Looking for a great vacation idea? Have you been on a cruise? Why cruise? Read all the best things about cruise ship vacations.
Why cruise? To start, we can give you 25 reasons.
We have a love-and-hate relationship with cruising. Mostly love, evidenced by recently cruising on the Celebrity Solstice to Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan after getting an amazing offer we couldn’t pass up. We have two more cruises booked this year.
While we enjoy cruising, just like anything else, it has cons. However, this article will focus on all the wonderful reasons we love to cruise.
Even in an almost post-Covid world, all these reasons have not changed.
It’s not our #1 mode of travel, but it is an option we enjoy if it’s the right cruise line, ship, and, most importantly for us, the right itinerary. If you have been contemplating going on a cruise for the first time, this post may sway you to give it a chance.
A vacation on a cruise is a popular choice amongst couples, families, and even solo travelers. Just because cruising is in, it doesn’t mean after everything that a cruise will fit your style of travel.
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To help you determine what makes cruising so special, we share why a cruise may be on your following vacation itinerary. Hopefully, you’ll think, “I want to go on a cruise” by the end of this article.
What is a cruise?
Cruises are an incredible way to see the world while still having your home comforts. You’ll be traveling on a large ship with thousands of other people with the amenities of a large-scale resort. While on a cruise, you’ll port and explore different destinations throughout your cruise itinerary.
Are cruises fun?
Yes! Cruises are so much fun. The ship is full of activities from when you wake up to when it’s time to go to bed. That’s not even including the time you’re off the ship. Cruises are what you make of them. You can relax or choose to be as active as you want or as re
Is a cruise worth it?
Cruises are worth the value. From the moment you step on the ship to the end of your cruise vacation, you’ll be fed, entertained, and taken to fabulous port destinations. It’s a whole package that makes cruises worth it.
What are the benefits of a cruise?
There are many reasons, and this article provides 25 reasons you should go on a cruise. However, one of the biggest benefits is that everything you need to have a great vacation by yourself, with your spouse, friend, and-or family can be found on a cruise ship… great food, bars, broadway-style shows, spas, pools, dancing, and so much more.
Why Go On a Cruise?
Here are the 25 best things about a cruise.
Cruises Are (almost) All-Inclusive
1. There is an all-you-can-eat dining
Why go on a cruise? As a fellow foodie to another foodie, the food alone is reason enough.
You will never starve on a cruise vacation. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included with your cruise fare.
There is almost always more than one location option to eat. That’s not to say that every single food establishment to eat on the ship is included; some cost extra.
The food is delicious! Of course, some cruise lines are better than others. We were thoroughly impressed by the buffet on the Celebrity Equinox. The food was divine, better than in the main dining room. But then, we missed the 24-hour pub on the Norwegian ships.
Do you enjoy a drink or two or more? Some cruise lines will even include all-you-can-drink packages. You can also purchase these packages if they don’t.
Read more: What’s the difference between Cruise vs. All-Inclusive Resort?
2. It’s cost-effective
Sometimes it’s easy to pay a lump sum for vacation and know everything is covered and included. It’s a relief to know it’s paid for, and you don’t have to worry about anything else but flights, a hotel, booking shore excursions (optional), and packing for your cruise.
When you find an amazing cruise deal, even better!
Consider an NCL Cruise with a Free-at-Sea Promotion with an unlimited beverage package.
Also, keep an eye on last-minute cruise deals, as sometimes you can find amazing cruise deals.
3. A cruise is a floating resort
Think about everything you have at your disposal on a cruise. A spa. A spool. A gym. Restaurants. Bars. Dance Clubs. Kids clubs. It’s a floating resort.
When we want to disappear somewhere, sit by the pool, and relax, we look for an all-inclusive vacation experience. Sometimes that’s on land, but we usually end up at sea on a cruise.
Disconnected from the mainland, a cruise forces you to relax. You have nowhere to go until you dock. Why did you need this vacation? To relax? To get away from your environment? To eat? To do something different? Well, now you can do that.
