Trip Planning

To cruise or not to cruise. Why I think you should weigh the options

Mexican cruise photos
The floating city we called home for a week!

When I went on my first curse I was 28 years old. I was skeptical that my friend Laura and I would be the only young people on the entire ship. Well it turns out I was wrong. And here’s why. Cruises are an inexpensive way to travel which is handy because when you’re young (unless you are Zuckerburg) you don’t have tons of money to spend on travel.

I am by no means claiming to be a cursing expert, but I will claim to be a cruising advocate. I have listed a few debates on taking a cruise.

Deciding if you should take a cruise
Look at all that space to wander around

I won’t like being trapped on a boat:
Trapped on a boat, are you kidding me? Sure it’s a boat, but have you seen one of those boats? There huge, with lots of space to move around. It’s like a freaking floating town. The Allure of the Seas holds about 6300 passengers and crew. That is about the size of the town I grew up in. YIKES! With multiple decks, pools, shopping, there’s even a library.

There won’t be anything to do on just cruising days:
I was guilty of this thinking prior to my first cruise. How wrong I was. There is always something going on. Whether that be a performance show, the casino, social gatherings to several bars to choose from. We were never bored any time we were on the boat, including all day cruising days.

Deciding if you should take a cruise
Although the “midnight buffet” can be fun!

I don’t want to eat at the buffet every meal:
Then don’t! There is a buffet but there are also several dining options including fine dining, fast food and pub style foods.

Excursions are expensive:
Although cruiseline excursions are more convenient you can book your own, less expensive excursions, often with the same tour companies. It just takes a little more planning. We always book through the cruiseline. Sure it’s more expensive, but we are lazy, which is probably what the cruiseline is banking on.

Cruises are for old people:
Well it may be true that there will be older people on the cruise boat but I hate to break it to you – old people are everywhere. I was 28 and 30 years old when I went on my cruises and I never felt out of place. There were many people my own age to interact with. The key is to find out where they are hanging out. So don’t sit in the piano bar if you are looking for the club. And most boats do have a club for the younger crowds.

Deciding if you should take a cruise
Ahhhh the comforts of home

You aren’t going to immerse yourself in culture while traveling on a cruise ship. Excursions are very touristy and it is difficult to get off the beaten path while visiting anywhere because you often don’t have time to explore.

As I just mentioned it is rare to have a lot of time at the port. Often just a few hours to run around and return back to the boat. I personally like this, but I am also someone who travels fast. Lots of people like to slow travel. It does mean you do not get to know the area very well but I equate that to “taste testing” the area. If I like it I can always come back. But what if I don’t like it – I would be pretty annoyed to have paid for a week’s stay to be somewhere I did not like.

Deciding if you should take a cruise
I like my “free” drinks!

Booze cost a lot:
Sure drinks are expensive but so are drinks in major cities. Laura and I always bought the drink of the day, which on Royal Caribbean if you are a member of the Crown and Anchor Society you get the added benefits such as 2 for 1 drinks.

Deciding if you should take a cruise
shiny and bright colors all around

The Cheese:
And I’m not talking about the food. The boats are set up like a casino. If you do not like that sort of setting you’re probably not going to like a cruise. The entertainment can also be sometimes cheesy. You’re on a cruise ship and it’s free entertainment, it can’t all be 5 star. But I will say you are not required to attend the entertainment.

The lure of spending more:
You have to be aware of the hooks they leave out for you. Attend the art show and get free champagne. You better believe that Laura and I were there drinking champagne but we did not fall into the trap of buying any art work? Nope!  Cruiselines also love to take your photos, print them out and then try to sell them to you. I find this practice ridiculous and it’s not just cruiselines who do it. If you print out the photo and I don’t purchase it where does the photo go? In the trash. So why print it out hoping I will buy it? Wasteful.

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