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How to Pick a Specialty Cruise

If you’re not familiar with the term “specialty cruise,” you’re not alone. While the concept has been gaining in popularity, it is by no means as well- known as a standard Caribbean cruise on a mega ship. In fact, a specialty cruise can be anything from a special type of ship to a special theme for the week. This wedding officiant just LOVES a "specialty cruise" and there are hundreds to choose from; here are a few to whet your cruising appetite:

  • Barefoot cruising has been around for decades and can be the perfect cruise experience for many. The concept is simple, as it’s pretty much the exact opposite of the typical cruise ship. A small, sailing vessel instead of a floating city is your moving hotel, and passengers are often limited to 100, sometimes fewer. Cruisers are encouraged to participate in the day-to-day workings of the ship, from helping man the sails to swabbing the deck. You can choose to do as little or as much as you want.

  • For an extended girls night out, many women flock to Cropping Cruises. Sponsored by scrapbooking magazines and craft experts, these events have a variety of activities for learning, cropping, laughing and, most importantly, scrapbooking a ton of pages. If you enjoy the hobby, need to get some pages done and can get some friends to join you, this trip may become an annual one for you.

  • LGBT families are welcome on traditional cruise lines, of course, but there are specialty cruise vacations geared to creating a positive environment for these families. Offering all the same amenities and, often, on the same ships, the itineraries include LGBT-friendly activities and ports.

  • An adventure travel cruise is an exciting alternative to the standard destination. If you are looking for a journey of a lifetime, there are cruises on the Amazon, to the Galapagos Islands, and even to Antarctica. Not your run-of-the-mill trip, by any means, this type of cruise can expose the passengers to vistas and creatures seen by very few people.

  • Even the Food Network has joined the trend. For cruisers who love to cook (and eat), they offer product demonstrations, cooking classes and the chance to mingle with Food Network celebrities. Foodies everywhere are drawn to this type of specialty cruise.

  • How about a cruise that is not on the ocean? Cruises along the Mississippi River as well as through the Great Lakes are popular alternatives to open-water cruises. Fall color tours on these types of cruises can book up years in advance.

If you are interested in avoiding the run-of-the-mill cruise lines and itineraries, this wedding officiant says: a specialty cruise may be for you. From cruises focusing on music, poker, art, fitness, golf and even mystery dinners, everyone and anyone can find an option that appeals to them.

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