If you are like most people you have at some point planned to go on a cruise, or at least gave some thought to a cruise ship vacation. As you probably know, cruises provide all of the features you can find at the top hotels and even more. Cruise ships usually have things like piano bars, dancing, night clubs, restaurants, on-board shopping for jewelry and clothing, live shows, full blown casinos, recreational areas for the kids (arcades, playrooms, water slides), Spas, coffee shops, beauty parlors, gymnasiums, etc. And all of that for about the same price per night as a good hotel.
There are always organized activities that vary from playing bingo to taking any one of a number of classes that the cruise ship offers. You can take specialty cooking lessons, dance lessons, learn to scuba dive, and even learn computer programming. All the ships now have high speed Internet connectivity, so you won’t have to go without your email.
You will want to do research into what shore excursions, activities and tours are available at the various stops on your cruise. The cruise lines offer a wide variety of shore excursions and tours, and there are lots of independent tours available as well. Often you can find better prices from the independents, than what is offered by the cruise lines, but there are risks involved as well.
Do your homework. Visit the online forums and message boards such as the one run by Cruise Critics. In many cases you can end up with a number of new friends before you even get on board the ship. It’s often more fun to join in the activities when you feel familiar with your friends from the message boards. Go swim with the dolphins, learn to scuba dive, go tubing through underground rivers and more!
Cruise stops are usually long enough for you to spend at least most of a day in each port. They usually range from a half day to several days on longer cruises. While the ship is docked in port, you can go into the city and take the tours and enjoy the activities that you would most like to experience at that destination. There are cruises where you can easily arrange to see the pyramids of Egypt, Red Square in Moscow, the Coliseum in Rome, and even the Great Wall of China, just to name a few.
Cruise ship food is famous for its elegant presentation and excellent preparation. You never lack for food while onboard. There is always a buffet open somewhere, and most of today’s ships have multiple restaurants and cafes. And there is always room-service which is free by the way. Some cruise lines have fresh baked cookies available all day long, and for you coffee addicts the coffee is available 24 hours a day and its free! And such deserts!
Cruising is all about enjoying yourself. Get as much feedback as possible from as many sources as you can and then go see the world!