Because it’s so much fun says Marie!
Here are our top ten reasons for cruising:
10. Enrichment Lectures. Often a cruise line will have a guest lecturer onboard who will discuss local history and culture usually on sea days. We recall lectures on the Caribbean Islands, the Roman Empire, Vikings, Italian food and regae music. Some lecturers are retired professors and do a really great job of teaching interesting material. It’s not for everybody, but Dave really enjoys these sessions. In a related vain, some lines offer daily Catholic Mass and most provide non-denominational religious services at Christmas and Easter.
Chef Dave having fun on the way to Rio!
9. Entertainment. Cruise ships provide endless complimentary entertainment. From Broadway shows, to comedians, to live music of every sort. Usually there are 2 nightly shows in the theatre at 7 PM and 9 PM. And what a theatre it is; huge with state-of-the-art lighting, sound and special effects and comfortable seating, bar service etc. There are movies on outdoor screens, casino facilities and television movie channels in your stateroom. The bigger the ship the more options and the higher the quality. We love the Broadway shows and comedians and the meet and greet events with the captain and crew
Having fun aboard the Carnival Paradise
8. People Watching. It seems, the older we get the more interesting it is to watch other people. Particularly younger people but also people our age and older. We see and hear couples interacting and having fun, see what they are wearing, eating or how they dance (some are really good!) and overhear disputes or complaining (very rare lol). On a cruise there are people from many different places, with different accents, clothes, tatooes etc., etc.. Same sex couples are present in large numbers on some lines, particularly men. Cruises provide endless opportunity for people watching close up.
Having fun aboard Oceania’s Marina in the Baltic
7. Drinks and specialty coffees. We have started purchasing the drink package which includes alcohol drinks, bottles of water (actually now in cans) as well as specialty coffees. You can enjoy as many glasses of wine, beer, cocktails as you like up to a certain price limit e.g., $11 at no additional charge. We also like Americano coffees and a capucino, latte or Irish coffee. The convenience and service is phenomenal. It’s open bar on board if you like to drink. We certainly do within reason.
In St. Martin on our very first cruise on the Sunbird back in 2004!
6. Healthy Exercise. Every ship has an outdoor walking/running track, a state-of-the-art exercise facility and several swimming pools. The top deck walking track is marked as to how many laps are needed per km or mile. The older ships also allow you to walk completely around the quiet promenade deck where there are few people. We walk many laps on sea days. Dave likes to swim laps in the pool first thing in the morning when it is not crowded. Marie sometimes uses a treadmill and enjoys daily yoga. In a related vain, cruise ships provide scooters to rent for those with accessibility limitations.
Formal night Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas, New Orleans to Puerto Rico
5. Meeting people. We have met some very interesting people on board e.g, a superb ball room dancing couple from Vancouver, a very friendly couple from Omaha, NE, an ex-clown from Cirque du Soleil, an interesting Mormon couple from Utah and a same sex couple who would always ask us st dinner, how was your day? We do not go out of our way to meet people preferring our own company, but the opportunities are endless. When we do hit it off with someone, it’s often a hoot, and when we run into them again it’s like running into old friends. Catching up and laughing is on the agenda.
Embarking on our best cruise ever with in 2008: Oceania from Istanbul to Venice followed by a group party in Rome!
4. Food. Probably the number one reason many people cruise is because they love good food. Each ship has a main dining room (that’s all they have on a river cruise ship), a buffet restaurant, a pizza and burger spot and 4 to 7 specialty fine dining restaurants: usually Italian, French, Steak, Asian and Seafood. Each tries to outdo the others in quality and service. It makes for some great eating! On some lines (e,g., Oceania) speciality restaurants are included in the base fare. Most though charge extra for specialty restaurants. We love the lobster tail and filet mignon night! We also enjoy room service for breakfast at no extra charge.
On the Avalon Waterways Artistry II, Nuremberg to Luxemburg.
3. Destinations. We go places we otherwise would not go. We have been through the Baltic, the Mediterranean, South America, up to Alaska, all around the Caribbean, a bit to Africa and Asia with Singapore, Australia and South Pacific up next. We would never have gone to most of these places otherwise. In ports we tend to do our own thing lately. Ship provided excursions tend to be expensive. We have organized group excursions and joined in ones that fellow cruisers have organized. These are much cheaper. Our favorite excursions involve beaches, shopping, snorkeling and sightseeing.
Enjoying some delicious seafood on our first Celebrity cruise in 2017. No crowds here!
2. No laundry, cooking, cleaning or grocery shopping. This is a big one. Also no lawn mowing, snow shovelling, garbage, maintenance, etc.. While doing chores at home can be invigorating, it’s sure nice to have a break once in a while. When cruising, someone else takes care of the domestic duties. Makes for a great restful holiday every time.
On the Norwegian Dream having fun!
1. Always going somewhere. For many, being constantly on the move is the biggest attraction of cruises. One never gets a chance to get bored. There is continuous anticipation of new adventure. And some one else does all the driving! Every night on a cruise when we go to bed, we feel the slight roll of the ship reminding us that we are on our way to a new adventure the next day. Makes for a restful, invigorating and renewing experience that a million Canadians a year have become addicted to, us included!
In Alaska with Holland America when the sun came out!
So now we have explained why we enjoy cruising so much. If you’ve never tried it, perhaps you will someday. If you are a seasoned cruiser, you know what we mean. We are planning a back-to-back trans-Pacific extravaganza cruise to celebrate our 40th anniversary in March 2024. Can’t wait!
Cheers from the Celebrity Beyond 2022.
Next up on matersofthemoment: Cruise Line Environmental Practices