10 Reasons To Go Cruising

There’s never been a better time to go on a cruise vacation!

Once seen as expensive and uninteresting, cruising has come a long way since the great ocean voyages of old, gaining popularity amongst travellers. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimates that the collective fleet of cruise ships around the world will carry 21.7 million people in 2014, a growth of 1.88 percent over 2013. To support this growth, the industry will add 16 new ships in 2014, boasting cutting-edge innovation previously unseen, including simulated skydiving at sea and observation capsules suspended over the ocean.

Still undecided? Check out our 10 reasons to go cruising below.

1) Cruise Vacations Offer Great Value

With accommodation, food, entertainment and transportation included in the fare, cruises provide fantastic value for travellers looking to stretch their vacation dollar. Cruise lines offer different accommodation categories (ranging from interior staterooms to suites) to suit every budget, while add-ons and packages allow travellers to manage their onboard spending according to preference.

2) Accessibility

Getting to cruise ships is easier than ever with lines deploying ships to numerous ports. Often situated in major cities, many departure ports today boast dedicated infrastructure and operate in tandem with air hubs for convenience.

3) Good Introduction to New Destinations

One of the best things about cruising is waking up in a new destination each morning and having to unpack only once. Most cruise ships sail overnight, spending the day in-port after arriving the next morning. Guests then have the day to become acquainted with the destination, a good introduction in preparation for their next in-depth visit.

4) Gourmet Dining

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Cruises and food have long been synonymous. From fine dining to plentiful buffets, there is always something to eat onboard a cruise ship. Most lines offer quality multiple-course, sit-down meals in the dining rooms and guests will also find casual dining options onboard.

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Those seeking luxury and exclusivity can head to the onboard specialty restaurants. In recent years, cruise lines are partnering celebrity chefs and one will find names such as Geoffrey Zakarian, Marco Pierre White and Nobu Matsuhisa on newer ships. For a fraction of the price at their land-based equivalents, guests can wine and dine in style at sea.

5) Activities Galore

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There’s never a dull moment on today’s cruise ships. Beyond the traditional shuffleboard and deck games, cruisers can beat the heat at elaborate waterparks, tackle a rope course or climb a rock wall amongst other things to do onboard. Some Royal Caribbean ships boast FlowRider surf simulators, ziplines and the upcoming Quantum-class will have indoor skydiving onboard, while Italian lines Costa and MSC Cruises feature Formula One simulators on their ships.

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The less active can enjoy 3D movie screenings, Broadway production shows, street parades and parties indoors, while lectures and classes on topics including art, wine, history and anthropology offer the chance for enrichment and self-improvement on vacation. The latter features heavily on premium and expedition lines, including Oceania, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea.

6) Once in a Lifetime Experiences

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be an Alaskan crab fisherman? Or feel like a pirate of the Caribbean? Cruise vacations offer guests a chance to live out their fantasies with experiential activities and excursions that they would otherwise never do. Many lines are also introducing behind-the-scenes programmes that turn the tables on passengers, letting them see and feel working on a cruise ship under the guidance of the crew.

7) Something for Everyone

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From vacationing families and group travellers to retirees and honeymooners, a cruise offers the opportunity for one to find a suitable holiday style. Parents can relax safe in the knowledge that their children’s movements are limited to the space onboard and that specialized care is available to entertain, while groups often enjoy programmes tailored by cruise lines. Cruises are also great for couples to find their own private moments or celebrate a special occasion.

8) Meet New People

Cruise ships are one of the most diverse communities on the planet. With guests and crew from various nationalities, there are plenty of opportunities to meet and mingle with someone from another walk of life. The cruise lines make things easy with onboard parties and activities, with some ships even having dedicated spaces for single travellers to meet and socialize in.

9) Escape Completely

Borrowing the tagline from Princess Cruises, a vacation at sea is one of the best ways to completely escape from the routines and stresses of daily life. With limited mobile and internet connectivity (although this is slowly changing with more ships providing Wi-Fi onboard), travellers can focus on holidaying without many of the distractions found on land.

10) The Open Ocean

With 70 percent of the earth covered by water, Man has long been captivated by the open ocean and the sense of freedom associated with it. Be it the sound of the waves or the smell of the sea breeze, only a cruise offers the opportunity to be close to some of nature’s best sights away from land.

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