Cruises: Tops of the Liners
Think Sea Cruises Are Strictly Cattle Cars? Check Out These Ocean-Going Limousines
From the Print Edition:
Laurence Fishburne, Jan/Feb 00
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No matter where you want to go, a cruise is headed there. Take a week or more; most itineraries range from about seven to 20 days. If you need to fly a great distance to start your journey, some of the top lines will include a couple of nights in a high-end hotel before or after the cruise to give you a chance to unwind. If not included in the price, a variety of hotel and sightseeing packages at either end of the cruise are available from all lines. So, if the romance of the sea and exotic foreign ports beckon you just as much as a carefree, luxurious vacation does, look no further then these crème de la crème of cruise ships.
Heidi Sarna is the author of Frommer's Caribbean Cruises and Ports of Call.
TEE TIME AT SEA
Taking a cruise doesn't mean you have to leave your golf clubs behind. Ships of all shapes and sizes offer golf in the form of onboard practice and onshore playing excursions.
Cruises near golf meccas often arrange getaways to places like the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, Mahogany Run in St. Thomas, Monte Carlo Golf Club in Monaco, and Raffles Golf Club in Singapore. Escorted outings are conveniently packaged to include tee times, caddies, transportation, and clubs, shoes, balls and glove rental. Single-day excursions cost a few hundred dollars a pop and packages that include three to six rounds at various courses throughout a cruise range from $800 to $2,000 a person.
On some ships, PGA-certified golf pros provide lessons for players of all skill levels, covering everything from the basics to specialty shots in facilities that include golf cages, putting greens and sand traps on outside decks. Silversea's Silver Links golf program is featured on 17 different cruises this year, visiting some 59 courses in 26 countries. Packages start at $995 a person and include from three to six rounds in different countries.
A series of Seabourn's Signature Golf Cruises are scheduled to visit Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the British Isles, mainland Europe and Scandinavia this year. Ranging from $1,025 to $1,938 a person, the packages offer up to six rounds of golf at prestigious courses and include everything you'll need. The Seabourn Golf School at Sea, which includes videotape analysis and seminars on course management, rules, history and etiquette, is being offered year-round.
Crystal's Golf Series programs will be held on 14 cruises this year, on 35 courses in the Mediterranean, Asia, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. Packages offer the works, even complimentary club storage and special cocktail parties. Crystal has PGA golf pros on board most sailings, conducting private lessons. The pro determines the fee, generally ranging from $50 to $250, depending on the length of the lesson and the skill level of the student. The pro also teaches a free one-hour group class during days at sea as well as a free 30-minute clinic specializing in swing technique.
Radisson Seven Seas, the official cruise line of the PGA of America, runs its RSSC Golf Program on the Radisson Diamond and Navigator on select European and Caribbean cruises every year. Play on board and in port. An onboard PGA golf pro gives private, videotaped lessons. As with the Silversea golf program, packages including play at courses in various ports of call are also available--HS
HOW TO BOOK A CRUISE
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