The hubby and I went on a cruise for our one year anniversary present to ourselves and we both absolutely LOVED our trip. It was his second cruise and my first, and let me tell you... I'm ready to hop on board again!
Just so you guys know, just a couple years ago I was really against the whole idea of cruising. I basically thought that it was too many people crammed onto too small of a boat, all under the name of fun. Well, for the record... I was wrong, way wrong.
There's people, a lot of them. But it's also a BIG ship, with a lot of things to do. And if you really are getting people'd out (like I get sometimes), you can always just head back to your stateroom and get some alone time. With further ado, let's get to the 5 reasons I think you should jump on a cruise ship (especially if you've never given it the chance!)
1. Cruises are affordable
If you haven't guessed by now, me and the husband man like to save money. Living off of a single income we also don't have a lot extra money, and we sure aren't going into debt just for vacation! Cruising seemed to be a good option on the money side of things, which is why we originally started to look into going on one.
Depending on your cruise line, your length of cruise, and the location, you can pay less than $100 per person. This, of course, does not include port taxes (be careful with this- we didn't expect it and it raised our total price quite a bit), shore excursions, or flights if you don't live close to a port (which most of us probably don't).
We cut costs for our cruise in three main ways:
1. We used mileage points to get free plane tickets
2. We didn't go on the most expensive shore excursions
3. We kept our on-board spending to a minimum (this included no alcohol!)
(We did the whole thing with only carry ons which is
another post for another time, but this saved us $100!
There are certainly ways to make a cruise expensive, but there are ways to make it affordable. Check rates often, go in the off season, book flights early, and choose your excursions wisely. Did we pay more than we would have if we chose to take a road trip to another state? Probably yes. Was it a lot more? Probably not. We felt that we got an awesome bang for our buck because of all the delicious food, entertainment, and places we got to visit.
2. The fun atmosphere is unbeatable
This reason seems obvious- of course a cruise is fun. But really, when I say that, I mean that the atmosphere itself is fun! People are there to have a good time and enjoy themselves making it a good environment to have a good time.
Let me give you an example. The husband and I went to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica for our honeymoon. One of the things that we were looking forward to most was the nightly dancing that they advertised. Much to our disappointment, the dancing was usually a bust- little to no one showed up, and when they were there most people just sat and watched instead of danced. The atmosphere on the resort was totally different- people were there to enjoy themselves, but weren't necessarily enthralled by the "activities" the place had to offer.
Um... basketball on the ship?? Yes, please!
The cruise however, is ALL about the activities. You get a daily brochure that tells you what is going on where- it's awesome! Because the cruise was so activities oriented, you'd better believe that the night club was packed every night and that the dance parties on the deck were filled with every grandma, five year old, and everyone in between wanting to have a good time jigging out the Cha Cha Slide.
I think the atmosphere of a cruise (even if it is slightly alcohol induced) is hard to beat, and we enjoyed that everyone got into all the activities so much more than they did at our honeymoon resort.
3. You can make it what you want
Part of my original avoidance of cruises was because I felt like you wouldn't have the freedom to do what you wanted if you were stuck on a tiny little boat. Also, I was very wrong in this.
You can choose your excursions off shore (these cost extra, so choosing cheaper ones is a way to save money), and you can choose what to participate on the boat. Alex and I chose to splurge on one excursion and then go two cheaper options for our other stops, and then one stop we chose not to do an excursion at all.
On our next cruise, we agreed that we would probably do even less excursions. In most of the ports we stopped, there was shopping and places you could walk in the port. You could also stay on the boat and enjoy the emptier pools and attractions (one of our favorite days was the day that we chose not to do an excursion!)
On board, there were so many options of things to choose from. We went to a musical show and a comedy show every night followed up by one of our favorite things... soft serve ice cream! There were so many options for entertainment and dining that I really felt like I could design my day how I wanted... which I loved!
You can make a cruise as relaxing or as busy as you want. You can choose when you go eat, choose what time of show you want to watch- it's really up to you and the flexibility is awesome!
Because what other type of trip would you see an immigration office in a
portable shed one day and swim with stingrays the next?
4. You don't have to see your wallet for a week
Probably my favorite thing about a cruise is the all inclusive piece of it. Before you board, they have you link a credit or a debit card to your room key. This can be super dangerous if you're not careful with your spending (like the couple we saw on the last day of the cruise who printed out their list of charges and looked at each other and asked how on earth they just spent $2000), but it is also really handy. I loved loved loved not having to carry around anything besides my room key all week.
I didn't have to worry about carrying my wallet around. All I
worried about was which towel animal I would see next.
Hello there, little bat.
I didn't have to look at prices on the food menu because it was all inclusive, and I loved going from show to show to kareoke to dancing all without a card or ID because it was included. A couple of souvenirs that we bought in port required us to bust out our wallets, but other than that we had our room keys and cell phone (for pictures only!) on us the entire week... this in itself helped me relax even more!
5. The food
Need I say more? I LOVE food! In fact, a lot of times my day revolves around the next time I'll eat. Which is perfect when you go on a cruise that has soft serve ice cream, pizza, buffets, burgers, deli bars, and nice sit down restaurants around every corner.
Besides enjoying more than my fair share of hamburgers and fries, I loved trying all the fancy things that you could order at our nightly sit down dinner (think lobster tail, squid, snail, tongue).
Lobster tail was probably the only
adventurous thing I tried and actually liked.
Maybe our favorite part of the whole week was meeting people from all over the world. We loved getting to know our waiters from the Philippines and landed up becoming really good friends with the other couple that was at our dinner table. We hung out with these two the whole week, and get to see them again next week when they come out to Colorado for a business trip!
So have I convinced you to go on a cruise? Have you been on one before? What did you like or not like about it?