Vacation time is here and there’s a great many choices out there! And one choice is to take a cruise.
A cruise? Isn’t that for the very rich and wouldn’t it be very boring, with lots of old people and boring days at sea? Most likely, the answer is no, and has been for a long time.
There are all kinds of cruises and cruise/fly combos out there. And even the ‘standard’ Caribbean and European cruises don ‘t fit that stereotype.
Advantages of a cruise? There are a great variety of types of cruises. For all kinds of people and tastes. There are cruises to Antarctica, cruises along rivers, more intimate cruises on smaller vessels, cruises that drop you off on a secluded beach or island, where you create your own adventure from there, and so on.
On many cruises, you can visit several places, with most of the time at sea being at night and tours during the day.
Oftentimes, on the larger vessels, you may have a great variety of entertainment and dining options, so that staying on board can be a viable option as opposed to taking tours at each port of call.
Cruise prices are more competitive now and within reach of more people today.
In 1992, I took a Caribbean cruise and it was great! I visited Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guadalupe, Grenada, Caracas, and Aruba, and took day tours at each port of call. And the ship was large enough to provide various entertainment options. It was far from boring and, at the same time, I saw that it accommodated the varying tastes of different kinds of passengers, too. And it shattered my stereotypes of cruising.
A few years earlier, my cousins went on a cruise where they had some beach time on what amounted to “their own beach” for a short amount of time. They, too, had a great time. Another person I know has gone on several cruises in North America and Europe and never had a bad time on any of them.
Are there disadvantages? Sure. Destinations can change due to weather, civil unrest at a port of call, health problems on board, and mechanical problems. One cruise my cousins went on was disrupted by a hurricane. Another person I know, was on the cruise following mine in 1992, and had to miss Caracas due to riots having occurred the day before. And of course there are the norovirus stories and recently the stories of cruise ships that had to be towed back to port.
Fortunately, these are less common than the media would have you believe. So, how to plan a cruise? First, do your research. If you know a good travel agent, use them. If not, find one. Booking a cruise yourself can be fraught with mishaps. An experienced travel agent can be sure that all your connections are viable and, if something goes wrong, they are much more able to help you than you can help yourself.
Also, get a passport if you don’t already have one, and if you do, make sure that there is more than 6 months left to renew it. It will make life much easier.
So, if you haven’t ever taken a cruise and want to do something different this year, book a cruise!
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