In the last two years, more and more lifestyle cruise organizers are flocking on the boutique cruise movement, a trend started by SDC.com in 2010. It's no surprise that more and more organizers are entering the fray. However exciting, it's important to realize that no two cruises are alike, even if they are on the same ship. Hence, it's a good idea to take a moment and step back to compare the options before you commit to booking the perfect boutique lifestyle cruise vacation. There’s no better way for your search to be complete when you keep to these fundamentals.
The Needle in the Haystack
As you weed your way through all the sites and the boutique lifestyle cruises on offer, it can get complicated once it comes to decision time. So, before you click book now and pull that credit card out of your wallet with gusto, it may be worth it to sit back and do a bit of a comparison.
Let us lead the way.
Five Ws and Tossing in One Very Important H
To determine which one suits you best, there is no better way than to stick to the infamous five Ws and for this one it's significantly important to add one capital H. Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How much... because as it turns out it's quite interesting to see the differences that may make or break your experience and your bank account if you're not careful?
For that reason, let’s start with the one H.
The ham question. See below a short comparison for some upcoming cruises (regular price) now chartering with the same cruise company SDC has been with from 2010:
Wow! Talk about an eyeopener. SDC is up to 65% CHEAPER (yes, you read that correctly) than its competitors on the same ships! With an average of about 45% less money to pay for the exact same cabin! Not only that, SDC has a proven track record of delivering a quality 100% undiluted lifestyle experience every single time. A higher price doesn’t guarantee a better lifestyle experience, indeed, especially if you consider that the crowd will be a mixed batch.
It shows unequivocally that other companies absolutely have no scruples raking in your hard-earned $$$$$ to up their profits big time. And not only when it comes to the purchase, but it’s also an absolute jaw drop when you check their cancellation policies and outrageous fees.
When you look at all the organizers out there, make sure you are picking the provider with experience, with real reviews posted online so that you know you are in trusted hands. Be aware of third-party sellers out there. Does the word ‘commission’ ring a bell? A free cruise is often a bonus for those with enough sales and a great opportunity to sell their middleman service to potential clients on board for other cruises in their portfolio. Buying a cruise vacation through a third party can come with potential pitfalls.
These ‘experts’ have absolutely nothing to do with actually organizing or execution of your cruise; they’re just out to make a commission. Nothing wrong with that but once they have collected their commission, do you think they really care about your experience in the end?
Some may, and some won’t. In any case, if not great, or just so-so, they’ll most likely go out of their way to offer you the next ‘great one’ in their portfolio.
What are you looking for? What's the crowd going to be like? Is there a guest list you can see and interact with? What’s your idea of a perfect lifestyle cruise? Whether you’re just into erotic dating, a voyeur only or love to be watched, or love full-on swapping action day and night, ask yourself, what makes it worth it for you to spend that money?
What’s the quality and quantity of the entertainment you can expect? What's the information available? What's the procedure to book? Is there a personable service from those who organize it themselves, or is this an affiliate who will have to first contact the organization to get an answer for you? What’s their core business, their reputation, and what have they done in the past?
This question is not as simple as it may seem! Is the organizer committed to keeping you safe and sound? Some port destinations may sound incredible yet may not be so suitable for a lifestyle charter.
For SDC, the safety and security of our guests are paramount. It’s vital to your safety to know that the threat of terrorism in destination countries have recently affected some travel advisories and they are at elevated levels, especially for those visiting from Western countries. Do make sure to read up on those before you make your final choice. Especially when there is a visit planned to countries like Turkey, Morocco and/or the like.
The Caribbean is, of course, lovely, but the islands are quite conservative and being caught naked or wearing cameo on land can get you arrested. The Dominican Republic has gotten quite negative attention as far as safety is concerned as well.
Love to be naked on deck and enjoy a playful touch here and there? If you choose itineraries including these destinations, chances are you'll most likely be instructed to be fully dressed on deck. Oh, and forget any deck party if docked, there can be sound restrictions as well.
Keep in mind what your goal is for and on this vacation. Is it to experience freedom and really connect and play with couples in the lifestyle? Then make sure your provider of choice has a long track record of putting 100% lifestyle crowds together. If offered on a multitude of third-party sellers, you are getting on board with many guests not actually in the lifestyle as such.
When is the perfect time of year for a lifestyle cruise? Is it when temperatures will have you burn to a crisp, or have you shiver in your lingerie? Do you love it when ports are crawling with tourists? Or do you like it a little less tourist-heavy? Then you should look for itineraries in the shoulder seasons. Rough seas can be total a buzz killer, too, so it’s good to check how choppy the waters usually are in the itinerary of your choice.
Interested in a stellar 100% lifestyle cruise vacation without being robbed?
Check out the travel pages on SDC.com.