SS Norway – A Report on What a Cruise Was Like on the Legendary Vessel

The SS Norway, of the Norwegian Cruise Line, was one of the grande olde ships I had always wanted to go on. Their seven-day cruise was over Thanksgiving out of Miami to the Caribbean. It was a Big Band Cruise with dance hosts and four well-known swing bands from the past. Perfect – I like…

The SS Norway, of the Norwegian Cruise Line, was one of the grande olde ships I had always wanted to go on. Their seven-day cruise was over Thanksgiving out of Miami to the Caribbean. It was a Big Band Cruise with dance hosts and four well-known swing bands from the past. Perfect – I like the old jazz and big band music and I love to dance but often do not have a good dance partner. I signed up.

Sailing on the Norway turned out to be a trip back in time. She was built in 1960 as the famous SS France, more than 1,000 feet long, a 110 foot beam, and with about 2,000 passengers and a crew of 900 who come from all over the world.

You felt the grand tradition as soon as you boarded. The Norway still maintained a style and graciousness reminiscent of earlier cruising. The ship has been refurbished several times, but the art deco murals, hand-laid tile mosaics, polished teak rails, and the nautical antiques from cruises bygone have carefully been preserved, and as you walked the long promenade deck you felt like you were cruising somewhere back in time. As you dined, you knew you were dining where famous stars had dined, and you look at the murals and original art works knowing they were there in those early days when others before you sat in this room, viewed those same murals, and engaged in the same kind of lively conversations with others as you're doing now. Later that evening, you half expect Cary Grant, elegant in his tuxedo, to stroll down the deck and lean nonchalantly next to you on the rail.

It takes a while to find your way around. The Norway is 10 blocks long and 12 decks high. There is an International Deck lined with sidewalk cafés and boutiques; on the Olympic Deck is the fitness center with glass walls so you can exercise while gazing out at the sea; on a lower deck you come upon a decadent Roman Spa that offers massages, aromatherapy, body wraps, saunas, steam rooms, and an indoor pool for water exercise. On various decks are two pools, a jogging track, seven bars, six entertainment lounges, one grand ballroom, a cabaret, a large casino, disco, an ice-cream parlor, library, piano bar, and a theater for first run and old classic films. If you need them, there is a hairdryer, laundry, dry cleaner, masseuse, and medical facilities.

The Norway has 1,039 staterooms, each with individually controlled air-conditioning, private bath with shower, TV, radio and phone. Some rooms have a separate living room and bedroom in addition to a master bedroom. Most penthouse suites have private balconies. One evening we were invited to a party in the owner's suite. It was spectacular, with a wrap-around balcony, living room, bedroom, dressing room and jacuzzi. Our host – a former police officer from Illinois who had won a major lottery of many millions and was celebrating. We had a less spectacular small cabin with a porthole.

Biggest job every day – choosing from among the things to do. There were Broadway shows, exercise classes, dance instruction, basketball, golf driving and putting, paddleball, ping pong, shuffleboard, skeet shooting, snorkeling classes and excursions, volleyball, fashion shows, wine-tasting, art auctions, lectures, a tea for grandparents, a mixer for singles, and a champagne party for honeymooners. There were not many kids aboard this cruise, but usually there was a youth program with a children's playroom, kids and teenager activities, and special shore excursions. How can anyone ever say they would be bored on a cruise?

We left Miami late in the afternoon and the activities started immediately. Some passengers immediately headed for the casino, waiting for it to open when we got outside the legal divisions. The casino was set up for blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, 200 slot machines and a few new games I had not heard of. I was happy on deck, listening to the music, snacking off the welcome-aboard buffet, and watching the shoreline disappear astern.

I was already glad I had made this decision. I felt like a different person. The holiday rush on land does not apply here. I watched the waves break alongside the ship and the wake trail behind. The air was fresh. Holiday fatigue? – poof. The only traffic jam here would be the first people in line waiting to enter the dining room to dig in to another meal. The only decisions would be whether to shop on board, in port, or both, or play golf or tennis, go swimming at some tranquil tropical beach or work hard at deep-sea fishing. And tonight I would have to decide whether to have the conch fritters or shrimp, or fresh baked bread or blueberry muffins, or stuffed Cornish hen or grilled swordfish, or coconut meringue pie or that death-by-chocolate 'dessert. Or a little of each. And I never would have to look for a parking space!

