When I first mentioned on Facebook that we booked a 12-day Mediterranean cruise, a surprisingly large number of you inquired about what it's like going on a cruise. Having been on three, I decided to share with you my (hardly) vast wisdom and knowledge. All kidding aside, my experience may not measure up to cruise veterans' – some of whom have went on not 20, not 40, but 70! – but I can definitely tell you a thing or two about why this type of vacation is one of the best.
The first time I experienced the "hotel-on-water" type of vacation was for our honeymoon. I remember trying to convince my then-fiance, now-husband that I'd rather vacation at an all-inclusive resort because a cruise just seemed like it required far too much work for my pre-wedding brain to comprehend.
I could not have been more wrong!
A cruise is perhaps the most relaxing type of vacation ever to be invented. So when my husband and I were in the planning stages for our European adventure, a Mediterranean cruise was at the top of both of our lists. After nearly six weeks of city hopping across a totally unfamiliar part of the world, we welcomed the familiar feeling of cruising on sea with open arms.
So without further ado, the following are just five of the many reasons I would recommend a cruise as your next getaway.
Compared to an all-inclusive resort (or any other sort of vacation, for that matter) a cruise offers the best value. There are cruises to fit every budget, so if a 12-day Mediterranean seems a bit extravagant, there's plenty more to choose from. On the other hand, if a luxurious, 116-day, round-the-world voyage is more your cup of tea, then please, book away (just don't forget to take me with you!)
Typically people plan vacations with one destination in mind (unless, of course, you're going on a three-month European adventure). With a cruise, you're visiting cities and countries you otherwise wouldn't even dream of going to - exotic locations (i.e. Dubrovnik, Cinque Terre, Amalfi) others only see in magazines! If, on the other hand, a new destination every day seems a bit intense, you are more than welcome to spend a day (or 12) relaxing by the pool.
Contrary to what you may imagine, you will never be bored on a cruise. From swimming pools, to casinos, to climbing walls, to cinemas, to spas, to recreation centers, to circus acts, to laser shows, to comedians, to magicians, to dance floors, to karaoke, to game rooms, to shopping centers, there are enough activities to keep you entertained 24 hours a day, 7 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. Best part of all? The entertainment is free.
Once you're on board, you are faced with one very important, very difficult decision: should you relax in the hot tub, sunbathe by the pool or wander around the city-like ship? Seriously, I do not exaggerate when I say that a cruise is the most commitment-free relaxation. You can do as much, or as little, as you desire. With a full staff at your beck and call, ready to take care of your every whim, your sole responsibility is to have a good time.
A cruise requires the initial planning, and then it's hassle-free from then on. There are no hotels, car rentals, tours, restaurants, transfers, etc. to take care of. If you're smart (or experienced), then the fact that you don't have to lug your suitcase from one hotel to another (been there, done that, still having nightmares about it) will fill you with much, much joy. You board, unpack and enjoy.
So tell me, have I persuaded you to consider a cruise as your next vacation? If not, what's holding you back?