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Things To Do In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous as one of the greenest cities in Europe. Parks are quite relaxing and are also a source of great entertainment here. Greenery of parks gives a fresh feeling and refreshes the mind of a person from the busy life. Different parks have different source of amusement. In addition to these many parks are featured with large variety of trees and flowers, sports facility, water features paths for cyclists and many more. Another tourist attraction spot of Amsterdam are its museums. Amsterdam is well known as the home of a number of varieties of museums. More than 40 museums present here reflect the cultural diversity of the city. A wide range of European art collection could be observed here. To visit the sightseeing it is quite easy to travel on foot as most of the museums lies close to each other. Another way is to use the Canal Cruises or Museum Boats. Water taxis, trams or ubiquitous bicycle could also prove to be helpful for long excursion. Churches in Amsterdam are the beauty of the city. They are the unique examples of various architectural styles and patterns. Amsterdam is a place well known for its market besides its natural beauty. Thus it is famous as ‘Shopper’s paradise’. The markets have their own pleasing impression and attractiveness. One can easily purchase a variety of product from this place, whether it’s antique items, second hand clothing, fruits, vegetables or some biological products. The best part of the place is that most of the shopping centers lie nearby at walking distance from Dam Square so it’s quite easy to visit the market at foot. Thus one can save both his time and efforts. Amsterdam is also famous as the center of world diamond industry also. The departmental stores and malls in Amsterdam offer unique choice of products as the products are imported from various countries. Dining in Amsterdam is a great experience as the food is not only unique but also unimaginative. It ranges from fast food to world-class cuisine. One can find a number of Indonesian, Chinese restaurant and European, South American and Asian cuisine are well represented in Holland. Among them most popular is the Italian food. Cuisines of other nations as China, Japan, France, Turkey, Spain, Italy, India, Yugoslavia and other can also be discovered easily. Amsterdam is a beautiful city and famous not only for the outer attraction but is also well known for the various events and celebration helps you to get familiar with all the events, spots, hotels and many more attractions in Amsterdam. Thus it’s not a problem to choose any particular time to visit Amsterdam because it is ever beautiful and enjoyable as it is. Although most of the travelers visit here in between April and September as the days are longer and temperature is milder as compared to other months. As the weather is unpredictable here so the Dutch carry on with the festivals, events and celebrations according to the plan. Visitors who are interested towards traditional side or the modern era both can enjoy the events held here.

Amsterdam City Guide

The most bike friendly City you’ll ever see, Amsterdam greets you with a warm and easy going feel to its country. Capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam is an instantly lovable place with more bikes than cars, beautiful weather, and what seems like a million cafes at the turn of every corner. Although with a reputation a little on the wild side, Amsterdam has much more to offer when you look further.

Beyond the exciting night life of the city lie the little treasures of Amsterdam, literally as well. Diamonds are something that makes this quaint city well known in the world of trade, but Amsterdam’s treasures lie more in the 51 museums all around.

The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam or Rijksmuseum is one of the major museums in Amsterdam. The Night Watch is its most famous painting, a work of art by painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Though there is a museum called The Rembrandt House Museum, a place where the painter himself lived, his most famous artwork still goes on prominent display in Rijksmuseum. Other painters whose works are well known in that museum are Jacob van Ruysdael and Frans Hals.

Another famous museum in Amsterdam would be the Van Gogh Museum, which holds the largest collections of his paintings and works in the world today. Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter famous for his brilliant artworks, some of which include “The Potato Eaters”, and “Sunflowers”.

The fantastic thing about the museums in Amsterdam is that no two are alike. One such example is the Anne Frank House. The story centre’s around a girl living in the WWII period, and writing in her diary about her daily life. People flock from all over the world to see the secret rooms and most of all, the diary of Anne Frank. Converted into a museum after an estate agent decided he wanted the building demolished, it remains one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam till today.

Another complete “one-eighty turn” from the museums housing classical paintings would be the Stedelijk Museum. This museum houses modern art collections and is a popular place to be not only for the paintings and artwork, but for the panoramic view of the city you get when you’re at the top floor.

