If you’re short on vacation time or just hate the packing and unpacking that comes with travel, you may have found yourself considering a cruise. Cruises can be a perfect choice for some. They offer lots to do and numerous places to see. But, they also can limit you in some ways. It’s not the right mode of travel for everyone. After my most recent cruise I began to really think about this.
First off, not all cruise lines are the same. They don’t all have the same amenities or shows. Just like not all cruises visit the same places. My pros and cons about cruises are a general list that may not apply to every single cruise out there. But, they definitely reflect my own good and bad experiences while cruising.
Multiple Destinations: If you don’t have the time to visit all the islands you’d like to see, a cruise is a perfect solution for you. On a 7 day cruise you could stop at 5 islands and be able to spend 8 hours on each. This way you get a flavor of each and move onto the next one. This offers a little variety on your vacation as opposed to just staying in one place.
Dining: Multiple options and almost always available. You can go anywhere between formal dining to fast food, serve yourself type meals. My preference was formal dining for the most part. And the options did not disappoint. They definitely had things on the menu that you would mostly find at upscale restaurants. So it was nice to experience this every night.
Basically a Floating Hotel: Get on the boat, unpack your stuff and that’s it until you get back. No packing up and moving, just to unpack again. You get to travel around to multiple places without having that inconvenience to deal with.
Meet New People: Especially if you are a smaller group, it will be easy to meet people. In the dining room, you have people you will eat with every night. It’s not hard to get to know someone that way or even just hanging out at the bar. Everyone is traveling and from somewhere, so we all have that in common. It’s always fun to compare where you are from and learn a little about somebody!
Potentially No Planning: If you are not down for researching and booking your own excursions, is very easy to just book through your cruise. You could literally go on the website and pick the top excursion and be done with it. Not too much planning or thinking involved if you don’t want to do it. Then you have nothing to worry about day of. Someone will pick you up, take you to where you need to be, and drop you off after. What an easy day of travel! You also will know what everything costs/have already paid for it. So that is one less thing to worry about.
Dining and Drinking: So as great as it is that there are multiple places to eat, the fast dining places pretty much always serve the same stuff. To that point, I did always know that I could get a yummy breakfast burrito every morning. But in general, for me it was frustrating because it was a lot of unhealthy food, and not much vegan food to choose from. Quality of some of the places was not always the best either. The formal dining option definitely won in terms of quality as opposed to the quick eats. Drinks were also quite pricey. This made me very glad I had purchased an unlimited drink package (which was actually 15 drinks a day and not that hard to use up if you’re from WI). The package itself was still a little spendy, but at least you know what you will pay for drinks overall.
Days at Sea: There is so much to do while on the ship. But, there are also a lot of people on there with you. Getting to dip in the pool or hot tub becomes more stressful than relaxing. People are literally waiting around for you to get out and you get to be all up in your neighbors business in there (AKA no personal space whatsoever). **Shout out to the kid who elbowed my leg for the 30 minutes while I was in the hot tub.**
Internet: Yes, I paid for internet. Yes, it was all set up right. And no, I did not have it for a majority of the trip. WiFi is so spotty, if it even works at all. You will basically only get it if you’re near port and it isn’t even that good. Forget doing work related tasks or checking in with your pet sitter. Some days it took a miracle for my snap chats to even send…
Not Enough Time: As much as visiting multiple places can be a good thing, it also leaves you little time to really explore. Pick your top 3 things (maybe), and you’ll be rushing around all day to see everything. It got to the point where I just said “Fuck it! Let’s just sit on the beach”. It’s really only a quick glance at what the place might have to offer. And the best things might even be too far away from port for you to even see.
Not Relaxing: Going along with my last point…when you have a day full of site seeing, kinda hard to have a nice relaxing vacation. You might come back thinking “I need a vacation”. There is so much to see and so little time. You will never be able to everything you want to do, so get ready to compromise or throw the whole plan out instead. Some people don’t want to deal with any of that and just stay on the boat. Waste of money to me, but hey, I’m sure they had a pretty relaxing trip. Especially without annoying kids elbowing them in the hot tub (I bet they had it all to themselves goddammit).
So overall, I found out from writing this that cruises aren’t really for me. And that I passionately despise people who sit to close to me in hot tubs. I think that they can be a great way to get a taste of a number of different places. Afterwards, you could maybe decide where you would want to go back to and spend more time at. From my last cruise, I realized that Barbados has possibly the softest sand I have ever felt and clearest water. That is definitely a place I would go spend more time at. St. Lucia was another one I think you could spend a week on and have tons to do. There’s a lot to explore there.
Have you ever been on a cruise? How did you like it? Were there any annoying kids that elbowed you for a half hour? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