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Cruise News and Information
September 15, 2014

AmaWaterways Christmas Markets Cruise Winner,
CruiseCompete Celebrates Our 11-Year Anniversary!

Thank you, our devoted Readers!

Defining the Cruise Lines:
The Different Types of Lines and What to Expect From Each
 

And the winner of the 2014 AmaWaterways Christmas Market Cruise is… Cynthia M., of San Antonio, Texas!

Cynthia’s entry earned her a complimentary cruise with AmaWaterways, and she has a choice of one of these three cruises…

2014 Christmas On the Rhine Options:

  • November 24, AmaCerto, Basel-Amsterdam
  • December 14, AmaReina, Basel-Amsterdam
  • December 15, AmaCerto, Amsterdam-Basel
Here’s wishing Cynthia a very happy and relaxing holiday season from CruiseCompete!

Congratulations, too, to Donna, who is this quarter’s winner of an iPad Mini for her recent subscription to our newsletter!  Donna, check your email for a winner’s notification! 

If you know someone who would be interested in our newsletter, and would love the chance to win an iPad mini, have them sign up for the newsletter here: https://www.cruisecompete.com/cruisecompete_newsletter.php
 

September 15th marks CruiseCompete’s 11th Anniversary!

We’re very pleased to celebrate another year of business and give thanks to you, our readers, for your continued support. . We couldn’t do it without you! We are truly honored each time you use our service or tell a friend about us!

And kudos to our member cruise specialists, who remain the most knowledgeable in the industry! These agents are continually developing their expertise, and have garnered consumer praise and industry awards that prove they are among the very best cruise specialists.

CruiseCompete’s reputation as leaders in travel is also evidenced by the many media accolades we’ve have received in 2014, including mentions this year in The New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, Yahoo Travel, and Kiplinger’s, among other media giants.

Here are some recent examples:

Kiplinger
5 Steps to Get the Best Deal on a Cruise (Kiplinger's Personal Finance)
A good agent can land you freebies and the best cabin, as well as offer expertise in whatever kind of cruise you’re taking. At www.cruisecompete.com, cruise agents vie to find you the best deal. http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T059-C011-S002-get-the-best-deal-on-a-cruise.html

The Street
5 Travel Trends You'll See on the High Seas in 2014
According to J.D. Power and Associates, 80% of all cruise line consumers experience a trouble-free excursion, paying on average $1,628 per person to hit the high seas….An online consumer cruise and travel service provider called CruiseCompete has a report on the travel trends that might induce even members of that 20% to come back.
http://www.thestreet.com/story/12199580/1/5-travel-trends-youll-see-on-the-high-seas-in-2014.html

(Read more from the press here.)
 

Super Cruise Specials

$1,703

Kids Sail Free - NCL Gem
Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Cruise Line - North America


$11,220

11-NT Antarctica Once in a Lifetime Cruise
Silver Explorer, Silversea Cruises - South America


$2,213

Brilliance of the Seas Transatlantic 9/3/15 On Sale
Brilliance of the Seas, Royal Caribbean International - Scandinavia


$857

7NT Feel The Caribbean's Warm Rays From $857pp With On Board Credit
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean


$1,094

7NT Feel The Caribbean's Warm Rays From $1,094pp With On Board Credit
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean


$994

7NT Feel The Caribbean's Warm Rays From $994pp With On Board Credit
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean


$944

7NT Feel The Caribbean's Warm Rays From $944pp With On Board Credit
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean


$744

7NT Feel The Caribbean's Warm Rays From $744pp With On Board Credit
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean


$1,989

7NT Feel The Caribbean's Warm Rays From $1,989pp
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean


$1,304

7NT Feel The Caribbean's Warm Rays From $1,304pp With On Board Credit
Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Cruise Line - Eastern Caribbean

 To see more super cruise specials click here.
 


Choose the Right Cruise Line – A Guide to the Different Cruise Line Categories
 
One of the key elements of a happy cruise is finding the line that’s right for your particular needs. . The cruise lines fall into various categories, and to help you navigate the waters (so to speak) of choosing one, we’ve created a guide to what these categories mean. . Bear in mind, cruise lines can fall into more than one category, Luxury and Expedition, for example, but these descriptions should help to steer you in the right direction. See which lines fall into these categories, and what amenities they offer, by visiting our All-Inclusive Chart.
 
