I’ve never yet embarked on a cruise ship for a vacation. It was something I always dreamed of doing when I was young. Sailing around the Caribbean islands sounded so exotic to me and so I always placed it on my travel to do list. Yet over the years of travel, and truly “exotic” adventures, a cruise ship slipped further and further away from a must-do travel experience.
Living close to the Caribbean now, I’m starting to mull over the idea of taking a cruise around the islands like I always dreamed of doing. I know a lot of people who go on cruise ships every year and rave about the experience. I also know others who get struck by cabin fever and sea sickness a little too much to make it enjoyable.
While I’m still not too sure whether a cruise suits my adventurous backpacking lifestyle, my research did show me that there are a wide variety of experiences you can choose to have on a cruise for pretty good prices. Being a mother now, I look more at the family angle, and there are even some discount cruises available where kids sail for free.
My research also showed me some great tips for making your cruise an enjoyable one. Here were some of my favorites:
- Sail from local ports to save on airfares
- Take advantage of the lessons and lectures that are often available on cruise ships.
- Keep fit by taking the stairs- a ship sure has a lot of them.
- Don’t forget to pack a snorkel for your beach stop offs.
- Pack for a theme party. Participate in the spirit of the ship, by dressing up and socializing with the other passengers.
- Mingle with different passengers each evening at dinner. Share stories about your life and adventures. This is the whole purpose of travel, to get to know others and see how they live. People are fascinating. You will enjoy yourself more.
- Purchase your excursion tickets on board and not before. Circumstances arise, bad weather, seasickness and the like may cause you to have to cancel any organized trips. You’ll save your money if you wait and purchase them on board once you know you’re ready to go.
- Create your own ship games like scavenger hunts, to occupy your time with a little fun on what would usually be boring sailing time.
After reading all these tips, cruise travel sounds like it could be a lot of fun after all. Sometimes we need a break from the budget backpack lifestyle to have an organized, luxury vacation as well.