Cunard Cruises – Ten Things To Do

This is a rather cheeky look at things to do on board a typical Cunard cruise to get your imagination going. These are written with tongue in cheek and present things for you to have a laugh at or to do on board that you may not have though of or have thought of but have never said! Here goes:

  • 1 Attend the sailaway parties with a camera!

Many people miss out on this as they are busy acquainting themselves with the ship, unpacking and getting ready for dinner on the first night. Definitely leave these things till later. This is a great way to check out your fellow cruisers, spot the likely characters of the cruise and meet people. Ask them to take a picture of you and offer to take pictures for others. As the band strikes up and the party atmosphere gets going – try out the cocktail of the day. Sail away parties are always held on the aft pool deck of all all 3 ships. The setting and photos from here can be very picturesque with the wake of the ship, the setting sun and your last destination disappearing in to the distance. Plus sail away party photos are a good measure of what you looked like at the start of the cruise!

  • 2 Have a Pre-breakfast in bed every morning

This is an absolute luxury and a great way to wake up in the morning. Fill out your room service card before you go to bed at night and hang it outside your door (room service is FREE). Even if you plan to have breakfast in one of the main restaurants – perhaps just order a cup of tea. As we all know there is nothing like a cup of tea in bed!

  • 3 Make use of the spa.

You don’t have to book treatments to use the facilities of the spa but there is usually an entrance charge. Instead of booking daily you can book a spa pass for the length of your cruise to save money on the daily entrance fee. As the entrance fee keeps the crowds away – it is usually a quiet relaxing place. This is well worth it particularly if you want a tranquil wallow in the thermal pool, read a book or maybe do suduko in peace & quite on a lounger in a fluffy bathrobe. Perhaps use the sauna, steam room or have one of those invigorating showers. The Canyon Ranch spa on board Queen Mary 2 has a large thermal pool with bubbling spring areas and an underwater communal lounger plus a separate hot tub pool. The Royal Spas on board Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth have a thermal relaxation chamber with heated loungers overlooking the sea. These two sister ships also have free saunas in each of the changing rooms for the fitness centre.

  • 4 Try out every bar!

This can be fun as an unofficial bar crawl. On Cunard ships it is a challenge with many bars onboard all very stylish to suit different moods. This is for a bit of lively entertainment in the evening if you don’t fancy the show – plus you have not got far to go home!!! Key drinking establishments include:

  1. The Golden Lion pub serving traditional English Pub Grub at lunch time, pints of bitter, Karaoke and pub quizzes.
  2. The Commodore Club for a perfect cocktail in stylish Art Deco surroundings accompanied by a Pianist.
  3. The Chart room is a great place for a pre dinner aperitif accompanied by a string quartet.
  4. The Veuve Cliquot Champagne bar for a true indulgence.
  • 5 Have formal photo’s taken!

This is great for filling up spare moments during the cruise and can be rather hilarious. Photographers around the ship will offer to take your picture before dinner when you are dressed in your finery with no obligation to buy. There are usually an ever changing variety of back drops to choose from – a fake New York city skyline or Titanic grand staircase or huge picture of the ship to an ornate flower display or simply a white canvas. This then gives you an excuse to seek out your picture in the photo gallery (or rogues gallery as we call it). In so doing you can see everyone else’s picture which is a great talking point. You might spot who is travelling who and have a giggle some pictures that have not turned out quite right. Play spot the bad ones – perhaps a grimace at the wrong time or the top of a palm tree sticking out of someone’s head from the back drop behind.

  • 6 Have Breakfast & Lunch in the Britannia Restaurant

Many people prefer to limit the formality of the main restaurant to dinner only – choosing to have breakfast and lunch in the casual buffet restaurants ( Lido on Queen Elizabeth & Victoria or Kings court on Queen mary 2).. Because of this the Britannia restaurants on the Cunard ships are not as busy as they normally are for Dinner and the atmosphere is surprisingly tranquil. During breakfast and lunch the Britannia restaurants have open seating where breakfast is cooked to order and the choice of menu at lunch time is excellent.

  • 7 Gatecrash Cocktail Parties.

This one is a bit naughty – but if you have ever attended a cocktail party on board ask yourself: “How many times have you been asked to see your invitation?”

  • 8 Try out any Free alternative dining venues at night.

