Day 28/30 – Why cruise vacations are selling like hotcakes nowadays

Yesterday, I went aboard the biggest cruise in Asia – Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas. With a capacity of 4905 passengers, 2091 cabins, and high-tech fittings and facilities, she is indeed a gorgeous ship.

This got me thinking. Since early last year, we’ve noticed increasing enquiries and bookings for cruise liners. From Star Cruises to Genting Dream lines to Royal Caribbean to Norwegian lines, the appetite for cruise vacations is noticeably stronger, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down

Cruise vacations used to be perceived as just a ship sailing in the middle of the sea doing nothing and its passengers being bored. Boy oh boy, are those days long gone. Cruises are not what they used to be. After being on 2 cruise vacations and visiting 6 cruise ships, I can see the appeal of a cruise vacation to the consumers

Cruises are decorated and built nicer than 5 star hotels nowadays. The Spectrum of the Sea, for example, features a Royal Promenade which looks like a high-class shopping mall. Sometimes, you won’t even realise that you are in a cruise

Doesn’t look like a ship right? There’s also a 5-6 storey high chandelier behind me

Cruise vacations also give you a bang for your buck. From approximately RM1,800 onwards per person, you’ll be able to enjoy a vacation that include meals with pretty damn good selections, tonnes of activities and performances, and also chances to visit various cities that each respective cruise line ports at. It’s not easy to find that same kind of value for that price range in normal tour packages

Cruise vacations are extremely suitable for families. Often times, couples with young kids and also elderly parents find it very hard to go on vacations together. Younger kids would want to play and experience kid activities, the elderly would want a more relaxed vacation; and couples often times find it hard to do so on normal tour packages. However, on a cruise, everybody is on the same ship and can participate in whatever activities they prefer without having to worry that someone will get lost

Like to swim and run around? There’s a pool. Like to relax while the kids are busy? There’s a spa. Like to just sit down and play mahjong? There are mahjong tables.

Even better is that most modern cruise liners are disabled and wheelchair friendly, on all the cruise I’ve been on, I’ve seen people with wheelchair needs having no issues going around the ship

As for activities, there is literally activities to satisfy the needs of any age group. Some of the activities are chargeable but the majority of the activities are already included in the cruise fare. Here’s a list of the activities that I can recall from memory on the cruise liners that I’ve been on:

  • Mahjong tables / rooms
  • Swimming pools
  • Jacuzzis
  • Arcades
  • Basketball Court
  • Futsal Court
  • Bumper cars
  • Movie sessions
  • Question and answer sessions (for kids and adults)
  • Rock climbing
  • Water slides
  • Gym
  • Jogging track
  • Yoga / Zumba classes
  • Casino
  • Bingo (the kind where you need to bet money)
  • Spa
  • Duty free shops
  • Bars
  • Library (hard to believe right? there’s a library on Spectrum of the Seas)
  • Surfing
  • Diving pods
  • Pods that lift you up to around 20 – 25 storeys high for an aerial view of the sunset or the ocean
  • Cooking classes
  • Indoor skydiving
  • Real life monopoly games

… and I’m sure there is a tonne more of activities that I can’t remember

Surfing on a cruise? No problem!
Sky Diving on a cruise!

I haven’t even started on the performances, there are performances that are constantly happening throughout the day, some of the performances that I can recall include

  • Aqua (the Thailand type) performances (non sexual)
  • Magic performances
  • Talent shows (knife throwing, singing, stunts etc)
  • Theatrical shows (there are some which are pretty good)
  • Freestyle acrobatic performances
  • Live band performances
  • Singing performances
  • Various type of dance performances
  • Topless shows (I’m not kidding, it costs around SGD50 – 80 if I remember correctly)

Cruises are getting so competitive for the Asian market that some liners are built or modified to specifically to serve Asians! From the decor to the food to the activities, cruise liners are really doing a pretty good job

So, if you haven’t been on a cruise vacation. I highly recommend that you go on one, and bring your family along too

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you if you have any similar cruise vacation experiences!

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