I absolutely love cruising and I am a huge fan of this type of holiday! I never saw myself as a cruiser before I tried my first cruise a few years ago, but as so many I was caught by the cruise bug.
Now I go on a cruise almost every single year to different destinations and once my cruise is booked, I cannot wait to go and I start counting down the days.
Still, there are many people who have not tried a cruise as they have many preconceptions and excuses why cruising is not for them such as “cruising is for old people”, “the ships are overcrowded” or “there is not enough time to experience the ports”. These are old myths and do not apply to modern day cruising anymore in my opinion.
I would encourage everyone to form their own opinion and try at least one cruise once in their lifetime.
If you read this and you are one of the disbelievers, here are my three top reasons to convince you to try a cruise and give it a shot. I hope you will change your mind about cruising after reading this!
1. GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY AND EASY TO PLAN
Cruises are good value for money as they include many or even all components of your trip such as accommodation, transportation, entertainment and food.
It is like an all in one holiday that is also easy to plan and budget for so you have nothing to worry about while on holiday. Normally all you need to do is decide where to go, which ship to sail on and which cabin/suite to stay in and off you go. Oh, of course do not forget to book your flight or train ticket to get there!
And once on board you do not have to worry about anything in terms of when and where to eat, where to stay or what to do to keep the kids busy and happy. You can do everything on board the activity list has to offer and be out and about or nothing if you wish. It is just brilliant and caters for everyone’s needs.
On the mainstream cruise lines, fares can be around £100 pp per day. So, for £100 pp a day you have breakfast, lunch and dinner included and as much ice cream as you want.
On a cruise, food is available 24/7 and there is also lots of choice for every pallet and cruise lines cater well for people with dietary restrictions, too. You can find burgers, pizza, pasta, tacos and all those foods that kids love, but you can also find healthier options such as fish and salad bars. Even steak is included in the price!
I personally enjoy going to the main dining room for dinner as you can have a really nice three-course dinner that you would normally pay a fortune for if you were to go out and pay for it at home. A three-course dinner alone would probably set you back at least £60 pp if not more.
Cruise ships are like floating resorts and your cabin is like your hotel room. The benefit of a cruise is that you do not need to look up hundreds of hotels, which can be really time-consuming.
Once the itinerary has been decided on and the dates for the holiday have been picked, the search functions on the cruise websites will automatically filter all your criteria and present you with the options. In the end, you might have two or three ships that match your search criteria and all you need to do is pick the one you like, simple and easy.
Imagine you want to do island hopping in the Canaries. You would want to go to Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. If we just pick as an example the crossing from Lanzarote to Tenerife and you do some research about ferry links between the islands you will see that it will cost between £30 – £70 for just this one crossing and it will take several hours.
As you can see, if you want to visit a few islands the cost of transportation will be high. This cost is purely for the transportation and does not include accommodation, food and any activities you want to do.
Cruises are the perfect way to see multiple destinations in a short period of time and in a relaxed environment. No need to look up flight or train times and having to figure out local transport systems, get stuck in traffic or finding the correct route to get to your destination.
Best of all, waking up early and watching the sail in into a new port with a cup of coffee in your hand. The view and excitement of visiting a new place always makes me happy.
ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES
On board, there is so much to do. Cruise lines provide a daily paper that lists all on-board activities and when and where they take place so you will not miss them.
Depending on the cruise line, these may include sporting tournaments for instance mini golf competitions, towel folding classes, cooking demonstrations, educational lectures, dance workshops, rock climbing, surfing and fitness workshops.
At night there is movies under the stars, parades, gambling at the casino, comedians, piano music, clubbing and of course the famous Broadway shows.
There is truly something for everyone, whether you like a busy holiday or a more relaxing one. It is up to you to decide how much or even how little you want to do.
2. GO TO PLACES THAT YOU WOULD NORMALLY NEVER GO TO
All of the cruises I have been on included at least one city that I would have never visited if it was not for doing the cruise and that city forming part of the itinerary, for example Nagoya in Japan.
Therefore, cruises are great to discover new destinations that you would normally not even consider visiting, but that are definitely worth a visit.
Furthermore, a cruise, especially river or expedition, gets you to places that you cannot visit by land or that are best seen from the water.
I had this experience recently. I was lucky enough to go on a Norway cruise with Hurtigruten this year.
The ships are rather small. Due to their size, they can easily navigate through the Norwegian fjords and can dock at small villages. The view from the ship was breath taking, being in the middle of the fjords and getting close to them. This would not have been possible from land.
3. PRODUCT VERSATILITY AND CHOICE
When people think about cruises they tend to think mostly of the mega ships that go to the Caribbean. Of course they do, but there is so much more to cruising than just this. There are different types of cruises that suit every need and taste.
Adventure seekers can go to remote and unique destinations such as the Galapagos Islands on an expedition cruise. River cruises take you right into city centers of world famous destinations for instance Budapest or they can take you deeper into untouched places that big cruise ships cannot reach for example the waters of the Amazon.
If you want fun and action, the mega ships might be for you as they offer all sorts of on-board activities whereas small cruise ships or even yachts offer exclusivity and intimacy.
The itineraries are of course as important as the cruise ships themselves and nowadays cruises can almost go to every corner of the world.
If you prefer a cruise where you can just relax, you want to get some sun and from time to time you want to get off your floating resort, a Caribbean, Canary Islands or Mediterranean cruise might be for you.
Perhaps you want to see unforgettable landscapes and take in nature, maybe an Alaska or Norway cruise is what you are looking for and if you want to immerse in culture possibly a cruise to Asia sounds great.
No matter where you go and what type of cruise you choose, you will have an unforgettable experience.