If travel is all about having amazing experiences, creating great memories, and jumping off the hamster wheel to discover the world, then I think cruising is a great way to condense memories, adventure, and discovery into a short space of time.
We were virgin cruisers. Our friends took up bets to see if we’d come back alive and/or still married. In truth, they were hoping for spurious tales about how awful being on a ship with 2,000 other passengers might be.
“Why spend three and a half months at sea?
- Cruising is so Easy!
Cruising really is an easy way to travel and you only have to unpack once.
You’re waited on hand and foot, the food is fabulous and you don’t have to worry about restaurant hotel. Plus you have no worries about how you’re going to get to the next destination.
- No flights!
Your ship is now your plane with every conceivable amenity to make your journey comfortable.
- Visa and entry hassles are minimal
Because the cruise ship takes care of the visas you’re going to need, and you don’t have to go through passport controls when getting on and off the ship, most of your entries and exits into different countries is quick and painless.
- No more arguments about where to go or what to see.
On a cruise around the world, you don’t need to plan your own trips and tours if you don’t want to because there’s probably a shore excursion and advisory desk on board with plenty of ready-made touring options.
So for us, it would come down to overarching questions like, did we want to do something energetic, something adventurous, something cultural or even just go on a coach tour. And if we both wanted to do different things – we could!
- There are plenty of options to keep fit.
People expected us to come back fat. “But you didn’t put on any weight on the world cruise” they said in slightly disappointed tones. Nope, because we took advantage of the many exercise options.
We had the promenade deck for power walking and jogging, a well-equipped gym where we could work off calories on the exercise machines, as well as yoga, pilates, spinning, Thai Chi, Zumba, dancing, and stretching or abs classes to choose from. Plus we nearly always booked energetic shore excursions.
- You get a unique kind of immediate cultural immersion
Ship’s Tours are designed to show you the very best of a place, or a particular aspect of that place, in the shortest amount of time.
Of course, you can explore under your own steam if you wish – research while you’re at sea, and dive in deep to the culture when you get there.
But what only having a short time really means is that you become very focused on doing and seeing as much as you can, totally depleting your energy bank, because you know that when you get back on board ship all you have to do is sink into a hot tub with a long cold cocktail, or dine under the stars and talk about the wonderful memories you’ve just created!
- You’re on a luxury floating hotel.
It was incredible knowing that really we were on a very luxurious floating hotel carrying us from one amazing destination to the next.
The heart of Sea Princess was the Atrium, spread over 4 levels where there was always something going on. Grand and theatrical in design with glass lifts and palm trees we often saw musicians playing, or a retail promotion or a fruit carving demonstration in full swing.
Elsewhere there were bars, and restaurants, a plush theatre, a cabaret lounge, a casino and all manner of things to keep us entertained.
Did we feel cramped by all the other passengers? Actually no. It was incredible how people seem to spread out and we never felt hemmed in by people.
- You can choose what kind of accommodation you prefer.
Most cruise ships will offer a variety of cabins and staterooms.
We had a cabin with a balcony which was lovely to sit out on when we wanted to be alone, or if we wanted to watch a new destination come into view from the comfort of our bed, or if we wanted to invite our neighbors over for a sundowner.
Plus it gave us a bit more space to work as we had two laptops and lots of blogging paraphernalia.
- Fabulous Amenities
Depending on the cruise you book, you’ll hopefully find, as we did, that the amenities and services on board are luxurious and comprehensive.
On Sea Princess, there was a fabulous spa offering relaxing treatments, a hairdresser (which didn’t cost the earth), and a boutique selling clothes at what I considered were reasonable prices.
Then there were theatres staging fantastic productions, a casino, a variety of great restaurants and bars, a well-stocked library, an internet cafe, and on each accommodation deck a coin laundromat with 2 irons and ironing boards (ahem, not that I did much ironing 😉
- There’s on tap entertainment
You don’t have to get in the car, worry about parking or worry about drink-driving. Just glam up (if you wish) and walk out from your stateroom.
Most round the world cruise ships will offer a variety of entertainment. I think this is where you need to be careful when deciding which ship to cruise on. On Sea Princess. there was non-stop high-quality entertainment from singers and dancers to comedians.
There were novelty acts and there were also tribute shows, folkloric acts, and bands from around the world.
- Daily activities
If you’re like us then each sea day you’ll probably plan out what you want to do each day. There are likely to be a range of organized daily activities and events to attend.
You might find there are cooking demonstrations, music or choir practices, card schools, arts and crafts classes, dance classes, zumba classes, and much more. There’s no need to be bored.
- Morning TV and Media
And let’s not forget the daily Wake Show (Princess Cruises answer to breakfast TV) and the Princess Patter a daily newsletter which is delivered to your Stateroom each night.
On board, we were offered a comprehensive tour program and could choose from a variety of ship’s shore excursions including culture, food, adventure, photographic, scenic, art or wine.
Be warned, though, if an independent tour fails to get back to port in time for the ship’s departure then the ship probably won’t wait for you. If you book a ship’s tour, in all likelihood it will.
So decide beforehand what the likely risks are – if the ship is a long way from the city you’re visiting, could there be a train strike that day . I couldn’t imagine anything worse than your new mates waving you goodbye from their balcony!
so you do you want to do this trip, let me know