By the first night we were meeting people, and serious dancing had already begun. I have never seen so many people in one place who enjoyed dancing so much and who knew so much about jazz and big band music. You could wander from ballroom to ballroom, and in between on the International Deck you could sit and talk to the passengers reminiscing and comparing memories as they listened to a complimentary 24-hour CD jukebox stocked with choice selections of years of jazz and big band recordings .

Four bands were playing this week, alternating two each night: the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra conducted by Buddy Morrow, Si Zentner and his Orchestra, the Bob Crosby Orchestra conducted by Ed Metz Jr, and the Harry James Orchestra conducted by Art Depew. And every night in the Cafe Internationale, which turned out to be my favorite place, was the band who drummer used to play the background music for the old Fred Astaire movies. He still played the old familiar brush drum arrangements for 'Stepping Out with My Baby' and 'Top Hat and Tails'. I met the six gentlemen dance hosts in their navy blazers and white slacks and danced my first dances.

A few days out at sea the staff began to put up Christmas trees, more than 50, around all the decks. A few passengers helped put on some ornaments. In the spirit of the holidays, the video channel featured classic holiday films as well as period movies, big band performances, and interviews with old well-known big band stars. We all had the holiday spirit. But it's different out here. There's no pressure.

Our first port stop was St. Maarten / St. Martin. (The island is divided in two, half Dutch and half French.) The Dutch port, where we docked, was Philipsburg. On the other side is Marigot, with some seaside French cafés. In between there is the beach at Mullet Bay with lots of rock formations for good photo ops, swimming, and exploring. There is duty-free shopping on both sides, with merchandise ranging from inexpensive t-shirts to expensive jewelry and French and Caribbean designer clothing. Several shore excursions were offered. In the morning we chose to go sailing on a 12-meter racing sailboat that had raced in the America's Cup. In the afternoon we wandered along from shop to shop in the sun with calypso music in the background, then stopped for a cool drink on a restaurant patio along the ocean, and thought about the people shopping in the crowds back home.

Next stop was St. John, the US Virgin Island that is a protected national park. There are empty beaches there and some excellent hiking trails. We chose sailing again, while others chosen beeing, sighting around the island by safari bus, or went on one of several snorkel / scuba dives. Our sailboat took us over to St. Louis Thomas, where we talked up with the ship. Most of the people went into town to do some duty-free shopping so their Christmas shopping would be done when they got home. Others headed for Magen's Bay, most popular beach in the area. Another group went snorkeling at the protected reefs of Buck Island, where feeding fish by hand underwater is a highlight, and others viewed coral and sea life on the Atlantis submarine. We were back on board in plenty of time for a rest and a shower before dinner, and more big band music and dancing.

I have three wonderful memories from the second formal night. One was the group of musicians sitting around the CD juke box, playing the old stuff and reminiscing. “That's Major Holley on bass, with Slam Stewart, one of those wonderful times they played together.” “Who's the drummer?” “Sounds like Oliver Jackson.” “Right. Remember the night …” I just sat and listened, grinning, happy to be part of it.

The second memory was the scene at 1 am in the main ballroom. Some of the older people were sleeping sitting on the side banquettes, too tired to dance anymore, but too stubborn to leave the good music.

It was after 2 am when I started back to my stateroom, taking my usual walk past the CD juke box to get a breath of sea air before turning in. The reminiscing musicians were gone, but one elderly couple were there, slim and tiny in their formal clothes, with their arms around each other, lost in memories, dancing to an old Tommy Dorsey tune. I had tears in my eyes as I walked back to my cabin.

