10 Thoughts On Picking a Cruise Ship CabinWritten by Ken Weasley
The best advice is to be informed about cabins and pick right cabin for you among thousands available on a cruise ship.
1. One of most difficult parts of planning for a cruise is choosing right cabin. Everyone has different tastes, and what is not important to one person might well be important to you.
2. Look at cruise ship layout and decks online or in brochures. Know that there are different types of cabins on different cruise ships. The biggest differences between cruise lines--mainstream and luxury--ships are quality of accommodations.
3. Sometimes there are over 20 different categories on a ship! So it is important to know different cabin categories. One reason is that thanks to modern shipbuilding, most inside and outside staterooms are standard in size and amenities. Comparing one vessel's cabins against another is daunting task, so keep your eye on square footage as most important criteria.
4. Know your budget and what you can afford. The price of a cruise ship cabin or stateroom (the terms are interchangeable) is dependent on its size, layout, and location. The cabins on large cruise ships come in standard, ocean view, balcony, and suite. A luxury line's smallest cabins are much larger than those on large cruise lines and are either ocean view or balconied.
5. Know your lifestyle. Price is certainly a consideration, but if your vacation time is limited, you might be willing to pay more to get a cabin better suited to your lifestyle. It's a personal decision, much like deciding where to cruise and which ship to cruise on. How about an outside cabin with a window, or better yet a balcony? How about sitting on balcony with a good book or using it to catch a breathe of sea air?
Condo-Hotels Ė A New Second-Home Alternative to Time SharesWritten by Leon Altman
Condo-hotels have evolved as a better, more reliable second home alternative to time-shares. They are usually attractive, high-rise hotels on ocean or in other prime locations, and range in price from mid $200,000s to over 1 million, depending on size, location, and amenities.
Many of biggest names in hotel industry have condo-hotel buildings, including Hilton, Four Seasons, Clarion, and Ritz-Carlton. Donald Trump has numerous condo- hotel facilities across country, including a building in Fort Lauderdale and another in Sunny Isles, Florida.
In general, condo-hotel properties have been highly successful with all or nearly all units selling out within months of first offering. For example, Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is a beachfront property with 188 condo-hotel units, all of which sold out a year before building was even finished. Needless to say, values of condo-hotels in this building have gone up significantly.
There are several reasons for popularity of condo-hotels. When you purchase a property, you purchase a condo unit in hotel. Unlike a time share, you have access to property whenever you want, and it is put into a rental pool when you are not in residence. Although developers canít guarantee properties will rent, management by a well-known hospitality group will typically result in several weeks of rental income. This is one of biggest appeals of condo-hotels because rental income can offset some of costs of owning a vacation property.
In addition, management company takes care of renting unit, using their connections and expertise. You donít have to worry about any of these details. Most rental agreements split income 50/50 between management company and owner. However, some properties offer more favorable arrangements, and this is another aspect to consider when deciding which property to purchase.