Cunard is keen to encourage you to try out their alternative dining venues for dinner instead of the Britannia restaurant. Visit the Todd English restaurants on Board Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria or the Veranda restaurant on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth. There is a charge for these of $30 per person. It is well worth trying them out particularly if you have received bonus on board credit. However – there are also FREE alternative evening dining options in a section of the buffet restaurants at night. A part of the self service buffet restaurant in the evening is converted to waiter service with set tables, tablecloths and menus. These are very good and give you even more variety to your evening meal choices on board such as Indian, French, Asian Fusion, Thai, Steakhouse and Italian.

  • 9 Have a cocktail at sunset in a hot tub.

Ahhh – Only on a cruise! As your fellow cruisers are running off back to their cabins to get ready for dinner – chill out and head for the hot tub by the pool instead. Try out another of those cocktails of the day and watch the sunset for a relaxed start to an unhurried evening.

  • 10 Attend the Nightclub on the 2nd night and the penultimate night of the cruise.

Most people are too tired to go the nightclub on the first night of the cruise. But lots are tempted to explore the atmosphere on the 2nd night – however if it’s quiet many do not return. Therefore take the opportunity to be a night owl for once, put your dancing shoes on and let your hair down. By this time of the night people are much more relaxed and it’s a great way to make friends. Similarly on the last night of the cruise the nightclub tends to be virtually empty as everyone has packed and are getting ready to depart early the following morning. So the penultimate night of the cruise is when things really get going – inhibitions are thrown aside, the dad dancing is hilarious, requests for popular tunes are in abundance and it’s the prefect way to celebrate an enjoyable cruise.

Our 4-Night Disney Dream Cruise

We’ve visited Disney World in Florida more times than I can count. After so many years of driving to Florida and visiting every theme park in Orlando, it was time for a change. Our bags and passports were ready to travel abroad.

We knew we wanted to go on cruise and we knew we wanted it to be on a Disney ship. After years of wonderful Disney experiences we felt loyalty to the brand and comfortable with their level of family entertainment. We began our research online and started laying out our plan. The first questions we answered were “Where and when are we going?”. Traveling with my my wife and two daughters, we wanted to make sure we had as much available without spending a small fortune. We decided on a four night Bahamian voyage from Cape Canaveral, Florida to the Bahamas. We decided to sail the second week of January to save on Disney’s off-season prices. The itinerary included a stop at Nassau, Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island in the Bahamas) and a full day at sea.

We drove from New York to Jacksonville on Saturday, Jan. 19th 2013. This 14 hour drive has become a yearly ritual for us, so it was just an ordinary occurrence. We departed Jacksonville at 9:00am the following morning in order to arrive at Cape Canaveral in time for our 1:30pm boarding hour. Cape Canaveral is incredibly easy to get to from I-95. We followed the signs to terminal B and before 1:00pm, we were already dropping off our bags and parking our vehicles.

Disney’s terminal at Cape Canaveral offers on-site parking at $15 per night rates. Higher rates apply for premium parking. I’ve read many reviews of families saving about $30 by parking off-site at private parking lots or hotels. Although this may seem like a bargain, I suggest parking at the terminal simply for the convenience. The parking lot is directly connected to the terminal via catwalk. This makes disembarking a breeze, too. Once you round up your bags, all you do is walk across the street and get in your car. No need to wait for any further transportation or taxi’s.

Check-in at the terminal was incredibly fast and easy. Be sure all occupants of your stateroom are together. You will need to sign some paperwork and take a picture that will be used for identification when boarding or disembarking. The entire check-in process, a few pictures, and waiting for our boarding number to be called took roughly twenty minutes. Once we walked into the gangway, we took some more pictures, then entered the ships atrium.

The Disney Dream’s atrium is a huge, rectangular, three-level gathering area adorned with an art-deco glass chandelier, marble steps, a grand piano, and a statue of Admiral Donald Duck. Once onboard, we hardly had a chance to take in the sights before we offered two dining options: option 1 would send us to deck 11 aft for a buffet lunch at Cabanas while option 2 led us down one level to the Enchanted Garden lunch buffet. We chose the Enchanted Garden. The buffet offered many seafood selections like shrimp and crab legs as well as a carving station, cold cuts, vegetables, salad, and grilled lamb chops.

