It’s time to start planning your next Summer vacation and I have the perfect suggestion for you…a cruise! Today, I’ll be sharing my top 7 reasons why you should go on a cruise. Now, before you exit this post thinking that a cruise is not for you, have you really thought about it long and hard to decide that? Are you thinking, “Ah I get sick in a car how can I possibly spend days on a boat without dying!” (ps that was me by the way, dramatic I know). Or are you thinking “Cruising is for old people”, or “I can’t imagine being stuck on a boat for days, that’s boring”.
I know those were my hesitations before we went on our first cruise, and I was so wrong. There is this new modern remedy for nausea that’s called medicine that can help (look at me and my sass lol), cruising is what you make it, and being on a boat for days is actually so convenient and easy because everything is within walking distance, you can’t go wrong with it. In this post, I will give you 7 reasons why you should go on a cruise this summer, or any time of the year for that matter.
Let’s start with planning a cruise
First, think about what kind of vacation you are wanting to experience. Is it your honeymoon? Are you traveling with a large group? Are you traveling with kids? etc. This will narrow down all the cruise lines because they each offer something a little different. For our one year anniversary we decided to try Carnival cruise lines and sail to the Caribbean for 7 days. The ship we went on was the Carnival Magic. We sailed to the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and Jamaica and had a blast. From our experience, Carnival cruises are great for children because of all the activities and water features they offer and we did not know that. Not that it bothered us at all but we wanted a little bit of a different atmosphere because we do not have babies…yet.
For our second cruise, we decided to try Royal Caribbean and sail to the Bahamas for our three year wedding anniversary. We found that this is the cruise line we prefer over Carnival because it is geared a little more towards adults. We thought the food was better, the shows were amazing (we went on the Navigator of the Seas and there is an ice skating rink in it!), and we saw more couples on this cruise. This particular ship did not have many options for kids.
So that’s what I am talking about when I ask what kind of vacation are you dreaming about. Do some research on the cruise line you are considering to insure that you are going to get exactly what you are looking for. After all, vacationing is not cheap or as easy as it’s made out to be. You have to take time off work, buy new clothes or travel gear, board your dogs, coordinate schedules, purchase plane tickets etc. so you want to make sure you are choosing the cruise line that feels more like what you are looking for in a vacay.
I am beyond excited to go on our third cruise next week! We’re going on a 10 day European cruise with Norwegian to France, Portugal, England and Spain. We decided to try Norwegian after hearing many good things about their European cruises and destinations and cannot wait to report back to you.
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7 Reasons Why You Should Go on a Cruise
- Incredible Food: All the food you could ever want! Yes, you read that correctly, all of the food is included and you can eat as much (or as little) as you want. Cruise food is known for being delicious. There are so many different options to choose from and they rarely serve the same thing twice. Most ships have restaurants that are open 24/7. There are many specialty restaurants that you can dine at for an additional cost and we normally like to give them a try. But to be honest you do not need to go to a specialty restaurant. You can go to the main dining room every day for brunch and every evening for dinner and be completely satisfied. You do have to purchase a separate drink package if you would like all-you-can-drink sodas and alcohol. We have personally purchased the normal soda package for our first cruise and not for our second cruise. It really just depends on your preference. If you do not purchase the soda package then you can have water, iced tea or lemonade for free. For our European cruise, we purchased the alcohol package because it includes all alcoholic beverages and sodas, so it was a better deal for the length of our cruise.
- On Board Entertainment: You will not be bored on the ship, I promise. All of the ships have casinos, piano bars, karaoke, movie night (on a big screen tv in the main lido deck where the pool is), and a number of impressive shows. We have watched musicals, magicians, been to the comedy club, ice skating shows and a Cirque du Soleil type of show. They also have parades, dances, and a number of other nightly activities. This is one of my very favorite things about cruising because every night there is something different to see and do.
- Convenience: No need to drive anywhere or book various hotel stays. This is probably the number one reason we love cruising. There is no need to drive to dinner or drive to a show or back to your hotel etc. Everything is in one place! This cuts down on transportation costs and time lost traveling from place to place. Since you are visiting different ports, it is so convenient to be able to stay in the same room every night and not worry about checking in and out of hotels every time you arrive at a new place. There is no need to pack and re-pack which really makes you feel settled in and makes your vacation so much more enjoyable and stress free.
