It’s no secret that I love cruise vacations. But I didn’t always.
At first, I thought cruising was cheesy and only for people who didn’t really care about seeing the world “for real.” Now, I know that notion is completely ridiculous. There are so many benefits to cruise vacations, especially if you have limited time and a shoestring budget.
So Many Stops
I want to see as much of the world as I can, and I want to do it now. The great thing about a cruise vacation is that you can sample all sorts of places and decide which ones to come back to later. Most longer cruises stop at several ports. Some are awesome, and others not so much. If I really love a port, I plan a trip there later so I can spend more time exploring the area.
Cruise vacations are all-inclusive for all intents and purposes. Once you’ve paid for your cabin, you don’t need to pay a penny more if you don’t want to. There are typically a handful of free places to eat on a cruise ship, and you can always get water, juice, tea, and coffee for free. Don’t forget about the Broadway-style shows, dance parties, competitions, sports, and more. Oh, and the ice cream. There’s always free ice cream!
If you want to splurge for extras, like alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, massages, and upscale dining, you can even pay for them in advance. This way, you have no surprise extra charges when you disembark.
Pro tip: Be sure to pre-pay your gratuities before your cruise vacation. There’s really no way to get out of the daily fee, so you might as well take care of the tab in advance. This will leave you in the free and clear so you don’t have to worry about blowing your budget later.
After the sun sets in a foreign land, I’m always a little concerned about hitting the streets for a night out. On a cruise vacation, you always have lots of safe places to go at night. And again they’re always included in your cruise fees. You can sing along at a piano bar or karaoke, have cocktails in the atrium, or watch a stage show. The likelihood of something untoward happening to you on a cruise ship is pretty rare. You’re not likely going to be pickpocketed or fall overboard. Unless you’re acting inappropriately–like sitting on the balcony railing in your cabin, you don’t need to worry.
One of the things I appreciate most about a cruise vacation is that I have a home base for my entire trip. I can unpack and stay for a while. I don’t need to worry about coordinating trains or booking tours. The captain will take me where I need to go. And when I get there, people will be waiting to help me find my way. Sometimes you simply don’t want to lug your bags from one place to the next. Bus tours also take you to several places in one trip, but you have to pack up every few nights and move on. On a cruise ship, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Cruise vacations can be very inexpensive. If you’re willing to stay in an interior cabin with no windows, you can get a steal of a deal. I just took an 11-day NCL cruise to the Canary Islands for under $950 per person. That works out to $86 per night. Where can you get a better rate than that for all you can eat, transportation to another place, above-average accommodations, and tons of entertainment?
These are just a few reasons why cruise vacations can be a great way to travel affordably. What are your reasons for cruising? Head to the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group and share your ideas.