Y’all are in for a treat today, because one of my favorite people (in real life and online) is here with you talking about a topic I know she loves, and one I’m pretty darn fond of, too. Since we’re sailing away to the Bahamas today, I figured I’d have a cruise expert share some inside secrets with you. Take it away, Casey!
Hi friends of Jessica, and therefore friends of mine! I’m Casey, the blogger behind the lifestyle and travel blog We Took the Road Less Traveled. Jess and I have quite a bit in common. We’re both married to hardworking Air Force fellas, we’ve both experienced expat life abroad (her in Italy, me in Germany), and we’re both avid travelers smitten with cruising! In fact, the only reason I’m even guest posting today is because Jess is out sailing the Caribbean as we speak! Let’s all pause for jealousy, shall we? Good, now that that’s out of the way, I’ve got some things to say.
As someone who’s spent the last 3 years traveling all over Europe, craving unique cultural experiences and taking full advantage of our time abroad, I’ve found that cruising has gotten a bad wrap. Really, any vacation that doesn’t have you backpacking or hostel hopping doesn’t get much respect these days. The truth is, some of the best vacations my husband and I have taken the last few years have been cruises. There, I said it! Cruising is awesome. We’ve sailed 3 different areas of Europe (a 4th cruise to come this May!) and we still went off the beaten path, we still mingled with the locals, and we still found our fair share of adventure…but we also got the luxury of fine dining, spa pampering, and enjoying mojitos by pool as we sailed across the Mediterranean. Sound like heaven? Maybe you should consider cruising for your next vacation!
1| You experience multiple destinations all in one vacation.
Can’t decide whether to wander the streets of Rome or take in some sun on the Greek Isles for your next adventure? With cruising, you don’t have to choose…you can do both (and more) all in one vacation! That’s one of the greatest perks of cruise vacations–instead of having to whittle down your travel itinerary to suit your budget, time constraints, or group size, you can book a cruise that sails to multiple fabulous destinations, often checking off more than one country from your travel bucket list. My husband and I have especially grown to love cruise travel as expats in Europe. With the limited time the military has allotted for us to live abroad, cruising allows us to see many of the countries we’ve been dying to see before having to move back stateside. If we’d tried to plan separate trips for each destination on our travel list, we’d never have time (or the funds) to see them all! Cruising makes planning your dream itinerary a total breeze.
2| Cruises are an excellent balance of sight-seeing, adventure, and relaxation.
In addition to being able to see multiple destinations in one vacation, cruises are perfect examples of being able to explore a new city, try new activities, and at the end of the day…relax with a cold drink, Swedish massage, or a night at the theater. What other vacation offers you the opportunity to kick back and relax in the sun while still giving you the chance to feed your wanderlust with unique touring and adventure excursions in multiple exciting locations? None that I can think of! With cruising, you’ve got all the fixings to create unique sight-seeing experiences that avid travelers crave in addition to having the ultimate recipe for post-touring relaxation right at your fingertips! TIP: find a sailing with multiple ‘at sea’ days for the optimum relaxation vacation. 🙂
3| Cruise ships are basically floating all-inclusive resorts.
All-inclusive resorts are known for their convenience, variety of choices, and ability to pamper you in the most exotic of destinations. Did you know that cruise vacations offer the same fabulous options? You just get the added bonus of sailing across the ocean while experiencing them! 5-star dining, award-winning spas, nightly entertainment, room service, extensive buffets, concierge access, and unlimited bar service by the pool…everything you can get at an all-inclusive resort on land, you can get on a cruise vacation. You’re also able to tailor your cruise vacation to cater to your every vacation whim. Definitely a vacation you should get on board with!
4| It’s the ultimate “no-think” vacation.
When you book a cruise, you essentially book a what I like to call a “no-think” vacation. Your room, your meals, the entertainment…once you decide on what cruise line and itinerary you want, your vacation is basically planned for you! With cruising, you don’t have to worry about how you’ll get from destination to destination, where you’ll eat, or even re-packing your luggage to switch destinations…the logistics of your trip become hassle-free, providing you with the opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy a margarita on the pool deck. Yes, you’ll have to put a little thought into what sights you’ll want to see in various ports on your sailing, but you could also let the cruise gods do that for you by booking a shore excursion through the cruise line. Seeing the world without having to book multiple flights, hop from hotel to hotel, or even plan your own sight-seeing activities? Sign me up for the first ship out!
5| Family friendly fun for all!
Got kids? Can’t pawn them off on grandma for vacation this year? No worries…bring them cruising with you! Cruise vacations are chock full of kid-friendly activities for kiddos of all ages to enjoy while mom and dad relax. Most cruise ships offer specific areas of the ship for younger kids (under the age of 12) that include childcare, daily activities hosted by cruise staff, and an area for the kids to gather and hang out with the new friends they’ve made on board. Some ships also offer “teen clubs” (for kids 13 to 18 years old) where they can enjoy supervised dance parties and movie nights, all while on vacation. You can sign your kids up, drop them off, and enjoy the kid-free perks of cruise vacationing! Want some family bonding time? Cruise ships also offer family-friendly nightly entertainment, outdoor sports (like on board rock climbing walls and basketball courts), and fun events on the pool deck hosted by energetic cruise staff. Cruise ships also offer staterooms to accommodate families with kids, so you won’t have to pay extra for multiple rooms. Cruise vacations are excellent getaways the whole family can enjoy!
As you can see, there’s a little bit of something for everyone with cruising. If the opportunity to see the world while indulging in the finest food, service, and accommodations isn’t enough to send you searching for the perfect cruise vacation, I don’t know what will! Give cruising a try in 2014…you might be surprised to find it has all the pieces to become the vacation of a lifetime! And tell them Casey sent ya! 🙂
Don’t know where to start? Click here for my cruise planning tips and tricks!