by James Hill | Aug 7, 2019
There are a lot of great things about taking a cruise, that you just can’t experience with other vacations. For those of us ‘Cruisers’, ship life offers abundance, in the way of amenities and activities. “Days at Sea” are days when the ship is transiting to the next stop. You often won’t see land all day, and that’s just fine. You can just relax and soak up the sun, or enjoy some great dining experiences and on-board entertainment.
Think of the ship as your resort. You have your room, of course, but like other resorts, there are so many activities and facilities to take advantage of. Unquestionably, food is a primary focus of the cruise lines and there are any number of dining venues to choose from. Cruise ships have all kinds of restaurants, cafes, and buffets to choose from. They all come included with the fare you paid for the cruise. If you feel like splurging, then there are ‘specialty’ or à la carte restaurants available for a fee; a small fraction of what you would pay for the same meal at one of your favourite restaurants at home.
As for your activities, there’s the pool; there’s entertainment like movies, or live music, or live theatre. How about mini golf, bumper cars, water slides, zip-lining, a casino, dances, parties, seminars, rock climbing, and surfing to name a few more? All are available on any number of cruise lines’ ships that really provide spectacular experiences for their guests.
The thing, for me, that really makes cruising special is that this amazing resort of yours goes places! It travels on the ocean, or on a river and takes you to different destinations! Your all-inclusive resort can’t do that. If you’re in Cancun, then you’re in Cancun. On a ship, you can leave Miami, and over the next 7 days visit 3 or 4 different cities, in 3 or 4 different countries! For another example, here’s an itinerary for the Mediterranean that Celebrity Cruises operates: Departing Barcelona; stopping in Valencia, Spain; Alicante, Spain; Gibraltar, United Kingdom; Malaga, Spain; Marseille, France; Nice, France; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; and back to Barcelona. I left out a couple of days at sea, which really is just a couple of days at your all-inclusive resort!
Now let’s picture the logistics of doing that using traditional modes of transportation. After leaving Barcelona, you would have to get yourself via plane, train or automobile to 8 different cities, in 4 different countries. You would have to check-in and out of 8 different hotels. You would have to unpack and pack your bags 8 different times. How does that sound for a relaxing vacation? On the ship, you enjoy the food, the ambiance, and the activities and sleep; while the ship gets you to your next destination. You wake up in a brand-new city, and all you have to do to explore it is get off the ship and start exploring!
Cruising has got to be the most efficient way to travel. If you love Florence and want to spend a week in Florence then that’s great. This cruise is not necessarily for you. But what if you have never been to Italy or Spain? Then a cruise like this gives you a little taste of each place and if you want you can go back and spend some time in your favourite(s) spot, then plan it for your next vacation. Last year a friend of mine took his family for two weeks to visit Hawaii. He did a lot of driving, and they took a few flights to visit some of the islands. My suggestion would have been to fly to Honolulu and get on a ship and then cruise around the islands, stopping at a bunch of different places for the next 10 or 12 days, and then fly back home. Much more relaxing. No driving. No extra airports. More pampering. Did I mention no driving?