Wednesday, 23 May 2012 7:55 PM
If you've decided your next holiday will be booked via a cruise line, you'll need to give some thought to the type of getaway you want before committing to anything. It's wise to have a look at the cruise ships that travel to your chosen destination to make sure the break you book will cater for your requirements.
Many holidaymakers hope to encounter sun, sea and sand on a cruise, while others hope to travel to stunning cold destinations to admire natural beauty. Consider what it is you want from your cruise and then take a look at the vessels that travel to your chosen location.
Choose Europe and the Mediterranean as your destination and you'll be able to soak up some rich culture on land, while enjoying plenty of onboard facilities during your time at sea if you pick the right ship. Independence of the Seas, for example, is a Royal Caribbean ship that travels all around the continent and is popular for its great range of amenities.
A la carte restaurants, 24-hour buffets, a 1,350-seat theatre, a traditional pub, sports deck and a rock climbing wall are among the features that draw holidaymakers in by their thousand. A spa, library, surfing simulator and casino, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity and flat-screen TVs in every stateroom add to the features you'll find onboard. In addition, if you're not fond of flying to a location from which to board ship, you can travel directly from Southampton and begin your getaway as soon as you set foot on the vessel.
If you decide white sand, glorious sunshine and clear waters are what you want from your cruise, take a look at the Oasis of the Seas - Royal Caribbean's flagship vessel that transports more than 5,000 passengers around the beautiful Caribbean region.
There's no need to worry that children or teens won't be kept busy onboard, as the ship has daily programmes of activities for all ages. While the youngsters are being looked after in their respective clubs, mum and dad can pamper themselves in the sauna, Jacuzzi or steam room, head to the elevating bar or burn off some energy in the gym. The boardwalk, meanwhile, is a treat for the whole family, and you'll find this seaside-style area home to restaurants and cafes, boutiques, a carousel and a thrilling zip-line.
The Roman-style Aquatheatre is great for entertainment, offering displays of water ballet, synchronised swimming, fountain shows and acrobatics, while little ones will love the onboard speciality candy store! The sister ship to the Oasis of the Seas is the Allure of the Seas vessel, which travels around the Caribbean, Europe and North America. You'll find all the features of Oasis of the Seas onboard, as well as quirky extras like Madame Zamara's Psychic and Tattoo Parlour.
Royal Caribbean has ships that also call in at a wide range of destinations aside from the Med and the Caribbean; climb aboard Jewel of the Seas to make your way to Russia or Iceland, while the Legend of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas will whisk you away on a Far Eastern adventure to China, Japan and South Korea. If you want to explore Africa, meanwhile, the Serenade of the Seas will take you to Egypt, passing the Suez Canal.