Cruising is a holiday experience like no other. Visiting numerous destinations and making cherished memories along the way. But is there a downside? Some first-time cruisers worry that they could feel rushed on a cruise. Is this fear justified, or will your first cruise make your worries float away? Read on as the team from Cruise1st discuss this important issue and explain why you should get on board.
So where do the worries come from?
It’s natural for people who are new to cruising to look at a cruise holiday and think it could be a rushed travel experience. With all-inclusive holidays to one destination often considered the norm, some travellers have become used to the idea of spending days on end in the same location. So, when they look at a cruise package where you can visit ten destinations over twenty days, they think – by comparison – that it will be a bit hectic.
But in reality, the experience is far from rushed. In fact, cruising incorporates the best of both worlds. You get the relaxation, the lounging, the pure enjoyment when you’re at sea, and the experience-rich exploring when you’re ashore. Modern cruise ships are packed with on-board entertainment, bars, restaurants and shopping. It’s an experience in itself, taking advantage of what is essentially a floating resort. You’ll probably enjoy the time on board as much as the time spent on shore.
Opportunity to explore
And on land? Cruises give you ample opportunity to explore several great destinations on the same trip. Planned excursions help make a cruise even more enjoyable and relaxing. Booking through the cruise company is preferred by many because it takes the worry out of finding a reputable provider. It’s also a guarantee that you will be perfectly on time because the timetable is run by the ship’s team.
If you want more independence, that’s fine. Ports are a hub for tourists. There will often be other independently-run tours that leave straight from the port, as well as transport links, and in some cases a great deal to explore close by. You can get stuck into the culture from the moment you arrive.
Another reason that city-hopping can feel rushed is the lack of a break in between destinations. You’ve had a great time in Barcelona, seen all there is to see, now what? Get on a plane, train or coach and be hurried to your next destination? It turns your holiday into a whistle-stop tour, and you can’t take anything in.
With cruising, however, the travel experience is much different. After getting the best from each destination, you’re back on board a comfortable, luxury liner that will transport you at your leisure.
With a great on-board experience, there are no more wasted hours in your trip. As well as lounging by the pool and enjoying on-board bars and restaurants, the extra time gives you an opportunity to get ready for your next stop. It means no more forgotten sun cream, no cameras left on the bed-side table, and no more getting lost. With a calmer journey, you can unwind from your exciting time ashore, and prepare for another great day to come.
Picking the right cruise
As you’re starting to see, cruising isn’t quite the frantic rush some people think it is. In fact, it’s a perfectly timed adventure. That’s why so many people become addicted to cruising. It’s an experience incomparable to bog standard holidays. You really need to try it for yourself to see what the craze is about.
And if you do feel like a cruise looks rushed? Don’t worry. There are countless cruise itineraries out there, each offering a different amount of time onshore. With the help of a good travel agent, you can find the cruise that’s right for you. Speak to an adviser, explain what you want from your holiday, and let them find your perfect cruise.
Longer vs shorter cruises
Not all cruises are thirty-day transatlantic expeditions. They vary considerably in length and cater for all needs. Short cruise packages will often visit one place or a cluster of nearby destinations. In this case, your time spent at sea will often be overnight. While a plane journey would interrupt your body clock – leaving and arriving at all hours – cruise ships can help you maintain a natural sleep pattern throughout your holiday.
On longer cruises, you can expect to spend longer periods of time at sea. With more places to visit and more things to see, this time to relax will be invaluable. Unwinding properly means you can enjoy your time on land fully when it comes.
Will it matter that it’s your first time on a cruise? Not really. First time cruisers often remark about how welcoming the cruise community is. Speaking to other cruisers instantly removes any worries, as they can give you advice and tips about what to remember when you depart the ship.
What’s more, crew members are endlessly helpful in informing travellers where’s best to eat, drink, shop and see the sights. They know the routes, they know the destinations, and they’re familiar with the culture. It’s like having a local travel guide with you every step of the way.