Immediately after lunch, we headed to our stateroom. Our family had chosen a category 4A family verandah room on level 9. Once we entered the room, the first thing we did was figure out the lights. We had to insert a room key at all times in order to turn the power on in the room. Once we figured that out, we explored the balcony. Once we pulled the curtain and opened the sliding glass door, we knew this was the place we’d spend most of cabin time. The balcony added approximately 30 square feet of outdoor real estate. The glass wall offered unobstructed views of ocean while sitting or standing. The balcony had two chairs and a small coffee table that served as our breakfast table every morning.

Once we were acquainted with the room, it was time to head to our station for the mandatory drill. Once the drill was over, we headed to the pool deck for the sail away party. The kids liked the dancing Disney characters and the streamers flying everywhere. Definitely a good time if you have kids. Shortly after the party started, the ship pulled away from the terminal, sailed slowly down the jetty and into open ocean. We watched our first sunset from the deck 12 sports area. Our cruise was finally underway!

That evening we dined at Animator’s Palate. The Disney Cruise Line offers a rotational dining assignment which guarantees at least one meal will be served at each of their three main restaurants. Animator’s Palate is an homage to the artwork of Disney. It also features giant screens depicting characters from Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Our table was directly next to one of the screens. Before we knew it, we were being interviewed by Crush, the sea turtle. The girls really got a laugh when Crush called my glasses “sea goggles”. Our evening ended with chocolates and folded towel swan waiting for us in our room. It was a great way to finish off a very busy day.

We woke up the next morning at 8am knowing that room service will soon deliver our morning order of the day. The coffee, donuts, cookies, hot tea, juice and milk were delivered right on time! We poured our drinks, grabbed our snack and headed right for the balcony. Once outside, in the horizon, we could see some pilot boats approaching and land mass growing behind them. We were slowly approaching Nassau. Once we pulled into Prince Georges Wharf, the ship performed a 180 degree turn in the basin and backed into the port. Directly opposite of our ship was the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas (an Oasis-class ship – the biggest passenger cruise ship in the world). Directly behind this mammoth ship we could see the towers of Atlantis.

Atlantis is located on Paradise Island just north of Nassau. This resort island would be our destination for the day. We booked a tour of the Atlantis Resort through the cruise line. The $59 excursion granted us transportation to and from the terminal, a guided tour of the hotel, and full access to the aquarium and the predators lagoon. We gathered on the ship at D-Lounge to get our wrist bands, hand in our release forms and wait to be escorted to the buses. Once 11am rolled around, our excursion group disembarked the ship and walked about 5 minutes to the bus. The bus, which seated 20 passengers, was perfectly clean, air-conditioned, and proper working order. The bus driver also served as our tour guide of downtown Nassau. The drive took us through the government district as well as famous hotels and landmarks.

Once we reached Atlantis, we were greeted by our hotel tour guide. He first walked us through the stores and fashion boutiques in the hotels lobby. It’s very reminiscent of a Las Vegas-style hotel. We then walked across the hotel casino and main lobby. The tour then proceeded to the underground ruins area called “The Dig”. It’s suppose to mimic an archeological dig of Atlantis’ ruins. The main attraction here is the giant aquarium filled with tropical fish and huge manta rays. Afterwards we toured the main pool grounds of the resort which offered great views of the famous hotel towers. A bit more walking led us to the Predators Lagoon. Here you will walk through an underwater tube surrounded by sand sharks, sting rays, barracuda, and colorful tropical fish. Once the tour ended, we were free to explore any of the grounds we had previously visited including the casino. Around 4pm, we boarded our bus and headed back to downtown Nassau.

Downtown Nassau is full of souvenir shops, retail, and jewelry stores catering to the cruising tourists. The area is very popular and can seem very crowded at times. Despite the crowd, we always felt safe walking around and wish we had more time to explore the area. We did manage to stop by the local Tortuga Rum store for some excellent rum cake!

Once we headed back to the terminal, we walked directly to the immigration office for a passport stamp. The attendant stamped all our passports in no time and with no questions asked. Afterwards, we went through the security check-in and boarded the ship.

Our second evening featured a dinner at the Enchanted Garden. The a la carte menu featured seafood options but also chicken and pork entree’s. If you’re a picky eater you can always order from the kids menu which includes more familiar selections such as burgers, hot dogs, pizza, pasta, and chicken fingers. Every meal also includes an appetizer and dessert. Our evening ended once again with chocolates and a folded towel puppy wishing us a good night.

