My husband and I started cruising about 8 years ago, and it’s one of our favorite types of vacation. I share with you my 7 top reasons why cruising is such a great way to travel and see new places.
1 – Cruising is quite affordable. We opted to take a 35-day cruise that included Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, Vietnam, and Thailand. The cost of us flying to all these different locations, accommodations and food would have triple the cost of our holiday.
2 – The food on the cruise ships is amazing! Many times the meals were comparable to a high-class restaurant. The availability of the food is constant – 24 hours a day! I can attest to that because, on one of our cruises, I had a bad cold and couldn’t sleep well, so often I would head to the cafe to get a bite to eat and a hot lemon tea (often at 3 AM!). We also can order room service at no extra cost.
3 – I found out a few years ago, that I am gluten and lactose intolerant. Traveling to many of the countries we visited during our cruise vacations would have been a challenge in terms of finding appropriate food for my intolerance. On our last cruise with Princess, I mentioned to our regular waiter that I had intolerances, and he immediately called a special waiter that took care of me from that point on. He would present me the menu of the following day so I could make my selections and the specialty kitchen would ensure my meals were prepared with my intolerance in mind. Most of the items on the menu were available gluten and lactose-free, with some exceptions. Even the morning breakfast area had separate designated areas with gluten-free bread and products. They even made modifications in the specialty restaurants! They went beyond any expectations I had!
4 – You get a taste of multiple destinations, enough to decide if a longer stay is warranted. There is somewhat of a downside to this since we would have wanted to stay a bit longer at some ports of call, but we saw enough to get a good sense of the ambiance and see many of the sights.
5 – You have a lot of activities to do on a cruise ship vacation. Both in port and while spending days at sea. We attended most evening shows (which are of good caliber) as well as took part in many of the workshops and demonstrations. I took advantage of the gym which had a good variety of equipment and classes. A few of our cruises were on ships that had a huge outdoor movie screen to watch movies or concerts. Imagine eating popcorn under a warm blanket while watching a great movie under the stars as you sail to the next destination!
6 – You don’t have to worry about visas. When we visited Vietnam, we needed a visa which could have taken a long time had we needed to do this on our own. Instead, we simply let the cruise ship crew take care of the paperwork and our passports were returned to us with the appropriate visa.
7 – There is a lot of flexibility in terms of types of cabins, excursions, and dining option. You can dine on your own schedule, or choose to dine at the same time frame. You can choose to sometimes share a table with other passengers, or have an intimate dinner for two, or however many you are in your group. You can choose to eat at the many outdoor stations or larger dining areas or try out some of the specialty dining lounges or restaurants. All but one of our cruise cabins were interior cabins since we opt not to spend time in the cabin except for sleeping. Some prefer cabins with balconies or prefer the larger version suites. We opted for some of the excursions and also chose to visit the ports of call on our own. The tours and excursions are interesting and diverse. There are so many options that even on the same ship but different itineraries, we had totally different experiences.
For those who have cruised before, what was your favorite destination or activity? For those who haven’t, consider a cruising vacation for your next adventure.