Are you like me a Love Boat fan? The original Love Boat series, where couples found romance onboard a cruise ship, ran for 10 years between the 70's and 80's and is still fondly remembered by many of us.
This weekly program was also instrumental in creating the worldwide travel phenomenon that cruising is today. It caused many people to dream of one day experiencing the world on a beautiful cruise ship. I remember as a child the words Caribbean Cruise invoking visions of a dream vacation.
Today cruising is the preferred travel choice for many travellers' vacations and experiencing the world on a World Cruise is part of many retirement plans.
While I have had the opportunity to experience many different travel styles, these are the reasons why cruising is one of my favourites.
1. Only Unpack Once
While it is exciting to visit many places during a trip, packing and unpacking every day while you check in and check out of multiple hotels in multiple destinations can cause exhaustion and takes time away from actually experiencing something new in a new destination. It is a welcome relief to board your cruise ship, find your stateroom, unpack your luggage once, push your empty suitcases under the bed and leave it there until the end of your vacation. Yet still arrive in a new destination each day.
2. Experience Multiple Destinations in One Trip
Many cities are located by the sea with easy access to the port. So it is easy to visit multiple iconic cities in one cruise. While it would be very difficult to visit Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Croatia and Malta in one land based trip this is a common Mediterranean Cruise itinerary. This would give you the opportunity to experience Barcelona, Cannes, Monaco, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, The Colosseum of Rome, Santorini and Athens, the Dalmatian Coast and the beautiful city of Venice to name just a few.
3. Breakfast on the Balcony
In your stateroom you will find a card to fill out with breakfast choices. IF you enjoy having breakfast on your balcony, simply fill out the card with your choice for breakfast, choose what time you would like it delivered, hang it on your door knob and in the morning you wake up to fresh coffee and breakfast delivered to you room and served on your balcony
4. Your Butler Or Stateroom Steward
I think the hardest part of finishing your cruise is leaving your room attendant behind. Through the week you come to love their attention to detail. How they seem to take care of you and your room without you ever having to ask. Seeming to anticipate what you need before you even have a chance to mention it.
5. Your Waiters
My very first cruise was a Caribbean Cruise and we travelled with a group of friends who preferred a later dining time of 8:00pm. Since our son was quite young we would take him for pizza or a burger and fries at the grill around 5:00 pm when we returned to the ship as he would be hungry from a day of swimming and exploring the island. As soon as we sat down at the dining room table later in the evening with our friends, he would crawl up onto my knee and fall asleep in my arms. As there was an empty booth beside us, the waiters made up a bed for him on the empty seat and insisted I lay him down so I could enjoy my meal. And every night after that when we arrived at our table for dinner, the booth would already be made up into a little bed for my son. Along with our favourite drinks ready for us. This is the personalized attention you come to love on a cruise ship.
6. The Entertainment
Whatever your preference is for entertainment you will find onboard a cruise ship. From large theatrical productions, to Cirque de Soleil style performances, to ice skating shows and intimate piano bars, solo singers and flutists. There is something to be be enjoyed for everyone.
7. The Sail Away Cocktail
One of my favourite parts of the cruise is when we return back to the ship, pour a glass of wine and watch from our balcony as we sail away from the port we just visited. We talk about everything we have seen that day and begin feeling the excitement for where we will find ourselves when we wake up the next morning. It is a beautiful experience to not only explore a destination by land but also to observe the beauty of the destination by sea as you sail away.
8. The Fine Dining
The consistent high level of quality meals is what stands out for many as being an advantage to cruising. One of the number one things I am asked for when clients are travelling is to have good food. And in this area the cruise ships always deliver. But gone are the days when cruising is only about endless buffets. Today's cruise ships offer excellent quality and just the right amount. The menus are always marked with healthy choices, sugar free options, gluten free options, vegan choices. And if you can't find something to your liking on the menu the chef will happily customize something just for you. There are even whole restaurants themed around healthy living meal options.
9. The Spa
I'm sometimes too busy when I'm at home to take a spa day but when I cruise I always take advantage of the at-sea day to pamper myself at the beautiful onboard spa.
10. Perfect for Celebration Travel and Family Reunions
The first cruise we took was with a large group of friends and it was so much fun. The second cruise we took was for my parents 50th anniversary and it was just the perfect setting for a family reunion. There is always something to do for everyone, young and old. When you want to be together you can but when you want to do your own thing there is plenty of space to be on your own. You can select a large dining table for your evening meal and everyone comes together for dinner to share the days experiences. I can't think of a better way to share time with good friends and family members.
Every cruise line is a little different. Having sailed with most major cruise lines I can explain the large or sometimes subtle differences between them. So whether you are new to cruising or have been cruising for years, when you are ready to plan your cruise contact me to find the one that best fits your individual travel style.