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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Cruise Vacations Pamper Guests With A Sea Of Services And Amenities

Cruise Vacations Pamper Guests With A Sea Of Services And Amenities

Since the first great liners crossed the Atlantic, luxury and pampering have been the standard in ocean travel. Cruise ships have evolved with time, but one element of seagoing vacations remains a constant: no matter where in the world their ships may visit, at day’s end guests return to a realm of luxury and service, where chefs prepare gourmet meals and sinful desserts, and attendants continually tidy their cabins, leaving pillow treats.

Everyone – from the vessel’s captain to its deck hands – welcomes cruise ship guests with hearty smiles and cheerful greetings of “Good day, Ma’am” and “Welcome aboard, Sir.” This emphasis on personal pampering is the norm aboard the cruise ships of the member lines of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). CLIA’s member cruise lines deliver the highest levels of guest satisfaction 365 days a year, surpassing vacationers’ experiences at almost any land-based resorts. All the while, cruise guests traverse the waters of the world, sailing to 1,800 ports on all seven continents.

“There is virtually nowhere on land that vacationers can enjoy the prompt, polite and gracious service that cruisers enjoy everyday for the same cost,” said Terry L. Dale, president and CEO of CLIA , the association for 19 premier cruise lines and nearly 17,000 North American travel agencies. “On every type of cruise vacation, from three-day getaways to 100-day world voyages, the high levels of attentiveness and indulgent service delivered aboard CLIA member-line vessels surpass similar amenities at the world’s best land-based resorts.”

The secret of the cruise industry’s service success lies in the attitude and training of the staff and crew aboard CLIA member-line ships, said Dale. “Everyone who’s ever been on a cruise knows the service staff has a welcoming, ‘can do’ attitude, with ‘no problem’ being the rule, rather than the exception.”

Guests on CLIA-member cruise lines can expect daily maid service, nightly turndown service, multi-course dinners, live entertainment and butler service in suite accommodations, among other pampering touches. Below are but a few line-specific examples:

Guests sailing aboard Carnival Cruise Lines can savor the new “George Blanc Signature Selections,” delicious menu items created by the world-renowned, three-star Michelin chef, and enjoy a restful night’s sleep with the new “Carnival Comfort Bed” featuring plush mattresses, duvets and linens and pillows.
Express embarkation luggage delivery, welcome champagne, nightly hors d’oeuvres, 24-hour butler service; priority tender service, check-ins and departures, express luggage delivery and dining room seating preferences; and exclusive cocktail invitations are but a few of the luxurious suite amenities guests enjoy on Celebrity Cruises.
Costa Cruises’ new Costa Concordia is the first ship to offer exclusive spa cabins. Guests who stay in any of the Samsara Spa’s 55 staterooms and 12 suites receive special amenities that include flat-screen televisions, Elemis bath products, selected spa treatments and a customized consultation.
Free of charge, Crystal Cruises’ guests can savor signature dishes of such award-winning, world-class chefs as Nobu Matsuhisa, Piero Selvaggio and Wolfgang Puck. Penthouse guests can also dine in the comfort and privacy of their suites, served this world-class cuisine course-by-course by their butler.
Grill accommodations aboard Queen Mary2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 embody Cunard Line’s quintessential White Star Service Ô . Spacious suites and butler service are paired with private single-seating restaurants and exclusive lounges. All guests are treated to the line’s renowned, white-gloved afternoon tea service.
The recently expanded Vista Spa and Salon onboard the Disney Magic offers three brand new “spa villas” that are perfect for couples side-by-side massages. The villas pamper guests with an indoor spa treatment suite that is connected to a private outdoor verandah with personal hot tub, open air shower and luxurious chaise lounge.
Holland America Line brings the luxuries of its Greenhouse Spa and Salon to staterooms with the “Time to Spa” Elemis Aromapure miniatures. Staterooms also feature Mariner’s Dream Beds with plush mattresses, Egyptian cotton towels, and Suite guests can choose from three types of pillows.
Guests feel special from the moment they step onboard an MSC Cruises ship, as they receive white-gloved escorts to their staterooms. The pampering continues throughout the cruise, with attentive crew and a variety of luxurious Balinese spa treatments designed to make guests feel like royalty.
For the ultimate indulgence aboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships, two therapists massage guests simultaneously, and in serene silence, performing the Mandara Four-Hands Massage, the line’s signature spa treatment. Mandara Spas, which are available fleetwide, reflect the spirit and traditions of the Balinese people.
The Sanctuary, an adults-only “pocket of tranquility” on Princess Cruises’ new Crown Princess, offers escapes into a plush, outdoor spa-inspired environment, featuring light meals, massages, and a staff of Serenity Stewards who provide chilled face towels, Evian atomizers and healthy beverages and fare.
Guests sailing aboard Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 700-guest, all-balcony suite Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner are welcome to enjoy complimentary fine dining at Le Cordon Bleu-run Signatures specialty restaurants. Cooking classes offered by Le Cordon Bleu chefs are available on selected voyages.
Guests sailing aboard The Yachts of Seabourn can luxuriate in Pure Pampering aromatherapy baths by the celebrated Molton Brown, drawn and prepared by their stewardesses with a flourish of rose petals. They also enjoy free Massage Moments and cold towels while on deck.
Silversea Cruises’ guests can enjoy complimentary en suite dining on their private verandas with meals served course-by-course by attentive yet unobtrusive waiters. Many dishes hail from the line’s La Collection du Monde, created by Michelin two-star chef Jacques Thorel.WINDSTAR CRUISESWindstar Cruises’ menus feature 100 new items from acclaimed celebrity chef Joachim Splichal of the Patina Group. New onboard amenities include iPod Nanos loaded with 500 songs from 50 different playlists, Bose SoundDock speakers in staterooms and wireless Internet access in public rooms.


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