Monday, January 27, 2020

10 Reasons to Cruise

Hub and I spent a week cruising the Caribbean. The trip wasn’t exactly forced on us, but the opportunity arose and we took it. 

Summer 2018 we travelled with our grandson to Alaska. The tour included a 4-day cruise. On the ship we played bingo, the prize a 7-day Caribbean cruise.

My grandson won the cruise. Unable to take advantage because the cruise line – Holland America – does not offer Caribbean trips during the summer and holidays are blackout periods, the use of the cruise certificate fell to Grandma and Grandpa.

Notwithstanding the fact that there is no such thing as a free ride (or cruise), we enjoyed a 7-day voyage on the blue waters of the Atlantic and Caribbean seas, our companions 1,800 other passengers.

Like any kind of vacation, cruising has its pros and cons. Cruise line amenities vary. The following list is based on my experience with Holland America. 

10 reasons mature adults (in age, not necessarily any other way) 
might consider a cruise vacation, in no particular order.

§  No cooking or cleaning or shopping (unless you want to indulge) or laundry, making beds or cleaning bathrooms or partaking of any other household tasks.

§  Someone else is cooking and serving you, making your bed, cleaning your toilet, providing clean towels, pampering you.

§  Food is available most any time of the day somewhere on the ship – in the dining room, cafĂ©, extensive buffet.

§  Theoretically the price of the cruise is all-inclusive. In reality you are nickel and dimed to the detriment of your wallet. Drinks, internet access, room service, specialty restaurants, shore excursions, the spa and fitness center (use of the gym is free, but few classes are). The list of ways the cruise line tries to extract your dollars seems unending. Buyer beware! As for cost, deals abound, especially at the last minute. Check out websites such as vacations to go  and Travelzoo.

Strolling a market in St. Maarten.

§  Travelling when the rest of the world is working or in school results in an older, less rowdy crowd than experienced during vacation times (unless cruising Carnival). Sailing south offers bright sun and the delight of wearing light-weight clothes, temporary relief from the cold gray northern weather. 

§  You can take advantage of free activities or not, be active or not. Find a comfy nook and read, take an afternoon nap, sunbathe by the pool, watch a movie, play a game (active or not - bingo, bridge, pickleball, volleyball...), gamble in the casino, sleep late or get up early and work out. No pressure!

One of our new friends - met lots of iguanas!
§  Meet new people, interesting people, and make friends - or be a loner. Your choice!

§  Learn something new – take a dance class, attend a lecture.  

§ Unpack once and make your stateroom a temporary home, yet take advantage of the opportunity to visit different places. 

§  Enjoy night life. Shows, bars, concerts, piano bars, the casino, dance or sing or simply listen. Or enjoy a quiet evening ‘at home’.

Enjoying the Caribbean waters.

Cons to cruising? Check out my next post... 

3 comments:

  1. Been there and done that. My only attraction is for smaller cruises and more scenery and history.

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  2. Never taken a cruise. I'm waiting for your next post!

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  3. Funny, although we've been on three cruises (two to Alaska and a riverboat down the Rhine), typically tell others that "we are not cruise people". When I change my mindset to looking at a cruise as simply a floating hotel & restaurant I'm okay with it.

    Like you said, unpack one time! And there is never the discussion of where to eat any night. It's easy. It's a great way to see places that logistically would be a nightmare driving to for seven days in a row. It's just a floating hotel & restaurant :)

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