The fastest growing means of travel, cruising is now more popular in Australia than anywhere else in the world. I have met a whole bunch of people who have cruised over 10+ times – even if it is to the same destinations – or who only choose to travel by boat rather than flying somewhere else in the world.
I have only ever cruised once with P&O on a two week adventure through Papua New Guinea. As my first ever cruise (as I am more of a fly and explore kind of girl) I had a great time and am trying to plan my next cruise as soon as I can! It doesn’t matter which cruise line you travel with (in Australia at least) as they are all quite similar – Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, P&O, Princess – with only minute differences and inclusions, but in 2016 it is projected that over 1 million people will set sail with one of those cruise lines. So what’s the deal? Why is it an ever-growing means of exploring?
Food is Included in the Total Cost
So you are going on a cruise for 7 nights and it’s costing you $1000. That sounds incredibly expensive to say backpacking through Asia, but that cost covers all your basis – food, accommodation, and your own personal steward. And by food I mean you have unlimited options of restaurant or buffet dining, and some cruise lines have 24/7 room service or pizza included in that total cost. Different cruise lines may have options where you have to pay for different food experiences (like celebrity chefs or special menus), but it is usually inexpensive when compared to home.
There is Plenty to Keep you Entertained Onboard
When you are cruising, you aren’t going to spend every single day in a new port exploring a new country. Cruising is a slower means of travel so you may find one, two, or three days in a row when you are confined to the boat in the middle of the sea. Although this made me quite antsy and impatient as I am a real adventurer when it comes to traveling, most cruise lines have fantastic options on board to keep you entertained throughout the day. Some activities that we got up to on our cruise with P&O was martini making (an additional cost of $10 but you get to drink the four martinis that you make – we did it more than once), acrobatics, dance classes, craft classes, bingo, musicals, dance performances, trivia, sports games, etc. Each day you will get a newsletter of what is going on around the ship each day so you can pick and choose what you like.
You Can Sit Back & Relax
If crafts, shows, or trivia aren’t really your thing, you can order yourself a cocktail and just sit back and relax. Each ship has at least one pool for you to swim in, a spa, and a huge amount of deck chairs where you can keep those mimosa’s coming and finish off a great book and work on your tan. If there are a whole heap of kids onboard, most cruise lines have an adults only area where you can to escape as well!
They Stop at Beautiful Parts of the World
Cruises that leave from Australia’s East Coast stop at some incredible places that you would probably never think to adventure to, and for a much cheaper cost than flights and accommodation. I never thought I would travel to Papua New Guinea but I found it really fascinating and found a fantastic last minute deal on the yearly cruise there. You can also visit places like Norfolk Island, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji… some beautiful Pacific Island countries with incredible people, snorkelling, and nature! The Samoa and Tonga one is definitely next on my list…
The Staff are Amazing
P&O especially have some incredible staff (from my personal experience) who will remember your name even if you have only talked to them once. The cocktails below were made by Jose who hosted our martini making class, five days after we took that class! They have some incredible stories to share with you alongside great personalities and really make it a memorable experience.
Some other perks of cruising include:
- You only need to unpack once: you have a huge closet in your room to unpack and keep it that way – no need to keep packing and unpacking your suitcase!
- The luggage limit is generous: around 30kg, you can even bring your snorkelling gear with you!
- Alcohol is usually the same/cheaper than back in Australia: which is always a perk for young people traveling. Cocktails for $10? Yes please!
- You can meet some incredible people: maybe not the same age as you, but we heard some phenomenal stories from older people!
- Kid’s club is available: so if you have children they will be entertained all day and evening so you can enjoy your holiday
So why not take the leap and try a cruise? You can tick off 3+ countries in a week, explore some different cultures, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
What do you think of cruising? Where have you cruised to before?