Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Finding The Perfect Luxury Cruise

Finding a cruise these days isn't difficult. There are adverts and commercials for cruise lines almost everywhere you look, and special offers abound online. Type in 'Cruise Sale' in Google and you will get roughly a bazillion responses (OK, so it was only 173,000,000, but what's a gazillion or two between friends?).

So it's certainly not a question of not being able to find anything these days.

The question of finding the RIGHT cruise for you is far more relevant, though, especially as cruise ships now number more than 200, and lines vary from the 5,000-passenger behemoths of Royal Caribbean to the boutique vessels of the likes of Hebridean Island Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club and UnCruise Adventures carrying a mere handful (as few as 30 or 40 in some cases).

In particular, the word 'luxury' is bandied around with utter abandon by just about everyone, including media sources that should know better.

The likes of Carnival and P&O Cruises may offer a great-value product, but they are far from a deluxe experience in most cases. And even some of the high-quality mid-range lines, like Princess, Holland America and Celebrity, while featuring some genuinely upscale touches, are still not the full six-star item.

It's like having a great stay at a Marriott Hotel and insisting it is on a par with Four Seasons or the Waldorf-Astoria. It's good, but it just isn't the pinnacle of holiday luxury.

Happily, there are still a handful of specialist agents that DO make a habit of featuring only the best and most luxurious cruise options and it is worth seeking these out for advice, customer service and - very often - the best deals on the 5 and 6-star lines.

It's interesting to see a company like The Cruise Line, based in Sussex and a company we know well, going one further and introducing their new Luxury Cruise Quiz.

As well as being good online fun, it provides some great insight into the true deluxe companies and genuinely produces the ideal matches for those who take the time to take it seriously and search through the various combinations and choices.

I've been playing around with it quite a bit this week, looking at the various permutations and seeing at how accurately it matches me with my various cruise 'wish list' ideas, and I'm impressed at how well it produces a valid end result. It offers a serious of images that you pick from in eight categories and it builds up to an 'ideal' match, as well as several alternatives.

It's fun and informative, so why not give it a try on this link: http://www.cruiseline.co.uk/Luxury-Cruise-Quiz.