Why choose to cruise?
Often I have clients walking into my office who have done the local destinations and are looking for something different or they could be looking for the best ‘special’, cheapest, trip that gives them the most ‘bang-for their buck’. PERFECT, jump on a cruise!
Now travelers who haven’t yet tried a cruise tell us typical cruising myths like “I’ll get seasick” and “I’ll feel claustrophobic on a ship” are among the reasons they’ve not yet crossed the gangway.
I even get, “Cruising is something my grandparents would do!”, great! your grandparents are intelligent people!
What do reservations like this tell me? Cruising has a stigma, and I am here to tell you why cruising is the best holiday you will ever take!
If you don’t buy what I’m saying then have a good look at the compelling marketing lures, like TV commercials of families sliding down onboard waterslides or of couples gazing out to sea from their private balcony are tempting. But the best people to ask are those who have cruised before, you know those friends who have come home from their vacation just raving.
Here’s the top reasons I’d recommend a cruise vacation.
Value for money.
Cruises offer great value for your vacation dollar because the fares include nearly everything you’ll need for a fantastic trip: food, accommodations, daytime and evening entertainment and transportation between destinations. We regularly see fares on mainstream cruise lines for under $100 per person, per night, which is astonishingly cheaper than you’d spend on land for a hotel, dinner, and a show. On some lines, kids even sail free or at discounted rates when sharing a cabin with two adults. Looking for luxury? Upscale lines are even more inclusive, with alcohol and soft drinks, gratuities, shore tours, onboard spending credits, and even flights bundled into the fare.
More often than not these cruise liners are throwing out red hot deals where your alcohol drink package is included with your fare (speaking from experience, this is TOO good to not take advantage of).
From tots to teens, grandparents to grandkids, cruises are fun for all ages. If you’re struggling to find a vacation that your whole family will love with activities included, then it’s a clear choice.
Ships have extensive kids’ facilities, split by age. Teens have their own cool hangouts, far away from the play areas for the little ones (and certainly a nice distance from parent-friendly pools and bars). How can you not love a trip that features video games and swimming pools, while offering time for families to be together at dinner or on shoreside excursions? And parents can even sneak in a romantic dinner alone, by taking advantage of late-night hours in the kids’ club.
Visit multiple destinations, without dragging your suitcase around.
On a cruise, you unpack once and your floating hotel takes you from city to city or from island to island and there’s no need to mess with train or ferry schedules or lug your suitcase along cobblestone streets. Every morning, you’ll wake up in a new place. Can’t decide between St. Lucia and Barbados, or Italy or Spain? Fiji or Vanuatu? Why choose? Pick an itinerary that visits all the cities on your wish list.
So many ship choices.
The ideal cruise ship for one person/family may be a mega-ship outfitted with onboard rock-climbing walls and outdoor movie theaters, while another will prefer an intimate ship with an upscale ambiance and someone else will want the seafaring experience of a masted tall sailing ship. Luckily, all those different types of cruise ships exist.
When picking your cruise ship, have a look at all the areas the ship has to offer and make sure you are booking one that fits the needs of the whole family, or else 12 night’s with no kid’s club for the 1-year-old may leave you in despair.
On board activities.
Cruise ships are designed to keep everyone happy. Want to pamper yourself at the spa while your spouse take a trip to the casino? Or lounge in the sun reading a book while your family plays basketball. You can go to an educational lecture, wine tasting, a computer class or a dance workshop, paint pottery, play bridge, learn a language or do yoga, dine at a casual buffet, a fancy sit-down restaurant, a sushi bar, a diner or a steakhouse, and watch a movie, a comedy routine, watch a live theatre production or live music performance. And if all you want to do is nothing while the ship sails from port to port you can do that, too.
Easy holiday to plan.
Because cruise vacations package together transportation and accommodations, they’re very easy to plan. Pick your ship, itinerary, and cabin, and away you go.
No searching for hotels in your price range, no coordinating travel between cities. You can even get your travel agent to arrange your airfare and transfers for you or go local and choose a departure port within driving distance to eliminate that extra planning step. Groups also find cruises a cinch to book. Cruise lines have plans in place for group travel, eliminating the hassle of coordinating your 20 family members and friends from around the country who want to vacation with you. Book enough cabins and you’ll get extra perks, including a free fare!
Never short of space or things to do, ships are floating cities!
If you’re concerned about being stranded in the middle of the ocean, relax. Cruise ships are like floating cities with everything you could possibly want onboard. Cruise vessels are outfitted with Wi-Fi, cell service and satellite TV so you can stay in touch with the real world during your cruise (if you even want to). Onboard shops sell the toiletries you forgot to pack (believe me it’s extremely common to forget at least 1 thing), medical centers can provide meds or a doctor’s services if needed, and laundry facilities let you wash your clothes mid-cruise so you don’t need to over-pack. Of course, there’s also the fun stuff like gyms, multiple restaurants, movie screens, spas, swimming pools, theaters, and discos. And in the rare emergency, there are always enough lifeboats for everyone onboard.
Safety and security o see destinations you were otherwise dubious about.
Always wanted to visit Asia but are nervous about the language barrier? Curious about the Middle East, but nervous about country customs? A cruise is one of the best ways to see the most exotic and foreign destinations in this world in an easy way. Itineraries offer calls at major cities and picturesque villages, all of which will be regional highlights, so you don’t have to do the research on the best places to visit in an unfamiliar destination. If you’re uncomfortable with independent sightseeing in a new locale, simply take a ship’s tour with English-speaking guides. Or team up with more experienced travelers you meet online or onboard to share a cab or private guide.
Cruise vacations will also assist you with any visa requirements.
Couples get away?
Anyone who’s watched “The Love Boat” knows that there’s a romance to sea travel. The wind in your hair, the vistas of endless ocean, the stars twinkling above all set the mood for love may be clichés but they’re real onboard experiences! If you want to take that special someone away, a cruise vacation provides plenty of together time sharing side by side lounge chairs by the pool, a table for two at dinner, dancing in the evening or sharing quality time onshore, or gentleman this is the perfect way to take your lover away and have her pampered by the spa while you watch sports at the bar, win win!. Cruise lines also have special packages for honeymoons, vow renewals and weddings onboard and onshore.
Make great new friends.
If you love to meet people from around the globe, cruising provides a wonderful opportunity to make new friends. Even before you embark, you can connect with your fellow cruisers through the cruise ships social media links. Create groups to go on independent excursions. Onboard, you’ll meet people at your dinner table, at the piano bar or by the pool. The person seated next to you might be from Paris, Texas, or Paris, France; London, Ontario, or London, England. Kids can find playmates their own age during youth activities, so they’re not always with adults or their older or younger siblings. Looking for Mr. or Ms. Right? We have proof that many long-term relationships begin during a vacation at sea.