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Inagural Cruises: Maiden Voyages, Champagne Christenings, Celebrity Godmothers and Sparkling New Everything and Amenities Make for an Historical Cruise to Remember
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Maiden Voyages, Champagne Christenings, Celebrity Godmothers and Sparkling New Everything and Amenities Make for an Historical Cruise to Remember
(For a list of ships launching in 2016 and beyond, please click here.)
Cruise lovers are in the midst of lively discussions about the ships premiering in 2016, 2017 and beyond...and the most popular topic of conversation seems to be “Which inaugural have you booked?” That’s because veteran cruisers have an insider’s knowledge of these very special voyages and often profess that these historical sailings are among their favorites.
Want in on this well-kept cruising secret? CruiseCompete has compiled a list of seven reasons booking an inaugural cruise is a great idea!
1. The inauguration ceremony and sailing of a ship often becomes a local or international event. Depending on the significance, the pomp-and-circumstance inaugural ceremony can be a large and well-orchestrated ceremony with honored guests from all over the world. As an example, Royal Caribbean’s reception of its newest ship, Harmony of the Seas, was celebrated with a traditional delivery and flag changing ceremony in Saint Nazaire, and the ship will officially launch her inaugural summer season with the first of 34 seven-night western Mediterranean sailings on June 7. After visiting some of Europe’s most beautiful locations, Harmony will arrive at her homeport of Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she will offer seven-night eastern and western Caribbean sailings.
2. Bragging rights and glamour. There’s something to be said for being part of a new ship’s history, a member of the “elite” group present for the very first sailing. How marvelous is it to be able to say, "Oh, yes, I was on the maiden voyage of that beautiful ship"? And you may literally bump into royalty… Regent Seven Seas Cruises recently announced that H.S.H. Princess Charlene of Monaco will serve as Godmother of the Regent Seven Seas Explorer at a gala christening event in Monte Carlo, Monaco, on July 13, 2016.
3. Amenities galore. The cruise lines know that positive word-of-mouth is an excellent marketing tool. The better the buzz, the better the bookings will be on future voyages. The line may take this opportunity to impress passengers on a maiden voyage with extra special food, entertainment and activities. For example, the very first IMAX Theatre at sea? Nowhere else but the Carnival Vista, which launched in April. The ship also features nearly 30 dining and bar venues.
4. Tangible memories. The lines frequently offer special inaugural events and keepsake tokens as part of the maiden voyage. When Cunard's Queen Mary 2 launched, she offered "Limited Edition" QM2 maiden-voyage commemorative items, including t-shirts, playing cards, cups and saucers, stamps, baseball caps and key chains… and even painted ostrich eggs! These tokens are a great way to remember your voyage.
5. Fantastic fares. In order to generate interest in the ship, some maiden voyages offer “introductory pricing,” which can be significantly lower than future sailings. This is, after all, the ship’s introduction to the consumer. Public opinion has not yet been formed and the cruise lines are eager to put their best foot forward, which sometimes translates to a steal on cruise fares.
6. Tailored-to-suit service- Because the shipboard routine has not been established and the ship’s staff is still finding out what guests want and need, they tend to be quite flexible with things like on-board activities, menus and seating arrangements. Veterans generally say there are small glitches, but they love the fact that the staff is more accommodating as they work into their new routines.
7. Pristine and brand new. There’s a certain appeal to being on board a brand new ship…. to experience accommodations that have no wear and tear, no sign of passengers who have come before. Every part of the ship is in immaculate condition – the rooms are sparkling, the carpets spotless, and every dish, sheet and towel has never been used. Plus, you get to enjoy all this cleanness… without having lifted a finger. What’s not to love?
For a list of ships launching in 2016 and beyond, please click here.
Up to 75% off Shore Excursions
CruiseCompete links you to third-party shore excursion providers, giving you access to premium shore excursions at substantially lower prices. Enjoy a more intimate cruise tour experience away from the crowds.
Be confident in your choice with 24/7 support for travelers, a full refund if you miss your shore excursion due to itinerary changes or weather, and guaranteed return to your cruise ship.
Visit the CruiseCompete Shore Excursions page here.
2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner [PDF] or Online book
While there is a perfect cruise vacation for everyone, not every cruise line is the ideal match for every family. Some lines have minimum age requirements for children (and pregnancy policies for expectant parents!), and others don't permit children to sail at all. In addition, while a line may allow children to sail, it’s not a given that the line has specially designed children’s programs in place.
With these things in mind, determining the best cruise line for your family takes careful research, preparation and planning. The travel experts at CruiseCompete have composed the “2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner,” which details every aspect of the family cruise vacation experience.
The “2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner” is designed to kick-start your cruise vacation planning, and covers the entire spectrum of options with information on mainstream lines like Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, as well as unique alternatives like luxury, river and small ship excursion companies.
All information has been compiled in an easy-to-read format, with brief “at-a-glance” summaries to see if the cruise line fits your basic requirements, followed by more detailed information about the atmosphere on board, the destinations you can travel to and the specific programs available for children.
Take a look! 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner [PDF] or Online book
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Cruise Ship Reviews
Weddings at Sea
CruiseCompete member-agents are the most well-educated, forward-thinking and trusted cruise specialists in the industry. If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise, please visit CruiseCompete.com. To see consumer feedback click here.
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