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CruiseCompete cruise specialists cite top reasons why cruises are perfect gathering places for generations

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For families looking for an alternative to the traditional reunion, the cruise specialists at CruiseCompete.com say a gathering at sea will surely make a splash with everyone. There are still cabins available for family gatherings on popular cruises scheduled to set sail this summer and fall, as well as the holiday season.

“For a memorable vacation, there’s no better value than a family reunion or holiday gathering on a cruise ship, with plenty to do for grandparents, parents, teen-agers and the younger ones,” said Bob Levinstein, CEO of CruiseCompete. “It’s a party nobody in the family will forget.”

Following are the top reasons family reunions at sea are more popular than ever:

1. Superior Value – The all-inclusive pricing of cruise vacations includes a family’s accommodations, meals, 24- hour room service, most onboard activities and top entertainment. Groups often receive special amenities. Cruise ships offer families a variety of staterooms to fit any budget and travel needs. Some cabins have been specially designed to sleep four or more guests. Special suites also are available for the disabled and folks who want more room and luxury amenities.

2. Convenient Departure Points – Traveling to board a cruise ship has never been easier. Ships depart from more than 20 ports throughout North America. Today, cruise ships are located within driving distance or a short flight of many U.S. cities, including Miami, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Galveston, New Orleans, Boston, Los Angeles and Seattle, among others.

3. No Worries – On a family reunion cruise, there is no cooking or cleaning to worry about – just relaxation. Plus, the weather is usually warm and pristine. Once everyone’s bags are unpacked (some lines may offer to do that, too), the ship’s crew does the rest.

4. Floating Fun – There is never a dull moment on a modern cruise ship. Guests enjoy swimming pools and water slides, rock climbing walls, surf riders, ice-skating rinks, roller blade tracks, spa services, kids programs, nightclubs, gambling, shopping, dining, libraries, Internet and video arcades, enrichment seminars and guest lecturers, yoga and plenty more. A highlight for many families is the visit to the cruise lines’ private islands that dot the Caribbean – full of fun and relaxation.

5. Food Galore – There are more food and dining choices on cruise ships than ever before, catering to people of all ages and tastes. Cruise ships still have their formal dining rooms, but most also feature more casual restaurants, grills and poolside dining options – plus 24/7 room service. Specialty restaurants, founded by some of the world’s most famous chefs, also are found on many cruise ships.

6. Spa Sensations – Men and women who want to be truly pampered are invited to enjoy an incredible spa experiences. Cruise ship spa staffs make relaxation and rejuvenation the focus of one’s visit, from the time one’s spa robe is slipped on to the sad moment of leaving the serene and peaceful Eden.

7. Children’s Programs – For parents who may want a break from their children – and vice versa – most of today’s cruise ships offer plenty of structured and supervised recreational programs for kids ages 3 to 17. In addition, special lounges and nightclubs for tweens and teens abound for the younger generations of families to hang out in supervised settings – no parents allowed.

“Cruises provide families of all sizes a truly unique and fun opportunity to gather throughout the year,” Levinstein said. “The hardest part of the planning process may be determining where and when to go. Your CruiseCompete cruise specialists help families with planning the details of the reunion at sea to make sure everyone comes home with plenty of fond memories.”

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