The Amsterdam’s Historisch Museum, The Jewish Historical Museum, The Maritime Museum; the list goes on. Each one totally different from the next, you’ll be spoilt for choice on which to go visit. No disappointments though, Classical or Contemporary, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam’s Affordable Hotel Rates

Looking for an economical place to stay while in Amsterdam is so easy with so many hotels that offer very low rates with great amenities. You can choose from the many hotels in any area of your choice.

Amsterdam has many attractions to offer for its visitors. It is a place which is rich with historical places and abundant of fascinating canals which passes throughout the midst of the city. It had been named as “Venice of the North” and has been alluring millions of tourists all throughout the year.

Looking for cheap hotel in Amsterdam is quite easy with so many hotels available ranging from the most extravagant to the least expensive ones. You can have your early reservation through the websites and have an overview of the hotel features and amenities of your choice.

Hotel de Filosoof

Hotel de Filosoof is a three- star hotel located in the middle of a peaceful community with 19th century old houses. The 38 guestrooms are fully- decorated with a wide array of cultural setting. Rooms are equipped with cable TVs and telephones.

The hotel has a library ideal for reading your favorite novel or browse in the many book collections available. A beautiful and spacious garden is a good place for relaxation and reminiscing.

The hotel caters to different corporate gatherings or any occasion. The conference hall is equipped with modern equipments.

Walking distance from the hotel are wide variety of museums, parks, shopping malls and many other attractions which visitors can enjoy and have a treat of your life.

Hotel Amenities:

•Conference halls

•Bar

•Paid Parking

•Garden

•Currency Exchange

•Free High- Speed Internet Access

•Paid parking

Victoria Hotel Amsterdam

This four- star deluxe hotel is strategically located in the busy area of shopping centers very near the Dam Square, Royal Palace and many other places ideal for touring. It is one of the renowned historical buildings in the city.

There are 305 guestrooms which includes Executive, Business and Deluxe Suites.

Hotel Amenities:

•Conference Facilities

•Hair Dryer

•Mini bar

•Bar

•In- Room Movies

•Modem Jack

•Radio

•Room Service

•Restaurant

•Swimming pool

•Safety Deposit Box

Adriaen van Ostade B&B

The Adriaen van Ostade B&B is a two- storey townhouse type hotel located at the De Pijp. It offers a reasonable rate for accommodation, with simple amenities but assures a pleasant and comfortable place to stay while on vacation.

Guestrooms are decorated with a modern day design with a combination of traditional wood flooring and fine lighting. Rooms come with complimentary wireless Internet. There is a private balcony right next to the guest rooms which is an ideal place for relaxing while having an overview of the surroundings.

Other Guestroom Amenities:

•Safety deposit box

•Satellite TV

•Coffee maker

•Alarm clock

•Climate control

•Refrigerator

•Hair dryer

•Complimentary toiletries

A communal dining area is located at the fourth floor wherein guests do the preparation of their own evening meals. Breakfast is served daily with a charge.

Guests can have the option to visit many restaurants, bars, cafes or can purchase some food for cooking at the Albert Cuyp Market which is located near the hotel.

Bellevue Hotel

The Bellevue Hotel is one of the modern hotels centrally located in Amsterdam.

The hotel features 75 guestrooms which are all climate- controlled, and has an interior of modern- day design and decorations. All the guestrooms are equipped with satellite TV, hair dryer and safety deposit box.

Other Amenities:

•Dry cleaning service

•Restaurant

•Bar

•Complimentary buffet breakfast

Hotel guests can visit two of the renowned museums which are less than four kilometers away, the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. There are plenty of tourist attractions which visitors can go for sightseeing.

Taking Your Partner To Amsterdam

When you are on holiday, it does not mean that you should stop being yourself. In fact, being on holiday with your girlfriend means that you will be spending all your time with her so she will have more opportunity to get mad with you if you step out of line. There are some things that you can do, however, that should keep her happy. This will allow you to enjoy your trip to Amsterdam without getting into too much trouble.

The first thing that you can do to avoid a fight is to let her choose where you be staying. There is quite a wide range of places that you could stay in Amsterdam, so you will be spoiled for choice. You can let your girlfriend choose all on her own, but then you run the risk of her saying that you did not put any effort into it. If you choose by yourself, then she will feel left out. The key to success is finding the right balance. If you source a few hotels that you think will do the trick, and then let her choose, then she will have it in her mind that she was the decision-maker. There are a few good points to this. Firstly, you will keep her happy. Secondly, you will be staying in a place that you are comfortable with.