CONTEMPORARY CRUISE LINES
The contemporary cruise lines offer a variety of cruise schedules and itineraries that are perfect for younger adults and family cruises. These are the lines with the largest ships, the most onboard entertainment options and the widest variety of amenities. This great array of options allows you to choose the type of vacation experience you want once you are on board the ship.
Lines that fall into this category are:

These lines are well suited for:
  • Families with young children
  • Families with teenagers
  • Family reunions and multi-generational families
  • 20- and 30-somethings looking for light adventure and various sports activities
  • 40- and 50-somethings looking for a couple’s vacation
  • Travelers looking for a wide array of activities
  • Seniors looking for new friends
  • Solo travelers
  • Couples looking for romantic getaways
  • Destination weddings
  • Honeymoons
  • Adventure travelers looking for high thrills
 
PREMIUM CRUISE LINES
Premium cruise lines tend to be large, but not mega-type ships, though they offer similar voyages, plus voyages to exotic locales. Due to the size of these ships, they do not dock in the heart of the town or village like the ultra-premium lines. These lines cater to travelers seeking luxurious accommodations, enhanced dining, excellent service, extensive activities and enrichment opportunities. The onboard experience is sophisticated and the service above average. These lines will have enhanced spa and wine options. . They tend to cater to more mature and discerning passengers who are seeking a sophisticated level of service, ship amenities and accommodations at somewhat higher prices. These lines also offer children’s programs for all ages. These lines are well suited for:
  • Those seeking both classic and modern luxury, contemporary and conservative design, and dining experiences in which the atmosphere is as important as the food and wine.
  • Families wishing to travel with young children where the environment is a little more subdued.
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families who are looking for an educational experience for the family
  • Family reunions and multi-generational families
  • 40- and 50-somethings looking for a couple’s vacation
  • Seniors looking for new friends
  • Solo travelers
  • Couples looking for romantic getaways
  • 40- and 50-somethings looking for a couple’s vacation
  • Destination weddings
  • Honeymoons
     
ULTRA-PREMIUM CRUISE LINES
The ultra-premium cruise lines tend to have smaller ships and offer voyages to popular ports, and unique itineraries featuring smaller, less-traveled destinations. They primarily cater to discerning passengers who are seeking a sophisticated level of service, ship amenities and accommodations at upscale prices. Some lines may offer numerous included amenities. These lines are generally priced higher than the premium cruise lines.
Lines that fall into this category are: These lines are well suited for:
  • Seasoned travelers
  • Adults who are destination-oriented and enjoy the finer things in life
  • Travelers looking for a boutique experience with a destination immersion
  • Travelers who find the small touches make all the difference—from the service to the food to the ships themselves
  • Adults seeking a “country club casual” experience with very upscale surroundings and amenities
     
ULTRA-LUXURY CRUISE LINES
These are high end cruises, both in price and in amenities. . They are designed for those who desire the finer things in life and have the budget for luxury. . These cruise lines specialize in service and will cater to the traveler’s every desire.

Lines that fall into this category are: These lines are well suited for:
  • Seasoned travelers
  • Adults who are destination-oriented and enjoy the finer things in life
  • Adults looking for a small ship and boutique type of experience
  • Cruisers seeking a destination immersion
  • Travelers seeking an over-the-top experience with ultra-luxury everything
  • Cruises seeking an international atmosphere
  • Travelers seeking a large ship with high-end amenities
  • Cruisers with a great deal of knowledge about the fine arts and cuisine, and are experts in matters of taste
  • Travelers looking for exceptional service and a level of comfort and style rare in today’s world
     
SMALL SHIP CRUISES
Small ships fill a niche for cruisers that are looking for more in-depth exploration of the regions they visit. They can visit ports that are inaccessible to larger ships, and exotic itineraries are the standard. Most river cruise ships and almost all of the luxury lines have ships that fall into this category.
Lines that fall into this category are: These lines are well suited for:
  • Adults looking for a sophisticated, intimate small ship experience
  • Travelers seeking an educational experience and a vacation filled with history, and culture
  • Seasoned travelers and, adults who are destination-oriented
  • Those seeking to meet experts in their field who have a vast knowledge of the cities visited
  • Those who enjoy traveling and enjoying the company of conversation with noteworthy academic experts
 
