4 Things to Know Before Going On a Luxury Cruise

If you’re looking for new and refreshing ways to travel, maybe you should consider a trip on a luxury cruise.

While it may sound intimidating, it’s best to think of a luxury cruise as a five-star hotel at sea.

The cruise industry has become a rapidly growing market. In 2022, international tourism receipts breached the $1 trillion mark — 50% from 2021.

At this rate, industry experts predict that 2024 will become “the year of the cruise.”

Several factors are boosting market growth, including cruise ships providing value for money and a luxurious experience that is second to none.

Cruise lines continue to update and innovate their offerings, offering new itineraries and journeys to lesser-known ports worldwide.

Many luxury cruise vessels also undergo refits to keep seasoned passengers and newbies intrigued.

Of course, it’s important to come prepared to enjoy and maximize your luxury cruise experience.

Depending on the kind of traveling you like and your needs and preferences, some luxury cruise lines will be a better fit for you than others.

Below, we’ll be sharing four things you should know before going on a luxury cruise:

Curating your onboard experience

As mentioned in our introduction, many luxury cruise lines have been updating their offerings to cater to varying passenger needs and preferences.

Some common facilities and amenities on luxury cruise ships include spa treatments and international cuisine experiences. 

Based on your preferences, it’s always best to research and find cruise lines and itineraries that match your interests.

Explora Journeys’ luxury cruises offer a wide range of onboard experiences, from entertainment to ocean wellness.

These include access to the onboard thermal spa, in-suite dining, and various well-being and fitness programs to enrich your health, from sleep to nutrition.

Another benefit of participating in onboard experiences is that you get to meet and interact with like-minded passengers. If you’re a social traveler, this can be a great opportunity to make new friends.

Enjoying cruise cuisine

Another important tip is to maximize your access to onboard cuisine.

Some luxury cruise lines will match onboard culinary experiences with your destination, while others will offer a variety of food and beverage options.

Aside from the typical onboard buffet, some cruise lines take it further.

Cruise line Silversea recently announced its Salt culinary program, which is guaranteed to expand the culinary experience of any foodie.

The program includes cooking classes and on-shore excursions, as well as a cocktail tasting at the cruise’s Salt Kitchen restaurant, Salt Bar, and Salt Lab.

If you’re interested in trying out new foods, you can also join in on the program’s curated shore excursions involving visits to local food hotspots and dining experiences.

Checking out onboard entertainment

While onboard amenities and facilities are essential for forming your luxury cruise experience, you shouldn’t overlook onboard entertainment.

This varies depending on your preferred cruise line. Some themed cruises, for example, will have onboard entertainment programs that fit their theme. 

In 2023, music promoter Live Nation’s “music-led destination experience” team Vibee announced an onslaught of events and packages for music and travel enthusiasts.

In the past, Live Nation has included hotel package add-ons, but Vibee marked the company’s first major step into the space, including music and cruise festivals like the EDSea electronic music festival that took place aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Joy in November 2023.

Not every luxury cruise onboard entertainment program will include a Live Nation-produced lineup, but live music and other forms of entertainment are an onboard staple.

Don’t forget onshore experiences

Finally, while you should certainly make the most out of your onboard living while out on a luxury cruise, don’t forget onshore excursions.

These are typically offered as part of your itinerary packages and may include guided tours and activities at local hotspots whenever you dock.

In a previous post, we highlighted the importance of immersing yourself in the local culture of your destinations.

Participating in onshore experiences is a great opportunity to do this and can be a rejuvenating break if you’re starting to feel seasick on the cruise. For one, you can interact with locals to learn different cultures and languages as a show of respect and interest in the local community. Of course, you’ll also be able to taste the authentic flavors of a destination by dining in locally-owned eateries.

For more inspiration for your next adventure, do check out the rest of No Hurry To Get Home.