Cruising has a bad rep. It’s for old people! You can get sick! What if I fall overboard?
I’m here to tell you none of it is true. Well, okay, some of it is partially true, but has been wayyy over exaggerated.
My favorite way to travel is via a cruise. Now, I’m a 30-ish year old woman who is far from retired and has limited disposable income. I am not the target market of most cruise lines.
But I love it. And I know you will too!
I’ve done cruises in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, several times each. I’ve lost track of all the islands I’ve visited.
I recommend booking through CruiseDirect.com. They have the best deals on cruises and you can see most cruise lines in one search, without having to go to multiple websites to compare and contrast.
This millennial guide to cruising will show you 8 reasons why your next vacation should be a cruise!
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1. It’s affordable!
At first glance, cruising doesn’t seem the most cost effective way to travel. If you just look at the base price without considering everything that’s included, it can seem like a lot to lay out before you’ve even left. A hotel may look like a much better deal if it’s less than the nightly cost of a cruise.
However, cruising includes a whole lot more than a hotel.
It includes your food (except for the speciality restaurants), some beverages, daily cleaning and turndown, daily shipboard activities (trivia anyone???), nightly accommodations, and transportation between each port.
If you were to try to mimic the itinerary of a cruise with hotels, flights or boat rides between ports, food, and all the other stuff cruises include, the cost would almost surely be at least double.
2. Cruising is Easy
You book one thing (the cruise), maybe some flights (depending on how far away it is), and if you want to be done, that’s all you need. Show up on the day the cruise departs, drink some champagne, and be on your way.
Cruising can be as easy or as involved as you choose. You can plan every moment of every day with excursions in port, either through the cruise ship company (easy) or through a private tour company (slightly less easy, but usually a better deal).
Or you can choose to sit back, relax by the pool or on your veranda (fancy cruise term for deck), drink some daiquiris and let the world pass you by.
Food is available around the clock on a ship. You don’t have to cook or clean or pack and re-pack to see a new place every day.
However, if you want to see specific things, experience a certain landmark or historical site, or try certain foods, cruises can cater to that too!
Cruise lines offer excursions directly. They can be booked ahead of time or while on the ship (though the best excursions often sell out). The prices are often higher than what you’d find privately. The benefit of booking through the cruise line is the guarantee that you will be back in time to meet the ship, and if you’re late, the ship won’t leave without you.
Excursions through private companies will usually be less expensive, but they don’t come with the same guarantee. So you risk missing the boat if you’re late.
3. A Calendar to Accommodate Any Schedule
Cruises come in all shapes, sizes, level of luxury, cost, departure ports, etc.
Cruise ships follow a general calendar:
- Europe - Late spring, summer, early fall
- Caribbean - Late fall, winter, early spring
- Asia - Fall, winter, spring
- Australia, New Zealand - Fall, winter, spring
- Alaska - Summer
- Galapagos - Year-round
- Canada, New England - Fall
Only have a few days off? Hop a Caribbean cruise from Galveston, TX.
Have a month to kill? Schedule a few back-to-back Mediterranean sailings.
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Ships also have a variety of “sea days” and “port days”. These are good to consider when choosing your cruise. For example, my sister gets very antsy when we have more than one sea day, and so we try not to choose itineraries that have several in a row (such as a transatlantic cruise).
However, I love relaxing, reading, knitting, and doing trivia, so I’m happy to have as many sea days as possible.
It’s all dependent on how you prefer to spend your time. I suggest looking through CruiseDirect.com to see what options are available for the time of year or location you want to go.
4. Do you want to be left alone or pampered endlessly?
Smaller ships, while more expensive, can offer a much more personal experience. Generally, the staff-to-guest ratio is much lower, allowing butlers, room stewards, and waiters to get to know their passengers and preferences.
No matter the size of the ship, the staff will work tirelessly to provide for your needs. If you want to participate in the poolside games, chime in at trivia, dance the night away at the white party, or join in on the shipwide talent contest, you have the chance to participate to your heart’s content.
If, on the other hand, you’d rather sit by the pool and read a book, knit in the lounge, or just watch the world sail by, you can!
Some days, I like to sit by the pool (though realistically, my attention span for this is only about an hour or so!) and then perhaps have a spa treatment and a nice lunch. Other days I get up early and am one of the first off the ship to see the new place we’re visiting. The nice thing about a cruise is it’s my choice!
5. Kids are Taken Care Of
And I don’t mean like the Mafia takes care of people. Almost all cruise lines have a kids club of some sort where kids can go for the day to play with other kids and be supervised by specially-trained staff.
Usually, they’ll be grouped together by age. The kids will hang out with each other during the day, and then if you parents really want to go out on the town at night, you have the option of hiring a babysitter for the evening.
I’m going to be honest - I don’t have kids, so I can’t speak directly to bringing them on a cruise. But I do know oftentimes cruise lines will run specials for kids to travel at reduced or free rates, so what do you have to lose?
6. Picky Eaters Aren’t Forgotten
I am a picky eater. I wholeheartedly admit it.
When we first started cruising, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find food to eat. That was the exact opposite of the truth, however. Not only was the buffet available almost around the clock, the waitstaff in the dining room were extremely willing to bring me virtually anything I wanted.
Ketchup for my steak? No problem! (I know, I know. I promise I don’t do this now that I’m an adultier adult).
Substitute one side for another? Done!
Two desserts? Why, I don’t mind if I do! (don’t judge. It’s a cruise!)
Cruise lines are also getting better at accommodating restricted diets. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, there will be options at every meal (in the dining room and buffet) and those options will be clearly labeled.
If you have an issue with salt, or dairy, or peanuts, or any other food allergy, you can notify the cruise line ahead of time (or once you get on board) and they will make sure you are provided with a suitable meal.
7. Cruise Lines Reward Loyalty
I am not ashamed to admit that I have cruised enough to join the third tier of the loyalty program (Elite) on Celebrity Cruises. That means I get things like free wifi, free laundry (yes, usually you have to pay), special event invitations, and more.
The perks extend to off the ship as well, with exclusive sales and promotional offers.
Since we’re millennials, we have plenty of time to move our way up the loyalty ladder. Cruise lines are constantly revamping their loyalty programs, so who knows what other perks they may offer in the future?
8. You Can Stay Connected. Or Not.
It used to be that the only want to connect to the internet was to traipse down to the internet cafe, use one of their antiquated PC’s, and wait an eternity to connect to the internet.
In the past few years, cruise lines have made huge investments in their internet technology. Celebrity has a the Celebrity iLounge, the first Apple Reseller at sea. They have a slew of Macs (and a few PCs) for you to use to connect.
They have also added and upgraded their wifi networks. Most cruise lines now offer wifi in all public areas, and some even offer it in staterooms. Cruisers have the option of paying per minute, buying a package of minutes, or, crucially for us constantly-connected millennials, buying unlimited internet.
Now you never have to miss that perfect Instagram-worthy post just because you have no wifi!
On the flip side, you can also choose to turn off your phone and wifi and enjoy a peaceful, technology free vacation (but I have yet to manage to do that, so let me know if you figure out how).
Ready to book?
Cruising as a millennial is an affordable, simple way of seeing several places in a short period of time, without having to pack and unpack for every destination. You go to sleep and wake up in a brand new spot.
Try out CruiseDirect.com to see all the available options for your schedule and your budget. They have the best prices and a super easy interface to find what you want
Will your next vacation be a cruise? Where do you want to see? Let me know in the comments!
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