The idea of traveling by cruise is sometimes appealing and sometimes totally repelling. It’s the kind of travel that can be stress-free but also really limiting, which brings a host of advantages and disadvantages. If you’re considering heading out to sea, you may want to consider some of the biggest pros and cons of taking cruises.
Pro: Cruises take the planning out of travel
One convenient thing about taking cruises is that they don’t require much work on your part. Aside from getting yourself to the port city, all you have to do when you step foot on a cruise is enjoy the cities and activities that have been planned for you. You can take your pick of shore excursions that are carefully planned to accommodate your ship’s docking and you don’t have to lift a finger to find a reputable tour company for anything. Everything is already handled for you.
Con: You spend the majority of your time on the ship
Cruising is tempting because sometimes the itineraries include so many amazing destinations, all accessible through no effort of yours. The problem is that you spend the vast majority of your time in transit from one port city to another. Though you might be excited to “see” Barcelona, Mallorca, Marseille, and Rome, in reality, you’ll spend more time seeing the inside of a cruise liner. This can be fun and relaxing, but when you think about how little of the destination you get to enjoy, you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it.
Pro: It’s easier to estimate the cost of travel
Sometimes it’s hard to gauge how much you’ll spend on food and activities when you travel. Depending on the destination, this may be surprisingly affordable or it may be depressingly affordable. One of the pros of taking cruises is that with all your meals included, the ability to prepay alcohol packages, gratuities, and excursions, you’re less likely to deviate from whatever you expected to spend. It doesn’t matter how many times you grab a snack or order the lobster, your cost is the same.
Click here to get more information about what is and isn’t included in the price of a cruise.
Con: You don’t get to experience much of the local culture
Cruises are very limiting when it comes to the destinations you visit. The downside of having all your meals ready for you at the buffet is that you have to eat the same food for the duration of the cruise. You have fewer opportunities to enjoy the local cuisine at the cities you’re docking in. Most of the time, you don’t get to enjoy the nightlife because you arrive and leave on the same day. As a direct result, you’re also spending the busiest hours of the day at the city you’re visiting so everything will be saturated with tourists. Especially since you won’t have much of an opportunity to venture too far from the port. And the port areas of most major cities tend to be boring at best and total shitholes at worst.
Pro: Cruises can get you to places you can’t affordably access otherwise
Getting to small islands in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean can be a hassle. Sometimes the best islands don’t have airports, and it can be costly and time-consuming to reach them. You may never have the opportunity to go at all. On a cruise, though, you can easily access the Canary or Balearic Islands without breaking the bank. Sometimes these are places you may never otherwise visit at all. When you think of it that way, it’s better to see it for a couple of hours than never see it at all.
Con: Cruises can be boring
Cruises try their best to make the on-board experience entertaining for guests, but there’s only so many times you can go to the same piano bar and club without wanting to do something a little different. The on-board performances are not exactly Broadway-good. Even if you’re somewhat entertained, you usually can’t help but feel like you’re watching student theatre – something you’d never waste time doing outside of a cruise. After a long enough time, you might start to get cabin fever with nothing interesting to do and no access to internet. Who can lounge by the pool for 10 days straight?
Pro: Cruises are relaxing
Unlike traditional travel, which can be stressful and hectic, cruising is far more relaxing. It’s for this reason that I consider cruises to be the perfect activity for the elderly. You don’t have to worry about running around foreign cities at a breakneck pace. You can kick back with a good book, a fruity cocktail, and your phone disconnected from the rest of the world. While you might not get the most out of the destinations you visit on a cruise, you will be relaxed. You can eat, drink, fuck, get a massage, and sleep in every day at your leisure. Because you really have nowhere else to be when you’re not docked.
Whether you’re attracted by the pros or put off by the cons will depend largely on what kind of vacation you’re looking to have. If you don’t particularly care much about the destinations you’re visiting and you just want a stress-free vacation to unwind, then the pros will probably outweigh the cons of taking cruises. But if you’ve always wanted to visit Italy, a cruise is probably not the best way to see it.