If you are a follower of EO then you’ll already know that we love to cruise. If you’re sat on the fence wondering whether it would be a good thing or not, I’ll share with you 14 reasons why you should try a cruise in 2015 right here.
Moni & I have traveled heaps over the years, in all forms of transport. Planes, trains, busses/coaches, taxis, cars, mini vans, RV’s, caravans, scooters, bikes, hikes, yachts, hovercrafts, hydrofoils, and cruise ships…
We’ve seen a lot, that’s for sure and without a doubt, traveling by cruise ship is number one on our list. If we need to get from Argentina to Italy and we can take a cruise, then we will, it’s always our first option.
14 reasons why you should try a cruise
1. Unpack once
This has to be one of the best reasons to cruise. How else can you wake up one day in Colombia, the next in Ecuador, a few days later in Peru and then in Chile, without having to touch a piece of luggage. That’s right, unpack once, stow your empty luggage and enjoy the voyage. That’s what a holiday is all about, not having to pack up every two or three days to move to the next hotel room and do the same again.
2. Clean, Safe & Secure
You are pretty much guaranteed to be in a safe, immaculately clean and very secure environment. Cruising is one of the safest modes of transport around, even though the cruise industry has had a few disasters of late, but compare this to lots of other very popular modes of transport, it falls well behind in the stats.
The ships are kept very clean and maintained to the highest standards. The safety of all passengers is the utmost importance for the crew onboard.
Security is always present and any disturbances that could occur are swiftly dealt with. The captain has a strict guidelines and people doing the wrong thing are held in security and removed from the ship at the next port of call. It’s not a slap on the wrist system, one wrong move and you’re off.
3. Perfect for all ages & groups
This is what makes cruising so much fun. You get to meet people from all walks of life, young, old and middle-aged. First time cruisers to others clocking up their 107th cruise, as we recently met on a Holland America ship in Alaska. Singles, partners, families, you name it there is something for everyone.
Traveling with children? they have you covered. We don’t have kids but people we have met and become great friends with say that it’s the best thing ever for both them and their kids. The kids mix with others in the same age group and are supervised from the minute you hand them over to the time you pick them up. Unlike school, they get to play all the time, while you get to relax and enjoy all the time.
For the not so family orientated, you get to explore the ship, wine & dine, play and enjoy all things that you would do normally, read the paper in peace, watch a movie, enjoy a coffee at the cafe, people watch, spend time in an adult only area, go to the gym or spa, the list goes on and on, but you get the gist.
4. A variety of entertainment
I touched on this above, but will just add that 24 hours a day are not enough. You will possibly not get everything done or see everything you want each day, there is so much on offer. Pace yourself as it is a holiday for many and the last thing you want is to return home needing another holiday, well to hell with that idea, just play hard and enjoy.
A typical 24 hours on a cruise ship could include many things, here are just a few. Breakfast, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, late night snacks and that’s only the fuel to do the rest. Have a liquid refreshments from each of the bars and there are plenty. Then you have the band by the pool, the comedian in the lounge or maybe you just want to find a book in the library, even check your social media account.
You might have missed the art auction with free bubbly, the bingo or trivia, but you could still catch the late broadway show in the theatre or maybe a movie under the stars. With so much on offer, life at sea is far from boring.
5. You won’t need to find a cab to get home
I know you will love this one. How often do you go out for dinner or just a drink with friends and have to worry about whose driving or how you might get back home. Haha, this has to be one of the best ways to enjoy a few drinks in awesome surroundings with great friends or family, and not have anyone miss out on the fun. Everyone can party until the wee hours and then make their way back to the cabin, without any hassles finding a taxi.
Another point here is that, if you want a change of scenery because the band just finished playing, the next venue is only a short walk away, you won’t even have to battle the elements to get their.
6. Spoilt for choice
Deciding on where to go for dinner could be your biggest challenge. Unlike a vacation where you stay in a hotel and have to go out for dinner or pay the high price to eat in their restaurant (if they have one), most ships have a variety of dining venues with a vast array of meal choices.
The worry about the restaurants cleanliness and quality or even the bill are things that will not concern you when dining on a cruise ship.
Included in the cruise fare are breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as snacks in between. Treat yourself to the multi course lunches & dinners in the main dining room or sample a delight from the buffet. Have a room service breakfast if you like. Maybe even visit one of the other venues on board.
Side note here; some of the ‘speciality’ venues may require a surcharge, these will vary in price depending on what is on offer, $10 – $50 for example. The fee will depend on cruise line, and most ships have at least five different places to eat, some even have 15 different dining options.
7. Cashless environment
This was very liberating the first time we experienced cruising. Never having to carry cash around with us. No credit cards, no ID, no nothing really. The only thing you need to have with you at all times is your cruise card. This cruise card which you receive on check-in, is your ships ID to get on or off the vessel, it’s your stateroom door key and it’s the onboard method of payment.
You can use cash in the casino if you wish, but this is the only place onboard that you can use it. Oh, you can always tip the staff with cash as you please, they don’t mind. 🙂
Those traveling with kids, they also have a cruise card which can be set to a certain value, with limits depending on what you decide, so no worry of over spending there. Just watch yourselves, as it is quite easy to just hand over your cruise card to pay. Without really having the feeling of physical cash you can rack up quite a total on your account.
8. Most things are included
Included in the price you pay for your cruise are lots of things: Your accommodation, including all the cleaning and turn down service. The entertainment shows, your breakfast, lunch & dinner. What is not included is your alcoholic beverages and speciality tea or coffee. There is coffee and tea available 24/7 from the buffet at no charge. Also some types of juices, iced tea etc from dispensing machines are included.