The next day was beach day on a little island in the Bahamas – Great Stirrup Cay. I used to live in the Bahamas on one of the outislands, so it was wonderful to get back to transparent turquoise Bahamian waters. I walked the beach, and remembered my five years living in the islands.

At the end of seven days, the ship was sparkling with decorations, ready for the Christmas and New Year's Cruise. They were already totally booked. But, I thought, I can sign up for next year. But time got away and now she will sail no more.

HISTORY OF THE SS NORWAY

The Norway was christened the SS France in 1960. Length: 1,035 feet, that longest passenger ship then ever built. Along with Cunard's Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, she was one of the grand luxury ships regularly crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

But jet planes came along, and were quicker and cheaper, passenger traffic became unprofitable, and sailings were stopped in 1974. The France languished for several years in the port of Le Havre until pioneer of the cruise industry Knut U. Kloster, bought her for $ 18 million for his Norwegian Caribbean Line (today known as Norwegian Cruise Line) and renamed her the SS Norway. Over the next 10 months some 2,000 workers renovated the ship at the cost of $ 100 million.

She began her new life in the Caribbean, sailing her first seven-day Caribbean cruise June 1, l980 from Miami, her new home port, with an international crew of 800 from some 40 nations. In 1990 she once more returned to the shipyard, this time for a $ 40 million refurbishment, including a 6,000 square foot Roman Spa with pampering fitness, health and beauty programs and two glass-enclosed decks of luxury cabins, including two with floor-to- ceiling windows, wraparound balconies, and jacuzzis with ocean view. In 1993 the ship had a $ 23 million refurbishing and renovation of the 5,000 square foot casino to a mirrored, etched and stained glass Art Deco theme reminiscent of the ship's legendary past.

Her future was unknown for a long time, but now she is headed to be scrap.

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian cruise lines are an increasingly common set of companies when it comes to the cruise line business. When thinking of cruise lines the obvious destinations are placed in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. There is though big business in Norwegian cruise lines. An increasing number of people are booking cruises with Norwegian cruise lines…

Norwegian cruise lines are an increasingly common set of companies when it comes to the cruise line business. When thinking of cruise lines the obvious destinations are placed in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. There is though big business in Norwegian cruise lines.

An increasing number of people are booking cruises with Norwegian cruise lines in order to take in the beauty of Norway and other Scandinavian countries. The coast of Norway is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful coastlines to be found anywhere in the world. There is no better way to take in the wonders of the Norwegian fjords than from the deck of a boat run by one of the Norwegian cruise lines. A fjord is an impressive site from sea level, as it is a long and narrow bay of water enclosed as it is by steep cliffs on either side. The glacial activity that causes the fjord can be seen all around.

It is because not just the fjords that attract people to make use of the Norwegian cruise lines, there are many other sites to be taken in. Pick the time of the year just right and a passenger can view the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The midnight sun is a phenomenon found within the Arctic Circle, and Antarctic. Norwegian cruise lines that take in places like Syalbard in Norway will experience daylight around the clock. Syalbard in fact is famous for having no night from the middle of April to the end of August.

Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, is nature's equivalent to a massive laser show and is a must for anyone on Norwegian cruise lines. You do have to be on the right cruise at the right time though as Aurora Borealis can normally only be seen from March to April or September to October. If you are lucky enough to be on one of the cruises, then you will be able to view a green or red light show.

There are plenty of other things to be taken in when going on ships with Norwegian cruise lines. Norway is full of interesting towns and villages including Oslo, Bergen and Tromso. Tromso is particularly interesting to visitors due to the presence for the large number of wooden houses to be found there. Tromso is also a place for World War II enthusiasts as the place where the Tirpitz battleship was sunk.

Crystal Cruise Lines (The Symphony)

Luxury Cruising at its best, with an on board Golf Driving Range, a full service Fitness Facility, two Swimming Pools, and an elegant Lavish Spa. Elegant staterooms to make into your own private sanctuary if you wish, after all this is your time and your space It's your time to relax and enjoy the comforts…

Luxury Cruising at its best, with an on board Golf Driving Range, a full service Fitness Facility, two Swimming Pools, and an elegant Lavish Spa. Elegant staterooms to make into your own private sanctuary if you wish, after all this is your time and your space It's your time to relax and enjoy the comforts of a Crystal Cruise known on the high seas for serving the finest foods from around the world.

