46003731 - big cruise ship in the sea at sunset. beautiful seascape

photo credit: Olga Gavrilova, stock photo 4600373, 123rf.com

I used to think the worst part of travel was the packing and unpacking, but my opinion has changed. The worst part of travel is winnowing down the gazillion options available to the one trip that is meaningful and affordable. It is overwhelming and time-consuming. Especially with cruises.

Ed and I have had multiple great experiences on Holland America. Many of the ships are identical, so if you become a serial cruiser, everything feels familiar. It’s kind of middle of the road (like us!), enough fancy to be special and yet down to earth fun. The travel crowd seemed a little old to us, until we realized, we are about the same age. Reality is harsh. Even on a cruise.

“What about other cruise lines?” we asked. Enter Nancy Dinsdale from Above and Beyond Travel, our travel guru extraordinaire. She has all the details!

There are many different “Classes” of cruise lines available to many destinations, and while they are similar in a number of ways, they can be quite different as well.
Economical – Carnival Cruises. This is a competitively priced cruise line, that is a good first cruise for travelers, or those who want to have the best pricing. Usually attracts a younger clientele.
Moderate – There are a number of Moderate cruise lines, but Royal Caribbean tends to be a very popular one with travel agents ‘in the know,’ as they are great at the whole package in a fairly priced market. They are one of the most popular and often repeated cruise lines for good reason. This appeals to couples, families and seniors.
First Class – Celebrity Cruise line. This is owned by the same company as Royal Caribbean, but is one notch up on decor, food, and service. The age group averages between 50- to 70-year-olds.
Luxury – Regents Seven Seas, Oceania, Silversea. These are all top of the line and All Inclusive. Usually there are no extra costs and they are top notch on decor, food, tours, and most of all customer service.

If you plan to take a cruise soon and, like us, have been overwhelmed by the tidal wave of choices, Nancy can help you sort through the options, fast.

Then comes the packing…and I can save you time and energy with my new Packing CheatSheet! Enter your name and email in the communication box at the top of the page and I will send you my travel-tested, quick and easy, light packing instructions. Plus, I am including my Toiletries Checklist! You will never be without the stuff you need on another trip again!

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