The third day started with a knock on our door as room service was being delivered Our morning coffee and tea led us once again to the balcony and beautiful view of Castaway Cay! The parasailing and glass-bottom boats were sailing by as we walked out. We could also see the workers on the shore prepping the jet-ski and boat rental areas. The line of cabanas and colorful buildings served as a backdrop to the sparkling blue waters of the Cay. We only had one thing in mind: let’s hit the beach!

Once we left the ship we were greeted by Lilo and Stitch posing for pictures. We also took some pictures of the Dream before boarding the tram car to the beach. Once we reached the beach we picked up three floating tubes, changed into our bathing suits, and hit the water. The beach was gorgeous and offered picture-perfect views of the Disney Dream. This was mid-January so the water was about 70 degrees. It wasn’t ideal swimming temperatures but the sun was hot enough to keep us warm.

Around 1pm we decided to eat at the nearby restaurant, Cookies II, an outdoor grill-style eatery. Cookies II served up burgers, hot dogs, ribs, chicken, as well as a variety of salads and sides. Endless drinks and an ice cream are also available. Dining at these restaurants is included in the price of the cruise so no extra money is required on the island. If you wish to rent any beach equipment once there, you simply swipe your room key and the charge will added to your room.

After lunch, we decided this was perfect time to head back to the ship and hit the Aqua-Duck ride. We boarded in a flash and headed straight to deck 12. There was a very short waiting line for the ride, much shorter than we had seen previously. We rode the Aqua-Duck several times before finally heading back to our stateroom. When we did arrive at our room we had pirate bandana’s waiting for us on our bed. It was pirate night!

Our third dinner was at the Royal Palace. It was also pirate night on the Disney Dream. The entire staff is dressed in the pirate garb and a surprisingly large amount of guests wore full pirate costumes! The menu also featured a pirate theme with selections such as Jolly Roger’s salad, and Jack Sparrow braised short ribs. The evenings festivities also included the “Pirates IN the Caribbean” live-action show followed by the “Buccaneer’s Blast” fireworks! At the time, the Disney Dream was the only vessel featuring fireworks at sea. They were a real treat! We we retreated to our stateroom we were greeted by a folded towel monkey hanging from the ceiling and a handful of chocolates spread out on the bed.

Our fourth day was a full day at sea. With no set plans in mind, we knew this would be our only chance to sleep in late. We also knew this would be our only chance to explore the ship. We had our room service delivered at 9am this morning. We spent a good amount of time just relaxing and enjoying the view from our verandah. We then headed out on our ship exploration campaign. Our first stop on the ship was the outdoor promenade on level 4. After walking around the promenade, we headed indoors to the shutters photo studio. After a quick review of the family pictures, we decided to buy the DVD package which includes every printed 8×10 along with a digital copy for future printings.

We then headed to level 3 forward to visit the retail stores. Here we picked up all our souvenirs including Disney Cruise sweatshirts, shot glasses, and resin models of the ship. We then decided to walk the three levels of the atrium where we encountered a photo-op with none other than Captain Mickey Mouse himself! Immediately afterwards, we headed to the Walt Disney Theater to see the musical show “Believe”. “Believe” is a tale of father who’s so busy with his work to realize the real important things in life are not things, it’s people. The show is must-see for all families and I highly recommend it.

Further exploration of the ship took us around the multiple lounges and clubs in decks 4 and 5. We then headed to deck 11 aft for lunch at Cabanas buffet. After lunch we trekked across the 11th and 12th decks exploring the pool areas, sunbathing lounges and sports complex. Seeing all the fun had us rushing back to our staterooms and changing into our bathing suits for a few more rides on Aqua-Duck. My wife also had time to take in a few rounds of Bingo while we spent our time outdoors.

Our last dinner on the Disney Dream was once again at the Royal Palace. The menu featured a French theme with appetizers like French Onion soup, and crème brulee desserts. Entrees included beef tenderloin, baked salmon, organic chicken breast, and others. Our final evening also featured a folded towel rabbit, some more chocolates and a customer satisfaction survey. They’ll also give you a brochure for booking future sailings which includes an onboard discount of 10%. After dinner, we packed our bags and placed them outside our door for pick-up. It was our final night on the Disney Dream and our final view of the starry sky from our balcony. Our Dream vacation was coming to an end and much sooner than we’d like.