Meals are prepared by hand selected chefs using high quality meats and ingredients which makes dining on board these vessels an epicureans delight.

From the lavish Crystal Dining Room to any of the other restaurants on board you will never be disappointed. Shipboard entertainment can rival that of any in show in Las Vegas with the casino appropriately called Ceasers' Palace on the High Seas.

The Vista Lounge on the Observation Deck is for the smokers. The ship also has smaller bars which include a Sports Bar and a Piano Bar for quiet evenings with larger bars and lounges for dancing and cocktails. Upon boarding you'll see the two story Atrium with its sculpture and Cascading Waterfall. If you chose to opt for one of the luxurious Penthouse Suites or one of the Elegant Staterooms a Crystal Cruise will never be a disappointment.

Lido Café: indoor and outdoor seating for breakfast and lunch

Palm Court: afternoon tea or coffee served with sandwiches and pastries

Trident Snack Bar: poolside buffet

Prego: authentic Mediterranean style dishes with a true flavor of Italy

Jade Garden: delectably delicious Asian specialties

Bistro Café; Parisian styled coffee bar

Accommodations:

Penthouse Suite: sizeable living quarters with a large private veranda ,, mini bar, TV, VCR, a large separate bedroom with a queen size bed and a seating area that has a picture window view. Your bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub and a separate shower, a toilet and a bidet, walk – in closets, refrigerator and a safe.

Balcony and Ocean View Staterooms: These rooms have twin beds that can be made into a queen, sitting area, mini bar TV, VCR, refrigerator, desk, full bathroom with a shower. Ocean View Staterooms have a picture window and Balcony Suites have a veranda

Nightlife:

Nightly entertainment rivals that of Broadway or Las Vegas with the Galaxy Show Lounge:

Galaxy Show Lounge: Live Broadway shows and Live Music

Avenue Saloon: Perfect for relaxing with an after dinner cocktail

Vista Lounge: (for smokers) on the Observation Deck

The ship also has a small Piano Bar for quiet evenings and a small cozy lounge when you want to be alone with that special someone

Caesers Palace on the Sea: lavish floating resort styled casino on the high seas

Royal Caribbean Cruise

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is one of the largest and best known cruise ship companies in the world. It now operates some of the largest cruise ships sailing the world's oceans. An American-Norwegian company, the company runs out of Miami, Florida, although ships are normally classed as Liberian. The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was…

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is one of the largest and best known cruise ship companies in the world. It now operates some of the largest cruise ships sailing the world's oceans.

An American-Norwegian company, the company runs out of Miami, Florida, although ships are normally classed as Liberian. The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was originally founded in 1968 by the amalgamation of three Norwegian shipping companies, Anders Wilhelmsen & Company, Gotaas Larsen and IM Skaugen & Company. Initially catering for Arctic cruises the first couple of ships were the Nordic Prince and Song of Norway. It was not until 1982 that the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line finally made it onto the world's cruise radar, with the building of the Song of America, which was the third largest cruise liner afloat.

Since 1982 the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has continued to sail some of the largest cruise ships afloat. All of their ships consist of “of the seas” as a suffix. There are currently 20 ships sailing under the brand, and are split into six types; Genesis Class, Freedom Class, Voyager Class, Radiance Class, Vision Class and Sovereign Class. A further three ships are under construction and are all being built to ensure that it will continue to operate the largest ships. The Freedom of the Seas was the largest passenger ship in the world and further Genesis Class ships are planned to keep this style up.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line though is not just about their large ships, and the company own a couple of coastal retreats, Labadee in Haiti, and Coco Cay in the Bahamas. Both resorts are often used in conjunction with their cruises, and the sandy beaches do make a nice comparison to a cruise. It also controls a number of brands, including Royal Caribbean International, Azamara Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Island Cruises and Pullmantur Cruises. This makes it one of the largest companies as well as operating the largest ships.