Now that you have the accommodation sorted, you have to think about where you would like to eat. Keep in mind that you will be eating at least three times a day if not more so you will have a lot of pleasing to do. Luckily for you Amsterdam is tremendously cosmopolitan so finding food that you both like to eat will not be that hard. If your other half is a vegetarian then try not to take her to the back room of a butchery because you feel like a rare steak. Just use common sense and everything will go smoothly. Nobody knows her better than you, so it’s up to you to just remember what she likes.

If you manage to keep the peace with regards to food and accommodation, then the rest of your holiday will be a breeze. Keep the details in mind when you are out on the town. Amsterdam has a great nightlife, so when you find yourself in a nightclub try not to make it too obvious when you are ogling the other girls. Always make sure you give your girlfriend all the attention she needs, open doors to restaurants and cabs for her and never let her think you are only buying yourself a drink and not for her. If you stick to the basics, then you will wake up every morning in your hotel room bed looking forward to another day of great fun and games in Amsterdam.

Travel destinations: Amsterdam – Part 2

The Capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam has many sights to see. Amsterdam offers many options for vacation plans regardless of whether you are traveling alone, with friends or with your family.

Museums

Offering museums such as Rijksmuseum, the “Stedelijk Museum, “Rembrandt House Museum, “Van Gogh Museum and the “Anne Frank House, to name a few, offer a variety of tours to entertain young and old alike.

Traveling with Children

For those traveling with children, the Artis (Natura Artis Magistra) is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, founded in 1838. The Artis offers a Planetarium as well as a museum. You can also see various animal habitats, an African Savannah, an aquarium and is accessible year round by tram, train, and metro or canal boat.

With nearly forty acres, the zoo is home to approximately seven hundred species including amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds, mammals, and insects.

Biking in Amsterdam

Because of the narrowness of the streets of Amsterdam and the high cost of parking, this is a great tourist destination for those who love to ride bikes, as the area is bike friendly’, offering bike paths, and bike racks throughout the city. Interestingly enough there are more than one million bicycles in the city of Amsterdam.

Universities

Amsterdam offers two universities, the University of Amsterdam and Free University as well as the art school, De Rietveldacademi and research institutes primarily for social history.

Shopping

For those who love to shop, Amsterdam offers a variety of open air markets. The Albert Cuyp market is a great open air food market. Waterlooplein which lies just south of the Rembrandt House Museum, offers food. Cloth is offered at the Dappermarkt. Amsterdam is home to the famous (and only) floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt.

Entertainment

Amsterdam is home to the world-class symphony orchestra (The Concertgebouworkest). They make their home at the Concertgebouw concert hall. There are a variety of other concert halls that offer shows that everyone is sure to enjoy.

Summary

While Amsterdam may be one of Europe’s smaller capitals, it has much to offer visitors. Amsterdam is home to perhaps one of the most famous systems of canals. They spread over the whole city.

Amsterdam has a variety of attractions to keep your entire group entertained. You will be busy during your trip there, be sure to visit the “Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board to plan your itinerary. With so much to offer you will not want to miss anything!

Amsterdam – enjoy treasures of art and history in a bicycle ride

The early days
Amsterdam was founded as a fishing village around the thirteenth century. During the 14th, but especially the 15th century, Amsterdam underwent a rapid development, which laid the foundation for the Golden Age, when the city became the staple market of the world. The year 1672 was a year of disaster for the Dutch Republic with the French and English attacking simultaneously. Nevertheless, Amsterdam managed to consolidate its prosperity during the period 1672-1795 and managed to retain its position as the financial center of Europe. During the French occupation (1795-1813), Amsterdam suffered badly from the economic recession, a state of affairs reflected by the stagnation of the demographic development. The period 1813-1940 is marked by economic recovery and, from 1870 onwards, by expansion and a rapid population growth, as result of the Industrial Revolution which triggered off a New Golden Age. Shortly before the First World War the city began expanding and new suburbs were built, but in 1940 Germans installed a Nazi civilian government in Amsterdam that cooperated in the persecution of Jews, throwing again the country in misery.
Any time can be the best time to visit Amsterdam. The peak of the tourist season is around Easter and July-August, when the weather is the finest. Weather, however, is never really extreme, and if you’re one of the growing numbers who favor off-season travel, you’ll find the city every bit as attractive during these months. Not only are airlines, hotels, and restaurants cheaper and less crowded during this time, but there are also some very appealing events going on. Winters are rarely extremely cold, and sheltering in the cosy pubs will give you a chance to meet “real” Dutch. The cultural season is in full swing between September and May.