Cruising Is An Explorer’s Dream
4. Explore a new destination
Do you love to explore new destinations? In a week or two, a cruise ship will make multiple stops.
One of our most memorable cruises, the Norwegian Pearl, was a 9-day Western Caribbean itinerary with six ports of call. One was in Guatemala, where we took a tour of the Rio Dulce, an adventure we’ll never forget.
On Celebrity Equinox, we visited the most Southern Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire and stopped in Key West. Bonaire blew us away! We would never have visited this island on our own if it had not been on this cruise itinerary.
We have an upcoming Alaska cruise, and we are so excited about it. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to experience that part of North America.
5. Make the most of your vacation time
Time off from work is precious, and my list of places to visit worldwide is at least a mile long. Many of us do not have the time to travel more than 1-2 times a year. With the right itinerary, cruising allows you to check off some of your bucket list items in a matter of days. You can hit Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico all in one week!
6. Discover places you probably never heard of
As mentioned above, you can discover new destinations you never considered visiting. This has happened to us a few times with Bonaire, Cozumel, Bermuda, Mazatlan, and others. We have added them to our other list of places to return for a longer stay.
Cruises Are Family Friendly
7. Cruises are for everyone
One of the best things about cruises is that they are for all ages and any happy occasion. Cruising is not only for single people and childless couples. Family cruises are more than just vacation time. It’s a time to come together, maybe to celebrate a birthday or a big family reunion.
8. Cruises are for kids too
Kids love cruising. I say this because I see the excitement of the ship’s children ready to head over to the pool or one of the slides. They also can’t get enough of the unlimited ice cream in the buffet.
Many family-friendly cruise ships have waterslides, rock wall climbing, mini-golf, bowling, and more. Some Royal Caribbean mega-ships even have carousels, and some Norwegian Cruise Lines mega-ships even have go-karts.
Parents, Kid’s clubs are a real thing. You can drop your child off at the kids club during specific hours. There is a whole sign-in, sign-out process you’ll have to abide by for your child’s safety, but you will be thanking the cruise on your off the ship for those wondering hours you have on your own.
There are many activities for the children, and they get to make friends with other children on the ship. On our last Celebrity Solstice cruise, we met a couple with children on their first cruise, and their children wanted to spend all their time with their new friends and the kids club.
Research ahead of time and check if there are any special activities for you and your child that you may want to sign up for. For example, Breakfast with Dr. Seuss is only available on Carnival Cruise Lines (a small extra charge). Do you like green eggs and ham? I ask because it’s on the menu.
9. Cruises are great for group vacations
Cruises are great for family reunions or friendly group vacations. It’s a great hub for groups to get together, bond, and be merry. They can dine together or not. Some can plan to see a show together, while others head to the party by the pool.
When you dock at port destinations, you can plan group excursions, or everyone can decide what they’d like to do for the day.
Entertainment & Activities On A Cruise Ship Are Fun
10. Cruise fun is non-stop
Throughout your cruise, the Cruise Director and his/her team will plan activities from morning to night.
A daily newsletter will be delivered every night to your cabin and display all the activities on the ship the next day. You may or may not want to join some of them. That is up to you.
Cruise Tip: Review the cruise ship's daily onboard newsletter. Mark what interests you with a highlighter (if they deliver a paper version). Don’t be afraid to participate. You might make some great friends and/or make some great memories to share with us in the future.
Here are a few cruise ship activities you may find in the newsletter:
- Morning Yoga or Zumba
- Deal or No Deal
- Trivia Games
- Painting classes
- Glass Making Demonstrations
- Movie Times
- Sport Challenges
- Wine Tasting
- Dance Instructions
- Tea Time
- Dining Times
- Special Events
- AA or LGTBQ Meetings
- Single Meets
- And more…
Note some of these may be an extra charge to participate.
Read more: What Are Fun Things to Do on a Cruise
11. Visit the spa
Spa services are available. They are expensive, at least not in my budget, but it’s a nice treat every now and then. I have friends that cruise just for the spa if that’s your thing, cruise on! A cruise vacation is a perfect time to pamper yourself. The gym and sauna are available to all guests.