The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is one of the most respected of the world's cruise line companies. Operating the largest ships, and traveling to destinations around the world, sees thousands of passengers board their ships each and every month. Passengers may be first time cruisers but there are also plenty of passengers who are repeat travelers with the company.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Many people are interested in taking up vacation tours in cruise lines. Vacation holidays are meant for enjoyment, relaxation and exploring the unseen nature and environment. It is very important to select the proper cruise lines for a comfortable and memorable journey. Royal Caribbean cruise lines are one amongst the best, which can be opted…

Many people are interested in taking up vacation tours in cruise lines. Vacation holidays are meant for enjoyment, relaxation and exploring the unseen nature and environment. It is very important to select the proper cruise lines for a comfortable and memorable journey. Royal Caribbean cruise lines are one amongst the best, which can be opted for a vacation tour without much worry. The travel in a Royal Caribbean cruise will insure an exciting and fun filled vacation. This articles reviews the benefits of taking a decision in favor of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

The growth of number of people selecting cruise ships for spending holidays aboard is note worthy, especially the increase in the number of travelers opting for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. These cruise lines offer all types of amnests and enjoyment facilities for a family holidaying their vacation. All cruises offer usual amnesties such as on board eating facilities, bars, fun filled activities for children, dance halls and day care centers. Royal Caribbean cruise lines are also not exceptions for these facilities. Actually they offer more more luxurious facilities.

Many reviews relating to the Sovereign of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean ship, was simply presented the high standards of the amenities in the ship. The food items serve in the ship are very delicious and healthy. They are made in very hygienic environment. Special items are made for the esteemed travelers as per the request. Many varieties of tasty pizza, escargot and prime rib are all available aboard of the ship. Many sea fish items are prepared delicately and served hot for the enthusiast travelers.

The spacious cabins, movie halls and dance floors are the specialties of the Royal Caribbean cruises. There are many gambling options, casinos and fun filled activities fitted for any age. Activities including Broadway shows, art auctions and comedy clubs are all added advantages interior to the cruise line. If you like to make a try in adventurous sports, you have the provision for rock climbing and aquatic exercises in the pools in the ship. If you want just spend time you have the option for meditation and relaxation by sitting idle. You can merge with the nature and sea, looking beyond zenith and enjoying the lifetime seclusion in the serene atmosphere. There are many sports activities one can try out. These include ping pone, basketball and baseball.

A Caribbean cruise will have its first stop in Royal Caribbean's private island, which is very attractive. There will be well-planned excursions in to the Island. One can enjoy all the facilities provided by the island. Beaches in the island provide many facilities for scuba diving, swimming and sun bathing.

The travels in Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines are extremely vibrant and dynamic. The price tags are very reasonable and worth to spend. Spending vacation aboard the cruise line is really wonderful and nobody can forget the experience for a lifetime.

Disney Cruises

It is vacation time. Many families are set to plan a best holidaying. They look for fun filled, rejuvenating and memorable vacation. There can be many ideas; one can see numerous options passing through their mind. What is the best option? Especially if you are planning to spend couple days with family and kids, which…

It is vacation time. Many families are set to plan a best holidaying. They look for fun filled, rejuvenating and memorable vacation. There can be many ideas; one can see numerous options passing through their mind. What is the best option? Especially if you are planning to spend couple days with family and kids, which best suit you can select? Disney cruises, is a simple answer to this. There are many reasons to say Disney cruise is the best bet for you to have a pleasant holiday tour.

From 1998 onwards, from its inception Disney cruise has attracted many and continue to attract more and more. This is a spectacular ship, a very popular choice of families to spend their leisure time. The ship is designed thematically, with imposing animated cartoon characters. Do you feel that the holidaying with the animated cartoons will impress only young ones? No, the luxurious facilities and fun filled activities in the Disney cruise are very attractive to people of all ages. Whatever be the age, you will have the choice of variety of activities to forget about your hectic day-to-day activities. Kids fun games and video shows are added to the other facilities.