- Various Destinations: You can visit multiple cities/countries in one trip. The cruises we have been on have visited at least three different locations and we have been able to enjoy more than one country in one vacation. Like I mentioned earlier, vacationing is expensive and requires lots of planning. Cruising allows you to check off places on your travel bucket list much faster than going on a traditional vacation. We always book excursions for the ports via the cruise line. They offer several, and I mean dozens, of options when it comes to off shore excursions. There are several reasons why we book through the cruise line and not through a different vendor from the city. 1. They are an approved vendor from the cruise line which means they have checked them out and know what kind of excursion they offer. This gives us peace of mind knowing that we are not going on a shady tour. 2. If the tour runs long or we get stuck somewhere or something goes wrong, the cruise is guaranteed to wait for you until you return to the ship. This is important for obvious reasons. You do not want to miss boarding time because they are required to leave at a certain time and they will, I repeat, they will leave you behind. Booking through the cruise line insures that you will make it back on the ship. Plus, they are priced basically the same as buying it from a different source and I rather be safe than sorry.
- Bang for Your Buck: For the value, cruises are much cheaper than an all inclusive vacation. Trust me, I am a self proclaimed travel agent lol. Every time I start planning a getaway I always find that going on a cruise will save us approximately $500-$700 a person between food and beverages, hotels, flights and transportation costs. I love knowing that there is a set price that includes all your meals, drinks and entertainment. This allows us to stay on budget and know pretty accurately the entire cost of our vacation prior to departure. I have booked all of our cruises on holidays when they are offering specials and the best part is that you can secure your cruise with only a small deposit sometimes as low as $50! You can keep making payments on your vacation up to 60 days prior to sailing (depending on the cruise line that time frame may differ). Allow me to let you in on a little secret. I have never seen what I am about to share with you advertised anywhere. The cruise line will price match every single promotion they offer if it is cheaper than what you paid for. For example, if you paid $500 per person for your cruise but come 4th of July they are offering $400 per person for the same cruise, you can call them back to adjust your rate for the lower price. SAY WHAT? I do this all the time and save hundreds of dollars. If you become loyal to a cruise line you get different perks like bring a friend for free, on board credits, room upgrades, free specialty dining vouchers etc. Needless to say there are lots of savings available when you cruise.
- Cruise with People: Everyone can stay together in one place but not too close. If you are doing a family vacation with your parents, in-laws, friends etc. you want to be able to stay together and enjoy each other without having to rail everyone in all the time. You can plan your dinners at the same time every evening and go on the same excursions. If you want to do your own thing for a bit you can do that too. The ship is big enough for everyone to be spread out and get a little break from each other if that’s what you are needing. There is something for every age on the ship and for every one in the group to enjoy.
- The Cruise Customer Service is Beyond: The staff will become your besties. You think I am joking but I know people who actually keep in touch with their cruise crew because they became friends while sailing. On a cruise, you do not have to tip the crew because there is a set gratuity due at the end of your vacation. Normally, it is about $12 per person per day. That is nothing if you are considering ordering drinks by the pool and tipping a few dollars or having dinner and tipping the waiter the expected 15-20% gratuity for your total. You also don’t need to tip the housekeeping crew. Of course you can if you want to but at the end (or you can pre-pay) you will be charged a set gratuity for your stay and they divide that money between the entire crew on board. It goes straight to them. You would think that this would make the crew slack and not serve you as well since they are not technically working to earn a good tip, but it is actually the opposite. They provide the most incredible customer service and really take care of you. We’ve had nothing but memorable experiences with the service crew and although I don’t remember their names, I do remember their service.
Ok there you have it, my top 7 reasons why you should go on a cruise! Whew, that was a long one I know but I hope I answered some questions for you. I obviously love love love cruising and have had so much fun while on board. Have you been on any Norwegian cruises? We are going on one next week! Do you have a favorite cruise line? I am so interested to know so please leave me a comment! Thank you so much for stopping by today and let me know if you will consider a cruise for your next vacation after reading this. Hope you enjoyed this blog post.