How to Read Cruise Brochure

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By Nadia Jastrjembskaia, Ph.D., CLIA certified Elite Cruise Counselor

I decided to write this blog because at this period of year people start thinking about their new cruise and read a lot of promotional materials.

You can read about “crystalline waters” and “historic wonders. ” Promoters use words like this to entice you to set sail.

Some words and phrases have meaning that you have to know before making your informed decision.

First of all, ignore completely all prices that you see in brochures with a few exceptions. Ask your cruise advisor about companies that have their exact pricing structure as in brochure, mostly from high-end cruise lines.

Most of cruise lines on mass market use brochure pricing as a starting point for ‘discounts.’  When you see 70% or 90% – marketers are trying foolish you. No one book cruise on brochure price. When cruise lines give ‘discount’ from brochure price they actually selling at prevailing rate.

So, let’s talk about brochure language.

Homeland cruises” or “convenient departure ports” mean that you can drive to your cruise.

“All-inclusive” for mass market cruise line is a misleading term because all-inclusive exist only on luxury cruise ships. You know your drill: pay for alcohol, soda, water and gratuities.

“Floating resorts” means mega ships with all bells and whistles: zip-lines, iFly, wave simulators, Broadway shows, AquaTheater, water and dry slides. They are big, bigger and biggest, modern and innovative.

“Choices” are in each brochure now: where to eat and what to do. Do it all or nothing at all. It is good idea to have choices after beach day not to wear tuxedo for the formal night. Yes, you have choices: eat in Windjammer, order room service or go to specialty restaurant.

“Gourmet dining” is not something you can find on mainstream cruise lines other than in specialty restaurants. On upper premium and luxury cruise lines you will find top-quality made-to-order meals as on top land restaurants. Also, keep in mind not every ship even in the same brand has the same quality of food.

“Fine dining” means specialty restaurants for additional charge. Don’t allow to be foolish for fine dining on mass market ship in main dining room.

“Spacious” – be careful with this word. If you have an expectation for your spacious stateroom to find 180 sq. cabin that ruin your vacation. Read diagram or better to talk to your trusted cruise consultant what is the best choice for you. It may be a situation when you can’t afford spacious stateroom at present time.

“Elegance” and ‘Luxury” are so misused that lost meaning. Everyone understands elegance and luxury differently. What is luxurious for one, in ordinary for another.

“Same minded travelers” means the same travelers as you. This phase is used very often in brochures for upper premium or luxury brands.

From the Desk of Nadia Jastrjembskaia

st petersburg russia cruise
My boutique hotel Ekaterina is in Catherine Palace in Tsarsoe Selo.

Just to let everyone know that I decided to focus on Baltic cruises for 2017.

Northern Europe doesn’t experience all problems that we can see in Mediterranean market now.

What I plan to offer for the next year? Cruise tours! Similar that most of you did already in Alaska.

Idea is very simple: I take a cruise that you prefer and add pre-cruise or post-cruise intensive extension in Russia, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Northern Germany, Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

I made an agreement with Discover Scandinavia Tours – Customized Scandinavian Vacations that specialize in custom-built tours.

I leave for Sankt-Petersburg, Russia, soon to sign agreement with local tour operators for customized and private tours. This helps me to build portfolio of very unique visa-free excursions that are not available or extremely priced experiences.

During my stay in St. Petersburg I will stay at boutique hotel that is located in Katherine Palace and has exclusive access to tourist-free areas.

Also, my host will give me unique experience: behind the screen tour for Mariinsky Theater with visiting ballet classes (this excursion will be great for ballet lovers and ballerinas-to-be!) You love Dostoevsky? I am too! Try private guided excursion around area where characters ‘lived.’

Some Ideas for Northern Europe

st petersburg Russian cruise
petersburg Russian cruise
petersburg Russian cruise
petersburg Russian cruise

Create your own cruise tour! We can add custom-made tour with excursions and activities for you – pick up cities, means of transportation.

Contact me at 772 335-7017 Monday through Friday and request an appointment for consultation.

Did not use a travel professional before? No sure if I can help?

Find more about me!

Find more about Nadia

Follow Nadia Jastrjembskaia:

Elite Cruise Counselor

Nadia Jastrjembslaia. PhD. is a CLIA certified Cruise Counselor in the highest rank of Elite Cruise Counselor and Luxury Cruise Specialist. CLIA stands for Cruise Line International Association. She is a managing director of Aurora Cruises and Travel - storefront cruise travel agency in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She experienced more than 80 cruise ships and sailings. Nadia is a published author with her new book Suite Cruising on Royal Caribbean Fleet is scheduled to hit market in March 2016.

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