There are two ships, Disney magic and Disney wonder. Both are made keeping in mind the comforts of the travelers. Disney cruises offer 24-hour room services, and the crews are ready to serve you the way you like. It has got very spacious rooms, furnished completely and neatly. These are decorated exclusively and marvelously. The ship offers variety of eatables, deliciously made. Sea fishes, prawns and many nice options are there in different restaurants aboard. There are many good options of delicious food on the shores as well.

There are special regions exclusively and imposingly designed for the children. They can spend many hours enjoying the Disney world magic. These theme parks have all types of facilities. Video shows, cartoon stories, wonderful games and many such facilities. It is really an entertainment for the kids. The amusing world of cartoons and stories will be a memorable experience for the children.

There are other amnesties also. These include space for dances and music, bar facility, gambling facilities for the elderly, spaciously open area aboard and many such nice facilities. Also one can keep their privacy in the cabins and make the time in seclusion. To relax and to rejuvenate Disney cruise are the best option. There are many online sites offering the booking facility with affordable rates. You can select the proper route and travel plans by consulting the agents prior to the booking.

Princess Cruise Lines

Princess Cruise Lines are part of the biggest cruising companies in the world, although they are still probably best known for the TV series “The Love Boat” from the 1970s. Princess Cruise Lines began in 1966 when the “Princess Patricia” was chartered by Stanley MacDonald to undertake cruises from Los Angeles to the Mexican coastline.…

Princess Cruise Lines are part of the biggest cruising companies in the world, although they are still probably best known for the TV series “The Love Boat” from the 1970s.

Princess Cruise Lines began in 1966 when the “Princess Patricia” was chartered by Stanley MacDonald to undertake cruises from Los Angeles to the Mexican coastline. The ship though had been designed for Arctic cruising, and came without any of the necessary features of an equatorial cruise. The “Princess Patricia” was then replaced by the “Princess Italia” a ship designed for the warmer climes, and was really modern in every aspect. The “Princess Italia” ended up doing Alaskan and European cruises as well. A third ship, the “Princess Carla”, was quickly added to the growing company.

Princess Cruise Lines was going from strength to strength and in 1974 the company was purchased by P & O (the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company), who assed the “Sun Princess” to the fleet. The “Island Princess” and “Pacific Princess” were also built new fro P & O, it was on these two cruise liners that “The Love Boat” was set. P & O already had a large fleet and ships would be transferred between brand names, and the “Sea Princess” sailed for both brands from 1978. It was not until 1984 that the first ship, the “Royal Princess”, was the first liner specifically built for the Princess Cruise Lines Company.

P & O continued to buy other cruise companies and with the purchase of Tour Alaska and Sitmar Line, further ships were acquired and new cruise routes were added to the company. Many ships and routes were added to the Princess Cruise Lines brand. Princess Cruise Lines ended up being separated from P & O in 2000, before Carnival Corporation merged with P & O and all of its separate companies, to incorporate twelve cruising brands.

Princess Cruise Lines is now marketed as Princess Cruises and runs seventeen cruise lines, which include three small ships. All of the liners are designed to provide all of the experiences of a five star hotel, but with what feels like a personal service. Depending on which ship you are on you can expect casinos, theaters and swimming pools. The liners also sail on a wide range of destinations, including world cruises, Alaska, Hawaii, South America, Europe, in fact pretty much anywhere around the world. Cruises from Princess Cruise Lines may not be cheap but they are an unforgettable experience.

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises are some of the most popular cruises of any company. Operating on the largest cruise ships on the world's oceans, Royal Caribbean cruises sail around the world. Twenty ships, like the Freedom of the Seas, transport passengers on Royal Caribbean cruises to destinations at all corners of the globe. One of the…

Royal Caribbean Cruises are some of the most popular cruises of any company. Operating on the largest cruise ships on the world's oceans, Royal Caribbean cruises sail around the world.

