Updated: Sep 28, 2020
My husband and I have been on six cruises to date, which is nothing compared to some cruisers we've met with over 60 under their belts. It's a great way to travel to see the world, but is it the right type of vacation for you?
There are a lot of positives to taking a cruise, especially internationally, where there might be language differences and visas to navigate. View a cruise like an all-inclusive, floating hotel. There really isn't any other way you can visit seven countries in fourteen days and never have to unpack or worry about where you are going to eat.
Photos by Seguras: Beautiful port-o-calls, dock, walk or ponga from ship to shore, elegant lobbies, long corridors and amazing ocean vistas.
Ships always have a grand buffet, with more choices than you can imagine, including made-to-order eggs/omelets in the morning, and freshly, carved Prime Rib or Roast Beef in the evening. **COVID update: Unfortunately, the buffet as we know it may become a thing of the past. Some cruise lines are currently doing away with them altogether while others plan to keep the buffet, but will have servers to place food items on your plate. Social distancing will be the norm, so expect tables removed and placed at least 6 feet apart. Initially, ships will travel at lower capacities so hopefully wait times to get a seat will be at a minimum.
Photos by Seguras: Buffet options and desserts to challenge any diet. After a day in Berlin, we were treated to a Oompah Band (Celebrity Cruise - Scandinavia/Russia)
If you prefer to have your meals served, the main dining room has varied entrees served to your specifications, wines for the most discerning connoisseurs and friendly staff who wait on you hand and foot. If that's not enough, for an extra fee, most ships have speciality restaurants (Japanese, Italian, French, etc), that are generally more elegant and cater to 'foodies.' Plus, you can also order meals in your cabin, 24/7, if you just don't want to get out of bed. Premier cruise lines, like Viking, might include all of your sightseeing, gratuities, and most alcohol, beer, wine, and soda. Celebrity, Princess, Holland America and others charge for your port excursions, gratuities and have beverage packages for an additional fees.
Photos by Seguras: The main dining room, great food and presentation
Your sightseeing excursions will never be long enough to really explore any city to its fullest. It will, however, cover the highlights and include the history, all presented by knowledgeable, english-speaking guides. If you travel during high season, your weather will undoubtedly be better, but so will the crowds. With the exception of Carnival and Disney, most cruise lines cater to the 60 years and older crowd and activities on board often reflect an older audience (Shuttle Board or Bingo anyone?).
Photos by Seguras: Various shipboard decks: Celebrity, Princess and Norwegian
Generally, there two shows every night - a musical review, comic or solo artist, movies during the day, gambling casino and a variety of lounges with instrumentalists or singers. Onboard gift shops offer a fairly wide range of souvenirs, jewelry or clothes although if you wait until the last day, much of it goes on sale. When at sea or for those who choose not to disembark, there are a variety of daily activities: early morning fitness classes or yoga, seminars designed to sell you something, i.e. "How to choose hair color at home" or "Arthritis and Swollen Ankle Solution with Acupuncture", or Ping Pong Tournaments, etc.
Photos by Seguras: Daily itineraries, casino, art auction, nightly entertainment, tequila tasting seminar (alcohol not included!)
A nice combination to consider is to take a cruise and piggy-back with a week-long or longer stay in one destination. In 2021, my husband and I plan (Covid-willing) to take a seven-day cruise to the Greek Isles, followed by a week or more in Croatia. Prior to our 14-day Scandinavian and Russia cruise, we spent eight days in London. Following our 7-day Fall Colors cruise we spent an amazingly colorful week in the Poconos.
There are great deals right now 2021 and 2022. Most tour operators and cruise lines are offering easy cancellation policies for nervous travelers and the new normal - don't travel without a Cancel For Any Reason insurance policy.
Let's plan to get out of the house! Contact me here!