Cruising offers many benefits. You can see several destinations without constantly packing and unpacking, there’s plenty of entertainment on board and there's scheduled excursions once you get off the ship. For the most part, cruising also offers an all-inclusive rate, so most meals and drinks are included in the cost.
What about those of us for whom being on a ship with 6,000 other passengers scurrying for the buffet line doesn’t seem like much of a vacation? What about those that prefer more active vacations, higher levels of service, better food options and want to see more of the places we’re traveling to rather than being confined to waterslides and shopping malls onboard?
Luckily for these vacationers, cruising has come a long way. There are so many options available for every type of passenger. Expedition ships focus on seeing the great outdoors and following the trail of wildlife with the help of naturalists as your guides. Yachts provide a staff to guest ratio which allows for a more intimate experience with the highest service levels. Sailboats allow you to get nostalgic about getting out onto the deep blue sea. River cruises offer a slower pace and the beautiful sights and sounds of cities along the rivers of Europe (Danube, Rhine, Rhone, and most recently the Douro being some of the most popular) or Asia (Mekong is the primary, followed by the Ganges and most recently the Irrawaddy). There’s even cruises for adults only or ones which have areas which cater specifically to adults.
There are distinctive features to each cruise line as well- restaurants with Michelin star chefs (you may not get reservations at French Laundry but you can experience Thomas Keller's cuisine onboard Seabourn Cruises), cooking schools and culinary centers, overnights in ports allowing you to experience the destination more fully and enjoy the local nightlife, sports platforms that get you paddle boarding or kayaking en route, excursions to UNESCO World Heritage sites, lectures from authors or experts on board, artist’s lofts, Canyon Ranch Spa, sleeping under the stars, exclusive shore excursions….the list is endless.
Then there are the themed cruises, built around any activity you can imagine from wine cruises to Perry Golf cruises to learning-Bridge-from-a-master-instructor cruises. If you have a group that has a special interest, there's a cruise for you!
So the next time someone asks you to join them on a cruise, instead of falling back to the old stereotypes, open your mind to the endless possibilities!