ON THE FENCE ABOUT CRUISING? DON'T BE.
If you haven’t been on a cruise in the past few years, I have some good news for you! Cruise companies have very recently revolutionized the entire cruising experience and unlocked a literal world of possibilities for families looking to spend time together, visit new destinations, and have a blast along the way. Gone are the days of cruises with rigid formal attire requirements and outdated activities designed strictly for retired cruisers. Simply put, today’s cruise experience offers something (and by something, I mean everything) for everyone at a value that is unparalleled by other means of travel. So if you’re on the fence about booking a cruise in 2020, here are some reasons why you should go for it!
All For One…
Previously, cruise ships merely served as a vehicle to take you from one destination to another. But today, the ships themselves are their own destination, and there were days in which my family would be docked at port and wouldn’t even leave the ship because there was just so much to do.
The reason why we enjoyed cruising so much is simple: It offered just about everything that you can possibly imagine, and then even more than that. Cruise ships nowadays offer multi-million dollar Broadway-style productions onboard. I mean, where else can you see an ice-skating show featuring a meticulously choreographed musical drone demonstration and on a … moving ship? Cruise companies are continuously raising the bar to provide an unforgettable experience for vacationers, and that experience doesn’t just end at the shows!
The cuisine onboard is so varied and accessible, that it’s a virtual certainty you will not have enough time to sample everything. From the self-serve buffet featuring cuisine from around the world to specialty restaurants that feature dishes from world-renowned chefs (like Jamie Oliver!)—it’s all delicious. Ships also have multiple pools: whether you prefer a quiet, adult-only relaxation pool or a centralized one where live music is constantly playing, delicious beverages are served, and activities are filling the calendar. The best part is that you can choose to do as much or as little of it as you want! On the cruises we’ve been on as a family, we quickly came to realize that there’s just no way we’d have time to do all the activities we were interested in, so we focused our energy on the things that we truly enjoy. For the kids, that was the pools and kids club, and for me and my wife, it was the shows and live music. The most meaningful experience, though, was the looks of wonder and excitement on my kids’ faces as they get to experience the magic of cruising.
…and Fun For All!
One of the biggest changes in cruising recently has been the commitment to provide incredible experiences for every single family member. The onboard kid’s clubs aren’t just a place where your kids sit in a playroom and are “babysat”. The clubs are constantly changing activity schedules. Between sports tournaments, scavenger hunts, karaoke, and arts and crafts, there’s something for every age range to enjoy.
Since my wife and I travel full-time and spend all day with our children, we loved that there was an opportunity to sneak off to a romantic dinner while being assured that our kids were safe and had so many activities to entertain them.
But if a romantic dinner isn’t what you had in mind, you could catch a show, hit the slot machines, or luxuriate in a spa treatment. Aside from these more adult activities, many ships now feature water slides, rock-climbing walls, indoor skydiving, trampolines, roller-skating, bumper cars, playgrounds, miniature golf, and the list just goes on and on…
The Ultimate Travel Sampler
Obviously, a cruise experience wouldn’t be complete without experiencing some incredible destinations! From sailing across the Caribbean Sea on the World’s Largest Cruise Ship, Symphony of the Seas, to making a repositioning journey from Rome, across the Suez Canal, to Dubai, the itineraries offer limitless possibilities to discover new places, while visiting old favorites. Want to experience the vast, scenic, and rugged wilderness of Alaska? Try an Alaskan cruise. Want to walk along historic streets in Barcelona (Spain), Marseilles (France), and Florence (Italy) all in one week? Try a European cruise. The best part is that you can also do as little, or as much planning as you want. Cruise ships offer comprehensive shore excursions and guided tours, or you can plan and execute your own activities within the time frames that you’re on shore (just don’t miss the all-aboard time)! And, while you’re only at a given destination for a few hours at a time, you get a great taste of different cities and countries—allowing you to discover a destination to visit more thoroughly in the future.
On our shore excursion to Petra, Jordan we found the destination so remarkable and rich in culture that we are planning to return so we can deeply explore more of that beautiful country in the future.
Ultimately, a family cruise is an extremely fulfilling, efficient, and adventurous way to spend your next vacation. From the revamped and modernized onboard cruising experience to the beautiful destinations themselves, a cruise offers an unparalleled combination of experiences, events, and memories that each member of the family will remember fondly.!