Cruise ships are a divisive subject. There are those who have sworn off them forever and those who refuse to vacation any other way. You probably know at least one person from each group.
But for every con of cruises— and there are many — there's also a positive.
Maybe you've already made up your mind, but just in case you're in on the fence, here are some reasons to give cruises a chance.
Going on vacation can be an amazing experience full of lifelong memories in the making. But it can also put you in serious debt. According to Forbes, Americans spend about 10% of their annual income on vacations. With that in mind, it's no wonder people are looking for ways to get away on the cheap.
Cruises are a great way to do that. They can run as low as $50 per person per day (base price). If you ask me, a seven day vacation for $350 per person is a pretty good deal.
Not only do cruises come with a shockingly low price tag, but that price includes almost everything you'll need. When you book a trip with Carnival Cruise Line, the world's most popular line, the price will include your stateroom, all meals (including room service), entrance to the live shows and entertainment, and use of the pools and fitness center, among other amenities.
In general, the only things you'll be responsible for are any additional excursions you choose to do at the various ports, spa services, alcohol (though there are drink packages you can add on), and gratuities. That $50 a day is sounding even better, isn't it?
It's the epitome of a worry-free vacation.
Even though a vacation is supposed to be relaxing, it can also be super stressful. Immense planning and research goes into each day's itinerary — finding hotels, choosing restaurants, figuring out transportation, and more. By the time you're finished planning, you really do need a vacation!
A cruise is different from that in every way. Once you book, all you really have to do is show up. You can choose some of those on-shore excursions, which are put together by the cruise line and typically guided, but those are optional.
When you arrive onboard, you'll get a schedule of activities that you can go to if you want, or you can lay in bed ordering room service for the whole trip. It's totally up to you.
You get to eat... a lot.
Honestly, one of the things I look forward to most on vacation is the food. And since cruises are basically one big 24-hour buffet, they're right up my — and any other foodie's — alley. Depending on the cruise line and the ship, you'll have a choice of casual and fine dining options, as well as 24/7 room service and bar food.
You'll meet interesting people.
There are annoying people on cruises just like you'll find anywhere else, but there will also be some really great ones. And unlike other trips where you and your traveling partners are in your own bubble, a cruise tends to be more social. Since you're in a confined space, there's a good chance you'll see the same people over and over, which gives you the opportunity to get to know them.
You'll have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful places in world.
Every cruise typically stops in at least one port, and longer cruises stop at more. At each one you'll have a list of available excursions that give you the chance to explore historic landmarks, nearby beaches, ancient ruins, and more. You don't get a ton of time to spend at each place, so it may leave you wanting more. From the Alaskan coastline to the beaches of the Bahamas to the Aztec ruins of Mexico — there's definitely a destination for you.
You can truly disconnect.
If disconnecting is something you want and something your job will allow you to do, a cruise is the perfect option. Your phone won't work at sea, and the wifi can be expensive. So unlike other destinations where it's easy to slip into the "just one more email" routine, a cruise might force you to totally disconnect.
By Stephanie Ashe, This Insider
Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more
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