some string here
POSTCARD: Sail the High Seas in High StyleCRUISE WITH CONFIDENCE: Top Cruise ArticlesMORE: Must-Know Secret
The recent sinking of a Costa cruise ship off Italy may have you wondering about the wisdom of a cruising vacation right now. But let us assure you, cruising is much safer than driving your car to work. Millions of people--15 million in the U.S. alone last year--enjoy cruise vacations every year, and the incidence of serious accidents or safety issues at sea is miniscule. No doubt the recent disaster will focus even more attention on safety. While all cruising has a good safety record, we still tend to favor the smaller and more luxurious ships, where security seems better, the crew-to-passenger ratio is righer, and there's less chance of mass confusion should a major incident occur.
If you're considering a cruise, now is the time to plan, during "Wave Season"--traditionally the months from January through March--when cruise bookings and deals are at their peak. The Costa incident aside, it looks like 2012 is gearing up to be another good year for cruising. Cruise pricing has been rising, so early planning and booking is key.
Below is a roundup of need-to-know cruising tips, insight, and deals that hopefully will pique your interest in an exhilirating and safe cruise vacation. For some inside advice on cruise safety, read Hideaways President Mike Thiel's tips. Need more help? Call Hideaways Travel Services at 800-843-4433.
We'd like to know what you think: Is cruising safe? Has the Costa Concordia disaster changed your mind about cruising? Take our short poll.
Our Top 4 Cruising Tips A marketing company that tracks online travel activity reports that only 7% of cruises are booked online. That's because cruisers need the services of an expert travel agent to help them navigate the complexities of cruise bookings, to say nothing of sorting through the dizzying number of destinations, cruise lines, individual ships, and itineraries.
First-hand advice from the Cruise Specialists at Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433) will prove invaluable when it comes time to book, whether it's your first cruise or your fifty-first. Here's a sneak peek at the kind of priceless advice you'll get.
1. If you want the least rocky ride, choose a cabin near the middle of the ship and as low as possible. If you don't care about foot traffic outsider your cabin, choose one near the elevator or stairs for ease in getting around.
2. Spend the extra money to book an ocean-view cabin, at a minimum. For even more space and amenities, we recommend a suite or stateroom with a private veranda.
3. Frequent cruisers often earn discounts for repeat travel with the same line. Discounts are also offered for back-to-back cruises.
4. If you like the idea of visiting unique, hard-to-reach ports of call--like the upper reaches of the Amazon--choose a small-sized ship. It'll be able to maneuver into fascinating ports that the larger ships can only dream of visiting.Read the Rest of Our Cruise Insight Find out more about your (many) cruising options, the lines we like best, fantastic advice directly from members, and more!
Secret to Smooth Sailing The Cruise Specialists of Hideaways Travel Services will help you navigate the often-confusing waters of a cruise booking, so you can count on smooth sailing ahead. We know the destinations, lines, ships, and itineraries, and will introduce you to the one that best matches your style and budget. Don't forget: When you book a cruise with Hideaways on one of our preferred cruise lines—Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, AmaWaterways, and more—you'll receive an in-cabin gift and a one-year membership/extension in the Hideaways Aficionado Club (a $195 value!).
"This was the first cruise my wife and I had taken. We are spoiled for life. We met a group [and] one of the couples has been on 20 cruises and said, 'You started at the top.' That was great to know, and it was just more proof that Hideaways is a great club to belong to. We are grateful for the good advice you have given us over the years."--Bruce Van Wyk, ColoradoCall us, toll-free:800-843-4433
Cruise with Confidence: Our Top Cruising ArticlesWe at Hideaways have been touting the benefits of luxe cruising almost since opening our doors back in 1979. Over the years, we've shared scores of cruising insight in articles written by both staffers and members of the Hideaways Aficionado Club. Here, we share some of our favorites.
Must-Read Member Round-Up: Cruising the World, Your Way
Oceania Cruises: Enlightening a First-Time Cruiser and The Black Sea, Unveiled
Paul Gauguin: Cruising Where Life Imitates Art
AmaWaterways: Making a Difference, One Cruise at a Time
Silversea Cruise Lines: Getting to Know: The Silversea Experience
Celebrity Cruises: Getting to Know: Celebrity Cruises and Something to Celebrate
Crystal Cruises: A Luxury Cruise Aboard Crystal Cruises
Holland America Line: An Arctic Circle Adventure
SeaDream: Traveler's Journal: Can SeaDream Be That Good?
European River Cruising: Rolling on the River and Barging Through Europe
From the Field - 1/12 - Safety At Sea