To Cruise or Not Cruise
To cruise or not to cruise that is the question. With so many choices and cruise lines out there the choices are almost endless…..or are they? Cruising has been getting a bad rap lately with news stories of sinking boats, virus outbreaks, passengers coming up missing, staff stealing mobile phones and more. So why would someone WANT to go on a cruise? The answer is simple, it allows you to see a number of ports and places for a cheaper price often than if you visited each place individually. Not only that but it is mostly an all inclusive vacation with meals and most activities included.
Most people know the most popular cruise lines, Carnival, Celebrity, Royal Carribean, Disney, and Norwegian. There are other more luxury cruise lines like Windstar, Abercrombie and Kent, Star Clippers, Bora Bora Cruises and more. I have been on one but it was years ago aboard the Crnival Cruise Lines ship the Carnivale. So to be fair I won’t give a review on this as it was in the 80’s and a lot has changed. I will also give the disclaimer that I am NOT a travel agent so there is no bias here. I have however spoken to a number of travel agents and here is what they tell me.
If you want to see the Caribbean or other destinations a cruise is the way to go UNLESS your aim is to immerse yourself in the island and it culture and see more than just the typical tourist spots. If you want to do some quick site seeing and get some great souvenirs duty free then a cruise is the way to go. Not to mention the constant food and activities. With the cruise lines adding kids activities there are good and bad points to cruising now. So be careful who you choose.
Here is the advice we have been given from fellow travelers and travel agents.
If you can afford it get a room with a balcony, you will use it no matter what people say.
be prepared but pack light…..um ok. This one confused me too, but the advice here is if you need it there will be plenty of opportunity to buy it. If you are on a budget, throw out the pack light advice.
If you are not traveling with kids ask which cruise and cruise line is the best for you. If they have kids activities and you are looking for a romantic getaway it may not be a good fit.
Always ask about deals and what the criteria is to get the best rates.
Always have a second choice or plan B picked out. Chances are good that the exact cruise and date you want will be booked or have some restrictions.
There are over 500 ports worldwide. The only restriction is your budget. 30 of those ports are North American ports.
Cruising is a great value and typically the only extra you will spend will be ondrinks, specialty restaurants, optional Shore excursions and premium services like spa treatments, massages, or beach services.
Enjoy as much or as little as you want. Long weekend lifers know how to have fun and how to Relax so this is totally up to you.
Pack you bags with what ever you would wear to the beach and then add a few outfits for a night on the town. Think of the ship as a floating island with a city on board.
Take advantage of as much as you want to and can. Meet people, explore or just soak it all in.
We obviously cannot write about every cruise line and destination. But we will have a guest blogger next week to tell us all about a kid friendly cruise to Key West and the Nassau in the Bahamas with a side excursion to Atlantis from one of the toughest customers out there…….a teen.
Let us know if you’ve been on a particularly fun Island cruise and what you found to be the most enjoyable. We love to hear from our Long Weekend Lifers.