The ocean has always fascinated me. It’s a mysterious blue mass which thousands of people across history and ages past, dared to go exploring and seek out new adventures. And lets not forget all the myths and legends the sea has inspired over the centuries.
When I heard about a four-day cruise special, I jumped at the chance to embark upon the waves and have to say, it was well worth it! For those who have never cruised before, don’t expect something as soppy as “The Love Boat” or as dangerous as “Titanic”, as nowadays cruise ships have all kinds of modern comfort such as sleek interiors, beautiful layouts and on some, an internet connection. Contrary to what you may imagine, there are not hordes of elderly folk on board – instead, there seems to be a perfect balance of ages – babies, teenagers, young couples, single explorers, adults and of course the elderly – some of whom spent many an eve entertaining us with stories of previous cruises. So without further ado, here are some of the top reasons for choosing to embark on a cruise:
- Once you’re on-board and unpacked, your biggest decision suddenly becomes: should you swim, sunbathe or take a wander around and learn the ships layout before that mandatory lifeboat drill.
- Almost every cruise ship available offers all-inclusive five star service, from the moment you board until you depart from their care. You don’t make up your beds, there are tasty, wholesome meals available all hours of the day, you don’t have to wash up, and the biggest bonus: you’re perfectly safe and can wander about alone on deck at all hours of the day or night.
- You awake to a new horizon every day, plus you’re getting to travel without any of the effort normally involved (checking into accommodations, packing and unpacking every few days, driving for hours, trying to find activities, trying to go shopping, and so on).
- You’re getting away from your normal routines – you decide when you wake up, go to bed, what your plans for the day are, and for those cellphone junkies – you will most likely lose signal until you’re in-sight of the shore – so no constant notifications and calls – just a few blissful days of actually living your own life and not being at the whim of others.
- There are tons of activities on offer and though they vary from ship to ship, general standards seem to include everything from beauty salons to shopping area’s, photographers to casino’s, swimming pools to libraries, and games to dazzling evening shows. While on board why not dance the night away under the stars, knowing that your cabin is within walking distance.
- For family’s with children, rejoice! Most cruise ships have friendly staff employed to look after your little angels, and keep them occupied for a few hours. So yes, you can sleep in late, try your luck in the casino, or learn some new dancing styles.
- Your day suddenly consists of spaces in time to just sit and gaze out at the ocean. There’s always a quite spot somewhere on deck you can escape to, and the beautiful moonlit nights are certainly worth a mention. The fresh air will generally cause a huge increase in your normal appetite (barring sea-sickness), as well as allow you to sleep like a baby.
- The constant rocking motion once you’re away at sea maybe foreign to begin with, but you’ll quickly learn to stop walking sideways like a crab (which most ships affectionately nickname “The shuffle”) only to resume for the first day or two once you’re back ashore.
- When packing don’t forget you must bring attire suited for a fairly formal captains evening. It’s well worth it to go, as with the photographers snapping away, free drinks provided for that evening and the dinner and dancing afterwards, you get to feel something akin to being a celebrity for the night.
For those of you shaking your head at this list saying “No, it’s too pricey”, just remember that a lot of other expenses are included in your one set price, such as all meals, daily entertainment and so on. If you still disagree, then why not look at a slightly cheaper option such as spending a week on a houseboat instead. There are several companies which lease them out such as Lightley’s Holiday Houseboats and Old Willow No.7 . So whichever option you’ve picked in the past, be it cruising in style or captaining your holiday, why not tell us your experience and let us know what you found to be the best – or the worst – parts about being away from shore.
Written by Roseanna McBain, Travelground.com