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A luxury cruise can be a great way to spend a long, relaxing vacation.  Luxury cruises are filled with many more amenities than a standard cruise, which can be great if you don’t want to have to worry about whether any of your needs or desires will be met while on the ship. That freedom from worry is one of the biggest selling points in paying the extra price for a luxury cruise.

However, the word “luxury” gets thrown around far too often when describing a cruise. Since there are no official standards for using the term, any cruise line can claim their cruises are “luxury” cruises without having to worry about what that means. Don’t be fooled– you have the right to expect a higher standard if you’re paying for a higher standard.

Here at AffordableTours.com, we can help you find a luxury cruise that’s right for you, and let you know what you should expect from one. So we’re here to answer the question, “What makes a cruise a luxury cruise?”

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Expenses Included

Perhaps  the biggest difference between a standard cruise and a luxury cruise can be summed up in one word: all-inclusive.

You might pay half the price for a standard cruise that you would for a luxury cruise, but on the standard cruise you will incur other expenses which, when added up, suddenly cut down on the price difference. On a luxury cruise, on the other hand, many of those expenses will be included in the price of the cruise. That means your drinks are covered, your gratuities for the staff are covered, and often, your excursions to shore at the various stops on the cruise will be covered, too. Once you start adding those things up, you might find that your standard cruise isn’t such a great bargain after all– and it’s worth the extra money to not have to worry about paying for those things while you’re on vacation. After all, you want to relax; you don’t want to think about who’s paying for the next round of drinks, or whether the specialty restaurants are really worth the cost.

But the freedom from worrying over expenses is only one feature a true luxury cruise can offer.

Luxurious Amenities

You have every right to expect nothing but the best when you take a luxury cruise. Nothing in your cabin should be wanting: From big things to cabin size and furniture to the little things like shampoo, soap, and lotion, a luxury cruise should not cut corners or skimp. A true luxury cruise takes care of every detail.

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I mentioned those specialty restaurants earlier. A standard cruise will have several fine-dining options beyond the the standard meals that come with the cost of the cruise. A luxury cruise will have dinner options, but all of the options will be of a fine-dining quality– and, again, the expenses will already be covered in your travel package.

The luxury cruise also tends to have larger and nicer suites for passengers than a standard cruise will. Not only will the furniture and toiletries be nicer, but the cabin itself can be as much as 50% to 100% larger than the cabins on a standard cruise.

The Personal Touch

Even though large cruise liners can be stocked with enough amenities, including grand dining rooms and other public areas, to pass for luxury, they don’t really provide the full “luxury cruise” experience. The biggest reason for that is simple: A large cruise liner simply can’t provide the kind of personal service and attention that a smaller ship, with significantly fewer passengers, will be able to afford its travelers.

For example, a standard cruise ship might have as many as 2,000 passengers on board. A luxury cruise, by contrast, might carry something like 500 passengers. This allows the vacationer– you– to not only have more personal space when onboard the ship, but to also receive more personal attention from the staff. Speaking of the staff, a luxury cruise will often have more staff per passenger than a standard cruise: the ratio of passengers to crew on a standard cruise is generally around 2:1, but a luxury cruise is usually more like 3:2. More staff means more attention– and the cherry on top of the personal touch is that the staff on a luxury cruise will be able to acknowledge and greet you by name.

How Do I Choose a Luxury Cruise?

A good luxury cruise should include top-shelf amenities, all expenses included, and enough personal space to relax, along with a staff that is able to meet your needs and do so with a personal touch. As long as you keep these things in mind when booking your trip, you will find cruises that make good on the term “luxury.” For the right luxury cruise to suit your needs, AffordableTours.com is the place to go that will give you the vacation experience you deserve.

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