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Best Travel Blogging Vacation…Cruising

By travelanswerman | July 16, 2009

The Travel Answer Man has been there and done that more often than he can care to remember. Frequently, I am asked what is your favorite thing to do for a vacation. The answer is always the same…go on a cruiseand the longer it isthe better. A cruise is also a great place to set down with your laptop and blog away to your heart’s content while watching the world drift by your side. You might even be served some delicious food and drink by the attentive cruise staff to help charge your writing batteries. Oh, what a life and I am glad I volunteered to do it!

Just talking about it conjours up immediate thoughts of my most fondest memories while taking a cruise holiday…the ultimate fantasy escape. What is there not to like about a cruise. To begin with you receive service…service…service 24/7. Did I say service? From the moment you arrive at your vessel until the time you step off to go home, the staff treat you as though you were the President of a major country…just like royalty. A cruise is the ultimate in a self-contained resort. Everything  you will ever need during your vacation is at your finger tips. Just ask and they will deliver. Where else can this happen in the real world? The most incredible cuisine every meal…the most memorable views ever changing before your very eyes…exiciting new ports of call on almost a daily basis…do as much as you want, do as little, or do nothing. The choice is always in your court. You make the shot every time.

And one final note…where do cruises go…if there is a body of water…it is likely a cruise ship has been there and done that.

Sailing the Caribbean Islands, Alaska Inside Passage Cruise, cruising the Mediterranean, circumnavigate the globe on a world cruise, pass through the Panama Canal, visiting each of the four major Hawaiian Islands, an adventure cruise to Antarctica, drifitng by the Great Barrier Reef, pulling into Hong Kong harbor at dusk, seeing the Statue of Liberty in New York City at sunrise, river cruising through France during fall grape harvest season or summer time in China on the Yangtze River, maybe some exploration down the mighty Amazon looking for the special exotic bird that has not been discovered.

All of this is available to you today. A cruise itinerary, a special ship, and a “priced right” budget all with you in mind. See you on board soon. I will be having dinner with the Captain at his table. Bon appetite and bon voyage!

Source: www.travelanswerman.com

 

PRESS RELEASE: Cruise Line International Association – CLIA

www.cruising.org

THE STATE OF THE CRUISE INDUSTRY IN 2009: WELL-POSITIONED FOR CHALLENGING TIMES

With New Ships, Ports, Destinations and Cruises in All Price Categories,CLIA Member Lines Poised to Offer Unique Value

With a track record of continued growth, the North American cruise industry is well-positioned to take on the global economic challenges of 2009. Sparked by new ships, ports, and destinations as well as innovative shipboard experiences, and a deep rooted popularity for cruising, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) members will continue to offer incredible value across the entire spectrum of cruise vacations, in all price categories.

“There is no doubt that 2009 represents an uncertain environment, not only for CLIA members but for all industries and consumers alike. However, CLIA members are confident that they will weather the challenges and emerge stronger than ever, as they have before. This is an industry that plans ahead and invests in the future, as evidenced by the impressive number of new ships on order through 2012, and one that will contribute positively to the country’s economic revival,” said Terry L. Dale, CLIA’s president and CEO. “The remarkable diversity and variety of cruises give consumers a unique opportunity to find a vacation that fits their budget even during these economic downturns and we expect that North Americans, Europeans and travelers from all over the world will respond positively.”
 
Industry Growth and Economic Impact
Since 1980 to the present, a period that encompasses a number of economic downturns as well as international crises, the average annualized growth of the North American cruise industry stands at 7.4 percent. An estimated 13.2 million travelers cruised in 2008, up from 12.56 million in 2007. As compared with the CLIA member line passenger volumes of 7.2 million in 2000, annual passenger volume has increased 79% in the past eight years.  North Americans accounted for 10.15 million passengers in 2007 and the number of internationally sourced cruise guests is growing dramatically year over year. Through the third quarter of 2008, CLIA lines saw a 30 percent annual increase in international passengers, and year-end estimates are that 3.05 million internationally sourced guests will sail on a CLIA member cruise line representing 23% of CLIA’s global cruisers. CLIA further estimates that in 2009, 13.5 million people will cruise, an increase of 2.3 percent.

