It's one of the most enjoyable forms of travel, yet some people are sceptical about going on an ocean cruise. You might wonder whether or not you're a 'cruise person', unsure if you should take the plunge. But you definitely should. The cruise industry has boomed in popularity in recent years, with a raft of sleek new vessels catering to everyone from retired folk to millennials, and offering voyages to destinations as varied as the South Pacific and the North Atlantic, the Caribbean and Antarctica. So what's so good about cruising?
First things, first. You only have to unpack once.It's such a relief to know that you'll get to visit lots of amazing new places without needing to cram everything back into your suitcase every few days. Most ship staterooms and suites have ample room for hanging up your clothes. The best ones have spacious walk-in wardrobes.
Something For All Budgets
If you're on a budget, interior cabins are usually the most affordable option. But it's worth splashing out for an ocean-view room, especially one with a balcony. There are few finer things in life than opening your curtains in the morning to a gorgeous ocean view, or a picturesque port of call, particularly when room service arrives with breakfast. It's also lovely to be able to sit outside, sipping sundowners, come the end of the day.
While the ports on your itinerary promise an array of adventures - from experiencing exotic new cultures to savouring the best local beaches and shopping - being on the ship itself will broaden your horizons. You'll meet crew members and fellow passengers from various different countries and can sign up for all sorts of organised day-time activities, such as cookery classes, dance lessons, arts and crafts workshops and themed lectures with experts from the fields of science, history and geography. Evening entertainment includes Broadway-style shows, stand-up comedy and live bands.
eat well on a cruise. Besides all-you-can-eat buffets - which flaunt everything from soups and salads to burgers and cakes - your cruise fare includes sit-down restaurants with waiter service and multi-course menus that flaunt treats like steak and lobster, and more often than not food inspired by the region that you're cruising in. Most ships also boast - for an extra fee - speciality restaurants, which focus on specific cuisine, like Asian-Pacific, French and Italian. You can expect a good choice of beer, wine, spirits and cocktails on board, too.
It's easy to over-indulge on a cruise but most ships offer plenty of exercise space, from swimming pools and outdoor jogging and power-walking tracks, to gyms and work-out studios where you can pound the treadmill, bike or cross-trainer and take instructor-led yoga or pilates classes. You'll feel much better knowing that you've really earned your next meal or drink.
By the time most first-time cruisers disembark the ship for the last time, they're no longer asking themselves if they're a 'cruise person', they're wondering where they should go on their next cruise!
Highlights Of A Recent 14-Night Caribbean Cruise
- Sailing past the jungly 'piton' peaks of St Lucia, among the Caribbean's most Insta-worthy sights
- Snorkelling with colourful fish and turtles in the warm, turquoise waters off Aruba and Bonaire
- Soaking up the incredible cricketing heritage of Barbados before a tasting session at a historic rum distillery
- Strolling around Antigua's UNESCO World-Heritage listed Nelson's Dockyard - Britain's one-time key naval base in the Caribbean - then lounging on one of the island's 365 beaches
- Riding the 'Last Railway of the West Indies' - the St Kitts Scenic Railway, which used to transport sugar cane around this lush green island
- Following in the footsteps of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom at the old Pirates of the Caribbean movie set in St Vincent
See it sounds pretty good doesn't it?!