You will get a lot of answers to your questions by reading reviews on our sister site, cruisereviews.com. Every cruise line and even each ship are different, as are those who cruise, so each cruise experience will be unique. Benefits of cruising are many, and will vary with every individual. Some I can think of are relaxation, fun, seeing new places while only having to unpack once, meeting new friends or spending time together as a family - the list goes on and on.
I think Karen has nailed it. Cruising is unique because of the confluence of adventure, entertainment, a very rewarding family atmosphere, fine dining and activities. There really is nothing quite like it that is competing for the same vacation dollar.
Cruising to me is an easy vacation. We are able to purchase the cruise and relax. I do not have to make any other arrangements for food, transportation, entertainment for my children or my hubby and I. We wake up, get dresses, eat and do whatever the daily compass has planned for us that day. It is a stress free vacation that has multiple choices of entertainment for the entire family. We also have the opportunity to visit multiple islands we usually would not be able to see in one summer. In the last year I have been on three cruises and have seen Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Labadee, Nassau, Cocoacay, St. Thomas and St. Martiin. I would have never been able to fly to all thes Islands in one year. It is just a unique opportunity.
I've owned four motorhomes and traveled the country. I owned a cottage in Northern Wisconsin with great fishing and boating. I've been to a few all inclusive resorts, Disney World a few times, and then in November of 93 I tried a cruise vacation. Of course my wife had to twist my arm because I pictured a bunch of old people laying around pools after stuffing them selfs. That was 32 cruises ago...
Cruising is probably the best vacation value you can find. I know many people that claim that is true of "all inclusive" resorts too, but even if those worked out to be the same cost, you only go to the one desitnation. On a cruise, you can get a week vacation for a family of 4 for about $75 per person per day. You wouldn't get much of a resort for that price.
With cruising, all your entertainment, food and lodging is included. No, drinks are not included which is not the case at some all inclusives (but we are not cruising for the sole purpose of drinking.) And neither are the excursions, but that is true of inclusives too.
Chase probably hit the nail on the head. Its a stress free vacation. You just need to get to the ship, after that, someone else does all the planning work. Can you imagine a vacation that involved going to 4 different destinations in a week and the amount of planning that takes... forget it..
================================================== ========== Carnival Cruise Lines:
Fantasy 90, Celebration 95, Victory 05, Conquest 05, Spirit 6/06, Freedom 6/08, Holiday 7/08, Victory 6/09, Valor 9/09, Dream 6/10, Splendor 8/10,Conquest 8/11,Magic 11/11,Triumph 4/12,Spirit 7/12,Freedom 11/12, Triumph 2/13 - The fire cruise, Magic 1/14, Freedom x 2 6/14
NCL Dream October 2006, RCCL Mariner OTS June 2007, Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Fantastic, Wonderful, Awesome, Marvelous, Beautiful, Spectacular...running out of adjectives. To me it is the best value for your dollar. You unpack once, your accomodations, transportation, food, and destinations are planned. Like Chase stated, book the cruise, you know where you're going and don't have to worry about how to get there, when you're arriving, when you're leaving, etc. The service on all cruise lines we've been on has been superb. The ships are clean. The food is wonderful. The ports are amazing. Wish I had lots of money, I'd go on once a month. I guess I'm partial because I love snorkeling, sailing, being spoiled, warm weather, beautiful water, and new adventures. Like Karen stated, it's unique to all of us. Best Wishes!!
I would describe my cruise vacations as very different. I had no idea what to expect when I went on my RCCL cruise to E.Carib. It was fantastic. Great food, great shows, and great ports. We went with a group of friends and it is easy to find something that everyone wants to do on a cruise ship. I love being able to get dressed up everynight if I want and go to a 5 star restaurant. I got to eat things that I had never heard of. When I went on my W. Carib. on Carnival, I would describe it as a bit disappointing. I guess the first cruise was so great, this one just could not compare. I also like the all inclusive resorts though. I will never get tired of all you can eat and drink (alcohol included) at some of the resorts. The cruises do tend to nickel and dime you.
Aventura Spa Palace-04/25/04
Rccl Explorer of Seas-04/17/05
I also like the all inclusive resorts though. I will never get tired of all you can eat and drink (alcohol included) at some of the resorts. The cruises do tend to nickel and dime you.
Spyder209 - let's be fair. Based on so many threads I've read on this website, when it comes to cruises, most are "bargain-basement hunting" and you are going to get nickel and dimed when you book at that level because the cruise lines need to make a profit. It's no different than the "all you can eat buffets" on shore - the owner is relying on the fact that very few of the customers will be gluttons and he will make a profit. The cruise line hopes that most pax will spend freely on board since they saved so much on the price of their cruise ticket. That is also why the cruise lines are adding the gratuity to your bill - you are subsidizing the wages of the crew AND the fare has not been increased (WOW! What a bargain! Let's book this cruise!).
Now, I suppose I'll get bashed by everyone for saying that.
Thanks your guys for your various viewpoints. But when I talk about the benefits of cruise experience, I refer to something deeper, or psychological. Yes, cruises offer good food to eat, clean accommodations, good transportationů But, I guess these are not what you come on-board for. To me, these are merely conditions facilitating a satisfying vacation experience. I agree with Karen that we take a cruise for something we desire psychologically, either it is for relaxation, for fun, or for new things we did not expectů