Cruise vacations can be economical with a base fare that includes accommodations, food, activities, and stops at several destinations.
But not all of these floating resorts are designed with budget travelers in mind. Luxury cruise lines like the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offer vacations for $900 a night. And on newer ships like Royal Caribbean's upcoming mega Icon of the Seas, the least expensive 2024 itinerary starts at $1,820 per person for seven nights at the time of writing.
Since 2021, I have spent at least one night on six cruise ships ranging from ultra-affordable to luxurious. Here's how my cheapest and most expensive cabins compared, a $460 difference a day — and the only one I'd book again.
Margaritaville at Sea's Paradise cruise ship is for Jimmy Buffett fans who want to waste away again — on a budget. I stayed in the oceanview stateroom during the ship's 2022 one-night inaugural sailing. In 2024, this cabin — which isn't even the cheapest option — starts at $80 per person for a two-night round-trip sailing from Palm Beach, Florida, to Freeport, Bahamas.
Don't let the new paint job fool you: The 30-year-old ship was previously Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's flagship Grand Classica. Both now operate with Margaritaville at Sea's branding. Or at least that's what the new cruise line promised.
The Jimmy Buffett empire, known for its strong and recognizable identity, failed to extend the Margaritaville fun to my 176-square-foot stateroom. I expected a whimsical floating beach cottage plastered with Buffett references. Instead, I found an aged motel room.
The necessities — a bed, a bathroom, and some storage — were functional. But the bathroom looked cheap, the old shower looked dirty, and the yellowish wall and wood accents were outdated. The only obvious signs of "Margaritaville" were in the wallpaper and some branded merch like a notepad.
Besides these arguably low-effort aesthetic changes, any other updates made during the ship's Grand Classica to Paradise transformation weren't obvious to me. And when I plugged in my hair dryer, it blew the power strip's fuse.
Since my one-night stay, the cruise line has poured millions of dollars into renovating spaces like the ship's cabins. I haven't seen these changes in person. And after my last not-so-great experience on the Margaritaville at Sea Paradise, I'm not interested in giving it another try.
In 2024, the cheapest suite on the Explora I starts at $3,000 per person for a six-night January cruise from Miami to Cartagena, Colombia. In October, I spent one night in this suite while the vessel was docked in New York City.
MSC Group's new cruise arm wants to be a fixture in the upscale travel market. So of course my ocean terrace suite was more
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State-of-the-art equipment has turned the tide against potential cruise ship disasters. However, we can never completely let our guard down; cruise ships should constantly be looking for further innovations to keep passengers safe.
The Al Humaidi Family of Kuwait, which is headed by Dr. Abdulla Al Humaidi, has launched (and is continuing to launch) a range of ambitious projects via Kuwaiti European Holdings Group.
Black Friday is here and there's no better time to shop — or plan for your next trip. Take advantage of the deals below to score a discounted hotel, flight, cruise, and more to make 2024 your best year yet.
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Brightline opened in September as only the second high-speed rail network in the US, cruising along 235 miles of track between Orlando and Miami at 125 mph.
If a cruise is on your bucket list, now is the time to book one at a bargain.Princess Cruises has just announced deep discounts as part of its Black Friday/Cyber Monday special. Between now and Thursday November 20, prices will be 50 percent off. The special offer includes all fare types even packages such as Princess Plus and Princess Premiere, which come with amenities like WiFi, beverages, desserts, fitness classes, crew gratuities, and more.In addition to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, the cruise line is also offering a limited-time offer that will last until December 12 through which travelers get 50 percent off cruise fares and 50 percent off deposits on voyages of 45 days or less.Princess Cruises sails to a long list of popular destinations including the Mediterranean, Alaska, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaiian Islands, Tahiti, California Coast, Northern Europe, British Isles, Greenland, South America. Princess also offers World Cruises.Here are the key details to know if you hope to score a Princess Cruise at a discount:
With the majestic domes of the Royal Pavilion as its backdrop – lit in magical neon colours if you go after dark – this real ice rink is a popular highlight of Brighton’s yuletide offering, and the only one in the UK powered by renewable energy. Families are warmly welcomed, with penguin skate aids available for £5 and a beginners’ rink where young skaters can safely build confidence on the ice. Rinkside, a covered bar and café and outdoor terraced areas offer mulled wine, mince pies, cakes, snacks and a decent children’s menu – and a great place to sit and watch if you don’t want to risk the ice yourself.Adults and children aged 12 and over £18, concessions £15, 12 and under £14, royalpavilionicerink.co.uk; family room, B&B, from £179, queenshotelbrighton.com