How To Choose Cruise Holidays: Tips By A Seasoned Cruiser

He loves cruise holidays and so far, Dr. Anton Reiter, 60, has been on more than 50 cruises. These range from seven-day voyages to the Mediterranean and South America, to 100-day world trips.

Besides cruising, Anton also loves marathon running. During his current cruise ship’s stopover in Singapore earlier this month, he ran an Invitational Marathon – organized by the F1 Runners Team.

A luxury cruise ship.

Luxury cruise ships, the Star Gemini (foreground) and the SuperStar Virgo (background)

Anton is a former professor, now civil servant at the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture ” in Vienna, working in IT and New Media.

I caught up with the seasoned cruiser and got some tips from him about how to have a good cruise holiday. Read my recent interview with him.

Anton Reiter (left) and his daughter on board a cruise ship.

Anton Reiter (left) and his daughter on board the Costa Deliziosa luxury liner.

So far Anton, how many cruises have you been on?

We have gone on cruises since the late 1980’s. Now, we have been on more than 50. These cruises range from trips of seven days to 100-day world cruises. But most of these were 10 day ones, though.

Where have your cruises taken you to?

These have been round trips in the west, south and east of the Mediterranean Sea. They started mostly from Italy (in Venice, Genova and Savona) while some originated from Rotterdam, Southampton, Marseille and Copenhagen. Others included cruises in the Caribbean, South America, Transatlantic and the East Sea.

The deck on Costa Deliziosa

The deck on Costa Deliziosa

Why do you enjoy travelling on cruise ships?

The main reason for me – is the comfort. You can leave all of your luggage in the cabin once you have embarked. There is also excellent food and entertainment. By the morning, you could be at another location too. We often use cruise ships to get to the Mediterranean beaches.

What is the most important thing to look out for, when selecting a cruise holiday?

In the summer our family loves to go to beaches – sometimes by cruise, so the destinations are very important. Also, being able to have night stay-overs at ports can be good. Usually, cruise ships don’t always stay overnight at harbours, so passengers have to be back on board at around 6 or 7 p.m. But on our present cruise, sometimes you have the choice to be out all night long and to do whatever you like – such as in Singapore or Sydney, so that was good. Being able to book different excursions with a cultural and historic dimension in different locations can also be useful.

The top deck of the Superstar Virgo, another luxury cruise liner.

The top deck of the Superstar Virgo, another luxury cruise liner.

What facilities do you usually look out for – when booking a cruise?

We don’t book a cruise according to the facilities – the destinations are more important.

Anyway, the standard of cruise ships have reached five stars and more, nowadays. So passengers are all offered good facilities, which allow a comfortable and safe journey – including medical treatment aboard. American ships too, may offer “a movie under the stars” programme in the summer, so you can enjoy a new film on a big screen – on an upper deck. And on this trip, we booked a more expensive cabin on an upper deck with a balcony – so facilities are less important.

What is the best cruise holiday that you have taken so far?

That would be my present world cruise and those that have lasted several weeks in the Caribbean. I also went on one of the last cruises of the Queen Elisabeth II to South America before the ship was sold to Dubai in 2005 and this was excellent. I liked these cruises and we didn’t have much complaint because for one thing, the food and stopovers were usually very good.

A lobster dinner for Anton

A lobster dinner for Anton

What is the most disappointing cruise holiday you have taken so far?

Once we were on a Spanish ship in the western Mediterranean Sea. This was a strange eight-day cruise, because they offered us the same food – the same salad, fish and meat every night. I have forgotten the name of the ship but the destinations were ok though. 

How different is a cruise ship holiday, compared to a land holiday?

A holiday on land enables you to move around much faster and have more possibilities for excursions. But having said that, you can also sometimes leave a cruise ship to stay outside overnight, rent a car, drive around and fly to the next destination. I would say that a cruise ship holiday is more for older people though, or those who want to have more comfort. Younger ones would prefer to take a plane for longer distances or use other transport such as a car or a train for shorter distances.

The pool area of the Costa Deliziosa

The pool area of the Costa Deliziosa

What are some important tips when booking cruises?

Look out for discounts. For example, our world cruise was offered for 12,000 Euros (SGD20,835) on the lowest deck – without balcony (during a special promotion). Nowadays, you can also get cheap cruises too – if you book at the last minute.

I also recommend planning a cruise at least six months in advance – in order to find a suitable stateroom cabin. Ideally, this would be in the middle of the ship and away from doors and elevators that may be noisy.

More On Anton Reiter

Click Here to read about Anton’s marathon on a cruise ship.

Click Here to read about Anton’s current 100-day world cruise.

Click Here to read about a invitational marathon race organised for Anton Reiter, by F1 Runners Team.

web counter
web counter

Share this page with your friends!

Leave a Comment