Twenty ships, like the Freedom of the Seas, transport passengers on Royal Caribbean cruises to destinations at all corners of the globe. One of the most popular of Royal Caribbean Cruises is the Caribbean and Panama Cruises. This popular cruise take anywhere between nine and fourteen nights, and takes in the islands of the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The Caribbean islands are surrounded by clear water ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving, while the beaches are great for relaxing. The Panama Canal is also a great place to cruise through, and as well as the jungle surroundings, the man made canal is a must see.

Another one of the popular Royal Caribbean Cruises is a trip to the Arctic North, taking in the sights of Canada and Alaska. Usually lasting for a week these cruise vessels take in the sights of the glaciers and stop off at many Arctic ports.

Consider though that Royal Caribbean cruises take in areas from Asia, South America, Europe, North America and Australia. In fact where ever you want to visit you will find a cruise that takes you there. Royal Caribbean cruises though are not just about the on board life, and there are many sites to see on land. Many cruises will spend hours in ports, providing the opportunity to visit many of the world's most magnificent sites including Rome, Paris, and Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue. Many people may be put off by the thought of days at sea but Royal Caribbean cruises also include Cruise tours to places like Australia. Cruise tours combine some sailing with a land journey, which could see several consecutive days being traveled over land. The Europe Cruise tour takes in the major cities of England, Spain, France and Italy.

Many cruise passengers though go on Royal Caribbean cruises for the on board experiences. Royal Caribbean ships are packaged full of things to do. Most include theaters and cinemas, casinos, shops and fitness facilities. Added to the multiple restaurants and bars, many people undertake a cruise and never set foot off their ship. The quality of service is often likened to a first class hotel.

Royal Caribbean cruises are some of the most popular of all cruises on offer, passengers normally come back totally satisfied and often traveling again the next year.

Bodrum Gokova Yacht Cruises – What Can You Expect On Your Voyage?

Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises are a favorite of tourists who vacation in the resort town of Bodrum, in Turkey. This highly popular Mediterranean resort is situated on the Gulf of Gokova's northern coast. Since all Bodrum yacht cruises leave this wonderful city, there's no need to choose between the two. The islands off Turkey's coast…

Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises are a favorite of tourists who vacation in the resort town of Bodrum, in Turkey. This highly popular Mediterranean resort is situated on the Gulf of Gokova's northern coast. Since all Bodrum yacht cruises leave this wonderful city, there's no need to choose between the two.

The islands off Turkey's coast are dotted all over the Gulf of Gokova, and a week will fly by as you try to explore all of them. The translucent water allows you to view the marine life benefit the water without difficulty. On Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, sightseeing, or just basking in the sun with your favorite drink.

Hire an entire yacht for yourself or reserve a cabin on a passenger boat on Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises. Perfect for first-timers to sailing, Bodrum mini cruises are usually between three and five days. With shipmates from all sorts of different countries, you'll enjoy the voyage even more.

Among the wonders Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises take you to are ruins of ancient civilizations and treasures of natural beauty. You may want to spend some time touring the ruins of ancient empires that remain underwater as well as the charming town of Karacasogut and the ancient cities of Caunos and Telmessos. Your itinerary will be based upon the particular cruise you select but anywhere you travel with Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises promises to be spectacular.

Sedir Island, filled with history and known as Cleopatra Island, is another favored stop on Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises. The island's legendary beaches are said to be covered with sand filled with gold dust, which was bought from Egypt by Mark Anthony as a gift for Cleopatra. The ancient Roman amphitheater located on the island definitely warrants a visit.

The typical day aboard Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises begins with a few hours of sailing followed by a stop for lunch in a charming locale. After lunch, entertainment can be found in the gorgeous waters of the Gulf of Gokova where you can swim, dive or snorkel. Or you might go on a shore excursion to a Turkish village, or visit an ancient site. Bodrum mini cruises have various itineraries, so if there is a place you really want to visit make sure you ask about it before booking your trip.

Both longer and shorter Bodrum yacht cruises guarantee you a wonderful vacation. The Bodrum Peninsula and the Gulf of Gokova are truly unique destinations. Bodrum Gokova yacht cruises give you the best opportunity to experience this paradise.

