Cruising is a passion of mine. I’m not the most experienced cruiser out there and I certainly don’t claim to be an “expert” at cruising. But I have a love for cruising that not many other things in my life can match. When I am planning my vacations each year, I don’t ask myself what type of vacation I want to go on. That’s a given! I know my vacations are going to be cruises. My planning starts with the details: which cruise line will I go with, what ship I want to sail on, what ports do I want to explore, etc. As a solo cruiser most of the time, budget plays a big role as well in my planning process.
To me it’s a no-brainer why I go on cruises almost exclusively for vacation. Other people will often question why I cruise so much. (Or they may ask the less amicable question “don’t you ever get tired of cruising?”) Let me take a moment to write down why I cruise. If you’re new to cruising, considering taking your first cruise, or just want to know why people like me are so dedicated to going on cruises, read on to see why I am so passionate about cruising.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go
Can you name a vacation that allows you to visit several different destinations without having to pack and unpack between each stop? As far as I’m aware, cruises are one of the only ways this is possible. (Travel by train and backpacking are the only other ways I can think of off the top of my head.) Imagine visiting Key West one day, exploring Jamaica the next, and stopping in the Cayman Island the day after — all without having to touch your luggage between each port.
That’s what cruising offers. You unpack your belongings on day 1 of the cruise, and you don’t have to pack everything up until the last day of your cruise. The destinations you visit in between are almost limitless, and no matter how many places your cruise stops at you won’t have to worry about schlepping your luggage from one place to the next. This allows you to focus on what’s most important: making the most of the experiences each destination (and the ship itself) offers. Whether you’re taking a 3-night long weekend cruise or a cruise around the world that spans the course of several months, you only need to unpack once!
Get a Taste of Each Port
Have you ever gone on a destination vacation and the place you’re visiting ends up being a dud? This has happened to me before and it can suck the fun right out of a vacation. Unfortunately you are now stuck at this dud for the next 5 days. On a cruise, you’ll get to experience several different destinations in one trip. So if your first port-of-call is not to your liking, don’t fret. You’ll be on to a new port the next day!
There is one obvious problem with the concept of hopping from one port to the next though: your time at any one port is limited. You may have time to go on one shore excursion, but you probably will not have the chance to explore the port in-depth. What’s the solution to this problem? If you find you’ve fallen in love with a port and the 8 hours you’re there just doesn’t cut it, this would be the perfect opportunity to book a land-based vacation at that port. (Or if you’re like me, this gives me an excuse to book another cruise that stops at this port!)
The bottom line is, a cruise allows you the chance to get a taste of a destination without the risk of being forced to stay there for an extended period of time, should you end up not liking it. If you do like a particular port, there will always be an opportunity to return there in the future for an extended stay on land!
Don’t Worry About Money
Unless you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort, when you go on vacation you are going to need to budget for food, transportation, entertainment, and any other incidental costs that may pop up while you’re on vacation. On a cruise, all of your food is included in the cost of the cruise, so that is one big budget item you won’t need to think about. (Yes, there are restaurants on many cruise ships that charge a fee, but these are typically optional.) Depending on the cruise line you choose, you may need to pay for alcoholic drinks and/or soda, but many cruise lines include this in your cruise fare as well.
On a cruise, a lot of the entertainment options — including stage shows, activities like water parks, mini golf, etc. — are included in the cost of the cruise. Once again, these activities are usually something you will need to pay for on land-based vacations. (Notice the trend here?)
Of course, if you want to experience more than the basic cruise experience, you are going to need to pay up. Shore excursions usually are not included in the cost of a cruise, nor is the cost of gambling in the ship’s casino, bingo, spa services, etc.
The Unique Experience Only a Cruise Can Offer
There is one important aspect of a cruise that a land-based vacation just cannot offer: being in the open ocean. I can say with confidence that this is my favorite part of cruising. For me, I love being out in the open sea, looking out and seeing nothing but water all around our ship. To me this is the ultimate representation of leaving the worries and stress of everyday life behind. If I can’t even see land, then I know I am truly away from it all! The sound of the ship sailing through the water, the smell of the sea air, the sight of a sunset or sunrise at sea; nothing beats this in my opinion.
These are a few of the main reasons I love to cruise and why I am so passionate about it. If you have never cruised before and aren’t sure if cruising is for you, you should consider these points. I love talking about cruising, so if you are on the fence about cruising, leave a comment below or send me an email and I’d love to discuss this more with you. If you have cruised before, what are your favorite aspects of the cruise experience?