Sail away on a dream

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - Escape - - FUN AT SEA -

Cruise lines of­fer such a va­ri­ety of on­board ac­tiv­i­ties and on­shore itin­er­ar­ies that tai­lor­ing your needs for the per­fect hol­i­day is a phone call away

IF YOU haven’t al­ready cruised, I sus­pect you’re pre­sum­ing you might be trapped on a ship tak­ing af­ter­noon tea while des­per­ately try­ing to es­cape oldies bran­dish­ing pic­tures of their grand­chil­dren.

I know how wrong my first vi­sion of the ex­pe­ri­ence was and just what a fan­tas­tic hol­i­day it pro­vides.

To­day’s cruise ex­pe­ri­ence caters to just about ev­ery­one – from people like my hus­band who love to sip a red wine on our state­room’s ve­randa and watch the sun set, to those who want to play crazy golf with their fam­ily right through to the party set in­tent on dancing, or even gam­bling, the night away.

The big­gest ships to­day cater to more than 6000 pas­sen­gers – a mini city on the sea with care­fully planned “districts” to en­sure ev­ery­one is kept happy, right down to of­fer­ing themed restaurants.

Let’s take Royal Caribbean as an ex­am­ple. Our last fam­ily cruise was on-board RCL’s Bril­liance Of The Seas with 2000 pas­sen­gers. There is plenty of space on these new ships. Real space. I don’t like crowds and so it is es­sen­tial that I can al­ways find a quiet niche to read – or just watch the world slip by. On the flip side, I love all the fa­cil­i­ties avail­able on-board in­clud­ing gyms, saunas, sa­lons.

If I want to eat at odd times of the day I can and the food will be su­perb. I can eat in 5-star style or go ca­sual to a monster buf­fet, to a burger joint, cafe, or have bril­liant room ser­vice, and there is no price dif­fer­ence.

I can par­take of the ship’s en­ter­tain­ment as I choose – whether it’s movies, ice shows, cabaret, gam­bling or easy lis­ten­ing cock­tail lounges with live mu­sic. Or, ig­nore it all – as we of­ten do. Best of all, I get the pick of the tour­ing.

Most des­ti­na­tions love a cruise ship ar­riv­ing into port and so you get ter­rific at­ten­tion but with­out the has­sle – even your cus­toms/im­mi­gra­tion pro­cesses are taken care of so all you do is step off your ship and head out for the day.

You can choose the night

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