Cruising is one of the world’s most popular kinds of vacations, and there are some pretty good reasons for that – in fact, we managed to come up with about 50 of them.
2. Scratch that. It’s actually more like a floating, traveling, never-in-the-same-place-for-long city.
3. All-you-can-eat food!
4. Let me be clear: All. You. Can. Eat. And at any time of day or night on most major cruise lines.
5. They’re a great way of getting to isolated areas.
6. The value is seriously incredible. As a value test: take the per person rate for your cruise and divide it by the number of days. Then look at how much a comparable hotel and dining would cost for just one day. The cruise almost always comes out to be the better deal.
7. Cruise ships go to lots of places that would be hard to reach/navigate on your own. For instance, you might be nervous to travel to Istanbul or rural China on your own, but Rome and Beijing are easy to reach, and the cruise line can take over from there.
8. It’s not hard to find a port you can drive to, which means you don’t have to deal with the airlines.
9. If you do have to deal with the airlines, many cruise lines will give you air credit.
10. Cruising is incredibly safe.
11. Don’t feel like taking a tour today? That’s all right, just sit by the pool.
12. Don’t feel like sitting by the pool? That’s all right, just head for the movie theater, shopping, photo galleries, bingo, trivia, karaoke, or any of a dozen other onboard activities.
13. Some ships have ice skating rinks. Who doesn’t like ice skating?
14. Practically everything is paid for ahead of time.
15. Everything that isn’t paid for ahead of time is paid for using your room key – no need to carry cash!
16. Kids, you can get away from your parents and hang out with your friends all day!
17. Parents, you can get away from your kids and relax all day!
18. Spas. Big, beautiful spas.
19. Bars, and lots of ‘em.
20. You can find a cruise of any length. Weekend cruise to nowhere? Check. Week-long getaway? Check. 100+ night around-the-world sailing? Also check.
21. It’s a way more affordable family vacation than pretty much anywhere else.
22. There are fun ships for families, refined ships for lovers of luxury, and pretty much everything in between.
23. Cruise lines organize excursions so YOU don’t have to!
24. And those excursions? They can be anything. Whether it’s a tour of the port, a scuba diving trip, or a lecture on culture, history, art, or anything else under the sun.
25. If you don’t feel like taking the cruise ship excursions, though, you can always plan your own!
26. More and more ships have free Wi-Fi…
27. …but non-cruisers don’t necessarily know that, so if you’re looking to unplug all you need to say is, “Sorry, I’m at sea. It’s a total dead zone.” And then cackle maniacally, because you’ve fooled them all and now you don’t have to do any work on your vacation.
28. No luggage fees!
29. Seriously, none. Bring as many clothes as you want.
30. Small cabin? So what? Spend your time on one of the other decks doing something fun – your cabin is for changing and sleeping.
31. Big cabin? Awesome, enjoy having your own space on those rare occasions that everywhere else is busy (not that it happens often).
32. Formal nights. Because life doesn’t have enough excuses to get all dressed up and take pictures.
33. Not a fan of dressing up? That’s cool; there are almost always alternative options – like the buffet on the Lido deck, where flip-flops and shorts are de rigeur.
34. You get to meet new people from all over the country, if not the world.
35. Themed cruises. Are you a metal fan, a steampunk enthusiast, or can you just not get enough of NPR? There are theme cruises for almost every taste, whether it’s pop culture or intellectual lectures.
36. It’s actually not hard to stay in shape, even with all that food. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or run a few laps around the deck as you gaze out at the water – or whatever exotic port you happen to be in.
37. Cruise lines have past-passenger programs, sort of like frequent-flyer programs on airlines. Cruise with a line more than once, and you can get great perks, like free drinks, private receptions, and, if you take a whole lot of cruises, some lines will even offer you a free cruise.
38. Room service is available 24/7.
39. If you’re on a river cruise, there’s always something new to look at.
40. You can actually lose track of what day it is.
41. Who hasn’t wanted to be a pirate and adventure on the high seas? The time is now; go for it!
42. Unless you’re on a completely new ship with a brand new itinerary, other people have taken the cruise before, and can give you a rating of their experience so you can decide if it’s the right trip for you.
43. New ships with new features come out almost every year, so there’s always something new for your vacation!
44. Like zip lines…
45. …climbing walls…
46. …batting cages…
47. …production studios…
49. …surf machines…
50. …indoor skydiving…
51. …and just about everything else you could ever want!
52. More than 16 million people cruise every year – and all of those people can’t be wrong.
By Meghan Brennan