Our final morning on the Disney Dream offered a sit-down breakfast at the Royal Palace. It was the final chance to exchange pleasantries and well-wishes with our dining staff. Our waiters, which had been with us throughout the entire voyage, were cordial and incredibly attentive. For those four evenings and final morning, they were part of the family. It’s all part of the Disney charm that keeps everyone exclaiming how wonderful Disney destinations can be.

After our breakfast, it was time to disembark. It was bitter-sweet to step off the Dream and back to the cool Florida winter weather. We rounded up our bags, walked to the parking deck, and hit the road to New York once more: an experience we hope to repeat soon!

Disney Baltic Cruise

I would like to explain what my family and I did each day as we enjoyed our family vacation aboard the Disney Magic;

Day 1; We arrived at the port in Copenhagen, Denmark around 1:00pm, though you can board as early as 11am. We gave ourselves 3 hours to board (the ship sets sail at 4pm) so that we could explore Copenhagen before we left on our vacation. This day included us exploring the boat and signing up for kids clubs. One of the amazing things about Disney, is their kids clubs. They have rooms for different aged kids to go hang out in, participate in activities and make new friends. This gives parents a chance to have some time alone and know their children are safe and having fun. After exploring the boat, everyone came together at Deck 9 to set sail and have fun during “Mickey’s Sailing Away Party.” During this, everyone waves to the passengers staying in Copenhagen & dances along with Mickey & his friends on stage. Once this is over, we headed to the 6:30pm theater show. Depending on the dinner time you request (6:00pm or 8:30pm) you will either watch the theater show at 6:30pm or 8:30pm, the opposite time that your eating dinner. I absolutely love the shows. Disney does an amazing job coming up with themes and special acts to entertain their audience.

Day 2 was a “Day at Sea”, so that means we didn’t stop anywhere. We enjoyed our day watching Disney movies at Buena Vista Theater, participating in games at Vibe (a teen club), eating lunch at Cabanas (the buffet at deck 9), enjoying yet another theater show, & eating dinner at one of the three rotational dining restaurants (Lumiere’s, Animators Palate, or Cariocas.) Depending on your room card, you will rotate between these three different yummy restaurants. This night included Formal Dinner. This means we were encouraged to dress fancy (like dresses & skirts or suits for men.) Day’s at sea are, in my opinion, one of the best days on the boat. Disney provides their guests with the option of either Cabanas (the buffet on deck 9), Lumiere’s (one of the 3 rotational dining restaurants), or one of the quick service restaurants on deck 9. The quick service restaurants include Daisy’s Delights (a sandwich, salad, fruit, and cookie stand), Pete’s Boiler Bites (a hamburger, hotdog, taco, etc… american fare type of stand), and Pinocchio’s Pizza (a pizza stand where you can build any pizza you prefer.) Disney Magic does a fantastic job creating grade A food all day and making sure to cook the food in a fast manner, but keeping the flavor incredible. Now, the food is not the only reason I absolutely love day’s at sea. Though food is a key factor, Disney also provides their guests with a news article every night, allowing them to see what activities are brewing for them the next day (you also have the option of using their Disney Cruise Line app to see the activities and menus for each day.) This activities sheet is always filled with karaoke, newly released movies, workout games, and more during the days at sea. Disney makes sure their guests always have something fun and new to do on the boat, knowing some might get bored not having anywhere to dock.

Day 3 we stopped in Tallinn, Estonia. We arrived and walked Tallinn Old Town, which gave us a real idea of their culture. We also explored the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, The Estonian Maritime Museum (an old prison), and Fat Margarets Tower (a large building next to the ship.) Like most of you know, northern Europe has very sketchy weather. Knowing this, I packed a range of different clothes and layers. Tallinn stayed in the 60 degree F area during most of our visit, which was amazing. I wore leggings (lululemon), a tank top (lululemon), a long sweater (Madewell), and tennis shoes (New Balance.) My dad and brother were able to wear just shorts and a t shirt, so it really depends on your tolerance for cool weather. I am a small girl, so the wind was a little chilly for me, explaining the long sweater.

