by Adrian Northrup & Julia Spiro

Your idea of a vacation is aboard a cruise ship. You love that all activities are encompassed in all one convenient traveling location. A day at the spa? Check. Lounging at the pool? Check! Dancing the night away at a club? Check. You can experience an entire vacation while floating on the ocean. And, if you tire of the drifting town, you can partake in a land activity while at port.

Your destinations vary — as long as they are located close to a large body of water. Some cruises take you to the tropics; others pass you by the towering ice glaciers. Your accommodations are a room below deck, preferably with an ocean view. You dine in one of the many restaurants and buffets. You love the cruisin’ lifestyle. Here are some of Tango Diva’s picks for cruise vacations.

Alaska: Princess Cruises Alaskan Glaciers Cruise

This 7-day cruise goes between Vancouver and Whittier, showcasing the most spectacular sights throughout the Alaskan coast. Go inside the College Fjord, the Glacier Bay National Park, and visit the city of Juneau. This cruise is not only relaxing but also informative, and guests enjoy lectures from speakers like Libby Riddles, the first woman to pin the 1,100 mile sled dog race. There are on-board naturalists throughout the entire trip, and National Park Service Rangers serve as tour guides. There are also kids and teens programs available to keep the whole family interested. With special dining events like the Chef’s Alaskan Dinner and the Glacier Bay Buffet, the fresh and inventive cuisine is worth noting. The Princess Cruise boats feature pools, boutiques, a spa, several dining options, and stately private rooms.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Princess Cruises Alaskan Glaciers Cruise Web site.

Bermuda: Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line’s “Freestyle Cruisine” program makes it one of the most relaxed cruising choices. While these cruise ships feature luxury accommodations, several bars and restaurants, nightlife spots, pools, and fitness and spa facilities, what truly sets this cruise apart is the flexibility offered to guests. Visitors need not feel guilty about not wanting to get up at the crack of dawn to go on a land tour, nor do they have to eat at specified times or places. With 3-days in port in Bermuda (more than any other cruise line), guests have plenty of time to lounge on pink sand beaches and explore Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital. With a young staff and an abundance of nightlife options, nights on or off the ship are sure to be entertaining and memorable.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Norwegian Cruise Line Web site.

Istanbul to Athens: Silversea Cruises

For cruise lovers who want a more intimate setting with a larger crew-to-passenger ratio, the Silversea Cruise Line is ideal. The 7-day cruise begins in Istanbul and ends in Athens, stopping at Crete, Volos, Mykonos, and finally Athens, among other spots. Most of the lux private rooms feature their own verandas, perfect for breakfast and sunset watching. There are several dining options on board, including 24-hour room service. There is also a world-class spa and salon for every beauty and de-stress need, as well as a high tech fitness center. Activity on shore ranges from guided tours of the sights to food tastings and free time to stroll and explore. This is the cruise for those craving a boat thats big enough to avoid boredom but small enough to avoid getting lost.

For more information and to make a reservation, visit the Silversea Cruises Web site.

More Cruise Vacations

A Gal’s Guide to Cruising

Oregon, USA: Cruising the Columbia, A Corps of Discovery

A “Tahitian Princess” Rainbow

Cruise Tahiti in May 2009

Solstice Cruise Line Launches in December 2008

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