As a cruise passenger in my thirties, I often get asked what I like most about this type of holiday. With this question in mind, I started to think about all the great benefits a cruise has over land-based holidays. Everybody likes to ‘set sail’ for different reasons, so I thought I would call on some of my fellow cruise bloggers to share some of their favourite things about cruise holidays. If you are new to cruising, or unsure about whether to book one, then this is a must-read!
Flavia – Ships and Champagne
I love the fact that everything is in one place. You can walk from your room to the restaurants, the pool, the entertainment areas, it’s all so convenient. If you need to pop back to your cabin for something, then you can do that without any trouble. If you were in a resort, you would have to take a taxi to get places and once you are out, you are out. If you are travelling with a group and you want to go to bed earlier or stay out later, it doesn’t matter.
I think you tend to make more friends on a cruise than a land holiday. The fact that people can’t just walk off the street into a bar makes you feel safer. People love to talk about the ship and other cruises they have been on, and it’s the only place where other people actually want to hear about it.
My favourite thing about cruising is the amount of control that you have over your time, there really is an activity to suit every mood and everybody.
If you wake up feeling adventurous you can try out a surf simulator, go go-karting or rock climbing. If you wake up feeling lazy you can relax by the pool, watch a show or just grab a drink in a bar or lounge. It is your holiday and it is 100% up to you how much, or little you do. There are few other places where you can combine total relaxation and adrenaline filled thrills so seamlessly.
This also works for different members of your family/cruising party. If different people have different tastes that is no problem! When I was a teenager I would head to the buffet for pizza while my parents would have a formal dinner.
Paul and Carole – Paul and Carole Love to Travel
We love the food, fine dining and 5* service
We love the 5 star service and incredible menus that are available at sea. It’s a great way to try new things and sample delicacies that we could not normally afford at home. Even though many cruise lines are now opting for freestyle dining, we prefer the same table and the same waiters for the duration of the cruise, developing a relationship and having fun banter makes the dining experience special. We also love a speciality restaurant for a special treat and the Mistrals restaurant on the Thomson Dream was exceptional! Unfortunately our love of food also makes us a few pounds heavier at the end of a cruise, but it is so worth it!
We love the variety of entertainment
We love live music and going to the theatre and cruise lines mostly know how to put on an excellent show! Our evenings are always planned around watching the entertainment that is provided. We love the variety, professional West End standard shows, to magicians and comedians and live bands. We have also seen some spectacular guest shows from The Bohemians, Jimmy James and Darren Day. The shows that involve the crew members are always very entertaining too!
Claire – Cruising with Kids
There are so many great things about cruising for families. We love the ease of visiting a variety of destinations without having to pack and repack, which is always a challenge when little people are involved. On sea days there’s no chance of anyone pleading ‘I’m bored’ because there’s activities to entertain kids whether they’re toddlers or teens. Oh, and then there’s luxury of taking the children to the kids club so you can enjoy a rare date night while they make new friends. Cruising gives families an opportunity to refocus on each other and enjoy new experiences.
Victoria Hughes – Lost Ashore
I never was a backpacking kind of girl, believe me I stayed in a tent once and I was scarred for life. So when I discovered cruising I was thrilled to find it was the luxury version of inter-railing. No heavy backpacks or hostels. Simply, a ship that was the lap of luxury. Where I only had to unpack once but still got to visit multiple destinations. Waking up in a new place everyday really scratches the itch of my wanderlust. Thanks to cruising I get to see multiple places a year and I get to see them in style.
The second is a weird favourite! Nearly everyone will agree with the first, but this will leave some people scratching their heads. I live for the moment when land disappears from view; when all you can see is sea, complete serenity as you sail through endless blue. Quite frankly, sea days are my guilty pleasure. What can I say? I’m a sailor at heart and the line where the sky meets the sea definitely calls to me.
Sanna – Vegan Cruiser
Folk often ask me why it is I love cruising, especially as I don’t fit their stereotype of a cruiser. Some people still mistakenly think cruising is just for older people and for the terribly traditional (posh). As I am younger (than their imaginary cruiser), sport brightly coloured hair and am vegan, they struggle to see the attraction and why I would love cruises as much as I do. Unfortunately I don’t have a single answer, so I shall attempt to give a multifaceted one. Firstly, there’s the sea. Nothing beats a beautiful seaview… staring into the wake, enjoying the sounds of the sea and the occasional wildlife.
Secondly, how could I not love a holiday of luxury that caters for me better than any land-based holiday? We have found cruises to be exceptionally good value, as either full board or AI with drinks. Occasionally we book with flights and transfers built in, and our holidays still great value for money. Catering for my dietary needs onboard is never an issue and we don’t have to stress about finding a dining venue that will welcome vegans. Ships have so much choice and they all will cater for you, whether you are vegan, gluten-free or lactose-intolerant. And I cannot forget to mention the fabulous range of entertainment – it is all included in the fare. You just wouldn’t get anything of its kind on a resort holiday.
And finally, the third reason why cruises beat land-holidays hands down… fresh new port to explore pretty much on every morning! Sure, you can hire a car to explore nearby areas on a resort holiday but on a cruise, you visit many countries in one week and you only have to unpack/pack once. Meanwhile, you are looked after by an amazing, hardworking crew and entertainers. So I suppose you can condense my reasons for loving cruising to: the sea, luxury, food and travel locations!
My favourite thing about cruising is one echoed in many of the comments above. I love that you get to sample a ‘taster’ of a new destination each port day, without having to change your hotel. These ports are often places you’d never imagine visiting on a land-based holiday, which makes a cruise even more exciting. Montenegro, Norway and Greenland have all been ticked off my bucket list! You also have the option to explore independently or book a shore excursion, which is all organised on board.
There are many benefits to returning to the same ‘floating hotel’ after a day ashore. Each time you go back to the ship, you are greeted by familiar faces, whether it’s the crew or other passengers. You can also take as much luggage as you like, if you are not flying anywhere to join a ship. This is a big bonus for me when I travel for long periods.
I’ve also made many friends and have built important relationships on cruise ships, over the years. My memories and the experiences I’ve had (both as a passenger and crew member) will last a lifetime. My time on cruise ships has given me valuable life experience, has opened my eyes to other cultures and has allowed me to sample new things.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this post. I’ve really felt welcomed in to the cruise blogger community and it has been great connecting with so many other cruise and travel experts.
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