LuxeGetaways - - Editor’s Note - BY DA­MON M. BANKS WITH HEIDI AL­LI­SON-SHANE

Work­ing with CruiseCom­pete, Lux­eGet­aways takes an in-depth look at many of the most pop­u­lar cruises for all

bud­gets this sea­son.

The Cruise in­dus­try has cer­tainly ex­pe­ri­enced a num­ber of set­backs over the years, but it con­tin­ues to per­se­vere ev­ery sea­son. The cruise lines are al­ways think­ing out­side of the box to ex­pand their of­fer­ings while de­vel­op­ing travel

ex­pe­ri­ences for cruise-go­ers of all bud­gets, ages and de­sires.

As with any travel plan­ning, be sure to fa­mil­iar­ize yourself with the cruise lines and their in­di­vid­ual ships and itin­er­ar­ies; but we rec­om­mend go a step fur­ther. Trav­el­ers should study the ports (ar­rival time, length of time at the port and ac­ces­si­bil­ity from the ship to the port) and the ac­tual ships (size of the ship, state­room lay­outs, di­ver­sity of din­ing op­tions and the age of the ship). For ex­am­ple, smaller ships are of­ten ideal for ar­riv­ing and dis­em­bark­ing quickly at ports, but de­pend­ing on the lo­ca­tion and time of the year, it could be a very rough ride get­ting there. In short, do your home­work! Work­ing with Heidi Al­li­son-Shane and her team at CruiseCom­pete, we have put to­gether a col­lec­tion of pop­u­lar cruise choices for those try­ing to make an ed­u­cated de­ci­sion on which ship is best fit­ted for their next get­away. Heidi has pro­vided her own per­sonal notes and ex­pe­ri­ences for many of th­ese cruise op­tions, which are avail­able in the full story on our web­site – a price­less tool for plan­ning your next cruise. Af­ter over 40 years of ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the in­dus­try from ev­ery an­gle, I can truly say that I love the cruise in­dus­try. My son Wil­liam tells me that I was born for this busi­ness, and it is prob­a­bly true. Life’s ex­pe­ri­ences are like sam­pling ice cream – some­times you are in the mood for dif­fer­ent fla­vors and, like a gourmet ice cream shop, the cruise lines of­fer you a taste of ev­ery­thing. Hav­ing been in the cruise in­dus­try since the mid 1980’s, I can hon­estly say that each and ev­ery cruise line truly cares about mak­ing ev­ery voy­age on their line an ex­pe­ri­ence to re­mem­ber.

The cruise lines con­sis­tently work to raise the bar on ev­ery­thing they have to of­fer, down to the small­est de­tail. The ul­tra-lux­ury lines have your cabin stocked with your fa­vorite liquors as you ar­rive, and small gifts to make you feel wel­come. Per­sonal but­lers has­ten to grant your ev­ery wish. Pri­vate tours of the off limit parts of the ship are quickly and cour­te­ously ar­ranged. From cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy on­board to the lat­est sport­ing ad­ven­tures and equip­ment, and from the pri­vate is­lands and over the top ex­pe­ri­ences you may never have any­where else to mak­ing the pre-board­ing and de­par­ture process palat­able; the op­por­tu­ni­ties with cruis­ing are in­fi­nite.

With the amaz­ing as­sort­ment of value-added fea­tures - spe­cialty restau­rants, in­com­pa­ra­ble wine lists, pri­vate nan­nies, com­pre­hen­sive chil­dren’s pro­grams, and once-in-a-lifetime shore ex­cur­sions, the cruise lines are un­fail­ingly look­ing for ways to cre­ate mem­o­ries for a lifetime, and to send you home re­vi­tal­ized and re­ju­ve­nated. The ul­tra-lux­ury lines take this at­ti­tude to un­charted heights. You will of course pay more, how­ever the adage of “you get what you pay for” cor­rectly ap­plies in this in­stance.

Heidi Al­li­son-Shane

Pho­tog­ra­phy Cour­tesy Se­abourn

...the op­por­tu­ni­ties with cruis­ing are in­fi­nite. For the com­plete story, visit lux­eget­ As Pres­i­dent of CruiseCom­pete, Heidi Al­li­son-Shane also con­trib­utes to nu­mer­ous travel pub­li­ca­tions; and is a mem­ber of So­ci­ety of...

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