Many people who haven’t cruised, or have had a bad experience on an early cruised, have written off cruising as a viable travel choice. Ned Levi discusses some potential alternatives to mainstream cruising, which may be worth considering by travelers who’ve decided, to date, to never consider cruising.
“Champagne?” the tuxedoed waiter asks, “Yes, that would wonderful,” I reply. I have just boarded the brand-new Silver Spirit in Monte Carlo for its first sailing with passengers. The moment is surreal and a far cry from my previous voyage a few months earlier during Silver Spirit’s sea trials when the vessel was still under construction and where instead of champagne I shared breakfast pizza and espressos with the shipyard workers onboard.
At this time of year, just about everyone devotes a column to predictions for the year ahead. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I can tell you the shape of things to come on the high seas in 2009: no fuel supplements (for now), massive tonnage, new luxury, greener ships, ship makeovers, and — would you believe? — zip-lining and a carousel.
Luxury cruising is booming. With nine new ships on order, the luxury lines are looking at 32 ships and 11,790 berths by 2012 — the largest capacity in the sector’s history. Anita Dunham-Potter takes a look at the trend.