Kevin and I have gone on two 12-day cruises, and we are booked for a 9-day cruise next year. We are by no means experts on cruising, compared to the people who have been on dozens, but we fell for cruising hard and fast, and I like to spread that joy to anyone who could use it.
You might think that cruising isn’t for you, but you might just be surprised. Why should you consider it? I’ll tell you.
Travel between cities while you sleep
If you do any sort of self-guided travel, you will either be using up waking hours to get between Points A and B, or you’ll be spending nights trying to sleep in a seat and getting horrible rest. On a cruise, you have a hotel room with all necessary amenities while you’re moving, and every morning you wake up in a new spot with zero effort and a full day (and sometimes two) of exploration available to you.
A home base of English to return to
If you’re at all concerned about not speaking the destination language, cruising is a great way to dip your toes in. Yes, you should learn some key phrases in the language to help you out when you step off the ship and to show respect to the locals. But if your brain feels a little wrung out from the effort and you need a break, you get one every time you come back to the ship.
Not all companies are “party” cruise lines
Cruises can have a reputation as a breeding ground of drunken shenanigans by disrespectful passengers. But if you choose your cruise line thoughtfully, you can easily avoid that.
Each cruise line has its own culture, and you can choose the one that fits you best. Kevin and I love Celebrity Cruises. Their ideal customer has an interest in learning about culture and history, appreciates good food and drink, and values thoughtful travel. They cater to an older crowd for these reasons, but we have never felt out of place there, despite once in a while being the youngest couple around. Find the cruise line whose culture fits your personality, and you’ll have a great time.
If anything goes wrong, you have support to help you work through it
On our very first day on our cruise for Australia and New Zealand, we were given some bad news. A rough storm was moving between the countries and it would cause a disruption in our itinerary, pushing every port back a day, and turning an overnight 2-day stay in Tauranga into a single day visit.
It was a bit devastating at first (we had to cancel several things we’d booked in Tauranga), but the customer service team helped us out. Any excursion that we’d booked through the ship was automatically moved to the following day; they even added activities for the newly created 2-day stay in Melbourne. And for anything I’d booked on my own, they let us use the ship internet and phones for free to contact each tour company and rearrange or cancel. Because of this, we were able to still do almost all of them, and the ones we couldn’t, we got our money back. They made a difficult situation so much easier, and they can help with many different potential issues.
There is a huge amount of destinations to choose from
You might think that an ocean liner is limited because it must stick to the coasts, and while that is true, you might be surprised at how many places you can visit from a cruise. We have seen Italy, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand, and next year will be adding Croatia, Montenegro, and Slovenia. There are cruises to Dubai, India, Japan, South Korea, Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, Argentina, Brazil, Galapagos, and the list continues. Cruises are not just for beach destinations. You can gain loyalty privileges and comfortability with your chosen line, and still have a different destination experience every trip.
The combination of relaxation and activity is just right
Of course, every traveler is different, but for us, cruising gives us just the right amount of fun and rest. I like to wake early and immediately jump into sightseeing, which I’m content to do for hours. Then around dinnertime, I start running low on energy and need some introverted alone time and to go to bed at a reasonable hour. On a cruise, this works out perfectly. They even usually have a few sea days sprinkled throughout the itinerary that force me to take a whole day break and recharge, which really helps on a 2-week trip. I enjoy having a leisurely brunch and reading by the pool on days like this.
Sail-ins can be magical
Sometimes approaching from the sea can be a wonderful experience in itself that you wouldn’t get in any other way. The views can be very different, and you have a high-up, moving platform to view it all from that doesn’t cost you anything extra. Some of my favorite travel memories are from the sail-ins.
So did I convince you? Maybe Kevin and I will see your on our next cruise!