ExpertFlyer Hot Topics – Where the Rubber Meets the Runway
In Part Two of our Cruising Series, Douglas Ward, author of Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, takes us to the optimal cities for cruising in to and out of, and he offers his list of cruise lines that consistently offer the best quality. If you missed Part One about the trends in River Cruising, click here to catch up.
Are there some cities that are better to cruise from than others?
Some simply have better access and connection to airports, rail stations, and roads, such as New York’s Manhattan Cruise Terminal or Brooklyn’s Red Hook Point. Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades) is also good, as are Seattle and San Francisco, and Canada’s Vancouver. I won’t include Los Angeles and Miami because I (and countless other passengers) mostly come across staff with ‘attitude’ – like the tip-seeking porters and check-in and security staff, more into the hostility business than the hospitality business.
There are so many good ports from which to cruise in the rest of the world that space would not permit listing them all. However, my choice would probably include (in alphabetical order) Auckland (New Zealand), Barcelona (Spain), Bergen (Norway), Cape Town (South Africa), Copenhagen (Denmark), Hong Kong (China), Istanbul (Turkey), Melbourne (Australia), Palma de Majorca (Spain), Singapore, Southampton (UK), and Stockholm (Sweden).
Least favorite check-in ports: Athens (Piraeus), Civitavecchia (Rome, Italy), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Rio de Janeiro, and Sydney (Australia), mainly due to a lack of hospitality or location.
Which cruise lines are consistently ranked best in quality and value?
As for value, I believe that you get what you pay for. And that’s precisely why, in automotive terms, Rolls Royce doesn’t discount! I am of the opinion that all cruise lines offer some perceived value for money.
For quality, the list should include Asuka Cruise, Crystal Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, SeaDream Yacht Club, Seabourn, and Silversea Cruises.
At the end of the day, what you get is a comfortable, hassle-free vacation – that’s value for money in itself.
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