People who've never been on a cruise often don't know about the many advantages that cruising has over land-based vacations, from health and wellness to cost savings.
When you compare an at-sea vacation against the alternatives, cruising has something in store for everyone, which is why it's a good idea to keep these advantages in mind before booking your next trip.
Cruises contribute to wellness
Time was when taking a cruise was about indulging in guilty pleasures: overeating and overdrinking in between trips to the casino tables. But that era is now largely over, now that cruise ships come equipped with modern fitness centers, luxuriant spas, Solariums (some with Thalassotherapy), whirlpools, rock climbing walls and plenty of respites to soothe the soul as well as the body. On a cruise, your worries really do float away as you can delegate the responsibility for getting there to someone else while you focus on relaxing.
Cruise vacations in particular reduce stress (not always the case with land vacations), help families bond, create lasting memories, create lasting memories and even reduce your risk of heart disease, studies show. Many ships offer culinary classes, yoga, health and wellness programs, scuba training, language study, computer skills and other enrichment programs. You might even opt for eco-tourism and adventure travel to remote, pristine locations, from Norway's Svalbard or Antarctica to Tahiti, Bora Bora and the Caribbean. No matter how stressful your job, cruising lets you hit the reset button.
You can even find a wide range of rejuvenating “wellness cruises” by contacting a Cruiseable travel advocate over there on the business side of things.
Travel time is part of your vacation
On a cruise, you're able to relax and enjoy the facilities of the ship as you sail between destinations. You don't lose time commuting to airports and sitting on planes or in your vehicle while moving between places you're visiting. Today's ships are beautiful, modern and comfortable.
Pack & unpack only once
You'll need to pack before and unpack after your cruise — just once — instead of every time you visit a new destination, as you might have to do on land. If you're not flying to or from the cruise, you can also take as much luggage as you wish. No charges for oversize bags!
A cruise fare will include your accommodation, your cruising from port to port, meals and entertainment. Some premium lines also include your drinks, gratuities and excursions as part of an all-inclusive fare. While on a standard cruise you may spend a fair amount on board on items such as drinks, excursions, gambling, Internet access and gratuities, these are at your discretion.
If you're visiting multiple countries on your itinerary, you don't have to line up and pass through immigration at each destination. Once you've checked in and the cruise line has your details and passport, they handle interactions with the authorities in most cases right up until you disembark at the end of your journey. You'll just have to use your issued cruise card to swipe off and get back onto the ship.
Access to places difficult to get to by land
There are some parts of the world that are best seen or most easily accessed by ship. This includes hard-to-access places such as Alaska's glaciers and the Norwegian fjords or passing through the Panama and Suez canals. There are also remote places like the Galapagos Islands, Arctic, Antarctica and some of the Polynesian islands in the Pacific Ocean that are hard or impossible to reach by commercial plane.
Taste the variety of a region
Cruises can provide a good overview of the highlights and attractions of a region such as the Caribbean, Mediterranean and parts of Asia when your ship calls on up to seven different ports in a week. It gives you a chance to get a feel for where you would like to go back and spend more time. This would be hard to achieve on a land-based vacation, where you're not likely to roam from city to city one night after another.