Why we love cruising…
I’ve talked with numerous people who have either never been on a cruise or sadly don’t ever have the desire to go on a cruise due to the bad publicity cruise companies have received recently in the media. As far as accidents are concerned, you’re certainly more at risk driving or flying to the cruise terminal than you are stepping foot on the cruise ship!
Although there’s a possibility of something going wrong during your time at sea, just as there is every time you get in your car or board a plane, I think everyone should consider taking at least one cruise throughout their lifetime. And I imagine that once you go on your first cruise, you’ll already be thinking about where you want to cruise next before you even get off the ship!
A Variety of Destinations
We’ve taken one cruise a year since we got married and to date we’ve visited the Caribbean…
…and most recently, Alaska.
Besides having the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful port cities in the world, allow us to share with you why we love cruising!
Unpack Only Once
To begin with, a cruise ship is a moving hotel. You unpack once when you board the ship and don’t have to look at your suitcase again until it’s time to disembark at the end of your journey! After a long, exciting day in port you come back to the same room and let the rhythm of the ocean rock you to sleep.
Awake in a New Destination
Next thing you know, you awake in a new destination that is begging to be explored. While it’s sad to leave a port city after an invigorating day of exploring, I particularly enjoy sail-aways! Looking back at the city, we bid adieu to a day of wonderful memories as we head toward a new and exciting adventure awaiting us in the next port!
Yes, there is a bit of planning that goes into making sure you have a great time while in port. You can choose to book an excursion through the cruise ship or with a private company. (We tend to stick with smaller group tours.)
You can also choose to rent a car for the day and explore the nearby region, like we did in Skagway, Alaska!
Or you can plan absolutely nothing and simply wander the streets (or beach) of the port city.
Sample Many Destinations
Some people may complain that visiting a given destination on a cruise ship is not nearly enough time to truly explore and experience the vibe and culture of that particular locale. The way we look at it, a cruise itinerary is a great introduction to many places in a short amount of time. You can then decide where you want to go back and explore further!
I LOVED our day in Tuscany! About a year later, we returned to the same region of Italy for a longer visit based on our one day in port!
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the food as another reason why we love cruising. I wrote an entire post about the incredible edibles we had while onboard the Island Princess! Warning: You may feel hungry after reading this post! The food choices on cruise ships are pretty much always delicious, beautifully presented, and endless! Good luck not gaining a few pounds on your next cruise!
Relax & Unwind
If your cruise has any days at sea built into the itinerary, it’s forced relaxation! Many times when we travel we’re constantly on the go, jumping from one place to the next and exhausting ourselves in the meantime! A day at sea is the perfect time to unwind, lay out by the pool, read a book, search for ocean wildlife, or take advantage of the countless activities on board the cruise ship.
And finally, how can you argue with a view like this?!
You’re not scrambling to pack your belongings or fighting traffic trying to reach your next destination… you’re simply relaxing as you watch the sun set over the vast and calming ocean.
Different Kinds of Cruises
The above content was written with ocean liners in mind and up until recently, we had only experienced large commercial cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Princess.
In September 2015 we were able to cross another item off of our ever-growing bucket list when we embarked on our very first river cruise with Viking River Cruises.
The 15-day Grand European Tour took us to capital cities and small towns in Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, Germany, and the Netherlands. Stay tuned for an informative post where we highlight the differences between ocean cruising and river cruising.
Just a month after our river cruise, we hopped on-board our smallest cruise vessel yet when we took a 2-night cruise through Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. The ship was small, quaint, and perfect for cruising through the limestone karsts of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Tips for a Great Cruise:
- Plan Ahead! Although you may be able to score a deeply discounted cabin the longer you wait, we like to book early and start planning! Know what ports you’ll be visiting and know what you want to see/do in each port. Come up with a plan for the day, so you’re not stressed when you get off the ship.
- Know Your Ship! We pay careful attention when selecting our cabin. We know we prefer mid-ship and specifically avoid the floor right under the pool deck, casino, or nightclub (on the larger ocean liners).
- Be Prepared! If you’re prone to seasickness, see your doctor for ‘the patch’; otherwise pack some Dramamine or ginger root pills. We also recommend ear plugs, so you can get a restful night of sleep in the event you may have other passengers who have other plans that evening!
- Disconnect! If you’re in another country, avoid high roaming charges and turn your cell phone off! Your phone probably won’t work out in the middle of the ocean anyway. Plus, you should be relaxing and leaving your work and worries behind. Internet plans on the cruise ship can be astronomical, so avoid the temptation and disconnect for a few days!
- Relax & Enjoy!