personal space has vastly improved. In the ocean cruise ships the lower priced stateroom categories have starker appearances and more streamlined interiors. The suits are very different and offer more furniture and other elements that make them feel more like a land accommodation than a cabin at sea. Many of the higher end suites are like apartments with some being two stories boasting huge square footage.
We have been cruising for many years but when we found Celebration Escapes we found out how to really choose a cruise that matched our style and desires. Their consultants are so knowledgeable and really care about their client's experiences
~ Carole & Gordon
Finding the perfect Cruise Lines for our travel style wasn't even a thought until Celebration Escapes showed us what a difference it makes to match people with the perfect cruise line. Now all of our celebrations and vacations are really special.
~ Francis & Robert
We love how Celebration Escapes gives us so much information to make choices and select different cruise itineraries and lines. This has made a huge difference in our cruising journeys. We trust them implicitly!
~ Roberta & Max