Updated: Nov 1
I have always been the type of person who spontaneously travels to a destination, with no preplanning. When I came across an interesting cruise itinerary to French Polynesia last year, I thought twice about whether I should book it or not. I loved the itinerary, but the idea of spending a week on a ship seemed questionable. I am used to being on the go every day, but at the same time, it was a great deal that I did not want to pass up. So I booked it and had no idea what to expect.
In February I boarded my first ship and fell in love with it right away. Though we were only about 100 people onboard, there was much more that I loved about the experience. In May, I booked another cruise (just 3 days before sailing!), but this time, there were around 900 passengers onboard (excluding staff). Both times, I loved the experience, which is why I am sharing some of the reasons I found a cruise to be the perfect getaway for any vacation!
If you haven't booked a cruise yet (or considered it), here are 7 reasons to do so:
1. Hassle-free travel: you'll find the meaning of a real vacation. At least, I did. I'm the person who always does the research when it comes to vacay planning (yes, even if it's a last-minute, trip), so finding an option where all your options are laid out for you and you get to make your own schedule based on what's offered/available is great and makes it easier to cater to everyone's interest! There are a wide variety of shore excursions offered (though it's a little pricier than if you were to go independent/explore on your own).
2. Food: what more could you ask for than having endless options to choose from when it comes to food? Not to forget, room service is available 24/7 too. Oh and they have halal options or lots of seafood, gluten-free, healthy and vegetarian options. Depending on the cruise line you decide to sail with, restaurant options may vary. Some may offer specialty dining at an extra cost.
3. Overall experience: depending on what's important to you when you travel, spending a week onboard allowed me to disconnect and enjoy the moment (since I purposely didn't get wifi so that I can be offline and away from my phone). This allowed for meaningful conversations, connecting with the staff members (the friendliest and the best housekeeping service I've ever received in my life - despite having stayed at so many hotels and resort properties worldwide), learning more about my interests, and trying new things. Depending on the cruise line and ship you choose to sail with, you can find a wide variety of services offered onboard, from a gym to the spa, shops, daily entertainment, seminars, and much more.
4. You wake up in a new destination: the best part? you didn't have to go through the hassle of going to the airport and boarding a plane to get there. I feel that it allows you to sit back, relax and enjoy your vacation more. There is always a view to look at, always something to keep you busy and you can fill up your time in different ways.
5. Convenience: one thing I am used to when traveling is packing and unpacking - a LOT! I tend to avoid staying at the same hotel(s) for an extended period of time. Usually, it's just 2 days or less, so for the most part, I live out of my carry-on bag when I travel (I don't usually check bags in unless I go for more than a month, or I am going back home). When I am on a cruise, because I know I will be there for a set number of days, I actually get to unpack and use the closet space for my clothes. It allows me to put the carry-on away which I love!
6. Taste the Place: since you only get to spend about a full day or so in certain destinations when you are on a cruise (depending on the length of the cruise of course), this allows you to get a taste of the place and see where you would like to go back to. In some places, you will find that you can do everything in a few hours or that there is not much to see, so one day is enough. In others, you may want to come back and experience it completely. Personally, I found that one day was enough for me in some of the Greek and Polynesian islands I visited.
7. Value for money: this is the most important aspect that convinces me to book a cruise over and over again. It is the simple fact that you get the best value for money. You don't have to worry about where to go eat or what to eat, you are constantly running to catch a train and you have the option to choose whether you want to spend more than you already did or not. What I mean by that is once you book and pay, you only have gratuities to pay (and sometimes you can prepay those too). If you want to sign up for shore excursions, you can do so and it may be an extra cost - but if you don't want to spend the extra money, you can still choose not to. Additionally, depending on the cruise line you pick, you can choose between different packages to fit your needs. (ie: some may offer a beverage package, wI-fi, onboard spending credit and more!)
Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, have I convinced you yet?