Streets breathing history and culture
Amsterdam has a broad spectrum of recreational and cultural sights that range from fascinating old buildings, but of all this mosaic, museums are the main tourist attraction. Everyone knows the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum, but there is much, much more.
The pinnacle of sophistication and home to the three major and most important museums in Amsterdam is the Museum quarter (Museumplein), an art lover’s paradise which boasts the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum. Without doubt, any culture vulture will be in their element in this recently renovated quarter. Also, in amongst the stylish hotels and cafés, lays the majestic Concertgebouw, renowned the world over for its breathtaking acoustics and locally, for its free lunch time classical concerts. The Museum quarter is arguably the cultural hub of the city, offering a kaleidoscope of activities and attractions. A stroll down the exclusive P.C. Hooftstraat, Pieter Cornelisz or Van Baerlestraat will take the you into some of the world’s most chic couture houses.
If you seek the natural beauties of Amsterdam, this botanical garden will surely reveal them to you – Amsterdam’s Hortus has from way back been known as “the town’s pride and joy”, an oasis of peace and beauty at the very centre of the bustling city. Established in 1638 as a herb garden for Amsterdam’s doctors and pharmacists, the garden is almost 400 years old and it has more than 6000 plants, some of them really unique, as 2000 years old agave cactus. The Museum of Life (“Museum van het Leven”) will tell you the history of life on Earth by very attractive means, and after visiting the zoo, the Geological Museum, the Zoological Museum, the Plant Houses, the Aquarium or the Planetarium are ready to reveal you ancient secrets.
As for the events you should not miss if you get to Amsterdam this summer, the 10th annual edition of the “Comedytrain International Festival” features the very finest in English language stand-up comedy, for six weeks in July and August. With the likes of Adam Hills (Australia), Eddie Bannon (Ireland), Adam Bloom (UK), Paul Provenza (US) and Ron Vaudry (Canada), you will leave Toomler in stitches, guaranteed. Beginning with the 11 of August, for five days, special locations in the heart of Amsterdam form the backdrop for more than 80 classical concerts, as the “Grachtenfestival” catches the public attention. The concerts can be enjoyed in houses and gardens of hospitable local inhabitants and in concert halls, historic buildings, museums and out of doors in the area around Prinsengracht.

A hippie heaven
And because shopping is one of the tourists favorite ways of discovering the city, you will find that there are several “shopping corridors” in the city and each one has it’s own charms and specialties. The first one is Nieuwedijk-Kalverstraat, a 1km pedestrian area full of shops, with no traffic other than a constant stream of tourists, students, scholars, excursionists and locals. On the other side of the square you will enter the Kalverstraat, the place where all mainstream brand names have one or more stores. In addition to this, flower markets, bicycles, restaurants, everywhere. If you like a little more luxury, the Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat is where you can do some serious damage to your credit card. As the evening falls, Amsterdam starts to sparkle, especially on the nice spring and summer days. While all cinemas and theaters are busy, city clubs, cafés and restaurants are full of joyful, friendly crowd. Between dips into artistic and historical treasures, be sure to take time out to absorb the freewheeling spirit of Europe’s most vibrant city.

Amsterdam Nightlife

Amsterdam is a beautiful city of Netherlands, on the banks of two bodies of water; the IJ bay and the Amstel River. The city is situated where the small bifurcated Amstel River is joined by a sluice dam that was originally built in 1240, and thus the city got its name “Amste-r-dam.”

The official capital of Netherlands, Amsterdam was founded in the late 12th century as a small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel, but now it’s the largest city, and financial & cultural of the country.

Amsterdam is one of the important urban centers of the greater metropolitan area called Randstad, one of the largest conurbations in Europe. Some of the other Dutch cities in the conurbation include Haarlem, Utrecht, Leiden, The Hague, Rotterdam etc.

