As I reflect on my many places that I have lived or visited, the sea although not native to me still draws me in like an addiction. Like the late Jacques Yves Cousteau, I feel that, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Wanting to be well-versed, I must add that I have discovered many other areas of this precious earth such as the Sahara desert, the Grand Canyon, and the mountains and glaciers of Patagonia that are absolutely mesmerizing, but I have to say that the sea in any shape or form is nothing short of spectacular. With that said, I have asked a peer and travel writer, Abby, to write a post about her take on cruising. Please come aboard for her post. Enjoy.
I have to be honest; the thought of going on a cruise had always filled me with horror. Being stuck on a ship loaded with people I don’t know, unable to escape if the need arose gave me the fear. That was until a young friend of mine actually when on one with her mum. She returned from her two-week break cruising around the Mediterranean, glowing and looking so relaxed that I hardly recognised her. She too had been reticent about the trip, only going so that she could keep her mother company. However, she enjoyed it so much that she convinced me to join her on her next trip, cruising around the Greek Isles. Newly converted and with so many cruise deals on offer, I am already planning to set sail again soon. Here are some of the reasons why;
Cater for all tastes – There are so many places in the world that you can go to on a cruise liner, from the Norwegian Fjords to New York and the Caribbean, the only thing they have in common is that most of the travelling will be on the water. Mini cruises are a great way of dipping your toe in to see if you like the floating hotel experience, where you can get to visit a couple of places and get a feel for life on the ocean waves.
Easy to relax – Once you have boarded, found your cabin, and organised your luggage, other than eating and drinking, you have no other commitments. If you do not wish to visit any of the places where the liner is docking, there is no pressure to do so. There are no worries about losing your stuff or having to repack your bags if you do choose to leave the ship at the port, just make sure that you don’t lose your key!
Explore without the hassle – Most excursions will be well organised well in advance, so it is easy to plan your itinerary without having to do any of it yourself. I did a lot of back-packing around Europe in my youth, so to be able to hop on a pre-organised coach with none of my belongings strapped perilously to my back fills me with an unexpected joy. Roughing it is fine, up to a point, but a tourist is a tourist however they travel, and if I still get to see everything I want to see I’d rather take the easy option.
Entertainment – Fine dining and showbiz has long been a stalwart of the cruise experience. There are big changes afoot though. Recently big named bands such as Pulp and Weezer have been headlining festivals, which have taken place on board a ship. Music lovers get to enjoy all the acts and trappings of a traditional, landlubber’s festival with the extra benefit of the comfort of a cruise. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is getting harder to argue that cruises are boring.
Take in more sights – No view on a cruise will ever be the same as the last time you looked. As the journey progresses you are able to take in more scenery and landscapes than you could on a plane of coach, and often at a distance where you can appreciate it more.
*** Featured post written Abby Wilkinson, a freelance writer and mother of three exuberant children. Born and bred in the UK, she has spent time living in the US and regularly travels to Africa and around Europe. She loves to draw upon her experiences and observations of travel and motherhood in her writing.