Cruising a very popular way to take an affordable vacation that offers plenty of fun and exciting activity options. However, cruising is not for everyone, especially those who get sea sick. Here are a few pros and cons to consider when considering a cruise.
Cost – Cruising can be one of the least expensive ways to travel. With some of the cheaper cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian, there are often deals available to cruise for 7 nights from as low as $300-$400 per person depending on the time of year. Many cruisers are also able to drive to the port, meaning there is no costly flight.
Activities – There is always something going on on a cruise. Depending upon the cruise line you choose, the ship you cruise on, and what you are interested in doing, there is always something that will appeal to you.
Locations – Unlike an all-inclusive resort vacation, a cruise allows you to see many places at once. For vacationers on a budget, this can be a great way to see the world. If you are traveling in the Caribbean, for instance, you may not need to spend a week in 4 different countries, but can be satisfied with seeing their main cities for a few hours to get a feel for what the country is like. This also allows you to get a sample of these countries as you think about where to come back for a longer stay at a resort.
No Alcohol Included – Cruises are all-inclusive vacations, and that title means about the same as it does for a resort all-inclusive except that you don’t get alcohol included on your vacation. For some cruise lines, you will also not get soda or juice without an additional charge. If you plan to drink a lot of alcohol (or soda), cruise lines do offer drink packages. These will either allow you a certain number of drinks for the trip or an unlimited number of drinks. But that is an extra charge.
Locations – While it is nice to see many different locations on a single vacation, the schedule can also be exhausting. You need to go through a mini customs check each time you leave and board the ship, you will sometimes get in at 5 AM, but other times you may not arrive until 10 AM or later, meaning you may not be able to get right off the boat. Usually, you will pull right into a pier, but some destinations will require a tender, which is a smaller boat to get you to shore. You also need to be sure you are back before the ship leaves. All of the schedule restrictions can drive some people crazy.
Food – The basic food at the buffets and main dining halls on cruises are good – but it is not usually as good as the food at a resort. The options can also be limited at times. To account for this, there are often specialty restaurants, however, these require a reservation and include an upcharge.
Ultimately, the choice to try a cruise will almost never be a bad experience, but if you are looking to spend a week on the beach, sleeping in and not worrying about a schedule, a cruise may not be for you. But if you like excitement, activities, and the idea of seeing multiple destinations, a cruise just may be the best way to vacation. And if you can avoid the costly up charges, it can also be among the cheapest ways to vacation, too.
I want to thank Pete from concretesolutionsmacombcounty.com for writing this article and allowing us to publish it. Although Pete is very busy during the summer months with his concrete business, he spends time on the road during the fall and winter traveling the state and spending time in Florida. He has recently become an avid fan of cruising on Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines. written several articles regarding the do’s and don’ts of cruising and top places to go.