Often dubbed as the “Venice of the North,” Amsterdam is also known for a series of 17th century concentric, semi-circular canals (grachten) that were dug around the old city centre. With many fine houses and mansions are situated along side, the canals are the beautiful attractions of city.

Amsterdamis one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the world. Home to gorgeous architectures, beautiful mansions, lovely canals, great shopping malls, and classy hotels, the city of Amsterdam bosoms something for every traveler’s taste.

Amsterdam is the city that hardly sleeps at night. The city is very famous for its nightlife. It offers one of the most vibrant nightlifes in the Europe and that is why the city is often nicknamed as “Gayway to Europe.” The city offers one of the most inebriating night cultures, and dishes out numerous hedonic and epicurean pleasures in its bars, clubs, restaurants etc.

The dance clubs in Amsterdam are loud and boisterous and they remain open until 6 in the morning. Amsterdam clubs exhibit everything from the class of society to “drag queens” and bisexual Dutch girls. Some of the popular clubs in the city include ‘iT!’, ‘Sinners In Heaven,’ ‘Time,’ and ‘Club Melkweg.’ The city also has numerous pubs. The beer prices are 2-3 euros in the pubs, but beer is quite expensive in the clubs. Besides, the city has a number of restaurants, bars, and cafes that remain open till wee hours.

Amsterdam is also famous for its red-light district, de Wallen. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands at specific places. The red-light district is located in the center of the city along major canals. Prostitution also flourishes in certain side streets such as Warmoesstraat and Zeedijk. There are many bars and restaurants in this area. It’s not just in Amsterdam rather the other Dutch cities such as Utrecht, The Hague, Leeuwarden, Haarlem and Groningen also have “Hoerenbuurten” (“Hooker areas”).

Major attractions of Red Light area are Moulin Rouge striptease, Banana Bar and several peep show bars. A peep show may cost you from 2 euros to 10 euros and you can enjoy one show in Moulin Rouge in 45 euros which includes a drink also. The banana bar has shows starting from 25 euros.

You can visit Amsterdam all year round. Amsterdam winters are mild and average above freezing and summers are warm but seldom hot. Cloudy and damp days are pretty common, particularly in the cooler months.

10 Attractions To Visit In Amsterdam

The Dutch Capital is playground of sensual delights. It is the city widely known for its generous atmosphere. Amsterdam is a historic city that is a wonderful destination containing more than 6,000 momentous buildings, ornate mansion houses, restaurants, shopping malls, gardens, markets, museums, cafés, bars, nightclubs and many more. The ten major attractions to visit in Amsterdam are as follows:

Stedelijk Museum, established in 1895 is a home to the works of Sophia de Bruyn, Matisse, Picasso, Mondriaan and Cézanne en Monet. Designed by A.W. Weissman in neorenaissance style, Stedelijk Museum is a national museum for contemporary sculpture designs since 1938. The museum also organizes temporary exhibitions on a regular basis.
Damrak is one the chief shopping streets in Amsterdam. This street is located between Centraal Station and Dam Square. This is a noisy and active street, where you will find large numbers of shopping options plus fast eating houses. Sex Museum and Beurs von Berlage are some must see places here.

Opened in 1985, the Amsterdam Sex Museum houses a large global collection of historic erotic pictures, pornographic artistry, paintings, objects, recordings, sculptures, Greek temple devotional items, Japanese carved erotic ivories and antique and modern fetish wear. There is a broad range of manuscripts and illustrations ranging from the Karma Sutra to 20th century comics and a vast film and pictorial store offering every sexual predilection and preference.

The Hortus Botanicus is a ‘Botanical Garden’, which exhibits thousands of different plant varieties in both the gardens and greenhouses. The garden has many different scenes to offer including a pond, a rock-garden, a rosarium, a herb garden and many monumental trees.

This neo renaissance style building, Amsterdam Central Station is rested on three artificial islands. It is constructed between 1882 and 1889. The building is 306 meters long and 30 meter deep. From the exit/entrance you can directly reach in the centre of the town. The frontage is dominated by two towers.

