Ahhh cruises. Images of massive white ships gliding through pristine waters might come to mind. I get asked a lot what I think about cruises, by people who are intrigued but nervous that it might not be for them. So, I have compiled this brutally honest list of the best and worst things about cruises, according to yours truly.
Let’s start on a happy note, shall we? There are actually several things about cruising that I quite enjoy and these are definitely reasons to seriously consider this type of getaway:
You can see lots of places in a short amount of timee
For me, this is the best part of cruising. You have the rare opportunity to visit a ton of places in a short span of time. Ideal if you want to help out a region but are not sure where to go, or if you find yourself short on vacation time. I went on a two week Mediterranean cruise once and got to visit 7 countries!
You sleep while the ship travels to your next destination
How great is it that while you’re sleeping comfortably in a bed, your cruise ship quietly ferries you to the next amazing destination. Waking up in a new place each day is pretty awesome!
You don’t have to lug around your luggage
This is probably the second biggest “pro” in my books. Not only do you get to see a ton of places, you also get to do it without lugging around your massive backpack or clunky suitcase.
You can see less accessible places
Ahem, the Greek islands are surrounded you water and therefore awesome to explore by boat – just saying.
The food is yummy
Seriously, the food I have had on cruises has been really good. And the best part is that during the day when you’re exploring, you still get to have the authentic local cuisines.
You can be as adventurous and active or as relaxed and laid back as you like
With lots of options both on board and on land, you really can do anything. Zip lining in the jungle or a relaxing day at the beach – it’s up to you.
Now for the other side of the coin. Not everything about cruising is awesome. At least not for me. So, here are some things to consider when deciding whether cruising is right for you.
You have a set itinerary
You have no opportunities to be spontaneous or to change your plans when on a cruise. You have a schedule and an itinerary and that’s that. For some, that’s a deal breaker.
You’re stuck on a boat
Sometimes knowing that you are confirmed to a single place is suffocating and sometimes it’s liberating. It’s up to you to choose. At the end of each day no matter where you have wandered off to or how much fun you’re having on shore, you must return to you “boat sweet boat”.
The food may be yummy, but it’s also kind of generic
I find that although the quality of the food is usually good, it can also become repetitive – especially on longer cruises. You only have so many dining options on a boat, not typically a problem you have on land.
There are fewer “young people”
This is highly dependent on the cruise line you choose, but in my experience the average age of people on most cruises is quite high (60+). So, if you’re looking for a bunch of young singles who can party each night away with you, you may want to consider another option. A side note on this, when travelling with family (especially older parents and grandparents), a cruise can be a good option for everyone.
The rooms are cramped
Unless you splurge for a fancy suite with a living room and balcony, the rooms are, let’s say, “cozy”. I got claustrophobia on my first cruise because I was in a windowless room that was about the size of a large closet.
Cruises are not the most environmentally friendly form of travel
Last, but definitely it least is the fact that cruises are not necessarily the most environmentally friendly way to travel. Short of giving you a complete comparative analysis of all modes of transportation and their relative impacts on the planet, I would argue that cruising is not among the top contenders for “sustainable travel” options. However, it is important to consider this because not all cruise lines are created equal when it comes to sustainability. In short, do your research.
So, yes or no?
So, if you have read this list of pros and cons and you still want to do a cruise then it’s probably the right thing for you. On the other hand if this list made you think “noooo way!” Then maybe take a look at other travel options…
In my opinion, it’s not a bad idea to try many different kinds of travel and then see what you like and don’t like for yourself. I mean, how often do people come back from a vacation and say “it was terrible, I wish I never went”. So maybe give it a try and see what YOU really think about cruises.
I want to hear from you!
What do you think about cruises? Any advice for those deciding whether to try it out?
SEE THE WORLD, MAKE IT BETTER.
~ Earthly Traveller