We all love cruise vacations, and here are three reasons why...
- When I think of cruising, my first thought is that I can sit and read a book, which I never have time to do at home unless I am on the elliptical. My hubby, "Mr. Energizer Bunny" can go and do whatever activities he wants when we are at sea, yet we will be together still and having fun.
- I do love the shows but I also like the little entertainment venues around the ship.
- ...and of course the food! We are really getting hooked in the specialty restaurants...our all-time favorite is Qsine on Celebrity!
- The onboard entertainment and numerous activities (live music on Celebrity, RCCL's variety of shows) are my absolute favorite thing about being on a cruise ship. I love having many options for how I want to spend my day!
- Really being able to tailor each day for adventure/relaxation is nice. We love dividing our time between being active and relaxing. Reading at sea is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.
- Cruising is such a great value - when you break down the per-night cost, it really shows how much you get for the money!
- People watching!
- The option to relax OR enjoy the many activities on board the ship.
- The staff on the ships are so friendly, helpful, and interesting!
These are a few of our favorite things...(about the Allure of the Seas)
It is certainly a megaship, but the activities available to passengers are fantastic - you can easily mix relaxation and fun. It was the perfect ship for Rick and our friend who traveled with us...they can't sit still except to eat dinner!
The service was great, and the food was exceptionally delicious. We tried the four speciality dinner package ($100 per person) and it was so worth the money. One of the restaurants in the package, 150 Central Park (which was sooooo good) is normally $45 per person, so the value is there.
Our favorite activities while on this vacation...
We enjoyed EVERYTHING on this ship! We did a little relaxing. Everyone thought the nightly entertainment was spectacular. The Broadway show Mama Mia! was really well-done. The water show, OceanAria was great. One of the headliners for the cruise was an acapella group called NotABoyBand.com and their performance was incredible. The ship is spectacular - there is no other word to describe it.
Our friends who sailed with us were in awe of everything around each corner.
We have been to the Eastern Caribbean numerous times - we just wanted to experience ths ship and all of her wonder. The SHIP was our favorite port!
Most memorable moment / adventure:
We watched our husbands, both in their 60s, take on the challenge of the FlowRider and do well. Seeing the ship through our friends' eyes was very memorable too - they were just so amazed at the Allure of the Seas!
Our tips for travelers...
We really love the Boardwalk Balcony staterooms - you can see the activity on the Boardwalk below (including the show in the Aquatheater if your stateroom is towards the aft) see the sea behind you, and it was still quiet when you closed your sliding door.
Lunch time at the Windjammer Buffet is a mad house. We decided to try the other lunch alternatives such as the Park Cafe located in Central Park. Salads are made to order, panini sandwiches are served, and there is no extra charge unless you order a speciality coffee. The Wipeout Cafe is located on deck 15 by the sports courts and is a good option if you're up enjoying this part of the ship - it serves hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and soft servce ice cream. A smaller, healthier buffet is located in the Solarium adults-only area. In the Boardwalk area, there is a kiosk that serves hot dogs, brats, and chicken sausage. These are all at no extra charge.
Are all cruise lines and ships pretty similar?
In a word, no. Cruise lines, and even the ships in their fleets, can vary drastically which is why it is important to us as agents to help you find your perfect fit for cruising...particularly if you are a newbie to this sort of vacation. Sadly, we have heard many potential cruisers say "never again" as a direct result of selecting a ship or itinerary that wasn't their best match, From 100-passenger river cruise ships to the mega-ships of the Caribbean that accommodate thousands, there is an experience for everyone. Casual or upscale? Relaxed or active? Budget or luxury? An adult demographic or family-friendly? These are some of the criteria we consider when assisting clients.
Is a cruise vacation expensive?
Yes and no, and that entirely depends on the line, ship, itinerary, stateroom category, departure port, and duration of cruise you select. Generally, cruising is the best value in the travel industry - when you figure out your daily cost and what all is included in that, it is pretty remarkable. It is not uncommon to see daily expenses break down to about $100 per day, and this includes your lodging, meals, non-alcoholic beverages excluding soda, entertainment, and activities.
Is a cruise vacation all-inclusive?
While many things are included in your cruise vacation, it is not an all-inclusive package. Rates generally include taxes, fees, port charges, gratuity, meals, snacks, non-alcoholic drinks besides soda, room service, daily activities, nightly entertainment, and use of the ship's facilities. Additional charges can include port excursions, alcohol/specialty coffee/ soda, spa services, and some fitness classes.
Is cruising similar to an all-inclusive resort vacation?
Many travelers enjoy both types of vacations depending on the sort of experience they wish to have, but in the office we do tend to have loyal resort fans and loyal cruise fans. Fans of cruising enjoy the many activities on the ships along with seeing various destinations in one trip. Fans of resorts enjoy the slower pace and relaxation aspect. While resorts offer entertainment, their itineraries cannot compare to the offerings on a ship.
Do I need a passport?
For some itineraries, passports are not required by the cruise line; however, we always recommend traveling with a passport.
Is seasickness common?
Because many of today's cruise ships are so large and feel more like floating cities, very little to no movement is felt on board. Destinations like Alaska and the Caribbean feature calmer waters that might be more enjoyable to those prone to motion sickness. Many passengers find relief from simple over-the-counter remedies.
Are cruise ships safe?
Millions of passengers are sailing the waterways of the world on a daily basis, and very few issues are reported even with these high numbers of ships and people on the seas.
Isn't cruising for the "newly wed and nearly dead"?
Unfortunately, this stereotype has stuck around in some minds of potential cruisers, but now cruising is really for anyone. It is still extremely popular with newlyweds and retirees, but it is also a common vacation for generational travel, families with children of any age, bachelorette and bachelor parties, groups of friends, business incentive groups, interest groups, and more.
How is the food on cruise ships?
Yum! Cruise ships once known for mediocre food offerings and over-the-top midnight buffets on deck are now known for more specialized or themed buffet offerings, delicious options in the main dining room, and fantastic specialty dining. Smaller venues are becoming more common throughout the ship (still included in cruise cost) and food is plentiful throughout the day and evening.
Will I be bored? What sorts of activities are there on the ship?
It is very difficult to feel bored on a cruise ship - activities can include cultural and historical lectures, instructional classes, wine and beer tastings, ship tours, fitness classes, game shows, live music, movies, ice skating, rock climbing, zip-lining, water slides, casinos, pool games, trivia, and more. Each cruise line has a different flair in terms of offered entertainment.
Will I get fat?
While it is true that travelers tend to gain weight while cruising, it is very easy to avoid this dilemma by making good food choices, staying active, and watching alcohol consumption. Cruise ships are becoming havens for the fit by offering healthy food options (including vegetarian and vegan-friendly meals), luxurious fitness centers, fun exercise classes, and active excursions in port. It's whatever you want to make of it!
Do ships feel crowded and claustrophobic?
Nope! Ships today feel more like carefully designed floating cities, that feature gardens at sea, quiet areas for lounging, thoughtfully structured decks, a variety of stateroom accommodations to suit any traveler, and many dining venues to choose from. Even the largest ships sailing with the largest number of passengers don't feel busy!
What questions do you have about cruising that are not addressed here? Post below, and we will gladly provide you with information!