I love a good road trip. For me the best kind of a vacation is one that involves driving from one National Park to another and thoroughly exploring them all. Several years ago my wife introduced me to another type of travel that was incredibly different from anything I had done before. I joined her and her family on a cruise to Bermuda and the Bahamas. I’ve been on four more cruises since then. I know there are a lot of people out there who have never cruised, but think that cruising isn’t for them. I initially felt the same way. I was afraid I’d get seasick. I was used to going on adventures, not a relaxing vacation. Turns out there are multiple things you can use to prevent sea sickness, and I’ve only felt mildly sick a couple of times at sea (and I could never handle small motor boats). I also learned that cruises are relaxing, but they can also be adventurous if that’s what you want out of your vacation. I suppose cruising still may not be for everybody, but I think that just about everyone would like it if they just give it a try.
Here are 10 reasons why I think YOU should go on a cruise:
1. You visit multiple places, but only have to unpack once. I think this is a huge advantage with cruising. Most seven or eight day cruises will take you to three or four ports, yet you only unpack when you first get on the ship. It’s much easier than flying to numerous places or even driving to several stops and having to unpack in multiple hotel rooms. I admit, most staterooms are small on the ships, but there’s ample room for your clothes, a big bed, a TV, and a bathroom. You don’t really need much more, because you probably won’t spend much time in your room anyway. I do highly recommend getting a room with a balcony, because it gives you a private place to get some sun outside. It can especially be nice just after waking up.
2. It is a true chore-free vacation. One of my wife’s most favorite things about cruising is she doesn’t have to lift a finger to take care of things. You don’t have to cook, clean, or even make your bed. That’s a far cry from life at home. It’s nice to be waited on for a little while.
3. There are so many cruising options. You can go on a big ship or a little ship. Go for a few days or a couple of weeks. You can cruise just about anywhere near water. Most people explore the Caribbean Sea, but there are many of other options. We went to the Mediterranean for our honeymoon. We’d like to try an Alaskan cruise eventually and maybe even one in Hawaii. There are others in Europe, Australia, and the northeast United States, to name a few options.
4. It is a great value. In my experience, you get great bang for your buck when cruising. Sure, there are pricey options out there like Disney Cruises, but there are many more affordable options. For example Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival all offer great deals. You can probably find an offer where you can cruise (with a room, food, entertainment, and transportation to beautiful islands) for a little more than a nice hotel room somewhere else (with nothing else included).
5. Cruises are very family-friendly. There may be some adults-only cruises out there, but I can certainly say that every ship I’ve been on has offered plenty for kids to do. There are multiple educational programs for children, entertainment geared toward kids, and always a pool area for kids.
6. It gives you a safe and easy way to travel to exotic lands. To be safest I would recommend booking shore excursions through the cruise line. Certain islands and ports are safer than others, but the safest and easiest way to go is definitely going to be booking through the ship. You’re also guaranteed that the ship will not leave until you’re back on it.
7. Phenomenal service. From the wait staff to the stateroom attendant, the bartenders, and everyone else, I can only think of one time that we weren’t pleased with the service provided. The bad apple was a waiter, but he was definitely the exception to the rule.
8. The food, entertainment, and multiple things to do. There is so much to do on a cruise ship (especially the really big boats). I’ve eaten a lot (too much) of great food, seen some incredible performances, and had a good time relaxing by the pools and in bars.
9. You can meet people from all over the world. It’s always interesting to hear so many different languages on a ship. You could meet someone from Italy by the pool, sit beside someone from Texas in the dining room, and then enjoy an excursion with a family from India. I feel like we almost always end up meeting people that live less than an hour from our home, too.
10. Unplug for a little while (or don’t). Going on a cruise gives you a great opportunity to disconnect from the rest of the world. Put down your cell phone, stay off the computers, and don’t even bother turning on the TV. You’ll have plenty else to keep you busy and content. However, if you really need it, most ships offer advanced Wi-Fi on board now. So, if you have to get on your phone or computer for work or to stay connected with family you can do that, too (although it usually comes at a steep price).
So, go ahead, do yourself a favor and go on a cruise. I bet you’ll enjoy yourself. If you don’t, then you’ll know not to do it again, but at least you tried something different.