Why cruising is still a great option
“We are going on a cruise!” Insert blank stares from friends in the 25-30 range with the response, “why?” Cruises have a reputation for catering to an older generation, and so most of the time, our friends imagine us trapped on a boat eating at 6:00 p.m. with a crowd of retirees. I am here to dispel the myth and tell you why cruising is a fun, affordable, and easy way to travel.
I have been on six cruises ranging from Canada, Baja, Bahamas, Norway, Greece, and most recently Asia covering Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore. Cruise ships are literally floating hotels. There are activities, food galore, specialty restaurants, entertainment, casinos, themed bars, and shopping. There is plenty to keep you busy on board when you are not exploring one of the stops along the way. There is a set price per person/per stateroom and all your meals are included. You can also pre-pay your gratuities. It used to be that drinking on the ship is what would be costly, however, many cruise lines now offer drink packages that you pay for up front. If you only have a glass of wine with dinner, you can skip the package. But, if you are a mimosa in the morning, mid afternoon cocktail and a martini for dinner – the package pays for itself. You can have dinner in the main dining room with a new menu every night, or you can pay a small fee, typically around $25 per person, to eat at a specialty restaurant. While these restaurants are set up in a traditional style, it is still all you can eat. Many ships also include room service as part of the food amenities at no extra charge outside of a small delivery fee.
Did I mention excursions? If you don’t like to plan out transportation and tours, the cruise ship does it for you. You can review all the excursions in advance and once you arrive on the ship, you don’t have to plan or think about anything outside of enjoying yourself. We like to plan the adventure style excursions but have found that if it is a tour of ancient ruins – it’s often cheaper and faster to get a taxi or have a private car take you. The cruise ship allots a fair amount of time for these types of tours and they use up every single minute. It is all about how you like to explore and for those types of sights, we like to experience it on our own as opposed to sharing it with a large group.
What I have learned over the years when it comes to cruising is leave the destinations to small places. We really enjoyed Greece, Bahamas, and Norway because we were taken to small beautiful towns that we could spend the entire day exploring and didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. Our recent cruise, however, had ports that were an hour or more away from the main cities, which left limited time to explore. It made booking tours stressful and we left the cruise feeling like we did not get to experience what each city had to offer.
There will be another blog post comparing the cruise lines. All Aboard!
Cruising Top Three:
- Can pay for (almost) the entire trip up front
- Someone else will plan the other logistics for you
- Food, drinks, and entertainment in one place