22 PERCENT OF PEOPLE 55 THROUGH 64 DO NOTHING TO
PROTECT THEIR PERSONAL DEVICES WHILE TRAVELING.
I long ago decided that when you
figure in the costs of lodging, food, and
transportation, cruising is by far the
most economical way to see the world
in comfort—even with a family in tow.
What’s more, because cruise ships
come in all shapes and sizes, if you
scan the horizon long enough, you’ll
spot a vessel that’s perfect for you.
2,500 to 6,000 passengers
You should pay: $75 to $100 per day
( Norwegian Epic, Queen Mary 2, Carnival
Dream, Disney Dream, Golden Princess )
The best news for vacationers is this:
More cabins require more passengers,
and given the current economy, that
means megaship deals are getting
easier to find. After reigning as one of
the Caribbean’s most expensive ships
a year ago, Oasis of the Seas is down to
just over $100 a night per person.
TARGE T TRAVELERS “Families take over
these cruises,” says Carolyn Spencer
Brown, editor of Cruise Critic
( cruisecritic.com). “There’s something for everyone.”
ENTER TAINMENT In the 1980s I sailed
on Royal Caribbean’s upscale Song
of Norway, and one night’s featured
entertainment was, no kidding, a guy
playing the entire 1812 Overture on an
accordion. Today’s megaship features
at least one Broadway-type theater—
and a show to match: Royal Caribbean
has been staging the musical Chicago,
and the Queen Mary 2 offers a domed
star show created with NASA.
POOLS Take your pick: You’ll find at
least two and as many as five.
CABINS Even on the biggest ships,
cabins aren’t much larger than the
one the Marx Brothers spilled out of
in A Night at the Opera. But the days of
little portholes are gone—in an outside cabin, chances are you’ll enjoy a
nice balcony or large windows.
DINING You can still head to the formal
dining room, but the biggest ships
pride themselves on offering countless dining options, from sprawling
buffets to poolside grills. You’ll also
find premium restaurants that offer
a fine dining experience worthy of a
big city. Three-Michelin-starred chef
Georges Blanc runs Carnival’s upscale
eateries, while Holland America
Line’s Pinnacle Grills are headed by
noted chef-author Rudi Sodamin.
DES TINATIONS Because of their size,
megaships largely stick to ports with
big facilities—places like the Bahamas,
Mexico, and the Mediterranean.
1,000 to 2,500 passengers
You should pay: $50 to $75 per day
( Carnival Pride, Noordam, Queen
Elizabeth, Pride of America)
TARGE T TRAVELERS “These boats cater
to the traveler who is interested in fine
OPPOSITE: COURTESY OF ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL
dining and service—not rock climbing
at sea,” says Clem Bason, president of
the online travel service Hotwire
( hotwire.com). Before ships like the
Oasis set sail, these were the megaships. Now they can be an excellent
value for travelers who want to enjoy
traditional cruise-ship amenities.
“They’re more cozy,” adds Brown.
“You get to know your bartender.”
ENTER TAINMENT Everything’s a tad
smaller: Rather than a Times Square
theater, the stage venue on a ship like
Holland America’s Noordam more
resembles a good Las Vegas lounge.
POOLS You’ll find more than one, but
they can be small, and it’s harder to
escape the poolside games.
CABINS Most of these ships, built
before cabin balconies became hot in
the 2000s, have added them.
DINING In addition to the formal dining