What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cruises?

When it comes to vacation, travelers are faced with many different and equally exciting options.  Sometimes, the options can seem almost overwhelming with all the types of travel now available to vacationers.  One option is for vacationers to plan a trip on a cruise ship.  As with any type of travel, there are many advantages as well as disadvantages associated with taking a cruise.

In this economy, many people are steering clear of very expensive getaways. One advantage of taking a cruise is the amazing pricing. Most cruise lines are all-inclusive packages. This includes a person’s cruise fare, lodging, food and some onboard entertainment and sightseeing. Cruise lines make it easy for the worrisome traveler by including everything they need. Instead of having to book plane tickets, call a hotel and then have to pay for food and entertainment separately, cruises offer it all.  When a cruise trip is booked, the traveler can rest easy knowing no further calls have to be made, except to figure out their transportation to the port of departure.

English: Disney Cruise Lines' Disney Wonder in...

Disney Cruise Lines’ Disney Wonder in Port Canaveral (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not only do cruise-goers save money, but they also have the added benefit of having a stress free vacation. Compared to a road trip or flying, those on a cruise can sit back and enjoy the time it takes to get to their destination. There are no delays that will mess up a connecting flight or traffic that will add hours onto a road trip. Half the fun of the cruise is the ship itself. The ships, which are usually state of the art, are part of the destination. Those aboard a cruise do not have to worry because they are not in charge; they have a captain and crew to take care of them.  In addition to this, cruises offer a ‘true’ vacation from the outside world.  Let’s say a person books a seven day cruise; that is seven days they are without large cities and the hustle of life.  The only stops the ship will be making are at their destination sights, where everyone is able to get off the ship and enjoy local towns and sightseeing.

Traveling can be very relaxing for the average person, but if a traveler is bringing their children, it can be anything but. One of the best features of cruises for parents is the unbelievable deals they can receive for their children. Children of a certain age are prorated since they eat less and will be doing fewer activities on the ship. This is helpful because, sometimes, it is difficult to afford travel when children are charged full price despite their age. In most cases, child care is available aboard most ships.  Parents are usually given a pager in case of an emergency. This gives parents the ability to enjoy themselves while their children are engaged in fun onboard activities, under the watchful eye of individuals paid to play and cater to children. This almost guarantees both parents and children have a great vacation.

A celebrity cruises line cruise ship in Port o...

A celebrity cruises line cruise ship in Port of Tauranga. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One significant advantage to a cruise is the plentiful options for what type of cruise a traveler desires to take. There are cruise packages for everyone.  If a person wants activities for the kids and the adults, there are cruise lines that cater specifically to that sector.  If a person would rather have an adult only vacation, there are cruise options for that too.  The list, it seems, is endless. There are lesbian and gay cruises, and cruises tailored to older generations. This gives individuals the ability to create a trip that is specifically for them.

Despite the many advantages of cruises, like any type of vacation, there are also several disadvantages.  Although a cruise is all-inclusive, there are several things the traveler will have to pay out of pocket.  When a ship reaches a destination, they will have to pay extra if they want to do any sightseeing, such as snorkeling, horseback riding or scuba diving. Most travelers know this already, but if a traveler is unable to pay for any extras, they basically have only the ship to enjoy.

It may appear humorous but one downside to a cruise is the possibility of becoming sea sick.  Although this is usually an oversight, it is important to mention this because it can greatly affect one’s trip.  If a person is feeling sick for most of the trip, it is going to seem like a very long trip.  On most cruise lines, ships spend several days at sea.  This is something to take into consideration when planning a cruise.  It is important to make sure that all travelers are comfortable and this can cause quite a discomfort if one is not prepared.

When travelling, we all hope for wonderful weather, but the reality is that Mother Nature does not always cooperate. This is especially true on a cruise.  If the weather is bad, the trip along the sea can be bumpy; this brings sea sickness to mind again.  The weather can also hinder the activities planned both onboard and onshore at destination sites.  There are usually outdoor areas such as pools, waterslides, running tracks and other activities on a cruise ship.  If weather is bad, travelers will not be able to enjoy these recreational activities, which can be frustrating since they are part of the package. If the weather is bad during visits to the onshore destination sites, many travelers will miss out on sightseeing activities, which is part of the excitement of taking a cruise.

Another disadvantage of a cruise is the price changes during holidays. Most prices rise during the holiday season and it is no exception on a cruise line. The prices can change significantly; it changes almost week-to-week as the departing date approaches a national holiday. This is exasperating because this is when most travelers have extended leave in which to take a long cruise. Many cruises charge more even though it is the exact same type of cruise. It’s all just because of the holidays.

When planning a vacation, it is crucial to look at both the pros and cons in order to set up the best vacation. Cruises are a great way to see different parts of the world, with little planning and many adventures. There may be extra costs and bad weather, but with any trip, it is bound to be far from perfect.  However, it will be enjoyable nonetheless.

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