The Bloemenmarkt is the only floating market in the world. It is one of the most odoriferous places of Amsterdam during all year times. The flower stalls stand on the houseboats, and you will find all kinds of tulips, narcissus, dried flowers, bonsai, bulbs, bouquets and fresh-cut flowers.

Located in Red light District, the Sint-Nikolaaskerk (St. Nicholas’s Church) is the oldest church of Amsterdam. It was established in early 14th century in honor of the patron St Nicholas. Because of the whitewashed walls, the church’s interior is very vivid and dazzling. The church tower was built in 1565 & is one of the most glorious in Amsterdam.
Artis Zoo is a great place to visit with your children. It is one of the nicest Zoos in the world, home to about 700 animals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and insects. It is more than a zoo; it is also a Botanical garden, Aquarium, Geological Museum, Planetarium and Zoological Museum.

The Zuiderkerk is a well-known Amsterdam’s attraction. This is a Church located in the direction of the Rembrandt Haus and the Stopera. It was a Calvinist church, which was designed by Hendrick de Keyser, and was built in 1603-1611.
Leidseplein is an outstanding area of Amsterdam for several activities you may be seeking. There are hundreds of eating houses across the street offering a wide variety of cuisines. You can also find various shopping stores, bars, discos and coffee shops; the nightlife is great.

Short stories: The American Dream

Searching For the American Dream

This is the story of a young girl’s experience coming to America. Her name is Helena Sztrnada and she was leaving Munich, Germany to come here to live with her sister, who was her sponsor.

Helena was twenty-four years old and a trained Dressmaker. She had applied for a visa and waited four years before she was allowed to travel to the USA. She took with her a sewing machine and one suitcase of clothes. The sewing machine gave her comfort. She had trained very hard for five years to become a Dressmaker, and the machine was the only thing she had that reminded her of the skills she possessed and the things she could accomplish with it. She left behind a small daughter, her mother and father and two sisters and headed for Amsterdam to catch the ship that would carry her to her future.

The voyage set out to be unpleasant from the beginning. She was prone to be sea-sick and began to suffer with the dreaded illness right away. She had never been on a ship before and was not aware of her tendency. A waiter spotted the signs and said she should go to the ladies room immediately. Once there she understood why he was so insistent she leave the dining room. She became quite ill and began to regurgitate and continued until her stomach was completely empty. She made it to her cabin and remained there for days. The stewards would bring her soup and sandwiches. She eventually was able to return to the dining area but didn’t seem to be able to fully shake the illness and still felt wheezy once in a while. She was very happy when the ship reached New York and she could step on solid ground once again.

After passing through Ellis Island she was met by her uncle and aunt. She would be living with them until her sister, who lived in Atlanta, could provide transportation for her to come to Atlanta. Helena had learned some English in school but mostly she learned it from her sister who would take the letters Helena would write to her in English and correct them and return them to Helena. She continued to learn from her uncle and aunt who had been in the US for many years and spoke very good English.

Being only twenty-four, and having just arrived, her aunt worried that she might not be aware of all the dangers she could face alone in the streets of New York and forbid her to go out alone for that reason. Helena soon persuaded her aunt to let her go by agreeing to take the dog along. She was quite excited to be in New York and began to

Choosing a Cruise Line – are They Really That Different?

by Roy Witman

Casinos. Formal dining rooms. Day spas and fitness centers. All cruise lines offer the same things, right? That may have been true decades ago, but no longer! Today, there is a great deal of variety in the cruise lines with regard to onboard activities, amenities, destinations and more. Since “how do I choose a cruise line” is probably the most frequently asked question I get, allow me to give you a quick overview of the most popular cruise lines and what each offers. You’ll want to bookmark this article so you can find it quickly in the future when you’re ready to book your next cruise.

Carnival Cruise Lines

Known as the Fun Ships®, Carnival made a bold move years ago by breaking the stereotype of cruise vacations. Carnival opened the door to Ordinary Joe to experience vacations at sea just as the rich and famous did. Thanks to Carnival, everybody can take a cruise at an affordable rate. These are fun, basic cruises that offer comfortable accommodations and all the amenities you would expect. Casinos, Broadway-style shows, spa treatments and fitness centers are all onboard, as well as extensive kids activities. With destinations to the most popular locations including the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and the Bahamas, Carnival offers quickie three- and four-day cruises as well as lengthy 16-day tours.

