If you want a holiday that takes you to a long list of amazing places and lays on a multitude of things to do, but you loathe endless packing and unpacking, then a cruise is surely for you. Whether you want fine dining, non-stop social activities, a top-notch spa, high-octane activities, or just lots and lots of sleep, there is a cruise to suit your desires. We’ve picked five that make us want to climb aboard and set sail…
One for the kids: for a cruise that is geared up to keep the younger members of your party out of mischief, it is hard to beat a Disney cruise – and to keep the whole family happy, join one in the Caribbean where you will hop from one piece of dazzling paradise to another. Time off the boat offers swimming with stingrays, lazing on warm golden sands and luxury shopping.On board, there are nurseries, themed play spaces, dress-up pirate parties, and ample opportunities to interact with your favourite Disney character – as well as spas, nightclubs, theatres, pools and multiple restaurants.
And one for the big kids: if, like most teenagers, yours oscillate between lethargy and adrenaline-pumping activity, a cruise may well be the perfect holiday choice. Take a tour of the Mediterranean onboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, one of the world’s biggest and most innovative cruise ships, complete with a daredevil zip line and mesmerizing acrobatic high diving shows. There’s no opportunity for boredom with rock walls that need scaling, flow-riders that need mastering and ice rinks that need conquering.
The grown-up experience: Transport yourself back to the days of the great ocean liners and book a transatlantic cruise onboard the magnificent Queen Mary 2. With formal dinners, ballroom dancing, jazz concerts, cocktails and exquisite afternoon teas, the flagship Cunard liner is the epitome of style at sea.
The solo sailor: If you’re travelling alone, there is all the more reason to join a cruise. We love the look of the Crystal Cruises’ Southeast Asia Sojourn which spends 12 days taking you from Singapore to Bali via Ho Chi Minh City. Crystal is a popular choice with the solo traveller: as well as all the onboard activities, it offers low solo supplements, singles get-togethers and sociable dining options.
The romantic getaway: the luxurious Paul Gauguin is the perfect ship on which to sail into the sunset with your loved one. A small cruise liner, it was designed to sail the shallow seas of the South Pacific, stopping at small ports unreachable by the larger ships. The feel of this beautiful ship is ‘warmth, informality and Polynesian flair’; this, together with the stunning natural beauty of the environs and the opulence of the facilities, all set the scene for a memorable romantic holiday.