If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that I absolutely love cruise holidays. As this is published, I’m on my thirteenth cruise, sailing somewhere in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean towards the south of France. So, I thought what better time than now to try to cut through any misconceptions you might have about cruise holidays.
Gone are the days when cruises were just for middle-aged couples; as are the stuffy images of class confinement which emerged from the days of the Titanic. Today, cruises can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age or social class.
The beauty of a cruise is that you simply have to unpack once, and the ship transports you to a number of exciting destinations with minimal effort from you. Whilst you enjoy a sumptuous dinner on board and sleep in your stateroom, the ship is smoothly sailing towards your next port of call. It’s an amazing feeling to wake up almost every morning (depending on your ship’s itinerary, of course) in a different place. It’s one of my favourite things about cruising.
For some, cruises conjure up images of thousands of people cramped into a small ship, bland food and nothing to do. This could not be further from the truth.
Of course, it depends on which ship and company you decide to sail with, but generally if you stick to a small to mid-sized ship, you won’t feel like there are too many people on board. The largest ships in the world can carry over 6000 passengers and for me, this is too many. I prefer to sail on ships which hold around 1000 passengers, as it takes less time to get people on and off the ship in different ports of call. I’ve found that the more modern a ship is, generally the more space it will have. I love ships which have floor to ceiling windows to create the feeling of space, and also to allow me to enjoy some fabulous views!
And as for bland food? No way! Some of the meals I’ve had on cruise ships have been some of the best of my life, and I know good food when I taste it! Depending on what cruise company you sail with, dinner on board can be as relaxed or as formal as you wish. I love cruises which have a mixture of casual, smart casual and formal nights. I love any excuse to get all dressed up for dinner!
If you think you’d get bored easily on a cruise ship, then you’re probably wrong. There’s so much to do. Bars, nightclubs, multiple restaurants, shops, theatre shows, cinema shows, swimming pools, dance and gym classes, a fully equipped gym, library, rock climbing walls, destination lectures and acrobatic shows are just some of the different things I’ve enjoyed on different ships. You can decide to do as much, or as little as you want while on board.
One of my all time favourite things to do whilst the ship is sailing, especially during a full day at sea, is find a quiet spot on an empty deck and look out to sea. Looking around and not being able to see a single piece of land anywhere is an amazing, and humbling feeling. It always makes me remember how big the world is, and how little a place I have within it. It always leaves me feeling grateful and overwhelmingly happy. For me, few feelings can match it.