How does a vacation from cooking, cleaning and worrying sound? To someone who does all of these on a daily basis, it sounds like Heaven. But if I said you could also explore a new city every day, watch and entertaining show every night, and even drop your kids off to get some peaceful adult time? Hallelujah! Experience this and so much more on a cruise vacation! Cruising is the easiest vacation to plan in my opinion, and it’s also one of the most rewarding. Below are just a handful of reasons why I truly love cruising and how I definitely get all of my money’s worth.
1.) Cost Planning
Estimating the cost of a cruise vacation is easy. The biggest expense will be your stateroom, and there are multiple options to choose from. In addition to picking out your stateroom, you will have to determine if you want to add on a soda or alcoholic beverage package, premium dinners, spa services, or excursions. After that, the cost is pretty minimal. Just factor in souvenirs and tips. For those of us who have to drive or fly to our cruise port, we have to add the flight, driving and parking cost onto our trip total. If you’re lucky enough to live by a cruise port, then you should definitely be cruising. One price and you’re done!
When determining the value of cruising, you need to remember that your lodging is included. Just like when staying at a hotel, you have to determine the type of room you want to stay in. With cruises, the prices of the staterooms vary greatly from an inside cabin to a super luxurious suite, and there are in-between options of an outside stateroom with a porthole window or a stateroom with a balcony. I always chose the inside stateroom because they are the most economical and the best way for me to feel like I’ve gotten a great value. These types of rooms are small and can hold up to four people, but they are totally functional.
Also included in your cruise price is transportation to all ports as well as an escape from tedious logistics planning. This is one of the biggest sellers for my wife. She is in charge of transportation logistics on our trips. It’s difficult planning the timing, how’s, where’s, cost, and stress of getting from point A to point B, and cruising exempts you from digging into all those little, but highly important details that can literally drive a person to drinking. (You should see our house – it’s full of wine.)
4.) Daily Activities
Go to as many activities as you like, or none at all. There is a variety of activities planned for your days at sea to go all day without getting bored. Some that I find more interesting are the Newly Wed Game (definitely only for adults), on-deck dance parties, demonstrations like cake decorating and towel folding, trivia, and lecture series. You might even find yourself stuck having to choose between one great thing and another. Don’t worry, though, some of the activities repeat at different times of day throughout the cruise, so if you can’t make the ping pong tournament on your first day at 5pm, maybe you can catch it on your fourth day at noon, for example.
5.) Quality Dining
Eating on a cruise ship can be an activity in itself. There are usually multiple options to choose from that include room service, a quick service café, the buffet, at least one main dining room, and even premium dining restaurants that charge an additional fee per person because the food and service provided are superior to that offered in the main dining rooms. I’m not a foodie, but I think the food at the buffet is more than adequate and provides a great variety, and the main dining rooms have always been so good that I’ve never felt the need to pay up for the premium dining option. Also, if you have special dietary needs, the staff will work with you. It is said that the average cruiser gains two pounds per day on a cruise, so thank goodness they also have a gym!
6.) Ditch your Kids
I understand (and hope) that you like your kids, but sometimes it’s nice to go do something with adults only. If you think so as well, then I encourage you to take advantage of the kid’s club activities during the day. There are different age categories with age-appropriate activities for each group. All kinds of engaging activities are offered like arts and crafts, sports, scavenger hunts, video games and parties. At the end of my last cruise I noticed how many of the children made friends, and your shy child might even find a friend onboard. That definitely makes it easier for you as parents to ditch them and enjoy your adult only time.
7.) Nightly Shows
What screams date night more than a great dinner and a show? Men – satisfy all of your obligatory date nights for the next year or so by cramming them all into one week! Women – enjoy the non-stop pampering for the duration of the cruise and that your man is treating you to a gourmet dinner and a show every night, because you might not experience it again for a while! The shows offered will vary greatly depending on your cruise line and ship, but you can expect something entertaining that might include a comedy or magic show, variety acts, singers or dance numbers.
No matter what cruise you’re on, there always seems to be activity by the pool. Go to swim, enjoy the live music, catch a movie on the big screen, sunbathe, or just people watch. With so many other things to do on the ship, the pool never seems to be too crowded, and you can always find a table or deck chair to lounge on. A bar, self-serve drink station and poolside café never seem to be too far, so it’s a great place for families to hang out and where older kids can be self-sufficient. Most ships even have an adults-only pool that is more serene than the main pool, and is a great place to swim, relax in the hot tub, or read a book.
Unless you purchase the onboard Wi-Fi package, you will be disconnected from the world while at sea, and possibly even at port depending on your cell phone coverage. Instead of being frustrated by the lack of connection, enjoy the fact that it will be easier to forget your worries at home and enjoy the present. You will be able to relax better and enjoy your company more thoroughly.
10.) New Experiences
We need new experiences with our loved ones to bond and strengthen our relationships. Cruising can provide non-stop experiences from the onboard activities to going ashore at the ports. Explore a city on your own or book a tour for an excursion you’ve never done before like zip lining, snorkeling, tubing, ATV riding, doing a Segway or bike tour, or visiting a famous beach or other site at port. Whatever you choose, make sure to bring your camera so you can capture your memories and take them home with you.
Cruising combines everything most of us want out of a vacation into one package. It’s a luxury all-inclusive traveling resort that drops you off at exotic locations where you can explore, or stay onboard to enjoy a virtually empty ship. With no obligations and a care free environment, you can thoroughly relax. Everyone isn’t on their cell phone, which allows us to connect with our family in a way that only a power outage can create at home!