New York Cruises – Best Ships & Itineraries of 2008 – 2009

Over one million people sailed from New York's three ports (Manhattan, Brooklyn and Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ) in 2007, according to the New York Economic Development Corporation, and that number is expected to increase in 2008. Since 9/11 the number of ships and passengers increased to the point that additional berth facilities were opened in…

Over one million people sailed from New York's three ports (Manhattan, Brooklyn and Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ) in 2007, according to the New York Economic Development Corporation, and that number is expected to increase in 2008.

Since 9/11 the number of ships and passengers increased to the point that additional berth facilities were opened in Red Hook, Brooklyn and Cape Liberty (Bayonne), New Jersey. Today every major cruise line has several ships that home port in New York for extended seasons of voyages ranging from a one-day party cruise to a 100 + -day circumnavigation of the globe.

Four cruise lines (Cunard Line, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line) have a year-round service from New York. Itineraries range from one-day party cruises to a 99-day full circumnavigation of the globe. Cunard Line's Queen Mary 2 continues the tradition of regularly scheduled transatlantic service between New York and Southampton.

Picks for the Best Ships and Itineraries of 2008/09:

BEST CRUISE LINES AND SHIPS

The New York Star: Queen Mary 2. Ballroom dancing to a live orchestra, high tea perfectly served, scholarly guest lecturers, a dog kennel and the ultimate in creature comforts keep the British maritime heritage alive and well.

Best Ships for Families: Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. A big kid pleaser due to her rock climbing wall, roller blading, ice-skating and private teen club, Explorer of the Seas is hugely popular with cruisers of all ages.

Top Luxury Ship: Crystal Symphony (Crystal Cruises) Boasting the top levels of food and service, penthouse suites with private butlers and onboard enrichment programs, Crystal Symphony steals the show in luxury cruising.

Best Itineraries: Princess Cruises' Caribbean and Canada / New England cruises from Brooklyn.

Best Ships For Laid-back People: Norwegian Cruise Line. This cruise line's popular “Freestyle Cruising” program means you may opt to dine in numerous restaurants when and with what you please. And, no tuxes required.

Best Onboard Dining Program: Princess Cruises' Caribbean Princess. Princess offers the choice of single open seating dining or traditional two seating dining plus a Lido Restaurant that serves great food 24 hours per day.

BEST ITINERARIES OF 2008/09

Caribbean: (Princess) Caribbean Princess sails on nine-day Eastern Caribbean voyages round-trip from Brooklyn to Bermuda, Grand Turk, San Juan and St.. Thomas

Bermuda: (Royal Caribbean & NCL Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas sails on six-day Bermuda cruises from Cape Liberty (Bayonne), NJ and Norwegian Cruise Line 'Norwegian Dawn makes seven-day Bermuda voyages from Manhattan

Canada / New England: (Princess) Princess's Sea Princess sails on ten-night cruises between Brooklyn and Quebec City (with an overnight stay aboard the ship). Ports of call are Newport, Boston, Bar Harbor, Saint John, Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown

Europe: Six-night transatlantic crossings between New York and Southampton aboard Queen Mary 2

Short Cruise: Aug. 29, 2008 three-night cruise to now aboard Holland America's brand new Eurodam sailing from Manhattan.

Best Long Cruise: Sea Princess' 14-day Iceland & Greenland voyage from Southampton, Uk, to Brooklyn Aug. 30, 2008. Bergen, Norway; Shetland Islands, Scotland; Faroe Islands, Denmark; Iceland; Nanortalik, Greenland; St. Johns, Nova Scotia.

World Cruise: Queen Victoria sails from New York to Barcelona on a 99-day World Cruise departure Jan. 10, 2009. The ship visits Curacao; Guatemala; Cabo San Lucas; Los Angeles; Honolulu; Tonga; New Zealand; Australia; New Guinea; Japan; China; Hong Kong; Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore; India; Dubai; Jordan; Egypt; Turkey; Greece; Rome; Barcelona.