12. Cruise casinos
Time to hit the casino and gamble! Then some cruisers cruise to gamble. You may be one of them! They may comp your next cruise if you gamble enough or even a little. We barely gambled on a Celebrity Equinox cruise, and yet we receive comp cruise offers all the time for select sailings.
Sign up with the Casino Players Club on your first night. So far, we haven’t hit it big on a cruise. However, our cruise expert and friend, Kim, hits some sort of jackpot every time she cruises.
*Please play responsibly.
13. Nightly shows
Broadway-quality shows. Some ships have actual Broadway shows on their ships.
On our Norwegian Getaway cruise, we watched Million Dollar Quartet, which was outstanding! They can turn out to be a great experience. This cruise line is known to have other popular shows on different ships like Footloose, Beetlejuice, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and more.
There is always a comedy act you shouldn’t miss.
The Love & Marriage show is popular on every cruise I’ve ever been on.
You might be lucky and enjoy a cover band for the Beatles, Michael Buble, The Boy Band Project, Whitney Houston, or Frankie Vallie, to name some of our experiences.
– Don’t Miss Why Norwegian Cruise Line: 10 Convincing Reasons –
14. Towel animals
Another one of the best things about cruises is towel animals. At the night’s end, you return to your room and find a towel animal sitting on your bed. It’s such a fun treat for everyone, no matter their age.
This has been a tradition and part of cruising for a long time. Sadly, many cruise lines have eliminated towel animals.
Norwegian Cruise Lines announced in mid-2019 they would gradually be phasing out towel animals at turn-down service to preserve water. None of their ships no longer provide towel animals.
You may request towel animals with your cabin attendant if it is important. Expect other lines to follow with time. On our last Celebrity cruise, we didn’t get one towel animal.
We do know that Carnival loves towel animals and has kept that tradition alive. One of the fun things Carnival does is surprise guests with a pool deck full of towel animals taking over pool chairs on one of the mornings.
Read more in our article 30 Fun Things to Do on a Cruise: Free Activities to Paid Ones.
The Cruise Ship Food
I know I mentioned all-you-can-eat dining earlier, but it deserves cruise ship food deserves to be one of the best things about cruises. Assuming that you love to eat like me, you’d agree this is a great reason why a cruise may be in your future.
15. You will be fed well on a cruise
There is a reason why they call it “cruise weight.” You leave the ship weighing more than when you got on it. And there is nothing wrong with weighing a few pounds heavier! There is food available for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner. You can even order room service.
16. There is more than buffet food
Not everyone loves buffet food. There is a sit-down service available for breakfast and dinner. Sometimes even for lunch. It all depends on the cruise ship.
At night, after a long day at port or sitting by the pool, we love to freshen up and head to one of the main dining rooms to eat. Menus change daily, and you can order multiple appetizers and entrees you can eat. Best not to be wasteful either.
However, some cruise lines are changing the main dining room menus to be more streamlined, and there is less of a daily menu special.
17. Specialty restaurants are fantastic
This leads us to the specialty restaurants…
The number of specialty restaurants and cuisines varies from cruise line to cruise line. Sometimes the minimal fee per person is low and worth trying a restaurant or two.
The food can be of higher quality than in the main dining room (not always), and you get a change of venue for the night. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some of these restaurants.
18. Room service
Room service is included. What hotel do you ever stay in that includes free room service?
Please note that some cruise lines have started charging a small convenience fee for room service delivery. Verify that you may be able to still get continental breakfast for free.
Cruise Tip: Order your morning coffee the night before through room service. Perhaps with a small bite. Let that morning coffee delivery be your wake-up call. If the cruise line does charge a convenience fee for continental breakfast, you'll have to decide if it's worth the small extra charge.We think it is for early morning excursions.
19. Dietary restrictions
Do not hesitate to cruise if you have certain dietary restrictions.
Make it known beforehand, and they will prepare a special meal for you. I have read great things about the lengths some chefs go to for their guests with special requests.