RIVER CRUISES
Unlike ocean cruises, rivers provide easy access to city centers. Passengers sail directly into the heart of every destination and dock in the middle of town, then walk right off the ship and move easily into whatever city or town you are visiting. You spend less time getting there and more time being there. A river cruise allows for a more intimate experience as well. Because most of these ships accommodate only 30 to 200 guests, it is easier to meet your traveling companions. You can share a drink with the couple you met on the day’s tour or dine with interesting passengers in an open-seating restaurant. Another benefit: you can also forget about waiting in long lines to embark, debark or have a meal. These river cruises are immensely popular and keep growing. Many lines have begun adding amenities previously restricted to ocean cruise lines, such as French balconies attached to the rooms.

Lines that fall into this category are: These lines are well suited for:
  • Adults looking for a sophisticated, intimate small ship experience
  • Travelers seeking an educational experience and a vacation filled with history, and culture
  • Seasoned travelers and, adults who are destination-oriented
  • Those seeking to meet experts in their field who have a vast knowledge of the cities visited
  • Those who enjoy traveling and enjoying the company of conversation with noteworthy academic experts
  • Those seeking an immersion experience of the regions they visit, in wine, food, and culture.
     
LUXURY HOTEL BARGES
The hotel barge became popular in the 1960s, and has now grown into a very large network of hundreds operating on the rivers and canals of France, Belgium, Germany, Scotland and the U.K. These luxury hotel barges vary greatly in size, configuration, scale and quality of accommodations, and standard and amount of catering. The largest barges take 24 guests, the smallest just four. All hotel barges have a high staff-to-guest ratio, but the smaller barges typically provide more personal attention and perhaps comfort. You can expect to get to know the other travelers well due to the intimate environment. These luxury hotel barges are wonderful for chartering and having your own private vacation.
Lines that fall into this category are: These lines are well suited for:
  • Seasoned travelers
  • Destination-oriented travelers
  • Travelers who enjoy the finer things in life and are looking for a small ship or boutique type of experience
  • Travelers seeking an immersion in small towns and villages
     
EXPEDITION CRUISE LINES
Expedition cruise lines typically attract adventure and unusual thrills seekers. These lines have very unique and exotic destinations such as the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and Greenland. Expedition cruises tend to focus on very isolated scenery or wildlife up- close and personal. . On an expedition line, you will experience undergo a multitude of new experiences: new cultures, new foods, and new smells, as all of your senses are awakened as and you commune with nature. The amenities range from simple accommodations to ultra-luxury environments.
Lines that fall into this category are: These lines are well suited for:
  • Travelers seeking eco- friendly expeditions
  • Those seeking remote scenery and wildlife viewing
  • Those who may be willing to forego luxurious amenities in exchange for remote locations with exotic birds and animals
  • Travelers seeking a small ship experience with high impact adventure
  • Travelers looking for a small ship experience
  • Those looking for expedition and unique cruises off the beaten track
     
LINES WITH SAILING VESSELS AND YACHTS
This segment of the cruise industry is unusual, offering a different type of experience and ship. Seasoned travelers as well as budget- conscious travelers will have an interest in these lines. These typically smaller cruise lines offer immersion experiences in at various destinations. Some are yachts, sail-assisted ships, and dual-purpose cargo/passenger ships. All generally are regarded as the ”specialty lines.”
Lines that fall into this category are: These lines are well suited for:
  • Adults looking for a sophisticated, intimate small ship experience
  • Travelers seeking an educational experience and a vacation filled with history and culture
  • Seasoned travelers and, adults who are destination-oriented
  • Highly educated travelers looking for an historically rich vacation
  • Those seeking to meet experts in their field who have a vast knowledge of the cities visited
  • Those who enjoy an educational type of vacation
  • Those who enjoy traveling and enjoying the company of conversation with noteworthy academic experts
     

Want to know more about the lines?  You can read about our writer’s experiences on the different lines by visiting our comprehensive Travel Diaries page here.

And we are featuring these writers this month:

Cindy Boal Janssens sails on the new Scenic Jade river ship on the Danube from Nuremburg to Budapest. Read her reports.

