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cruise ship

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A cruise ship is a passenger vessel used for recreational voyages, where the actual sea voyage itself and the amenities on the ship are part of the cruise experience, along side various other destinations on the way.

Transportation to a destination is not the primary purpose of the cruise, as many cruise ships return to the same port they left from at the end of the cruise. The open sea experience on a cruiser is itself the reward for this type of activity. Ships that are purposed for transportation to a specific destination are known as ocean liners. These used to be popular in the first half of the 20th century, before air travel became widespread and reduced the costs and duration of large distance trips. However, individuals who are seeking a unique or retro traveling experience may still embark on an ocean liner.

Cruise ships are often luxurious and can cater to their passenger’s every needs over several weeks. For this reason, cruising is an important section of tourism, with more than 19 million tourists having been on a cruise in 2011 alone. The largest cruise ships in the world at the moment are Royal Caribbean International’s MS Oasis of the Seas, and its sister ship MS Allure of the Seas. The Royal Caribbean International is a Norwegian / American joint venture based in Miami, Florida. The MS Oasis of the Seas measures 225,282 gross tons, and can accommodate over 6000 passengers.

When it comes to organization, cruise ships are very much like a floating hotel, in terms of what services are offered. Some cruise ships may even carry indoor or outdoor swimming pools, library, theater, gyms, spa, casino, lounges, clubs and shops. Cruse ships also come with a restaurant and a dining area, as well as various separate dining rooms for VIP passengers.

The crew on cruise ships is usually hired with a pre-determined 4 to 6 months contract, which can be renewed depending on each crew-member’s performance and positive feedback from passengers. While senior officers are usually provided with their own private cabin, general employees will usually share a cabin with a shower. A separate employee lounge and fitness center is also common on cruise ships. Employees may benefit from free accommodation and meals during the cruise, as well as offers for special interline cruises.

You’ll find bloggers talking about cruise ships at sites like cdc.gov and journalism.fiu.edu.

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