To cruise or not to cruise
Is a cruise really a great holiday or not? Is it great value or not? Will I like it or not? Prior to meeting my husband, I had cruised a lot. When we met and were ready to embark on our first holiday together, I had already enjoyed seven cruises. I suggested a cruise holiday as our first trip … much to my dismay I had to ‘convince’ him that he ‘might’ have a good time! Really, how could he wonder if a cruise would be fun?!
Since then, I cannot keep him off of the ships! He was ‘sold’ after our first cruise—and I was delighted that we could continue to cruise together.
People often wonder if cruising is for them. Following are some points that may help you make your decision in whether a cruise is right for you and your family or not.
- Consider the cost per day—Accommodations, entertainment, activities, all meals including fine dining & room service are all included in your cost. Take the cost of the cruise divide by the number of days you are cruising then factor in what a ‘land’ vacation may cost against the daily cruise rate. You will be surprised at what the cost per day is on a cruise to Europe for instance if you marry the cost per day against hotels, transportation, meals, entertainment if you were on a regular holiday.
- Choosing your stateroom—Regardless of whether you choose the grand suite or the lowest inside category stateroom, remember that ALL passengers have access to the SAME services. Choose your cabin based on your budget, but also consider how much you deserve a ‘balcony’ stateroom! Imagine waking up and having coffee on your balcony overlooking a tropical paradise when you wake up! Our preference is ‘mid ship’ meaning the middle of the ship – not too far from elevators and with an ‘ocean view.’
- Keep in mind that cruise line do have extras to pay for—Cruise costs do not typically cover alcohol, some specialty activities, or excursions—only you can decide what ‘add ons’ you should factor into the price.
- Do you like visiting different destinations without the fuss of figuring it all out?—Cruising is a great way to ‘sample’ various countries and/or cities. I have re-visited several destinations that really resonated with me on my first cruise visit.
- How do I know which cruise line is best for me?—I would be remiss if I didn’t say “find a great CWT travel consultant” to help to identify which cruise line fits you and your family. Cruise lines are as different as cars – they each have their specialties, nuances, and features (think of a Cadillac vs. a Lincoln). They all have their own style,but each is unique and provides a different experience. Ask around, too – talk to friends & family – check out cruise blogs and travel chat rooms – listen to what people are saying.
- Loyalty has its benefits—After your first cruise, the cruise line wants you back! They begin to offer many special prices, great promos and value added features to win you back to their cruise line. Find a cruise line that you like and you’ll find that loyalty pays off … literally!
- Try a shorter cruise – If you are on the fence as to whether or not to embark on this type of holiday, I recommend taking your precious seven days of vacation time, take a 3-4 night cruise and top it off with some of that beach holiday that you know and love – it will provide a great combo, and then you’ll have a better idea!
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While my husband and I try to change it up when we are choosing a vacation there is inevitably a conversation whether we should cruise or not. Our last holiday was a wonderful all inclusive in Mexico … I do suspect, though, that our next trip will be on board another beautiful ship.