I thought I’d be well into my seventies before I went on a cruise but, as is often the case, life proved me wrong. I took my first cruise in my forties, to the Mediterranean, and surprised myself by really liking it. I’ve been on another cruise since and enjoyed it just as much. Both were on huge ships so next time I’d like to try cruising on smaller vessels. A river cruise through Europe is on the wish list and a wildlife cruise to the Galapagos islands is another dream. If you’re on the fence about setting sail here are my ten reasons to take a cruise.
One trip but many destinations
You’ll see multiple destinations on one trip without having to pack and unpack every couple of days. Heaven, I can’t bear packing. I loved waking up each morning and pulling back the curtains to discover a brand new view. Waking up in a brand new destination every morning and watching the sun rise over the ocean is pretty much the perfect way to start the day. Seeing multiple destinations on one trip is at the top of my list for reasons to take a cruise.
My day job involves organising corporate group travel so when it comes to a personal trip not having to worry about travel planning is a major win. You’ve just got to get yourself to port and board the ship. No logistics, airport transfers, finding the right hotel or booking a decent restaurant. Super stressful – by the time you’ve done all that you need a holiday. With a cruise everything’s taken care of for the duration of your trip.
The Amazing Food
The food. Is. Amazing. There’s something to suit every taste on a cruise and the food is all freshly prepared each day. Most types of cuisine is available so they’ll be no disputes if one wants to eat Italian and someone else fancies Mexican. Dietary requirements are catered for and there are healthy options if you’re on a health kick.
There’s a choice of restaurants if you want a or a more intimate setting from the main dining hall. You’ll find an all-inclusive cruise works best for you if you’re looking to feast your way around the oceans.
Sail In and Sail Away Parties
The first sail away party is such a buzz. The band’s playing, the drinks are flowing and the ship’s horn blasts to announce your departure. Just make sure you’re not standing next to the klaxon. People wave from the dockside and your adventure begins. Arrival parties are fun too and I’ll always remember standing on the helipad as we sailed into Istanbul past the Hagia Sofia mosque while the song ‘Istanbul not Constantinople’ blasted over the PA system. That was a lot of fun!
See the world without flying
If you’re travelling from your own country you can completely avoid airports and flights. Airports are my least favourite places so any chance to avoid the stresses that an airport brings is a win in my book. If you’re starting your cruise in a different country then you could take the train over a day or two. Worst case scenario is just a short return flight for a European cruise.
Views from a Cruise
You’ll see some stunning views from a cruise and the world from a different perspective. One moment that stands out in my mind was sailing into Valletta, Malta early one golden morning as the sun rose over the city. I’ve spent my whole life living by the ocean so spending time on my cabin balcony watching the pull and push of the ocean and the endless ocean views was also very special to me.
A Cruise makes a great family holiday
Cruises make perfect family holidays and are especially good for extended family celebrations and group trips. There’s something to occupy every age group on a cruise from kid’s clubs for the little ones to cabaret entertainment, casinos and cocktails for adults. And that’s before you even explore the destinations you sail to.
This is a bit pot-kettle-black. I’m a travel blogger so part of my job is being online and sharing on social media about the places I’m visiting. However, that’s part of why a cruise is such a good way of powering down and unplugging while on holiday. I spend a huge amount of time on my mobile phone or online and being in a situation where’s there’s limited or no access to Wi-Fi means I will actually get some R&R and indulge myself in a good book. Having said that the Wi-Fi on cruise ships is improving all the time.
Get in Shape
A cruise doesn’t have to be one giant pig-out! It probably sounds strange to go on a full on food-fest, chill-by-the-pool holiday only to try and get in shape. The last cruise I went on I took early morning yoga classes, did some treadmill work and checked into the spa. It was a treat to spend some time taking care of myself.
Gyms with state-of-the-art equipment, cross-trainers, treadmills and cycles along with various fitness classes are found on most cruise ships nowadays. The thought of taking daily yoga and pilates classes, using state-of-the-art gym equipment and indulgent spa sessions ticks all the boxes for me. Combine that with food from the healthy eating range on board and you’ll go home feeling and looking fabulous.
Because everyone should try everything once…
Have you been on a cruise what did you love or hate about it?
Suzanne Jones is creator, writer and photographer at The Travelbunny. When she’s not indulging her wanderlust you’ll most likely find her enjoying coastal walks in her home county of East Sussex, UK.
Suzanne co-writes Sussex Bloggers which showcases the best of East & West Sussex.