By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination and Europe River Cruise Expert
Cruising is our favorite vacation. We usually take 2 Ocean Cruises and 2-3 River Cruises a year. We are experts in all aspects of the cruise vacation. We have sailed on 9 different ocean cruise lines (Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, NCL, MSC, Celebrity, Azamara and Silver Seas and next month will add Holland America to the list) and 2 river cruise lines (AmaWaterways & Scenic). While there are many differences between cruises and cruise lines (we know most of the differences first hand), there are many common reasons to take a cruise for your vacation. Here are our 10 Top Reasons to Cruise:
- Choose a cruise for VALUE. One price buys your stateroom, dining, and most entertainment and sports activities. Many times it is less costly than trying to buy all that is included at a land resort.
- Choose a cruise for ROMANCE. Secluded beaches in port, ocean view dining, spas, it’s a great place to reconnect or celebrate a wedding, a honeymoon an anniversary or a vow renewal. When it comes to settings and special locations, cruising makes it easy to create the right mood.
- Choose a cruise for CUISINE. Gourmet food (often menus are designed by celebrity chefs) served in style or if you desire simple standbys like hamburgers, pizza or even healthy spa-food offerings—variety abounds on many larger ships. Food on board is always a big draw. There are even cruises that are specially themed for foodies—some have even have cooking classes!
- Choose a cruise for VARIETY. There are many distinctive ships, world-wide ports of call, so many great places to see and things to do—there is a cruise just right for anyone. From adventure cruising of exotic locations, visiting the natural beauty of Alaska, the warm inviting beaches of the Caribbean or the great ports of Europe or Asia, the opportunities to experience a different vacation is almost endless.
- Choose a cruise for ACTIVITIES. There is sightseeing, sports, beaches, cultural lectures, and educational tours, arts & crafts, new skills to learn, or just relax at the pools or in a hot tub. At night there are shows, comedy clubs, casinos, discos, piano bars or just gaze at the stars. You can do as much or little as you desire. The current trend is to provide many new experiences on the newer ships and update the older ones—they are constantly improving. Some of the newer additions are ropes courses, rock climbing walls, surf riders, ice skating rinks, bumper cars, free-fall parachute simulators and even a rotating “eye in the sky” ride.
- Choose a cruise for SIMPLICITY. It is a hassle free vacation—you won’t have to search for a place to eat, or stay for the entire length of the cruise. Once you are on board, it’s all there on your floating resort. And at each location, you are do not have to pack and unpack—just once when you arrive and when the cruise is over. Best of all, you can choose to have most of your expenses are pre-paid.
- Choose a cruise for NEW HORIZONS. You often fall asleep in one place and wake up in another port. One reason we have been to so many countries in the world is that the cruise lines made it possible with minimal effort to get to new places.
- Choose a cruise for FAMILIES. There are cool things to do with the kids—children programs, kid friendly food, sports, swimming and other activities. Perhaps the best part is that all members of the family, the kids, the parents and the grandparents, all can have different activities or time together—each can do what they want without taking away from other family members. Many spend time away during the day and get together during dinner to share their exciting experiences. Parents also don’t have to worry about where the kids are—they are on the ship.
- Choose a cruise for PAMPERING. There is first class service to take care of your every need. Trust us, you will want to take your waiters and cabin stewards home! Best of all, regardless of the fare you pay, you all get the same excellent service. The Spas are also an excellent way to pamper yourself.
- Choose a cruise for SATISFACTION. Cruising has a very high percentages of satisfied customers when compared to other vacation experiences. In a 2014 survey of past cruisers prepared by Sharak & Associates, commissioned for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), found 89 percent of cruisers where satisfied with their cruise vacation and 86 percent planned to take another cruise. Since cruises provide value; romance; great cuisine; variety; cool activities; simplicity; new horizons; is family friendly and pampers you, it is easy to see why cruising has so many satisfied customers. It is also a safe vacation. For more detailed information on safety and health issues and regulations of the cruise industry, we invite you to visit www.cruising.org. This is the website for CLIA, the world’s largest cruise lines industry trade association.
We hope these thoughts will encourage you to take a cruise vacation. Please call Hank at 713-397-0188 or email him at email@example.com so we can help you on your next cruise vacation or any other travels. As always, we stand by to assist you to:
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