At the same time, the North American cruise industry continues to make a significant contribution to the American economy, posting more than a six percent economic impact growth rate (2007 over 2006). The cruise industry generated $38 billion in total U.S. economic output in 2007, the latest figures available. The industry is generating business development and investment, job creation and spending in all 50 states, creating more than 350,000 jobs nationwide in 2007 alone. Direct spending in the U.S. in 2007 on goods and services was more than 18 billion dollars, a 5.9 percent increase over 2006.

According to CLIA’s 2008 Cruise Market Profile, almost 34 million Americans intend to take a cruise within the next three years. More than 94 percent of all cruisers rate their cruise experience as satisfying with 44 percent claiming the highest “Extremely Satisfying” ranking making a cruise among the very best in meeting and exceeding guest expectations. Although the global economic crisis may have an impact on consumer intentions, these statistics give the cruise industry confidence that demand for cruising will continue to be strong, according to Dale.

New ships
In 2009, the CLIA fleet will welcome 14 new vessels, at a total cost of $4.8 billion USD ranging in size from 82 passengers to 5,400 passengers and offering a wide range of cruise experiences including coastal and river voyages, Caribbean and European itineraries and journeys to all parts of the world. The new ships include: 

As these vessels are added in 2009, three ships will leave the CLIA fleet (to be transferred to other companies) – the Celebrity Galaxy, MSC Rhapsody and NCL’s Norwegian Majesty. The net berth increase for the CLIA fleet in 2009 will total 18,031 beds, or 6.5 percent, by year end.  Factoring in the ship delivery dates and actual operating days, annualized CLIA member line capacity increases by 4.8%.

Growth markets
The coming year will see continued diversification and global expansion of cruise operations. While the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe remain the dominant markets, many CLIA member lines have announced plans to increase their presence in other parts of the world, including Asia, Canada/New England, the Indian Ocean and Africa, the Amazon and Brazil, the Middle East and the Arctic regions, including Newfoundland and Greenland. Within Europe there will be new cruise opportunities in the UK, Scandinavia and northern Europe and eastern Europe. There will be greater choice in world cruises and transatlantic itineraries as well.

Examples of newer or emerging ports around the world: Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain (the Arabian Gulf); Mumbai (India); Hvar, Korcula, Sarande (Adriatic); Sihanoukville (Cambodia); Iles Des Saintes (Guadeloupe); Sylt (northern Europe); Komodo (Indonesia); Puerto Rico’s “Virgin Islands;” Cooper Island, Coconut Grove, Turks and Caicos (Caribbean); Rovinj (Croatia); L’Ile-Rousse (France); Ischia, Cinque Terre and Puglia (Italy); Bonne Bay (Newfoundland); Itajai, (Brazil); Batumi (Georgia); Maputo (Mozambique); Ashdod and Haifa (Israel); Koper (Slovenia); and other ports along the Dalmatian Coast, in Japan and Korea and Indonesia.

Of particular significance for value-seeking consumers is the fact that CLIA member cruise lines offer cruises from more than 30 domestic home ports along the East, West and Gulf Coasts and major rivers in Canada and New England and the American Midwest and West. Over half the U.S. population is within driving distance of a cruise departure port. These “Close to Home” embarkation ports, providing the ability to drive to a cruise,  further represent an opportunity for significant savings by eliminating the cost of airfare.

Shipboard innovations

Cruise vacationers can expect a continuing evolution of shipboard facilities and amenities in the coming year, including full-scale seagoing aquaparks; luxury spas with exclusive spa suites; increased choice and flexibility in dining; and facilities, including pools and recreation areas dedicated to adults, teens or children. Some lines have enhanced or expanded golf programs featuring courses in many parts of the world and most continue to create opportunities for guests to stay “connected” while at sea, with Wi-Fi capabilities and other state of the art technology.

Cruise trends to watch for

Below are some trends and observations based on the responses CLIA received from a survey of more than 900 travel agents conducted in early January. Among the findings:

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