The gym and pools are also included, except that a some special classes may require a fee. The Spa is generally not included although some ships allow you to use their relaxing room. And obviously the whole travel, getting from place to place is included, just saying. 🙂
9. Pamper and look after yourself
I’ll add this one is to my list, but it’s starting to feature less as we have noticed that more and more of these services are being charged for. And so maybe not such a drawcard as before. The gym is free (at the moment) and the fitness rooms are very good, with state of the art gym equipment, so you can pump iron till your muscles bulge if you so wish, and if you’re lucky, the yoga or zumba might just be included aswell.
When it comes to papering yourself you can almost get any treatment done. A sensual massage to mud wraps to acupuncture, teeth whitening and more. These are not included in the price and are quite expensive, however, you are on holiday and feeling that you deserve to be pampered why not make a beeline for a spa package.
On embarkation day they nearly always have special deals, so sign up then. If you miss those sailaway deals keep an eye out for the daily special as it might be just the thing for you.
10. Quality medical staff and facilities.
This is another point that I’m not fond of mentioning, but for peace of mind sake I’ll talk about it. The medical center on most ships these days are amazing. Short of a heart transplant procedure they have everything, well maybe not quite, but the medical staff and doctors are well-trained and experienced, so not to worry if little Johny hurts himself or in miss Moni has an upset tummy, they will be in good hands.
If any condition is too serious and can not be treated, the captain will make arrangements for a transfer to a land based medical facility, just pray you have insurance. Side note: if you feel like you might suffer from travel or motion sickness, stock up with a few ailments and remedies that you hope will work. A visit to the doctor or nurse for an injection will set you back $100 and upwards.
11. Very few travel delays
This is a bigee. These days we often hear about this delays when it comes to travel, and yes it is true, nothing and no one can predict mother nature. Thankfully, highly stressed passengers that you see at airports are not the case when cruising. Yes there are security protocols and the waiting before boarding, but as a rule it is all very smooth.
Do you remember looking at the list of planes arriving and departing, and nearly always see one or many with the dreaded DELAYED next to it. Expect little to no delays with cruising. We have cruised numerous times and only a few occasions have we been delayed, however, being delayed while onboard the ship is quite comfortable, the waiting in the check-in hall can be a pain.
12. Smooth sailing
The biggest worry with cruising is mother nature and the state of the weather. Unfortunately this does play a huge part in how the actual cruise pans out. Bad weather can make what normally is a wonderful cruise a very upsetting one. Here’s the thing; make sure you are well aware of the fact that it is possible, that at anytime during the cruise the captain can and will change course to avoid bad weather. If this means the cruise will miss the port of call in the Bahamas, then that is what will happen.
The first glimpse of the cruise ship you will be amazed at the size of her. When in port they look huge, nicely tied up alongside the pier. As soon as you hit open seas with nothing to see except water, you then realize just how insignificant that tiny ship is.
Modern cruise ships are state of the art floating cities, with engine rooms that look like a NASA control room, not a drop of grease on the floor. The officers control the ship with a joy stick smaller than a pen. With such advanced technology these floating hotels glide through the oceans of the world with hardly a murmur.
For the majority of most cruises you will hardly feel a thing. Don’t get me wrong, ships do move and it is noticeable, but if you have images of that yellow rubber duck in the bath tub that keeps bobbing up and down and side to side, that only happens in very rough seas.
The captain and crew will do everything they can to avoid such situations, unfortunately it is not possible all the time.
13. Personalised 5 star service
This is what really stands out from many other forms of travel and hotel service. Your cabin steward will be at your service for the entire cruise, it’s very possible that you will have many conversations with them and get to know each other. This already builds a good rapport. When dining at your table in the MDR (main dining room) you will have the same waiters every night, after the first night they will remember your names and if you want coffee, tea or anything special. With your choice or select dining you can choose your tables and mix it up if you wish.
From the moment you board, your dream holiday begins and you are treated like a returning client that they value. You are not just another passenger like on a plane, train or bus. There are many occasions when you will be made to feel special but I’ll leave that for you to find out.
14. One fare many places
Imagine visiting many places individually, it would cost a fortune, let alone having to organise all the tickets and accommodation etc. With a cruise, you pay the one fare, get on, unpack, and arrive at your destinations, possibly each day another place. Sure you may only get to spend the day their but a day is better than never going. Treat it as a “testing the water” type of trip, if you like the place then plan to go back for a longer stay, if you don’t fall in love with it be happy it was just a day!!
Visiting many places on a vacation really keeps your trip exciting, there’s nothing worse than saving up and booking a two-week holiday to, wherever, only to arrive and find a building site surrounding your lovely hotel with the beach a 40 minute walk away. Cruises that run the same itinerary each trip, have destinations that are tried and tested, and as a rule are wonderful.
Some voyages actually stay over night in ports so you can experience them even longer. Most cruises are return cruises, meaning that the ship returns to the port it departed from, others will continue on, like a round the world cruise. If you’re like us and want to stay for longer at the end of the cruise in a particular country, then chose a sector from a world cruise or look for what they call a “repositioning” cruise. What better way is there to travel and arrive in style?
I could go on and find even more reasons why you should try a cruise in 2015, but I think you have a good start with this list.
If you have any other tips as to why you should try a cruise then we’d love to read them in the comments below…