I don’t know that many young professionals who would describe themselves as “cruisers.” Until they go on one. The key to planning a cruise vacation as a young professional is realizing the industry has changed since your parents and grandparents were planning your family vacations. Aside from the ever-popular weekend cruises to The Caribbean and and Bahamas, there are hundreds of itineraries that appeal to the wannabe island-hopper or jet-setter. A Caribbean cruise on today’s most luxurious cruise ships offers all the entertainment, fine dining, and adventure a city does. Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ships, Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway, sail year-round to the Caribbean and are my top choice for the ultimate tropical escape. Here’s why.
Norwegian’s most popular seven-day Caribbean cruise visits St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Nassau. Each stop has a unique personality, giving you the chance to experience a little bit of everything The Caribbean has to offer. I’m an adventurer, so I found myself racing vintage America's Cup yachts off the crystal blue coast of Philipsburg, hopping on the local ferry to snorkel in St. John’s while in the Virgin Islands, and motorcycling around the Bahamas to find the perfect cracked conch (Goldie's Conch House is the answer, by the way). Who knew you could do all that on a cruise vacation? If you like to go off the beaten path, you can debark and set out on your own; or take advantage of the ship’s shore excursion directory and concierge services to help plan an adventure you didn’t even know was possible. Cruising The Caribbean gives you more flexibility than trying to choose just one destination and simplifies the planning process for first-time visitors.
Today’s urban dwellers have it all. From access to molecular gastronomy to extreme fitness and wellness clubs, it seems like today’s cities are as much a permanent vacation as they are a permanent address. It’s no surprise that the newest generation of travelers (having grown used to these indulgences) wants a cruise vacation that lives up to their lifestyles. Norwegian’s new cruise ships get it right. You want to dine at celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s newest restaurant, Ocean Blue? No problem. You want a hand-crafted cucumber jalapeno mojito? You got it. A customized selection of cigars in an intimate humidor? Done. How about world-class hot stone massage, a luxurious salon blowout and fitness consultations? Not even a question. Aside from the thrill of the rock climbing wall, lazy mornings by the pool or in the yoga studio, and countless onboard amenities, the real star of the show is the service. Your servers, stewards, and entertainers will become a true part of your vacation. They will learn your name, learn your preferences, and craft your experience around those preferences. Expect the best, because you’ll get it. And if you’re lucky, they might even recommend some of the off-menu dining and cocktail favorites usually reserved for crew members or pull you on stage to ham it up with the performers.
I don’t have kids, but there are so many reasons why a Caribbean cruise makes for a great family vacation. Kids can go wild at the water park. Teens have a club lounge all to themselves. And parents have the freedom to do their thing knowing their family is in good hands. But what about singles and couples? Traveling as a young couple, I wasn’t looking for a family-oriented experience, but I was happy to see it was there for those that were. Due to the sheer size of Norwegian Getaway and the ship’s wide variety of adults-only designated areas, I was able to indulge in a vacation that suited my lifestyle alongside the many families indulging in theirs. For me, it was all romance and excitement. Picture yourself overlooking the sea at sunset with your significant other or toasting to an amazing vacation in a secluded hot tub. Whatever your idea of romance is – whether whispering across the table at a cozy French bistro, sipping cocktails at a sleek high-top bar, rolling the dice in the casino, or enjoying a sensuous couple’s massage – you won’t be disappointed. Single travelers also have a private lounge and social area to mix and mingle with other voyagers looking to meet new friends along the way.
PICKING THE PERFECT DESTINATION:
It goes without saying that as a young professional, a Caribbean cruise is uniquely appealing because of the value. Value doesn’t mean that you need to compromise quality for price, however. On Norwegian Getaway, you’ll experience all the amenities of a state-of-the-art cruise ship and plenty of opportunities to cut loose and have fun in an upscale environment without the price tag you might find at a resort of a similar caliber. With a variety of dining options and flexible activities scheduling, you can dress to the nines for dinner and a night of dancing or head to one of the more casual onboard pubs and sports bars for a relaxed atmosphere. And with plenty of included dining and amenities, a la carte add-on’s, as well as dining, beverage, spa and fitness packages, you can tailor the cost of your vacation to your budget and interests. There are as many activities included in your cruise fare as there are opportunities to treat yourself to something extra.