We recently had the opportunity to go on an extended cruise (13 whole days!) and had an absolute blast. We napped, ate, and explored to the max! Thousands upon thousands of people choose to leave dry land and embark on a cruise each year, and several others have thought about cruising. Hopefully this provides some insight as to whether the cruise life is for you!
- All expenses are (mostly) included. One of the nicest things about a cruise is that all meals, lodging (complete with housekeeping twice per day-hallelujah), and entertainment costs are included in the price of the voyage. I realize that you are paying for all of these amenities and they come with a pricetag, but there’s just something to be said for going on a vacation without having to pull out your wallet for dinner. *Tip: our cruise line allowed one 750ml bottle of wine as well as one 12-pack of nonalcoholic canned drinks per person to be brought on board at no charge. We took advantage of this and saved ourselves the hefty onboard price of $1.95 per Coke Zero!
- No planning is required. Greg and I both really dislike planning. That’s not to say we set out on adventures without any sort of plan, but what we have learned over the past few years is this: when we seek adventure with no plans, we are always overwhelmingly happy with what we find. The flip side? Oftentimes when we do make structured plans, we get frustrated when plans change, and other times we plan so much that we set unrealistic expectations of our adventures and leave feeling disappointed. That said, we thoroughly enjoy the cruising experience. Minimal planning, maximum fun. (not a paid endorsement, just actual cheesiness 😉 )
- Cruising is a good value. Again, with minimal planning and logistics involved, we have found that cruising prices are a good value for the experience. Cruisers are able to visit so many places in one trip and some of them would be nearly impossible to visit under any other circumstances due to the exorbitant costs to fly in, etc. The value for visiting the destinations is what makes cruising worth it. To us, the nightly broadway type shows, the comedy shows, the meals, and the lodging are all an added bonus-we pay for the transportation to visit hard to reach gems!
- You choose the experience. One of the cool things about a cruise is that you are in control of choosing the experience. One of the things we loved about our last cruise was meeting some really cool people and getting to have dinner with them for seven nights in a row. We had such a good time connecting with people from all walks of life (yes, we got along best with the couple in their mid 60s!). This cruise, we decided we wanted to spend more quality time with just us two, so we chose to have dinner alone each night, and we didn’t make much effort to connect with other people. Whatever experience you’re hoping for in a vacation, you can definitely find something that works for everyone on a cruise!
- You are (somewhat) restricted in schedule. Your scheduled destinations, meal times, and a few other things on a cruise are set for you. While this didn’t change any plans for us, it is important to note. We were able to easily work around it. *Tip: we chose the dining option to go any time and eat dinner from 5:45-9:30pm, so we didn’t have a set time and we requested a table for two each night.
- There are people. Imagine: you are going on a vacation with 3,000-5,000 of your closest friends! Although it seems like this idea is crazy, it really wasn’t bad. There were only two times we even realized how many people were on our boat and those were when we were getting on board at the beginning and disembarking at the very end. There are so many options and things to do each day, we never felt overwhelmed by the amounts of people.
- Sometimes you will have to be patient. As a fellow non-patient person, I understand the woes this one causes. Again, we knew we would have to wait in lines and be patient going into the cruise, so we planned accordingly. We chose to wake up early for breakfasts, worked out at the gym on the ship late at night, and chose a dinner time each night when we knew there would be no crowd. Again, this is something that is inevitable and would happen during most all vacations. A look on the bright side: I would rather wait 2 minutes in line for the pizza on the ship than wait 2 minutes in line at Taco Bell for lunch at the office 🙂
Overall, we have found that cruising is such an awesome way to visit so many beautiful places. We are thankful to have gotten to experience all we have in only the first few weeks of the new year. If you have any other questions about cruising or want more information, please let us know!
Until then, Keep it Kinetic!