Norwegian Cruise Line

With several new ships launched over the last few years, Norwegian has a relatively new fleet. Known for “Freestyle Cruising,” NCL gives you the freedom to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. Traveling to the four corners of the world, NCL offers an extensive lineup of destinations in addition to the typical ones listed above. Book passage to Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Madrid, Amsterdam, Athens, or Paris, as well as numerous cities in Egypt, Norway and Belgium. Exclusive Courtyard Villas with exceptional amenities make accommodating large groups or families a breeze. The large array of kid’s activities means the children will also have a great time!

Royal Caribbean Cruises

The slogan “Get Out There!” should tell you something about Royal Caribbean. These fast-paced ships are new, innovative and large! With many firsts at sea, Royal Caribbean has the newest fleet at sea loaded with unusual things to do including a rock wall, FlowRider® onboard surfing machine, ice skating rink, boxing ring and bowling alley. All this in addition to the expected casinos, spas, fitness centers and restaurants. Extremely kid-friendly, Royal delivers a diverse selection of baby, toddler, child, pre-teen and teen activities. Sailing to the four corners of the world, Royal can take you to six of the seven continents for some amazing adventures.

Princess Cruises

The original “Love Boat,” Princess Cruises has been a recognized leader in the industry since the early 70′s when the television series put them in front of the public eye. Today, Princess continues to offer casual yet refined cruises to typical destinations as well as Asia, Australia, South America and Europe. With art auctions and ScholarShip® programs there’s plenty to do onboard, including taking lessons in painting and digital photography plus listening to guest lecturers and more. Multiple youth and teen activities mean every member of the family can have a great time while vacationing on these smaller, but well-appointed ships.

Celebrity Cruises

More sophisticated and a little slower paced than the others, Celebrity’s hallmark is exceptional service. With an eye toward anticipating the passenger’s need and delivering before you even ask, Celebrity delivers award-winning service with every cruise. While they do offer a good selection of activities for children through teens, Celebrity offers more to adults. Enrichment programs and art auctions are included along with the typical casinos, shows and dining options. Offering signature destinations rarely found elsewhere, Celebrity can show you wonders of the world including the Galapagos Islands, Panama Canal and more around the globe.

Holland America Line

Signature white-glove service and premium accommodations set Holland America apart. With high levels of staffing, Holland sails with about one crewmember for every two guests, ensuring you get everything you want. A Culinary Arts Center offers hands-on as well as demonstration cooking lessons in a theater setting equipped with plasma TVs. Extensive programs for children and youth make this luxurious line family-friendly as well. Sailing to six of the seven continents, Holland calls on ports in lesser know, but fascinating destinations. Iceland, Norway, Greenland and Denmark as well as the ever-popular Caribbean, Bahamas and Mexico can be visited when sailing with Holland.

Windstar Cruise Line

Intimate. Peaceful. Personal. Not massive ocean liners: Windstar offers cruises onboard motor-sail yachts with sails furling! Small ships accommodating just over 300 passengers offer a truly unique way to see the most popular destinations in the world including the Caribbean, Europe and the Greek Isles. Take part in water sports right off the back of the ship! Relish in the gourmet meals and enjoy the pampering of well-appointed cabins. Geared specifically to adults, no children’s activities are offered. Two of the three ships have casinos; all have a delightfully different way to enjoy a cruise.

Cunard

The best of the best. Cunard says, “Excellence is to be expected” and they mean it! With three of the most recognized ships in the world, the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Queen Victoria, Cunard offers five-star service and accommodations at every turn. Regal in every detail, these world-famous ships frequently play host to royalty, heads of state, the wealthy and celebrities. Reminiscent of grand ocean liners of past eras, Cunard is home to Canyon Ranch Spa, offers cultural enrichment programs and also an onboard planetarium. Partake in authentic English afternoon tea, stroll the deck, try your luck at the casino or drop the children off in The Zone while you relax on deck. Sailing to the four corners of the world, Cunard can take you anywhere you want to go.

Wherever you want to go, whatever you want to do, use the guide above to direct you to the right cruise line for you at the right price. You’ll quickly be able to decide the best vacation for you and your family with just a glance.