To cruise or not to cruise that is the question……

Cruising seems to be the big question in travel.  For those who have been on a cruise people typically fall into two categories.  The first category is the people who love cruises and the second category is the people who you could not pay them to go on a cruise.  This post if for those who have never taken a cruise and want to know if they should.  Here’s my cruise story…..

 

My cruise journey started by chance.  A great friend of mine and I were discussing travel one day.  We both are well traveled.  I have been to all 50 states and abroad and she has traveled extensively also.  She asked me my favorite place to travel to and I stated that it was Hawaii.  Her favorite place to visit is Grand Cayman.  All of my travel up until this point was land travel.  I would fly or drive to a destination and spend an allotted amount of time there. (typically about a week) She told me that her favorite mode of travel was cruising.  I had heard mixed reviews on cruising and most of the reviews I heard were not favorable. However, my friend raved about the food, entertainment and the overall cruise experience so much that I felt compelled to try it.

 

I’m a dive all the way in kind of girl so my first cruise was a 7 day cruise from the Houston Bayport Terminal.  Our ports were Roatan, Honduras, Cozumel, Mexico, and Belize City, Belize.  When I pulled up to the cruise terminal the first thing I noticed was the massive size of the ship!  It was literally a city on water.  When I entered the cruise terminal I checked in, within 10 minutes, my bags were taken and I was escorted up to the deck for a welcome drink.  My first thought was I could get use to this.  I then went to my stateroom (Oceanview room) and my bags had already arrived. There was a cute towel animal on the bed, and a bowl of fresh fruit on the table.

 

As I went to the deck to greet my friend she was mingling with new friends. Most were seasoned cruisers.  They had been on multiple cruises over the years some of them had even taken world cruises that were 120 days long. I was amazed by their travel logs.  I always wanted to travel the world, and have some pretty lofty travel goals and I never knew how I would find the time to achieve the goals.  In that moment on the ship I realized that all my travel goals were attainable via cruising.

 

When you cruise you spend a short amount of time in a place, but at least you get to see it.  At each port you are there on average for 8 hours which on most islands is plenty of time.  Either one or two things happen. 1. You realize that you want to come back to the island for a 7 day trip or 2. You realize that 8 hours is enough and you cross that travel destination off your list.

Here are some reasons that you should book a cruise today:

  1. A cruise is the best value in vacation travel- Cruises start at $399.00 for a 7 day cruise and include food, most beverages, and entertainment. My favorite cruise lines are Holland America, and Norweigan Cruise Lines. *Norweigan Cruise line includes most alcoholic beverages with the cruise fare.
  2.  You are taken care of from start to finish- Once you drop your luggage off at the Terminal your vacation begins.  You do not have to lift a finger from the time that you get on the ship until the time that you leave.
  3.  You can be just as involved in the ship activities as you want to- Every morning you will receive a booklet with hour on the hour activities.  There are more activities than there is time. If you want to see a show you can, or if you just want to stay in your room and watch movies you can.  Your cruise vacation style is your choice.
  4.  The motion sickness is no big deal- Some people experience motion sickness on a cruise ship.  All you have to do is prepare.  Buy your Sea Bands, and Dramamine in advance and you will be fine.

While I don’t suggest diving in and taking a 7 day cruise for the first cruise like I did (start with a 3 day) I do suggest giving cruise travel a try.  Below are the links to some of the items that I included in the blog.

www.ncl.com (Norweigan Cruise Line)

www.hollandamerica.com (Holland American Cruise Line)

www.sea-band.com (Motion sickness bands)