No morning calls, no packing and unpacking, meals all day – you will find lots more to a cruise vacation than merely chasing one-armed bandits
The current demand for cruise vacations is steadily growing* and there are many good reasons why. If you ask around, you get the sense that generally, cruise passengers return home satisfied.
We’ve done the groundwork to find out and to share with you what makes cruises so wonderful, especially for the family.
Book Early & Get the Best
Cruise vacations are family-friendly and much more. Nonetheless, don’t be fooled by the advertised low rates. The cheaper prices are for cabins located at an obscure end on the lowest passenger deck, and they are few in number.
Consider the variations: the one-day cruise (read: gamblers), the popular weekend cruise to nowhere, and the longer cruise complete with shore excursions.
Whichever luxury liner you look at, do book early to secure a choice cabin (on mid-level deck, near the atrium and function halls) and receive the early bird discount. It helps if the lifts are next to your cabin but if not, take the gentrified staircase.
Spending Time On Board
After the mandatory fire drill and roll call, the purser churns out the day’s programme. A cruise is free and easy so, if you are with a large family, do allow for some flexibility.
There’s no need for your family to stick together all the time, as is the case with a land tour.
For instance, your family could have breakfast together, then split up and reunite later in the evening. Just confirm the time and place for everyone to meet.
If you are on a honeymoon, skip the roulette. Instead, your jackpot is the precious time that you spend with your partner.
The Casino… and Everything Else
The ship’s casino is the perennial money spinner. If Lady Luck smiles on you, you could try your hand. For a happy vacation, and after, do keep in mind to gamble only with what you can afford to spare.
Non-gamblers can optimistically look to a whole list of other diversions. You can opt for a shore excursion, cool off at the pool, soak in the Jacuzzi, attend workshops, window shop, karaoke, rappel, play bingo, disco dance, catch an in-house movie, play ping pong, relax in the spa or exercise at the gym, find solace and read a book in the library, lounge on a deck chair and enjoy the sea breeze, catch the evening’s live act, stroll the open top deck and stargaze… and sip on a glass of coke and gin at the bar counter for a nightcap.
To top it all, there’s plenty of food to go around. One cruise liner even adds in late-night supper! (Bring along loose clothing
so that you won’t feel your belt tighten after feasting.)
For a pleasant experience, please note that there are some rules for dressing. Smart casual will do for fine dining, but not flip-flops. Generally, it is better to dress to suit the occasion or type of dining.
With such a great ambience and lots of fresh air, you will hardly ever feel seasick! Why not embark on an adventure of family fun during the next school holidays?
Look up mbccs.com.sg and www.cruisecompete.com/vacations/departs/singapore/1 for more.
*In its recent report, the Asia Cruise Association forecast an annual 14 per cent growth in the cruises sector, which is estimated at $2.5 billion.
Luxury cruise lines have scheduled berths at Marina Bay Cruise Centre and Singapore Cruise Centre @Harbourfront until 2015. They include Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, Holland America Line and Costa Cruises.