Susan Michelle's Compass
Treasures Abound On High Seas””Take A Cruise!
By Susan Michelle
Oct 17, 2009 - 6:51:43 PM

LOS ANGELES—With modern-day pirate attacks, illness outbreaks and passengers falling overboard, cruise lines have been getting a bad rap lately.  Doesn’t help that jetsetters have always looked down on cruises, believing the boats only to be bastions of geezers and cheesesters, but, for those willing to take another look, there’s never been a better time to take a cruise.  Here’s why:

1.)    THEY’RE CHEAP: With consumers keeping tight reigns on their pocketbooks during the recession, many have put a freeze on unnecessary luxury expenses such as cruising.  The result?  “The worst booking slump in modern-day cruise history,” according to industry newsletter, Cruise Week.  The upside?  “Unprecedented low pricing”: $499/week in Europe; $99 for a three-night Mexican cruise that normally costs $750; “2-for-1” discounts; free room upgrades; airfares included; spending accounts for spa services, cocktails, or shore excursions; kids sail free; no single-occupancy surcharges”¦it’s deal-city!  

2.)    NEW SHIPS: Cruise ships have long had a certain uniform style perhaps best described as Sizzler meets Vegas.  But with new ships launching every couple months lately, ship design is becoming downright hip.  When Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas” launches in December 2009, it will be the largest cruise ship at sea, with unprecedented offerings: a zipline, a vintage carousel, surfing simulators and huge, two-story loft suites with balconies, bars and/or a piano of your own.  The Celebrity Equinox, launched this summer, has white, Jetsons-like interior design and a half-acre Lawn Club for picnics or bocce ball.  And Carnival’s Dream, new this September, has its own water park and premium bedding.  Sure, bunk beds and midnight buffets are still to be expected, but things like spas, adults-only pool areas, and multiple restaurant choices are becoming far more the norm on open waters.

3.)    FAMILY FUN: Whether your children are toddlers or grown adults, taking a cruise together is one of the easiest and most fun vacation options for a family.  You can see multiple locales without the hassle of packing up and moving every day.  There’s amusement for everyone: Musical stage shows for the grandparents, cooking classes with world-renowned chefs for parents, dance clubs for teens only and educational treasure hunts for the kiddies.  At night, you can all reconvene over incredible meals where even the most finicky eaters are sure to find something to stuff themselves with.  Three sundaes for dinner?  Why not?!  It’s all included, so no worries about what food costs and who’s picking up the tab.  The kids can then go off to a slumber party or babysitter while Mom and Dad catch a movie or sip romantic moon-lit daiquiris.   You won’t even need to stress about taking pictures on-board—that’s what the ship photographer is for.  

Cruise vacations are about as worry-free as they come, with new routes being announced every week of late, from Disney heading to Alaska, to Costa hitting New England.  For pirates, sailing the high seas has always been about looking for treasure—for smart travelers of the modern era, the cruise ships ARE the treasure.  All aboard!


About the Author
: A former Hollywood producer and now second-generation travel professional, Susan Michelle travels the planet as the “face” of the fashion-forward Compass travel lifestyle brand. For more articles, tips and hot spots from Susan write her directly at

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