Thinking of taking a cruise during the off-shoulder seasons? It’s one of our favorite times of year to cruise. Read the pros and cons of cruising during the fall or winter.
On a Cruise, The Sea Calls To You
Maybe it’s just me, but I swear it’s calling my name anytime I’m near the ocean. If you’re a beach lover, you probably understand where I’m coming from.
20. The ocean breeze and saltwater
You will love the ocean currents’ sound, seawater smell, and the ocean breeze caressing your skin.
Don’t tell me that you can do this from the safety of a beach, which you could, but it’s not the same. Don’t you want to be in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by the Caribbean or the Mediterranean Sea?
21. Spot wildlife
Your chances of spotting sea life, like a whale or a dolphin, are much higher while cruising than if you stay on land. The wonders of wildlife surprise cruisers all the time.
Moments like these can become one of the top highlights of your trip.
On the Mexican Riviera, as we proceeded to the Cabo San Lucas port of call, whales were spotted, which was amazing.
And when you take an Alaska cruise, it’s important to add binoculars to your Alaska cruise packing list because you’ll be looking for eagles, bears and whales, and all sorts of beautiful life.
Wildlife cruises do exist and maybe something to look into.
22. Spectacular views
Whether watching the sunset in the middle of the Caribbean Ocean or cruising by a city’s skyline, you can’t beat the unique perspective you get from the ship.
Cruise tip: Sailaway is a perfect opportunity to capture or just take in the unique view of the city skyline or island you're departing from.
A Cruise is a Worry-Free Vacation
23. Everything is at your disposal
Essentially, it’s a worry-free vacation. Once on the ship, you can relax, enjoy and not worry. It’s all at your fingertips.
24. No need to drag your luggage around
One of the best parts is you don’t have to lug your luggage around from train to train, hotel to hotel, or city to city. You get to leave it behind while you go about enjoying your day.
25. You don’t have to drive
Let the captain and crew steer the ship! They will expertly and safely transport you to the next destination while you enjoy your time on the ship. It’s exciting to wake up and be in a new city.
Are you Ready to Book a Cruise Vacation?
If you do not have a travel agent, my #1 tip is to shop around to see who will give you the best perks. You can see what promotions the cruise lines offer on their site and then compare them to other travel sites or find a great travel agent. When you book with an agent, sometimes they can give you extra perks like onboard credit.
Last, read 9 Kep Steps How to Plan a Cruise.
Aren’t these the best reasons to take a cruise? I hope this helps you decide why a cruise may be the right vacation for you and your family.
Why do you love to cruise? Let me know in the comments.
Other related cruise articles:
122 Cruise Tips You Should Know
What is Cruise Embarkation Day
What NOT to Pack For a Cruise?
Ins & Outs of Cruise Gratuities
What NOT to Wear on a Cruise: Dos and Don’ts
Cruise Clothes for Women: Packing Light
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Meet Kathy – a food, travel, and cruise writer based in Los Angeles/Pasadena. With over 20 years of experience planning trips and logistics at her full-time job and for herself, she’s become a pro at crafting unforgettable travel itineraries. She’s always looking for delicious, fun cruise itineraries and travel destinations and is slightly obsessed with Italy. Her passion and curiosity for travel started in childhood on her yearly and sometimes bi-yearly trips to PR. She firmly believes that life is short and we must make the most of it – so let’s explore the world and make some incredible memories.
Saturday 25th of January 2020
I retired in May 2014 and that November I took a cruise to Hawaii. I loved it so much my wife and I have done 5 more. We have 1 planed in May to Iceland and 1 in December back in Hawaii. Getting the funds together for another in May. I like longer cruises. The only problem I have is where am I going to eat and what show I want to see when. The only Major problems I have had in my short cruise carrier, 1 In Hawaii a typhoon was 1500 miles away in the Sea of Japan and it was rough. Like if you had a port hole room on bottom 3 decks you would have been under water. 2 We took a cruise up New England coast and into Canada. We missed Prince Edward Island because 100 mile winds on hurricane Dorian. It is the only trip we do any more other than weekend trips around Our state of Indiana. I liked your article. Keep up your posts and will be looking for future articles.
