February 16, 2012

Thursday Travel Tips

Our cruise ship parked along the French Riviera

Today I'd like to talk to you about cruising. 
Because it's my favorite mode of transportation during vacation.

Many people have their own opinions of cruising,
which is to be expected. 
I can only imagine that if you get seasick easily,
cruising may be more torturous than enjoyable.. 
Fortunately, I don't suffer from that problem, 
and neither does the hubs.

I figured this wouldn't be my only post about cruising,
so I'm going to save specific company recommendations for later,
and share my pros and cons about the whole concept first. 

-cruises are "all inclusive".
I meaaaaan, do I even need to explain this point? 
All food and activities, with the exception of soft drinks and alcohol, are included in the base price. 
I know, most of you are thinking... "alcohol is NOT included? ripoff!",
and to that I say "when there's a will there's a way". 
You didn't read it here, but someone I know, (quite possibly me), is infamous for sneaking her own beverages of choice through water bottles (since those ARE aloud) in her suitcase. 
Getting back to the inclusivity point though, 
that means you can stuff your face with anything you like from the minute you get on board, to the second they kick you off. 
I've seen some people take serious advantage of this perk.... 
Get your money's worth people!
Did I mention that this includes free 24 hour room service? 

-did someone say relaxation? 
I've heard people complain about getting "bored" during the days when cruise ships are at sea. 
People.. come on now.
Isn't that what vacation is for? 
To spend the whole day lounging by the pool, taking intermittent naps between chapters in your book and constant snack breaks?
I personally have no problems with this. 
Force me to loll around for a bit, why dontcha. 
Just cruel. 

-be treated like royalty
This point kind of goes along with the one right above it,
but who doesn't like to have their room cleaned TWICE a day. 
The best part? 
You get to come back every night to a little surprise. 
Oh yeah, 
those who have cruised before know what I'm talking about... 
the little towel animals? 
So cute!!

-overall cost savings
If you're looking at it from simply a financial standpoint,
cruising may be the most cost effective way to travel. 
The price you pay includes everything - 
transportation, lodging AND food. 
We personally took full advantage of this perk during our honeymoon,
by choosing a cruise that took us to Cannes, Nice, Monaco, Genoa, Florence, Rome, Naples AND Barcelona. 
All places that we were dying to visit, 
except when we compared the cost of traveling by train/plane and staying in decent hotels, 
to the price of doing it via cruise ship, 
we were astounded to see that the price varied by almost 100%!

Yep, that's a towel elephant. Cute, right?
This is probably my only gripe with cruising. 
It's pretty limiting as far as how much time you actually get to spend at a certain place.
Most of the time, you only get about 10 hours at a single port of call,
before you're summoned to move on to the next place. 
If you plan ahead,
you can definitely see A LOT in ten hours,
but there have been times when we've wished we could stay over night.
I suppose you can look at it as little previews. 
Cruise stop-overs give you a chance to explore places that perhaps you wouldn't of have thought to visit before, 
and if one day is simply not enough,
well at least you'll know you loved it there, 
so you can feel confident about booking a longer trip to that destination next time. 

So what do you think? 
Have you been toying with the idea of cruising for a while?
Hopefully this post has made it easier for you to decide. 
I'd love to hear your thoughts!



Marie Martell said...

I have never been on a cruise, but have been really wanting to take one. I'm a big eat, sleep, lounge maybe do an activity type of vacation girl. I'm not a big take walking tours in town, so 10 hours is fine. Cruises sound perfect for me! Do you recommend a certain ship? Thanks for the post.


A and B said...

I've never been a cruise person, but if it was around the Mediterranean, then i'm there! (or a sailboat around the Caribbean wouldn't be too shabby either).

Olivia.Dee said...

this makes me really sad we had to postpone our cruise this year. wahhh.

Lucija said...

Sooo, I gotta say, I really enjoy the photos - so much fun! And also, your blog is gorgeous. xx