Cruise holidays have quite the reputation! When most people think of a cruise ship, they either think of the titanic (we all know how that one ended) or they imagine being ‘stuck’ on a ship with thousands of people without being able to leave.
We took our first cruise in December 2018 and LOVED IT. Mick even went on to say the cruise was his best holiday yet! (and we’ve been to our fair share of destinations)
So we wanted to take this opportunity to debunk the most common cruising myths and talk about 10 reasons to try cruising for your next holiday.
1 | It’s an All Inclusive Holiday
Cruise holidays are all inclusive holidays with the price of the cruise including: accomodation, access to all pools, spas and lounges, unlimited meals and snacks in the buffet AND the restaurant, basic drinks such as water, teas, coffee and orange juice, free entry for kids at the daycare activity club, unlimited access to the fitness center with gym, sauna, steam sauna, jacuzzi, free entry to all of the activities aboard, entertainment, shows, and parties.
…The only thing not inclusive is specialty drinks, unfortunately (that would have been nice, but I guess they have to make money somewhere!) But if you choose to purchase a drinks package for soft drinks, cappacions, alcohol and cocktails then drinks are unlimited, and you can drink as much as you like each day for the entire duration of your holiday!
2 | No flights
Cruising can be an enjoyable experience travelling to a destination as time passes at a less noticeable pace. Plane seats are traded for a private room, even a balcony deck. Where instead of flying, your open to the natural breeze flowing over water crossing borders or international waters. The long hours in a pressurized cabin are exchanged for entertainment, pools, water slides, jacuzzi, sauna, spa or a visit to the gym. We found visiting 9 destinations without flying to be glorious 😝
3 | Always a New Destination
Traveling to a new country and awaking to find the ship has docked somewhere new every morning was a shocking and exciting at the same time. New destinations, new places to see and explore. It was one of our favorite morning routines to open the curtains to see where we were!
Although the time in limited in each destination to about 10 hrs; from 8am – 6pm, it does give you an opportunity to see a place that maybe you wouldn’t normally travel too. Actually, I was happy to return to the ship at the end of each day (I really thought some places I wouldn’t want to leave) but knowing I was going to have a great night out for dinner, then a show, it was enjoyable and exciting to come back aboard ready for a new destination the next day!
4 | Flexibility
On a cruise everything is scheduled in advance; time in destinations, as well as activities throughout the day and entertainment in the evenings. This means each day you have the flexibility design your own day, and choose whether to chill and relax on the top deck with the pool, select a tour and take an excursion ashore, or explore on your own at the new destination and have your own adventure.
There’s also the fitness center with gym, sauna and spa, waterslides, another stop at the restaurant for lunch or afternoon tea and various activities scheduled each day such as language or dance lessons, trivia games, and shows and parties in the evening — Seriously there’s so much to do!
Some days were go! go! go! so the next morning we took our time in recharging by relaxing on the balcony or staying in bed to watch a movie before our next activity or going ashore. The flexibility and choice on a cruise holiday is truly abundant– You won’t have to worry about finding things to do (or about ever going hungry!)
5 | Exploring Ashore
We we’re under the impression they’d be long lines just to get off the ship with immigration officials stamping passports and issuing visas, all eating into limited time at the destination. NOPE!
To go ashore you only needed your Cruise Card with photo ID scanner? Amazing! And we just walked off the ship. Just incredible!
Of course the cruise ship offers their own excursions if you’d everything organised for you and relax and enjoy the experience. We took inspiration from the tours leaflet in our room which details the must-see attractions and experiences in each destination, then organized our own day trips. This allowed us to have our own independent experiences, whilst having an easy and well-planned itinerary for the day. Plus this way we could come back on board when it suited us. In phuket we visited katong beach (which was a place from the excursion booklet) and it was a highlight, such a beautiful beach!
6 | Minimal Downtime & Time Efficiency
The whole process of being instantly at your destination is incredible. Trading traffic and transfers from an airport disappear as every morning you wake up in a new destination as if by magic?!
This is amazing, to be in a new country and all you did to get there was board a ship, eat, drink and party the previous day! We really appreciated that there’s minimal downtime and you’re making the most of your holiday time.
7 | Sea Days = Time To Enjoy The Ship
To my surprise I didn’t want to leave the ship every chance I got, some days we just wanted to relax because the entire holiday felt like Go! Go! Go! We actually said to each other before our first stop “if we only stayed on the ship, it would be a great holiday!”
We enjoyed all of our sea days onboard, and an extra two days when we didn’t disembark in Bangkok using all the facilities with less than 100 other passengers onboard! Of course everything is still as usual with buffet and activities scheduled and the staff were extremely attentive to those who chose to stay onboard.
8 | Spending Time Together
Mick and I are very fortunate to already spend so much time together. Some people think this is quite abnormal, and I guess it is. But if you and your partners’ (or your friends’, or your familys’) lifestyles dont have the same flexibility, then you will likely have plenty of quality time together. From dining to entertainment, to adventures abroad or just chilling and enjoying each others compan — Spending quality time together is one of those unexpected and aweomse features of cruise holdays.
9 | Entertainment & Nightlife
If you like entertainment, cruise holidays are all about the nightlife. Also, if you love getting dressed up but you don’t often have an occasion to do so, a cruise is the perfect excuse!
We had 2 formal night onboard and it was so much fun to see everyone so dressed up, nothing was too formal! I’m on the lookout for a ballgown to pack for our next cruise, just for fun!
Cruise ships also rarely have luggage weight limits unlike airplanes, so depending on where you’re embarking and disembarking, you have the option to go wild and pack anything you want.
The night life onboard was another unexpected surprise, after dinner at 7pm, we usually went to the nightly show at 9pm, then if we we’re up for it, the theme party 11pm and the night club from 12 pm! Of course you could skip the parties and choose to visit one of the bars aboard with live music. We really enjoyed going to the piano bar on our cruise holiday and listening to artist called ‘chocolate’ while sipping red wine.
10 | Time to Unplug & Relax
We didn’t book a wifi package because we’d heard they are outrageously expensive and apparently super slow. Our cruise holiday was 14 nights, so we we’re a bit nervous of our wifi situation and weren’t sure if we’d cope..
Because we’re so connect, and can really never be without wifi, but this was welcomed for me (Jess). To sit on the deck, listen to my ipod, write and watch the waves. In those moments I’ve felt calmer than I have in a long time. I recommend embracing the lack of wifi and unplug for a short time if that’s something you’re interested in.
Aside from wifi, our cruise truly felt like a vacation (sometimes travelling isn’t a holiday) where we could switch off and escape from the world. The ship almost feels like its own world, with the only agenda being to enjoy our ourselves in the present moment. It’s like a big floating holiday hotel and the outside world just can’t touch us!