Day 4 we stopped in St. Petersburg, Russia. On this day, we decided to get a bus driver and a tour guide (Alla Tours.) St. Petersburg had multiple churches (Church of the Spilled Blood for example) and palaces (Catherine’s Palace), so we needed someone to help us find our way around. I recommend finding yourself a tour guide you trust (like Alla Tours), because during our visit to Catherine’s Palace (and a few other city monuments), the line wrapped around the building to get in, but our tour guide found a way to skip the line and sneak us in, in only 15 minutes. Like Tallinn, St. Petersburg’s weather was very strange. The morning was chilly and forced me to wear a scarf (Madewell) and a thick jacket (Madewell), but later in the day the temperature got warmer (maybe 67 degrees F) which allowed me to wear just a light rain jacket (Spice), because St. Petersburg did tend to sprinkle every so often. On this night, there was no theater show due to all aboard being at 11:30pm. This means, you had the option of staying out in Russia till 11:30pm or coming early and having dinner but no show.

Day 5 we stopped in Helsinki, Finland. This day was a bit shorter because all aboard was around 5pm. We decided to ride a carousel to see the town & take a boat ride to explore a small island with history about Finland (Suomenlinna.) We did not realize how large and historic Suomenlinna was, so we were unable to see all of its rich history. I recommend spending multiple hours here, if you decide to visit this location in Finland. This night included the Semi Formal Dinner. This means we had to dress up a little nicer than usual for our dinner, to take pictures. Disney does not require you to dress up any of the nights on cruise, but during these special nights, it is highly encouraged. I wore a mini skirt (Abercrombie & Fitch), a tank top (American Eagle), and sandals (Tory Burch.)

Day 6 we stopped in Stockholm, Sweden. This day was even shorter because all aboard was 3:30pm. We decided to visit the Armory & the Royal Palace next to it. If you are traveling with any boys or men, I recommend visiting the Armory. It was very cool for my brother and dad to see all of the military armor, weaponry, and royal carriages. We also purchased tickets for the Hop on Hop off bus, but it was very busy and packed (due to all the ships docked in Stockholm that day), I would not recommend buying a ticket for this bus in this town. This night Disney included “Anna & Elsa’s Frozen Deck Party”, which meant we all went up on Deck 9 before dinner to watch the Frozen characters dance and sing on stage. Disney also changed up their theater show on this night. Unlike their normal broadway style show, they provided us with a comedian show.

Day 7 was our final day, which means it was another “Day at Sea.” This day was a lot like Day 2, except that the cruise included activities like scrap booking all your memories & jack jack’s diaper dash (a race between babies who can crawl.) Usually my family and I prefer to eat lunch at Cabanas (the unlimited buffet is always nice), but on this day, my dad and I decided to try out Lumieres for lunch. I had the cuban sandwich and parmesan veal with pasta (two entrees were a must on this day) and my dad had the shrimp and pad thai noodles. Both meals were fantastic! Disney once again found a way to blow us away. Once the day was nearly to an end, we enjoyed the final show (Disney Dreams) & a dinner at Animators Palate (one of the three rotational restaurants.) After all was finished, the cruise wrapped up the day by having a “See you real soon” party in the Lobby Atrium on Deck 3. This show included a wave good bye to all the characters on board and a pin trading session (all the guests on board came together to trade their Disney pins.)

Day 8 was our final morning on the boat, which meant you went to breakfast at the place you had dinner at the night before or eat at Cabanas (the buffet on Deck 9.) For my family and I, we ate at Animators Palate once more. After eating the final meal on the ship, everyone disembarked and headed to the airport to fly home. Disney allows all of their guests to eat and explore the ship before leaving, which was nice because we didn’t feel rushed to get off the boat and let the new guests begin their vacation.

Family Discount Cruises, Fact or Fiction?

Many people believe Family Discount Cruises are nothing more than a myth. This group tends to be more likely the inexperienced, infrequent traveler. If you are interested in booking a family vacation cruise you should disregard this popular myth. Believing that family discount cruises do not exist could cost you a lot of money.

Dismiss the myth. Family Discount Cruises do indeed exist and are saving families thousands of dollars while enjoying fantastic, fun filled vacations aboard some amazing luxurious cruise ships.

No matter the economy, people look for discounts, deals and other ways to lower the cost of their vacation. Today, wise shoppers use coupons and other special offers to save money on goods and services. These same shoppers seeking to save money on groceries and other retail goods can save a good deal of money when booking a cruise vacation.

When booking a family discount cruise, there are a number of different options. Before deciding on your next cruise you should investigate every one of them. You’ll be surprised at how many cruise ship discounts are out there.

