Cruises! Whether you think they’re for drunken yahoos or senior citizens, I’m here to tell you you’re wrong. I was just as prejudice as most people when it comes to cruises but as a lover of travel when I was offered a trip on a cruise from my Mum as part of my University graduation present who was I to turn it down?
Truthfully I was worried. I am claustrophobic and the thought of being crammed on a boat in a tiny room without windows was enough to make me nervous. Also with travel, I love getting out and seeing things, how fun would it be walking around in a floating shopping mall for a week? But again a nice Caribbean cruise was too much to pass up. A quick flight down to Miami and we jumped aboard. 7 days of sun and fun.
Yes there were some aspects of cruising that aren’t ideal. Being limited to what’s available on the ship when at sea can get boring. It’s a bit like a big chain hotel or resort. Everything is cookie cutter but that also means you always know to expect a certain quality and service – there’s no guessing about it. Also depending on the ship, there can be a wide range of amenities. Rock walls, ice skating, wave machines, gyms/spas multiple restaurants, cafes and play areas for kids. Plus the food (although standardized) is excellent and fine dining quality.
What I failed to take into account before I had gone on a cruise is that it’s so convenient getting from one place to the next. Yes longer then a flight or a train but during transit it’s a vacation in itself. Days in port are filled with sightseeing, adventures, local culture and food. Evenings and days at sea are filled with sunshine by the pool, drinking and eating good food and kicking back and lounging. Also although the cabins were small on space I was lucky enough to have a suite with a private balcony which honestly made all the difference in the world. I don’t think I would have had the same positive experience with an internal or windowless room.
Excursions can be expensive if going with ones provided by the cruise company. Independent travellers can take it upon themselves to make their own itinerary for much less cost. A day isn’t long time to visit a city and really explore but the upside of cruising is it can give you a short window into a handful of cities in a short amount of time. You can get a feel for a place and then decide if you’d like to go back and have a more in depth trip in the future.
Since my first cruise I have been on a second. A belated honeymoon with my husband who isn’t the best traveler. It was a great experience. I knew I wanted to visit Europe and hit up many cities. He wanted to kick back and not spend our whole trip toughing it out on trains and planes. A Mediterranean cruise was the perfect compromise and we had a lovely time. I planned out our time carefully. With less than a month we started out with a week in London England to visit family and friends. Getting on the ship we were able to port in: Vigo Spain, Lisbon Portgal, Gibralter UK, Cagliari, Rome and Florence in Italy, Nice and Cannes in France and ending in Barcelona. We loved ending in Barcelona and booked a nice apartment for our week stay there.
What a whirlwind but it really suited the type of trip we were after and combined our travelling styles while meeting in the middle and we both got the experience we wanted out of it.
Have you even been on a cruise? If so did you have preconceived notions of what it was like? Would love to hear your experiences in the comments!