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CruiseCompete Currents
Cruise News and Information
January 28, 2013

Defining the All-Inclusive Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean Announces Complimentary Beverages (Balcony or Suites during limited April voyages), and News about Royal Caribbean, Windstar and Azamara – plus Win a Kindle for Participating in the All Things Cruise Forum!

Dear Readers,

More and more these days we hear about all-inclusive cruising. This has become a particularly hot topic since so many of the large cruise lines have begun charging for all sorts of extras, from sodas to cappuccinos to specialty restaurants.

Which line is truly the most all-inclusive? The answer is one of my very favorite lines, Regent Seven Seas. On many voyages Regent includes everything from airfare to shore excursions to a fully stocked bar in your cabin. See more about Regent Seven Seas.  How do other cruise travelers rank Regent Seven Seas Cruises? Very High

We have put this story together for you so you will easily be able to sort out what is included and what is not for most of the cruise lines.

The key items that passengers are typically interested in are alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and gratuities…but there are lots of other little “extras” that consumers may not have considered, like airport transfers, pre- or post-trip hotel stays and 24-hour cabin service.

The editors at AllThingsCruise thought it was important that you have somewhere to go to know exactly what you are – or aren’t – going to get on your next cruise. We contacted each and every cruise line with a list of 13 cruise amenities and asked them to detail which are included on their ships. The result is a chart posted on AllThingsCruise that we believe will be invaluable to those who want to get the most from their cruise dollar.
Thirty-three cruise lines, including small luxury lines line Silversea, Seabourn and Regent, and river lines like Uniworld, Viking and Scenic, are included. And the large companies are there as well – Carnival, MSC, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL and more.

Studying the chart reveals a trend to including more amenities on smaller ships and fewer on larger ships. For example, the only amenity included on Carnival ships is 24-hour room service and the only amenity on NCL ships are butlers (and only in a very few suites.)
“I frequently sail on smaller ships that include some, but not all, amenities and I am often confused by what I will be paying for and what not,” explains Cynthia Boal Janssens, editor of AllThingsCruise. “So it was obvious that this kind of reference was needed, both for consumers and for travel agents.”

The chart is also annotated with special information about specific lines.

For example:

Cunard – “Stocked in-cabin mini-bar and butler service for Queens Grill guests only. Liquor and wine from mini-bar will be replenished with a charge to guest’s accounts at their request. All standard items replenished daily. QG butler service includes in-room party coordination.”

Disney – “Specialty drinks limited to complimentary soft drinks in dining rooms and 24/7 drink station. Specialty coffees available to concierge guests on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Butler service is included for Concierge guests on all ships.”

AllThingsCruise believes this chart is a service to all cruisers, whether on ships large or small. Please reference the All-Inclusive Chart before planning your next cruise. The chart will be constantly revised as cruise lines change and/or upgrade their amenities programs.
And other notes of interest …
New Cruise Forum, have you checked this out yet? 

As we begin 2013 we would like to announce our new cruise forum, for readers and experts to share ideas, impressions and reviews of the cruise lines and their ships. This is going to be a fantastic way to have discussions and share information within our cruise community. Each month we will give away a Kindle to the person who makes the most comments in our new forum. Or just send us an idea to get this going. Thank you!
Royal Caribbean announces complimentary beverage package offer aboard select April 2013 sailings
For a limited time, vacationers enjoy a complimentary Premium Beverage Package for two when they book a balcony– or higher –category stateroom aboard the following four trans-Atlantic cruises, sailing throughout April 2013:  More……

Azamara: more inclusive amenities Although I have not had the pleasure of cruising on Azamara, I thought this was interesting news we received from Azamara. This is one of the lines I would love to experience. My friends who have sailed with Azamara really loved the ship, the voyage and all of the amenities offered.  More………

Rounding the Horn of South America on the Veendam

In the 19th and early 20th centuries the safest way to get from the U.S. East Coast to the West Coast was to sail around the tip of South America. “Rounding the Horn,” they called it, referring to the often rough and dangerous passage for sailing ships via the island promontory called Cape Horn. Prospectors from the east chose clipper ships to make it to the California Gold Rush. Commercial shipping, too, continued to use the difficult route until 1915, when the Panama Canal was opened.

Today’s modern cruise ships explore attractions along a route via Cape Horn with safety and comfort, especially during the southern hemisphere spring and summer, from about November through April. I had no hesitation in climbing aboard Holland America’s ship, the Veendam for a 14-day passage from Valparaiso, Chile, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. More………

If you are not familiar with Windstar, let me give you a little information about this lovely line.  They offer a unique yachting experience aboard their three tall ships, and the relatively small size (just 148 to 312 passengers) affords Windstar access to small ports and hidden coves that many larger ships cannot visit. See Windstar’s new look and exciting land tours for 2013… More…… 

And do you know “About AllThingsCruise”  and who we are?

AllThingsCruise is a website for cruise enthusiasts, dedicated to the joy of cruise travel and planning the best cruise vacations ever. Its wealth of information includes valuable cruise travel tools – from cruise reviews and feedback, to helpful videos and information for choosing the right ship, to preparing for and enjoying a memorable cruise vacation.

A valuable unique feature of AllThingsCruise is a complimentary e-card with vital cruise line and cruise ship contact information travelers can send to family members and others prior to departure.

AllThingsCruise Find us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter!

New Cruise Forum, have you checked this out yet? 

As we begin 2013 we would like to announce our new cruise forum, for readers and experts to share ideas, impressions and reviews of the cruise lines and their ships. This is going to be a fantastic way to have discussions and share information within our cruise community. Each month we will give away a Kindle to the person who makes the most comments in our new forum. Or just send us an idea to get this going. Thank you!
Which Line is for Me?
We have a great resource page for each and every ship giving you all of the details for the ship you may be considering for your next voyage. Simply click here:
If a picture is worth a thousand words, is a video worth a thousand photos?
Enjoy real live footage of ships and the fabulous amenities they offer
Cruise Shore Excursions
CruiseCompete gives you access to higher quality cruise shore excursions at substantially lower prices than the cruise lines. Enjoy a more intimate 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! 
Simply click on the name of a cruise line or cruise ship below to find available excursions.

Consumers “Kiss and Tell”
Wondering what other consumers have to say about CruiseCompete? We’d like to share some testimonials with you.
Cruise Ship Reviews
What do other consumers have to say about the lines and ships?
Video of the week:  Video: When Should You Cruise for the Best Prices
Summary: Learn how seasonal factors influence cruise demand and prices, and the best times to cruise to save money.   Video Run Time: 1:58 
Looking for past Currents Newsletters? Just click here for more……. ….

We welcome and encourage feedback about our CruiseCompete Currents newsletter: We’re interested in your feedback. Please email any comments or suggestions to Heidi Allison, Executive VP & Group Publisher, at

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