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Inspire Magazine - Fun, Footloose and Fancy Free

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Resort Cruising

Inspire Magazine - Fun, Footloose and Fancy Free

story by: Mike Williams

For the ultimate value-packed cruise holiday where the emphasis is on choice and casual ambience, you can’t go wrong with a resort-style cruise. It’s the perfect option for a fun-filled holiday for travellers of all ages.

With ships ranging from mid-size to the very large mega-ships, and itineraries to amazing scenic destinations like Alaska and the Caribbean, and culture rich spots in South America, the Mediterranean and more, you’ll be hard-pressed to decide on which cruise to take.

Your options don’t stop there. Once onboard, you’ll be delighted at the endless ways you can pass your time as you sail from port to port. By day, relax and make use of the extensive facilities including numerous swimming pools, health clubs and spas, and by night try your luck at the casino, get your dancing shoes on, enjoy a Broadway or Las Vegas style show, or just relax in one of the many lounges.

As for dining, you’ll have the freedom to dine whenever and wherever you prefer. If you’d like to break out your glad rags, there are opportunities to dress more formally on select evenings and some cruise lines still offer traditional dining for those wanting a more formal experience.

Children aren’t left out either, with dedicated children’s centres and plenty of activities to keep them occupied and entertained.

Although there are many similarities across resort-style cruise lines, each has distinctive aspects making them very unique. MSC Cruises prides itself on its Mediterranean and Northern European flavours; Norwegian Cruise Lines offers an array of choice; Star Cruises specialises in all things oriental; and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line is all about the ‘Royal Treatment’.

Roll all your holiday expectations into one on a resort-style cruise with everything you need from accommodation, entertainment, dining and activities on a floating hotel. Amazing destinations, brilliant attractions and something for everyone is guaranteed!

Taste the Mediterranean way of life
Experience Italian style, flavour and tradition at its best on an incredible journey with MSC Cruises. As one of the market leaders and specialists in Mediterranean and Northern Europe ocean cruising, you’ll be treated to destination options ranging from the exotic like Turkey and Greece, to the stylish cool of Sweden. Not to be outdone, MSC Cruises also have itineraries that take in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, South America, South Africa, Canary Islands and Arabian Peninsula.

MSC Cruises also boasts one of the most modern fleets in the world, incorporating elegant décor, contemporary design and exceptional comfort.

As for your daily onboard routine, it can be as relaxed or as structured and busy as you’d like it to be. You can spend a full day relaxing with swimming, reading, sunbathing, dining and a show, or you may want an action packed itinerary of activities and shore excursions…the choice is yours.

For those keen to make the holiday a family affair, there is a strong family culture with children under 18 years able to cruise free when sharing a cabin with two paying adults. All you’ll need to pay is the required port charges. Dedicated kids clubs, covering toddlers to teenagers, provide activities such as mini-Olympics and arts and crafts which will keep the children entertained while you enjoy a wealth of other activities and experiences onboard.

With main meals, entertainment, port charges, gala dinners, Captain’s cocktail party and Children’s Club included in your fare, a cruise with MSC Cruises is ideal for those seeking style and true Italian hospitality at a great value price.

Get the ‘Royal’ treatment
Treat yourself to a royal experience on a trip of a lifetime aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise. This cruise line is home to the most innovative and exciting ships in the industry, including the world’s largest, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. These mega-ships are very much like a ‘floating city’ with seven distinct neighbourhoods, encompassing an ice-skating rink, surf simulators, 10 whirlpools, a kid’s water park, an AquaTheater with live diving shows and so much more!

Royal Caribbean caters to a wide range of cruisers including couples, singles, families and groups. More than 5000 guests can climb aboard their biggest ships, and the new Quantum Class, scheduled to be launched in 2014, will feature new activities such as first-at- sea skydiving simulator, bumper cars and a jewel-shaped glass capsule that rises over 91m above sea-level offering exhilarating 360-degree views over the sides of the ship.

With a fleet simply packed with action and adventure, the active traveller will simply love the range of activities available. Rock walls are fixtures across the fleet, as well as fitness centres, and on selected ships, you’ll find brilliant ice-shows, a boxing ring and inline skating, not to mention amazing Broadway shows.

Travel to over 230 amazing locations worldwide including the Panama Canal, Asia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, South Pacific, Hawai'i, South America and the Bahamas. Plus, discover gems right here in New Zealand and Australia. Royal Caribbean is renowned for its innovative accommodation options, ranging from standard inside and oceanview staterooms to massive Royal Suites equipped with a bar and grand piano. On some ships there are also unique interior staterooms that overlook Royal Promenade, giving a fantastic birds-eye view of a virtual indoor street.

A touch of Oriental charm
Explore Asia on a unique journey with Star Cruises, a cruise line that offers impeccable service in true Oriental style. The Freestyle Cruising fleet welcomes all types of travellers, with ships sailing to must-see Asian ports in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Brunei, Singapore and Vietnam.

Star Cruises innovative way of cruising lets you take the lead. Dress as you like and eat where you desire. Join in activities at your leisure – it’s all up to you.

The comprehensive range of suites and staterooms suit all tastes and budgets. Whichever accommodation you choose, you’ll spend the night in well-appointed surroundings. Eat, drink and be merry with more than 10 styles of restaurants and all day dining options. Whether you have an adventurous palate or more specific tastes, we’re sure you’ll be spoilt for choice.

From the moment you step onboard you’ll realise that there is something for everyone; golf driving nets and an enviable range of sports and fitness facilities; get pampered in the day spa or simply laze on the deck with your favourite book! The kids will also be kept entertained in the kids club and exclusive pool area plus a video arcade and computer world. Raise the fun factor when you catch a show in the theatre show room or party the night away or sing your heart out karaoke style.

To compliment your onboard experience, take a shore excursion and discover island paradises, shop and dine at cosmopolitan cities or soak up the culture at historical sites.

Star Cruises’ journeys across the sea are unforgettable, enriched with their warm Asian hospitality, returning you home revived and full of happy memories.

Call the shots on your cruise
In the past, cruising was typically quite traditional and known for regimented dining times and strictly-scheduled activities. With the introduction of ‘Freestyle Cruising’ you have more freedom to enjoy your holiday as you wish. Norwegian Cruise Line is part of this innovative change, allowing you to choose when and where you dine. With up to 20 dining options on Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships, you can choose from casual eateries to five-star dining with French gourmet, steakhouse meals, Asian cuisine and classic Italian dishes on the menu. It’s not only in the food arena that you enjoy more flexibility, but also in onboard attire – the ‘resort casual’ dress style means you can leave the gowns and black tie at home.

With a young modern fleet, purpose-built for ‘Freestyle Cruising’, you can take your pick from the widest choice of accommodation afloat. Treat yourself to a balcony stateroom with floor-to- ceiling glass doors that open to a private veranda or a contemporary décor stateroom equipped with a private studio lounge. Whether you’re travelling as a family, couple, solo traveller or group, you’ll find there’s comfortable accommodation for everyone.

There’s also a variety of destinations to choose from including a tropical adventure to the Bahamas, a siesta along the Mexican Riviera or an eye-opening trip to Scandinavia. You’ll never fall short of entertainment with the Second Man comedy troupe to keep you laughing and the award-winning Blue Man Group with a unique performance of flying paint, techno-music and non-stop action.

Customise your holiday and see the world on your terms with the abundance of choice offered by Norwegian Cruise Line.

Feeling inspired? Get in touch with your local HOT holiday specialist to find out more. Call 0800 838 747, visit come instore!

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