As a family, we love cruising! So far we have sailed on three different cruise lines, and we found pros and cons on each. Somehow, no matter what, we have always had a blast. And that includes the sailing in late September of 2015 where we shared the Bahamas with Hurricane Joaquin.
So, let’s start a game of pros and cons, best and worst of our sailing experiences.
Pros of cruising in general :
Once you get on the ship, you unpack once and visit many destinations! Your room magically transports you to various locations and experiences! A land vacation that includes all these destinations, would also include airfare to each destination as well as hotel or resort. Plus you would be packing and unpacking every day!
Food is included! With the exception of a few specialty dining rooms, all your meals are included in the cruise fare! It is sort of like an all you can eat restaurant, where you are treated like royalty! I know you can have a weeklong beach vacation for a lot less money, but when you include the price of meals, the cruise comes out as a bargain!
The steward comes twice a day to tidy up your room and turns down your bed at night. Most cruise lines also include a chocolate on your pillow. They leave the ship’s itinerary for the next day on your bed. A land based vacation gets you one housekeeping visit per day (if you’re lucky). If you need something during the day, you can call for someone to help you, but it might be hours before you have that item…but the steward is always close by. You see them in the hallway and they will ask if you need anything, and you can be assured if you need something it will be waiting in your rooms when you get back…and there were lots of towel animals involved with all our sailings!
Wake up each morning with a new place to explore! Yes, I know I listed that one twice…because it is that special!
Cons of Cruising in general :
There is always something not included. Almost every cruise line has at least one specialty dining option that is an additional price. There are always excursions that cost a little (ok, sometimes a lot) more. However you are never required to eat at that Specialty Dining or take that expensive excursion. In fact we never have and still have LOVED our cruises. But remember, if you had a land based vacation you would also have options that would cost a bit more than staying in your hotel or resort every day.
Then there is that dreaded thing called seasickness. I know some people get it and others don’t. There are ways to try and avoid it that have worked for many people. I personally use the patch. Remember that hurricane I mentioned earlier…well that patch and I made it just fine in 20 to 30 foot seas.
My favorite part of cruising? Absolutely hands down has to be the food! My picky eaters; my big eaters; my hard to please eaters were all happy and beyond well fed! I have a teenager who did not like any of the fancy stuff on the adult menu, and they let her choose from the child menu and gave her larger portions. My big eater wanted two entrees – no problem. My adventurous teen wanted to sample a few new things, no problem, they brought him a plate with a sampling of all the things he chose. Two desserts! Again, no problem!
My least favorite part of cruising? There are three things that come to mind. You will not experience all three on your cruise because they are all cruise line or cruise port specific. I hated the muster drill! It was always the least favorite part of the cruise. But, having said that, the muster on Disney’s Dream was great. It was funny and informative, and even my special needs son didn’t complain too much about the alarm sounding. (Although if you have someone with sensitive hearing, noise cancelling head phones are a must!)
The other two things I disliked were the boarding and disembarking. Some cruise lines have it all together and others, well let’s just say disembarking from Carnival in Port Canaveral can be a bit taxing!
Now, I guess you are wondering if I have a favorite cruise line. Well, I do, but don’t worry, that will not sway me on helping you chose the right one for you and your family! I know that each family is different and have differing needs. But there is a cruise line out there that will be perfect for you!
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!