Top 10 Reasons to Book a Cruise
Top 10 Reasons to Cruise
Cruises have become one of the most popular vacations the world over. Luxury ships become floating all-inclusive resorts taking passengers to the tropical beauty of the Caribbean, the frosty frontiers in Alaska, the golden sun of the Mediterranean or across oceans to countless other adventures. Whether your vacation will last a weekend or several weeks, there is a cruise for you. If you haven’t considered cruising yet, here are the top ten reasons to put it on your list of must-do vacations.
1. 24-HOUR 5-STAR CUISINE. If you like to eat, or just like to try lots of different kinds of food, a cruise will not disappoint. Dining rooms usually offer preset times for dinner with exquisite menus, each day offering a different theme – Italian, Asian, seafood, and so on. Dinner in the dining room starts with appetizers, moves to salads, soups, entrees and desserts. Some people even try one of each item on the menu at dinner, taking two to three hours to enjoy the meal. The wait staff is friendly and helpful, often very funny as well. Beyond the dining room, cruise ships offer buffets, cafes, room service, and food available all day and all night – all for free.
2. ALL-INCLUSIVE VALUE. “All for free.” Well, not quite, but included in the price of your cruise. Besides an all-inclusive resort vacation (and basically, isn’t that what a cruise is?), which other vacation includes the price of hotel, transportation, food, entertainment, and activities? Try booking your own airfare, hotel and car rental then throw in money for food, shows, and rock climbing or educational lectures, and the cruise will come out … oh, probably at least half the cost, maybe a quarter of the cost. And food on your own will not be as plentiful (or as delicious), the hotel as clean, or the transportation as convenient. For the value and what’s included, a cruise simply cannot be beat.
3. CONVENIENT DISCOVERY. Being all-inclusive, you unpack your suitcase once…and enjoy for the duration of your vacation. Want to go to Key West, Jamaica and Cozumel? No problem. And no need to pack and unpack three different times. This convenience is even better when visiting several ports of call along the Mediterranean, when a cruise may stop at six or seven different ports in ten days. Again, why unpack? Just grab your ID (to get back on your floating hotel), your camera and your sense of adventure and head out to see what new discoveries you’ll make. Cruise lines offer their passengers excursion trips at each port – the waterfalls in Jamaica, parasailing in Cozumel, climbing to the summit of White Pass in Alaska, or an historic walking tour of Florence. The excursions are not included in the price of the cruise but offer unparalleled chances to see the beauty, history and culture of that country.4. SHOPPING. While at the different ports of call, don’t forget to pick up a few souvenirs. The towns the cruises stop in have unique items for bargain prices, just for cruise passengers, and if you wander off the beaten path a little, you can probably find even better bargains. All cruise ships will be able to exchange money so there’s no need to find a money exchange somewhere in town. Onboard shops also offer excellent bargains and duty-free shopping. From boutiques to liquor stores, gift shops to specialty places, the ship has everything for your shopping needs.
5. SPECIALIZED VARIETY. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Cruises have become so specialized that there is a huge variety to choose from. There are singles cruises, seniors cruises, cruises for families with teens, cruises for families with young kids, couples cruises, weekend cruises, month-long cruises, wildlife cruises, fjord cruises, and everything in between. If there is something specific that you want to see or do, you can find a cruise that suits your needs. With this variety and specialization, there is no need for any two (or five or ten) cruises you take to ever be the same.
6. ENTERTAINMENT. Every cruise offers nightly entertainment in at least one location and usually in more than one. From Vegas-style shows to comedians, DJs in the disco to jazz in the lounge, and of course the casino, there is some form of entertainment for everyone and for the most discriminating tastes. Entertainers have often been recruited from Vegas and offer top-quality entertainment laughs, dance and music. Many shows also include the passengers in costume contests or talent contests. The full casino is a great way to try your luck at slots or cards, and on a cruise ship the casino is open to anyone 18 years and older.
Other Cruising Hubs
There is a lot more to know about taking a cruise. Visit one of my other cruise hubs to find out about travel insurance, what's not included, and Alaskan cruises.
7. FIVE-STAR SERVICE. Concierge service, maitre’d, housekeepers, activities director, wait staff, salon service, masseuse, and so on and on and on. The services aboard a cruise ship exceed passenger expectations and keep delivering service above and beyond what anyone can expect on a normal vacation. If you have a question, someone on the ship will answer it. If you need a service, you will be accommodated. Want a haircut or massage? Not a problem. Photography to capture that special moment? There’s one to serve your needs. All you have to do is ask – the details will be taken care of. It’s this kind of service that puts the 5-star in cruise vacations, and the romance or relaxation back into your vacation. Many of these services are not included in the cruise price, but members of the staff are always willing to find a way to help. Remember, just ask.
8. NEW EXPERIENCES, NEW HOBBIES. Trying out a new hobby can be expensive. If you don’t live in the tropics, how do you know if you’ll like scuba diving? If you live on flatlands with no gym, how do you know if you’ll like rock climbing? If you live in a rural area with nary a golf course in sight, how do you know if you’ll like golf? Cruise ships offer a large variety of onboard sporting experiences for their passengers. Try one or all of them and you might find a new hobby to take home with you. Some activities offered include golf, rock climbing, skeet shooting, a water park, PADI scuba diver certification, and a surf simulation pool.
9. MAKE NEW FRIENDS. People from all walks of life and all over the world take cruise vacations. Most passengers meet new friends in the dining room. In traditional models, passengers are assigned to a table and often dine with other passengers also assigned to the same table. In recent years, some cruise lines have implemented a more relaxed model in which passengers can dine at different tables, meeting new people at each meal. Besides the dining room, you might also meet new friends on the shore excursions, in the gym, at the shows or during shipboard activities. Wherever new friends are met, passengers often leave the cruise with email addresses and phone numbers of other passengers to keep in touch after their vacation. A cruise is a great place to meet other people because there are so many passengers and with the variety of activities, you are sure to meet other people who share your interests. Passengers who live in or near cruise port cities, such as Miami, will also likely meet other residents of that city or cities nearby. Keep those contacts you make and you might have a cruise buddy for life.
10. SAFETY. When you vacation on your own, you limit yourself to the tourist areas of the town you visit or open yourself to crime if you travel off the beaten path. Vacationing in a foreign or unfamiliar city can be dangerous. On a cruise ship, however, safety abounds. With the number of passengers and crew on each ship, crime is an unlikely occurrence. Women can feel safe cruising alone. Families can feel safe letting the children run off to play ping pong or watch a movie. The phrase “safety in numbers” holds true with a cruise vacation. And though safety concerns may only surface in the back of your mind, it adds a level of peace to your vacation found only on a cruise.
A cruise vacation is without a doubt the most-inclusive, tailor-made, and unique vacation value of all the vacation packages available. With so many incredible reasons to take a cruise, it is one vacation that every person should experience.