By Steph - Cruise with Amber
Here are my top 10 Reasons to cruise – everyone loves a ‘Top 10’ don’t they? If you’re thinking about your first cruise holiday, they you’re making a great choice, and here are just some of the delights that await you.
1. No airport delays.
I don’t mind flying (in fact I have to do a lot of it with my work), but i don’t enjoy the airport security, the long wait before you board your plane, the stress of worrying if you’re at the wrong gate, the worry about not boarding the plane within the short boarding time frame, and the delays, oh the joy of delays. A no-fly cruise holiday is a delight compared to all of that.
2. Unpack once.
What if I said you could visit Barcelona, Cannes, Rome, Florence, Gibraltar, Cartagena, Alicante in one two-week holiday and only have to unpack once? Well, that’s the norm on a cruise holiday.
3. Somewhere new every day.
See my point above – note all those ports? They’re all in the same holiday itinerary, all that variety is the norm on a cruise holiday, the one above is just an example.
One day you could be waking up in the South of France, the next day you might be sailing in to Barcelona. In between you’ve had a night at the theatre/cocktails in the bar at the back of the ship watching the sunset/ a three course meal/ watched a film on deck under the stars/taken a stroll around the promenade deck and had a restful nights sleep.
4. No need for taxis home.
When you go out for the evening on a cruise ship, your journey home is never going to be more than 360(ish) meters. After a full day on ship, with perhaps an adventure at port thrown in too, then a three course dinner followed by some cocktails and an evening at the theatre, you don’t need to hail a cab, you don’t need to agree who will be the designated driver and there’s no long trek back to your holiday apartment.
The only choice you have to make is whether to have an evening stroll along the promenade deck back to your cabin, or wander through the ship, perhaps stopping at one last bar on the way.
5. Trusted childcare is already included.
If you have kids, you just try prizing them away from the afternoon talent show or film night or games morning (or any other of the 1001 things they get up to at Kids club) to join you for dinner or a day on ship.
The great kids clubs on board mean date nights for us parents on cruise holidays. They also offer a chance to catch up on uninterrupted holiday reading by the quiet adults-only pool.
6. Seamless embarkation.
We tend to do no-fly cruises out of Southampton. Embarkation and check-in couldn’t be simpler – drive up right outside the ship, have your car valet parked, have the porters take all your luggage. The next time you’ll see your luggage is outside your cabin (there’ s no dreaded carousel wait on a cruise holiday).
Once you’re inside the cruise terminal you just have to show your passport at the check-in desk, register your payment card, have your photo taken and you’re done. All that’s left is a simple hassle free security check and a short walk onto ship.
7. Everything you need is within 500 meters.
Actually it’s much less than this. Currently the largest ship at sea Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas which is 360(ish) meters long. In between you’ll find 22 restaurants, 42 bars and lounges, theatres, an ice rink, and a zip line. It’s like your own private island, floating serenely from port to port. Plus great thing is that all this is never more than 360(ish) meters from your cabin.
8. No luggage restrictions
On a no-fly cruise, take as many cases as you like. It’s as simple as that. No excess baggage fees. On a no-fly cruise you CAN take a case just for your shoes (yes, I have, if you’re wondering).
9. You can be on holiday within an hour
Forty-eight minutes is the record for us.
It took us just 48 minutes between getting out of the car and jumping into the pool aboard ship. By the way, if you’re wondering, the longest we’ve ever had to wait was 1 hour and 25 minutes.
How many times can you say it’s taken you just 1 hour and 25 minutes between parking your car at the airport and jumping in the pool at your resort?
10. Simplicity of check in
No trekking half a mile across the airport to your check-in desk, then trekking half a mile back to the restaurants and bars for a drink while you wait an hour or so for your boarding time, and then trek half a mile more to your boarding gate.
The whole check in process is seamless on a cruise, show your passport, register your payment card and be handed your cruise card and that’s it – the whole process takes no more than 5 minutes.
Some cruise lines such as Princess Cruises Medallion Class ships now offer check in online – their “Ocean Ready” Process, allows you to customise your preferences and input information to your online profile, which helps to you speed through embarkation and get on ship even faster.