A cruise is a great way to visit multiple countries and cities, all in just one trip, but recently they have been dividing travellers more than ever. Some people love them. Others hate them. So, before you board that luxury cruise ship, let’s debate the lingering question: are cruises worth it?
Starting positive, cruises are a great way to see a lot in a short space of time. You can easily visit some of the most popular places in the world, be it Europe, the Caribbean, or Antarctica. Cruises take you from port to port, and a vast amount of different cultures and cuisines are now within your grasp. Instead of only experiencing one country, you’re able to check off several places on your travelling bucket list.
They’re also a very easy and relaxing way of travelling. You’re taken directly to each place and don’t need to arrange any transport yourself. Minimum effort, maximum reward. No stress involved. If you opt for a no-fly cruise, there’s also no bustling, long-queue airports to contend with.
The cruise industry is booming right now and the innovations to ships are incredible. You’ll never be bored when there’s so much to do! From swimming pools and dodgems to theatre shows and shopping, there’s something for everyone. Every cruise is different, so no experience is the same; one year you could enjoy the height of luxury, and the next a themed one, or, my personal favourite, a Disney cruise.
Food on cruises is another highlight. It’s brilliant in variety and taste, so whether you fancy some Italian, steak, burgers or the choice of an all you can eat buffet, you won’t be disappointed. Although, if you’re a bit of a picky vegetarian like me, then be prepared for fewer options.
With every positive comes a negative, and cruises are no exception.
You just don’t have enough time in each location to truly immerse yourself in the culture. Average ports of call are only six to eight hours, and when you factor in getting to an excursion, you’re not fully able to enjoy the beautiful city you’ve just arrived in. There’s no flexibility to them either; if you’re loving a location, you can’t choose to spend longer there because you’ve got to get back to the ship, or risk being left behind. If there’s a certain country you’d like to explore for more than just a few hours, I wouldn’t recommend a cruise, or maybe go for one that is dedicated to said country, so visits a variety of cities within it.
Cruises come with a high price tag (keep an eye out for last-minute deals if you’d like to save money). The cost of a cruise per person is often more than £1000 and that’s not even allowing for any on-shore activities, flights or drinks if they’re not included. Excursions can cost anywhere from a pleasant £20 to around £300 for more pricey ones. If you were looking for cheap travel, perhaps a cruise isn’t the way to go.
If you are prepared to fork out for excursions, booking in advance is essential so you don’t miss out. I’ve only mentioned the negative aspect of excursions, but I do recommend them as they are a great, fun and easy way to spend your time in port and avoid wandering around an unfamiliar island, unsure of what to do. They often include many unique and stunning experiences aside from the most popular tourist attractions.Travelling is a subjective experience, and with every type of holiday, what works for one person may not work for another. I think the key to enjoyment whilst cruising is finding what works for you. Antarctica cruises will give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and River cruises give you more time in port. If you’re seeking the Northern Lights, there are cruises dedicated to that. The cruise industry has so much variety so maybe it takes a few tries to find what you love, but the most important thing is that you get out and see the world, and that is always worth it.