Whether cruising an ocean, lake or river, the world’s leading cruise lines share common attributes and accolades that position them a cut above the rest. According to Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2015, these award-winning cruise lines offer the “very best in cruising” – in service, value, cabins/facilities, restaurants/food, itineraries/destinations and excursions/activities.
Here’s a look at three Experience Maker cruise lines on the Amadeus system that consistently go “above and beyond” to delight and exceed customer expectations.
The magic of Disney
The 5-member Callahan family of Reston, Va., took their first 5-day/4-night Disney Cruise aboard the Disney Dream in February. Describing their getaway as “fabulous,” parents Jennifer and Tom appreciated the cruise’s family-friendly environment and good value. “Compared to other family resorts, a Disney Cruise is much more economical, with food, lodging and entertainment included,” says Jennifer.
Upon arrival at Orlando International Airport, the Callahans cruised from Port Canaveral to Nassau, Bahamas and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. “There were wonderful activities for each of our three children, ages 12, 10 and 8,” says Jennifer. “My 12-year old enjoyed her freedom at the ‘tween’ club, while the boys enjoyed a host of activities at The Oceaneer’s Club and Lab. Each club offered age-appropriate games, classes, shows and more.”
The Callahan family enjoyed pool and deck sports, Disney movies and Broadway-style shows together – and every member gave the meals and snacks two thumbs up. Their favorite excursion was to Castaway Cay, where they enjoyed bike riding, a pirate-themed dance party and fireworks. As a couple, Jennifer and Tom were able to sneak away for “alone time” in several 18-and-older areas of the ship featuring adult-only pools, hot tubs and bars. “The experience was amazing and exceeded all expectations,” beams Jennifer. “We loved our experience so much that we are making plans to take another Disney Cruise in January 2017!”
Small, mighty Viking
Just 20 years ago, the modern river cruise industry was non-existent, except for a few Mississippi River paddle wheelers and private river ships in Germany. Over the last decade, the river segment has grown to attract more than a half-million cruisers annually. According to Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of Cruisecritic.com, river cruising offers unique experiences for passengers to visit small villages up-close, in smaller ports, on smaller, intimate ships (up to 200 passengers).
Sailing on a sea of awards, in 2015 Viking River Cruises was named the No. 1 River Cruise Line by Travel + Leisure for the 11th consecutive year. The “Viking Way” targets experienced travelers interested in geography, culture and history, and provides authentic touch points for diverse traveler preferences and budgets. Benefits include all-inclusive fares, superb service, smoother sailing, spectacular scenery and exceptional views from sleek staterooms. As the world’s leading river cruise line, Viking has a fleet of 60 river vessels that cruise along rivers in Europe, Russia, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia.
Norwegian’s Caribbean vibe
For the third consecutive year, Norwegian Cruise Line was named the 2015 World Travel Awards’ Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line winner. An industry innovator, Norwegian pioneered the “freestyle cruising” concept nearly 50 years ago, which gives guests the flexibility to design ideal cruise vacations in the southern, eastern and western Caribbean.
A critical growth accelerator is the company’s Norwegian Edge, a two-year, $400 million investment program to elevate the guest experience, from dining enhancements to world-class private resort destinations. Now through 2017, Norwegian is undergoing extensive fleet enhancements, expanding culinary offerings, and developing first-class getaway options in Belize and the Bahamas.
According to Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Operating Officer, Andy Stewart, the investment will entice guests “to return again and again to ships that will look and feel as if they were just delivered.” These innovations will be particularly attractive to repeat cruisers who seek the latest, greatest enhancements to familiar ships, ports and destinations.
“Seas” the day with Amadeus Total Cruise
If you’re looking to sell Disney, Viking* and Norwegian cruises better, faster and easier, Amadeus Total Cruise is your answer. Shop and compare multiple options from a single booking tool and sell travel anytime, anywhere – from any device. The solution puts you in full control – and the best part is, you can earn more commissions with our new “Upsell” feature that lets you quote higher categories right from the cabin screen! Check back later this month to see when you can set sail to better cruise booking with Amadeus Total Cruise.
What new trends and customer choices are you spotting in cruise lines, destinations and amenities?
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