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Renee Pinsky

Encino, California Travel Agent

River and Ocean Cruising

Cruising has always been my favorite way to travel the world.  I have been on over thirty cruises and know all the ins and outs. 

Both river and ocean cruises let you experience many places in one trip, with none of the hassles of packing and unpacking, checking in and out of hotels, and worrying about transporting yourselves from place to place. By giving you the opportunity to experience many destinations with ease, a cruise also can help you select places that you would love to return to. 

Cruising is also incredibly romantic. You can be as social as you like, but you can also sit at a table for two in the dining room, or on the deck at sunset and focus on each other. Cruising also lets you focus on experiencing new things together without the hassles of driving and organizing the logistics of your days.   

I especially love days at sea when I’m on an ocean cruise. Being on the ocean is the most relaxing thing there is to me. You can sit by the pool and read, play in the casino, or indulge in pampering spa treatments and not feel like you need to do anything at all.   

Cruising is also great for families. The Caribbean is great for beach-hopping and water sports, while Alaska offers memorable activities for families to share such as gold-panning, clam bakes, seeking glaciers calving and watching whales leaping out of the water. Often I suggest extending an Alaska cruise with a stay in Denali Park to see amazing the wildlife.  

Kids often see ads for climbing walls and ice skating rinks at sea and push their parents to book one of the mega ships. My favorite is Royal Caribbean; it does a great job for families because its ships are like grand resorts with something for everyone.  

On the other hand, most of my clients prefer sailing on more intimate ships with 300 to 1000 passengers. These more upscale lines pride themselves on personal service; their staff will quickly know what cocktail you want at dinner or by the pool, and they do all they can to make you feel special. Plus, when you add in all the inclusions of the upscale lines—gratuities, drinks, airfare, excursions—often they are a better value than the less expensive lines, where everything is a la carte. I often do a side-by-side comparison to show clients the real cost/value relationship.  

River cruising is more about the destinations than the ships. The boats are smaller and the trip is all about history because the rivers were the trade routes of the past. River cruising often gives you the chance to explore small villages as well as major cities. Many of the river cruise lines provide a choice of included excursions at each port, from bike and walking tours to more laid-back programs.  

As a cruise expert, I can help you select the line and itinerary that best suit your preferences, and help you avoid pitfalls, such as times when rivers are too high or too low for ships to pass. Plus, I stay current on the latest pricing trends and often can get you perks and pricing that you could not get by booking on your own

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