Hey y’all, I have a treat for you! My friend, Lindsey, from Marching with Peonies and Passports is guest blogging today all about cruises! As a fellow military spouse, she is as passionate about traveling and seeing the world as I am! We’ve only done one cruise, but it will definitely not be our last. Lindsey wants to share some of her experience with you to help you determine whether or not a cruise should be in your future! Be sure to check her blog out for more tips on navigating the military life and traveling!
Yay! If you’re reading this, you most likely have a vacation coming up! Lindsey from Marching with Peonies and Passports here – I love vacations because they mean travel. For me, vacations mean going, doing, and seeing as much as possible. Maybe your idea of a vacation is more chill and relax? Either way….. You are probably wondering if a cruise is right for you? Well, I have been on two cruises so maybe I can help!
Our first cruise was part of our honeymoon. We took a five day Carnival cruise to Mexico. We stopped twice: once in Cozumel and once on the Yucatan Peninsula. Fast forward a few years later and we really wanted a beach vacation so we focused in on Belize. After weeks and weeks of research on top of working a full time job and going to school the thought of our vacation just seemed like more work! So…we reverted back to the idea of a cruise. We ended up finding a great deal on a nine day Carnival cruise with three stops: Bermuda for two days, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic. (You can find more about our trip to Bermuda HERE.) Each cruise was different in their own ways and I walked away from both with some positive memories and negative ones. So, in the spirit of giving guidance….here are the pros and cons of taking a cruise for your next vacation!
Pros of a Cruise
Let’s Talk Money
Cheap! Everything is pretty much included in a cruise. I’m talkin’ all you can eat all day everyday (bring the stretchy pants!) Once you are on board you don’t have to carry around a wallet or worry about staying on budget. Truly you get to just enjoy yourself!
There is a Catch
Now, once you pay for the cruise you do have to keep in mind how you are going to get to the port. We went out of New Orleans and Miami, but we decided to drive to save even more. You also have to plan to pay for excursions. We booked most of our through Carnival-which is more expensive but safer. I have heard of good experiences from people who booked privately, but always remember you are in a foreign country!
Drink Stipulation: Every cruise line is different, but most only offer coffee, tea, water and juice as a part of the all induced food deal. Soda and alcohol is extra. You can purchase endless soda and alcohol for a lump sum at the start of your cruise, or just pay for each drink as you go. This can get expensive so keep that in mind!
Get your Wanderlust On Baby
A cruise is an easy way to visit multiple cities or countries. This was my favorite part of the cruise experience. I want to travel the world so it is hard to narrow one specific place down when a vacation time comes around, but with a cruise you don’t have to! Just from our two cruise experiences we have been to four countries! (You do not have to have a passport for most cruises-but always check with your cruise line).
Included entertainment- While you are on board you have plenty to do. From lounging poolside, to watching comedy shows, you can always find some way to have fun. And yes, it is all “free.” Most cruises also have free kid programs so you can drop your kiddo off for some fun while you go enjoy some alone time!
Cons of Cruise
Where is that Green-Faced Emoji?
Can you say waves? Yea, so a cruise ship is on the ocean which means there will be waves and you may get sick. I did! It was awful! It took me a full day at sea before I started to feel better. If you decide a cruise is right for you make sure you bring sea sick patches!
Time is of the Essence Ladies and Gentlemen
You’re held to a very important schedule while you are visiting each port. Guys, a cruise is a big boat with a lot of people. The boat will not wait for you just because you lost track of time. So, when they give you a time that you must be back onboard, plan on being there. We were always so nervous our bus would get a flat, or we would miss a bus that we played it safe and were always back on the ship an hour before we really needed to be. Plus it is super fun to watch from the top deck all the poor souls sprint for the boat as they are closing the doors. I have placed this a con because for me, it really stressed me out. It almost took away from the time in the port because I felt like we couldn’t go wonder and freely enjoy ourselves. Our second cruise to we got to stay in Bermuda for two days and that was awesome! We didn’t have to worry at all the first day, and we had a “free” place to sleep instead of booking a hotel.
My last con of a cruise is that sometimes you can feel a little trapped. While they try and make the days at sea fun with plenty of activities you can do, sometimes we just wished we could be sightseeing or beach lounging instead. We always made the most of it, but we did feel trapped on the sea days.
Overall here is the low down: planning a vacation can be fun, but stressful. There are so many things to consider and think through so that your trip is fun and stress-free. A cruise takes that stress away by making everything super simple. However, you do end up trading the simplicity of planning for more stress at the port, or some boredom on sea days. The whole thing is a win-lose situation depending on how you look at it.
So? Is a cruise right for you? Only you can answer that, but hopefully now you have some perspective on what to expect!
Happy traveling fellow wanderlusters!
-Lindsey from www.marchingwithpeoniesandpassports.com