It’s that time of year again to decide where and what to do for your family vacation or a simple getaway. All previous trips are being considered but do not satisfy the thought. Has luxury cruising ever come to mind?

I cruised many times growing up, but it was when I was a teenager that I really understood the definition of luxury cruising. I have had the opportunity to visit many places, any where from the Caribbean Islands to Scandinavian countries, as well as experience different types of cruise ships. Luxury cruising provides passengers with a more intimate vacation surrounding 500-700 other passengers that allows you to see your family while just passing in the hallway. There aren’t huge water slides, inside malls, or any other outrageous activities to keep the “kids busy” that you would find a larger, more commercial cruise ship.

The size of a luxury cruise ship could be compared to a large oversized yacht, in my opinion. There are just enough amenities: spa, salon, gym, pool, and jacuzzi, without being overwhelmed. The use of smaller ships are preferred because more exotic and private destinations can be visited. There may be times that the ship needs to anchor off shore and use water taxis to allow passengers to get on shore.

You can see the world aboard a luxury cruise ship just by deciding on what itinerary to experience and what ship to cruise on. A vast amount of itineraries are usually available to choose from which include, but are not limited to the Mediterranean, Scandinavia, Alaska, Africa, Asia, Australia and many more. Each and every region has beautiful cities to visit and tons of tourist attractions. You can book an organized tour, a private car, bus tours, or merely go off by yourself to explore. Learn about their culture, see how they live, and how different it is from what your use to. There may be the occasional language barrier, but as long as you embrace it with open arms and courtesy towards the natives, you should not have any problems.

The crew to passenger ratio aboard a luxury cruise ship is almost equal. You can expect superior and personal service from crew members as they get to know your name due to how often you will the same crew members. You may even be invited to the Captain’s party or have dinner with the Captain, as he’s getting to know his passengers. Majority of the time, as your returning to the ship from a long day of shore excursions, a red carpet with champagne, warm hand towels, and a band playing greets you before you board. Now that’s great service you would enjoy any day!

A vacation with this much potential will be something to reminisce forever! I still remember the time I visited Nice, France. I was 12 years old, and went parasailing for the first time overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I also visited an Ice Bar in Stockholm, Sweden, upon entering they provide you with a warm cape and gloves to protect you from freezing temperatures your about to enter into. Everything surrounding you is made of ice, the table and chairs you sit at, the bar, the glasses your drinks are served in, and even the utensils for a full course meal if desired.

A luxury cruise should provide you with an atmosphere of relaxation while vacationing with your family, as well as great service and fabulous destinations. A home away from home, as you vacation for the desired amount of time. When your trip comes to an end, do not automatically get on a flight back home, but stay a couple of days in the city where you disembarked or the city you most enjoyed.