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Cruising…And What IS To Like

As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog — Cruising, What’s Not To Like? — we thought it made sense to point out why we do like cruising. Again, at the risk of stating the obvious, these come from a long list of “likes” that have emerged from years of being on cruise ships… 

The value: When you add up the costs of flying, renting a car and eating, you’re probably getting close to what you’d spend on taking an average cruise with an average cabin on one of the big ocean ships. If you want to spend more — as you would for business class or a bigger car — you can upgrade from inside stateroom to oceanview to balcony to suite, but none of that compares to sitting in a coach-class airplane seat for hours.

Seeing the world: There are usually borders to be observed (Caribbean, Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, etc.) but cruise ships make it easy to go to an area and see many places Venicethat would be more problematic to reach by air or on land. Beyond that, with re-positioning cruises you can really “do” a lot of places if that’s your motivation and while we haven’t been on one we imagine that around-the-world cruises are easier for the same reason.

Food: Another subjective one, but we could count the bad meals (or mediocre meals) we’ve had on cruise ships. Considering the mass number of people that have to be satisfied, with different tastes and allergies, cruise-ship chefs do a remarkable job of keeping everybody happy,.

Unpacking:  Whether it’s an ocean cruise ship or a river cruise ship, being able to unpack your suitcases and leave everything in the same place for a week or more is like staying in Room-Verandaa hotel for that length of time. The difference is that these hotels are on the move and consequently, so are you. Maybe that’s why people call cruise ships floating hotels!

Options: When you’re on a ship, you can do as much or as little as you like. We tend to do much. We’re more likely to be found in a theater for a show or on a shore excursion than sitting in a stateroom or a bar or library. But having all the options is appealing.

People: Everybody’s different, of course, but we’ve made many friends among crew members who work on ships. While we’re not anti-social, we do find people working on ships and living in ports more interesting than fellow passengers. We’ve made a few friends there, too, but the social aspect has never been a motivation for taking a cruise.

Getting there: In this age, flying has become much less fun. We usually still have to fly to get to a port, but imagine how many flights you’d take if you wanted to visit Peru, Chile and Argentina — or France, Italy and Spain — on one trip.

And those are just the high points!

Today at portsandbows.com: Check our our report from Vietnam on the Amadara

Holland America Veendam
7 nights
September 26, 2015
Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, Bar Harbor, Boston
Inside: $729
Cost per day: $104
www.hollandamerica.com

Why Cruise Samplers Are Good

Short cruises can be two, three, maybe four days long? Why bother, you ask?

It’s a question we’re often asked…probably in part because we generally go on cruises of a week or longer. Having said that, we did once take a three-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Norwegian Sky, just because we wanted a break from “working” cruises. And guess what we did on those three days?

We worked.

There are other, and several reasons, for the appeal of a short cruise.

For anyone who’s “anti-cruise”, it’s a good way to test the waters…no pun intended. Among the things that non-cruisers fear are seasickness, boredom, crowds, confinement. Three or four days is enough time to dispel the myths, or not.

Time off work. Taking a few days can work for people unable to take time off that’s measured in weeks. The cruise world recognizes that. Most lines now have short cruises, Carnival Breezewhile still offering all the amenities on board and even in port, not to mention plenty of relaxation time. The most popular destinations are Mexico, the Caribbean and, yes, the Bahamas. A short cruise can also be combined with a couple of days on land before or after cruising…if you can squeeze a couple more days out of the boss.

If cost is a factor (and isn’t it always?), three-or-four-day cruises are sometimes available for less than $200 per person. In addition to accommodation, that covers food and entertainment. A port or two may be in the mix, giving cruisers the opportunity to explore on their own or take a shore excursion. For $200, how can you lose?

There’s another reason, too.

Maybe you’ll become like the rest of us. The length doesn’t matter.

Today at portsandbows.com: Cruise news in Canada

Emerald Princess
7 nights
November 30, 2014
Houston (return): Roatan, Belize, Cozumel
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $64
www.princess.com

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