Jackie Finch makes her first trip to Greece on the Louis Cristal. Read her impressions here.

Welcome Len Kaufman as ATC's featured cruise videographer. View his exciting videos here.

New ATC blogger David G. Houser sails on the small ship Independence with American Cruise Lines.

Robert W. Bone is sailing from Quebec City to Boston on HAL's Veendam. Read his travel diary.

Julie Hatfield embarks on an Adriatric Odyssey aboard the Panorama. Follow her here.

Marcia Levin travels on European Waterways's L'Impressioniste barge in Southern Burgundy. Read her reports here.

Gerry Barker goes on a concert cruise with Carnival. See if he likes it!

See all Travel Diaries here.
 


More Information About the Lines:

Everything you need to know about the various cruise lines and their ships:
https://www.cruisecompete.com/lines/cruise_lines.html

Which lines are all-inclusive? What do the lines offer to keep your experience over the top?
https://allthingscruise.com/all-inclusive/
 


Time Sensitive Deals from the CruiseCompete Blog:

Contemporary Cruise Line Deals:

Princess Cruises: Princess Cruises has three free offers for guests booking Alaska, Europe or Japan cruises and cruisetours sailing in 2015. The “3 For Free” sales event not only includes free stateroom location upgrades, a free shore excursion credit and free onboard spending credit, but also features a refundable deposit of only $100 per person. Runs through November 20, 2014. For details click here.

Royal Caribbean International: This is the last week to take advantage of Royal Caribbean International's WOW promotion. This promotion has three ways to save including buy one get the second guest 50% off. This ends September 15, 2015, so book quickly. For details, click here.

Premium Cruise Line Deals:

Cunard Line: Guests who book their 2016 World and Exotic Cruise adventures before February 28, 2015, will receive a reduced deposit of 15 percent and on board credit up to $3,000 per stateroom on Full World Cruises and Segments between 25 and 90 days, as well as free gratuities of up to $3,267 per stateroom (based on the 121-day Queen Elizabeth World Cruise) for voyages of 91 or more days. For more information click here.

Ultra Premium Cruise Line Deals:

Oceania Cruises: For a limited time Oceania Cruises is offering 2 for 1 cruise fares plus free airfare on select Fall 2014 sailings. Fares expire 12/31/14. For details click here.

Windstar Cruises: Book by October 31, 2014, and take advantage of saving of up to 61% plus receive 2 free hotel nights for select 2015 Europe sailings. For details click here.

Ultra Luxury Cruise Line Deals:

Crystal Cruises: Book select sailings with Crystal Cruise by October 31, 2014, to take advantage of book now savings. . Fares start at just $1,400 per person. For details click here.

Paul Gauguin Cruises: Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program free on select holiday cruises. . These sailings also qualify for 50% all inclusive fares plus free airfare from Los Angeles. Fares start at $5,195. For details click here.

River Cruise Line Deals:

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection: For a limited time Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering 2 ways to save on select holiday itineraries. Couples can save up to $2,500 on cruise and air or solo travelers can enjoy no single supplement. This offer expires September 30, 2014. For details and sailing dates click here.

Sailing Vessel/Yacht Cruise Line Deals:
Star Clippers: Star Clippers is offering great savings on select Mediterranean and French Riviera cruise when booked by September 30, 2014. Rates from $2,499 per person, including air and taxes! For sailing dates and details click here
 


Cruise Specials by Price… Under $500 to Over $25,000. See them all here.

Cruise Specials by Region…Africa and Alaska to Transoceanic and World Cruises… And everywhere in between. See the cruise regions here.

Cruise Specials by Cruise Line… See offers from all the cruise lines here.

Cruise Specials by Category… Adventure, River, Honeymoon and more! See them here.

Cruise Specials by Length… 3 days, to 6 months or more. See all the options here.

Cruise Specials by Month… Now through December 2015. Get a month by month breakdown by clicking here.

Holiday Cruise Specials… Celebrate your holidays with a cruise. To see all the holiday options, click here.
 

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We are interested and truly welcome and encourage feedback about our Currents newsletter. Please email any comments or suggestions to Heidi Allison, Executive VP & Group Publisher, at Heidi@AllThingsCruise.com

 


 
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