The most popular and easiest way to find discounts on a wide range of family cruises and vacations is only one click of the mouse.

Simply do a Google search for “Family Discount Cruises” or “Discounted Cruises” and you will find many resources.

Caveat Emptor!

Don’t make a hasty decision. Delay any bookings until you exhausted all options available. There are different resources at your disposal and you should take your time to investigate all of them.

Discount travel websites are popular for finding discounts on cruise and other vacations. Some well known travel sites are Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz to name a few. With regard to travel websites, you are encouraged to exhaust your search completely before providing them with your personal information.

Some people feel comfortable contacting the cruise line directly, particularly if they are looking to take a last minute cruise. One word of caution here. Be aware that the cruise line will not book your cruise. They will always refer you to contact a professional travel agent..

If you belong to a membership club, you should investigate any deals they may be offering. In addition to roadside vehicle assistance, auto clubs provide special deals on a wide range of vacation travel. Another well respected membership club regularly offer great deals to senior citizens.

One alternative to researching Family Discount Cruises is to work with a professional travel agent. Travelers that work with professional agents do so for the personal attention and service not available with travel websites and membership clubs. These professional travel agents operate locally and online.

Another travel myth is that travel agents rates are higher than their online competitors. This is not true.

That myth is totally unfounded by experience. The professional travel agent industry control a large block of travelers and because of their tremendous buying power they do indeed get preferential treatment from every travel vendor.

Cruise lines rely on the profession agents in order to get more of that agents customers. In fact, some well established and well respected travel agencies receive unbelievable deals that are not available to the general public.

With a small amount of time and research or professional assistance you can easily find many low cost cruises.

Why miss out on the fun and excitement of cruising, when you now know there are plenty of Family Discount Cruises available.

You just have to know where to find them.

Crystal Cruise Lines (The Symphony)

Luxury Cruising at its best, with an on board Golf Driving Range, a full service Fitness Facility, two Swimming Pools ,and an elegant Lavish Spa. Elegant staterooms to make into your own private sanctuary if you wish, after all this is your time and your space It’s your time to relax and enjoy the comforts of a Crystal Cruise known on the high seas for serving the finest foods from around the world.

Meals are prepared by hand selected chefs using high quality meats and ingredients which makes dining on board these vessels an epicureans delight.

From the lavish Crystal Dining Room to any of the other restaurants on board you will never be disappointed. Shipboard entertainment can rival that of any in show in Las Vegas with the casino appropriately called Ceasers’ Palace on the High Seas.

The Vista Lounge on the Observation Deck is for the smokers. The ship also has smaller bars which include a Sports Bar and a Piano Bar for quiet evenings with larger bars and lounges for dancing and cocktails. Upon boarding you’ll see the two story Atrium with its sculpture and Cascading Waterfall. If you chose to opt for one of the luxurious Penthouse Suites or one of the Elegant Staterooms a Crystal Cruise will never be a disappointment.

Lido Café: indoor and outdoor seating for breakfast and lunch

Palm Court: afternoon tea or coffee served with sandwiches and pastries

Trident Snack Bar: poolside buffet

Prego: authentic Mediterranean style dishes with a true flavor of Italy

Jade Garden: delectably delicious Asian specialties

Bistro Café; Parisian styled coffee bar

Accommodations:

Penthouse Suite: sizeable living quarters with a large private veranda,, mini bar, T.V., VCR, a large separate bedroom with a queen size bed and a seating area that has a picture window view. Your bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub and a separate shower, a toilet and a bidet, walk – in closets, refrigerator and a safe.

Balcony and Ocean View Staterooms: These staterooms have twin beds that can be made into a queen, sitting area, mini bar T.V., VCR, refrigerator, desk, full bathroom with a shower. Ocean View Staterooms have a picture window and Balcony Suites have a veranda

Nightlife:

Nightly entertainment rivals that of Broadway or Las Vegas with the Galaxy Show Lounge:

Galaxy Show Lounge: Live Broadway shows and Live Music

Avenue Saloon: Perfect for relaxing with an after dinner cocktail

Vista Lounge: (for smokers) on the Observation Deck

The ship also has a small Piano Bar for quiet evenings and a small cozy lounge when you want to be alone with that special someone

Caesers Palace on the Sea: lavish floating resort styled casino on the high seas