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Why 2020 should be the year you finally go on a cruise

Dec. 04, 2019
4 min read
Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, Norwegian Encore, has room for 4,004 passengers at double occupancy.
Why 2020 should be the year you finally go on a cruise
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Cruising used to be one of those "love it or hate it" type of vacations — but not anymore. It's time to let go of the stereotypes that cruises are meant for young families or older generations and welcome new concepts coming from trendy brands like Virgin and Ritz-Carlton. This week on "Talking Points," we find out why vacationing on the open seas is something worth trying out.3 key takeaways from this episode:

  • Cruise Lines are taking action to reduce their environmental impact
  • Options are endless; passengers can be as flexible or plan as much as they want
  • Cruises can be for anyone — even solo travelers on a budget

Andy Stuart, the CEO and President of Norwegian Cruise Line, joins the podcast to explain what it's like to run what he calls a "complex floating hotel," how cruise lines drive loyalty and where Norwegian is making strides in sustainable practices onboard. Stuart has been with the cruise line for the past 30 years and shares how Norwegian continues to innovate their ships and tailor options for every type of traveler."It's never 100% perfect, but we do try to give everyone the choice to do things the way they like to do it. Some people are planners, right? They want to plan every moment of every day," he says. "Other people are spur of the moment, 'Hey, I want to do this, that and the other.' So we balance inventory to meet the needs of both those groups."Norwegian Encore, the line's latest and largest ship at nearly 170,000 tons, is loaded with entertainment options. From Broadway musical “Kinky Boots” to an 1,150 foot go-kart track that extends 13 feet off the ship, passengers can curate their cruise experience however they want. Stuart says that if they cannot provide options that are as good as on land, they don't want to provide it at all."It used to be that with cruising, everything was sort of not quite as good. We've got to be as good as the best restaurants in New York, we've got to be as good as the best shows on Broadway. Our virtual reality has got to be as good as anything that's going on in any of the theme parks around the world. The race track has to be better than a racetrack that you would go to in your local town," he says.Not only is Norwegian Encore the largest ship in their fleet, it's also the first to eliminate single-use plastic water bottles. Norwegian partnered with Just Goods to provide water bottles that are 100% recyclable and made mostly from paper and plant-based plastic. These bottles will roll out fleet wide by Jan. 1, 2020, which Stuart says will eliminate the use of 6 million plastic bottles per year.

Related: How to book a cruise using points and milesCruise Lines have to be creative when it comes to loyalty. For one, people aren't taking a cruise every week or even every year. Passenger capacity on cruises only accounted to 28.5 million in 2018, according to a report from the Cruise Lines International Association, whereas 2.7 million people fly every day. Stuart says Norwegian's loyalty program is all about providing members with a better on-board experience, such as priority embarkation.Tune into this episode to hear more from Stuart on why you should consider cruising with Norwegian no matter if you're vacationing with your family or taking a solo trip, which route he recommends TPG takes, and how the cruise line responds to natural disasters.Play this episode above, or wherever you get your podcasts.Feature image by Norwegian Cruise Line

Featured image by NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023