Kathy | Tasty Itinerary
Tuesday 28th of January 2020
I love that you retired and set your eyes on a cruise! What a fantastic way to celebrate the beginning of retirement. I hope when I retire later in life, hubby and I can cruise more often. Now we kind of like try to fit it within our vacation days and that's if we don't have our hearts set on a land vacation. I think there will be no cruises for us in 2020. I do hope to cruise to Hawaii as I have my eyes set on a Norwegian Cruise that hits most of the islands. We just did a land vacation in Kauai this past Spring and absolutely loved it. Iceland sounds amazing too. Have you gone to Alaska? That's also on our list.
There are so many downsides to cruising like hurricanes, typhoons, and storms. The weather, in general, can really put a damper on a cruise. It can also be very scary and true, as people may not want to cruise for these reasons. I don't believe it should stop anyone from booking a future cruise.
I appreciate you commenting. Your words truly mean a lot and I hope I can continue this blog for as long as possible.
Sunday 22nd of December 2019
I see I have stumbled upon one of your more recent blog updates! Going back to revise old posts is always fun, haha!
So, I've never been one for a cruise. I hate the thought of being surrounded by so many people all the time - especially children! However, the thought of venturing on a cruise seems a bit more tolerable than I once thought. And the more that I read your cruising adventures - the more it calls out to me! No luggage hopping? Yes, please! At least I'd like to try a cruise once! (Alaska!) I don't know if I could handle more than a few days - and I am totally sad that spa services aren't included in the price!
Sunday 29th of December 2019
Oh, Alaska would be a great introduction to cruising. Or at least I think so. I haven't been to Alaska yet, but it is a great way to visit Alaska for the first time. I keep saying every year that we will finally go on an Alaskan cruise but the cold keeps me from booking it. I tell hubby that I need to book a week in Mexico after getting back from an Alaska cruise LOL.
The best time of year to cruise without children is when they are in school. Like this past cruise, I think I saw a total of 10 children the entire week. I even asked one of the crew members were the young people were and he told me, oh the shipped was filled with families during the summer. Stay away from cruising during the Summertime and Spring Break. While there are a lot of people on cruises, there are always quiet spots around the ship to get away from it. Worst case, book a balcony so you have your balcony to escape to whenever you want.
Spa services should totally be included! They are so expensive.
And yes, this is one of those posts I will revise yearly and republish. Hopefully. Going back through all my old blog posts as we speak. So stressful and so much work. Anyways, thanks for stopping by.
Sunday 4th of November 2018
I really enjoyed reading this! I have so many mixed feelings when it comes to cruises...I went on one when I was in 4th grade (so Forever ago), but since I’ve gotten older the idea hasn’t appealed as much to me, as I think I’d feel antsy and prefer to get up and go when I want. I also worry about feeling rushed on each of the stops...but I have to say you highlighted so many convincing benefits in here that I may just have to give it another shot! Great work, there were points in here I never would have considered (like dolphins!!)
Wednesday 7th of November 2018
I still have mixed feelings about cruising myself. I have a lot of love for it, but there is a ton I don't love about it, like being rushed. I will write cons about it all in the near future. After this European cruise, I think I appreciate cruising the Caribbean more. Not sure if I can cruise Europe again unless if it is a smaller part of a bigger adventure. I want more time at the ports. It didn't feel quite the same as when cruising the Caribbean. For you, I suggest trying to see if there are any long weekend cruises to like the Bahamas or something for cheap to try out. Also, there is a week cruise that goes out of NY to Bermuda which I've been dying to do and its at the Bermuda port for 3 days. Just some suggestions. It is a cost-effective way of having a vacation sometimes and it's different. Anyways, thanks for stopping by and commenting! Really appreciate it!
Thursday 1st of November 2018
Very informative. I am still torn on whether I want to go on a cruise at some point. I love the water, but I really also like being on land. Though admittedly, I do feel that after reading your cruise-related posts that I would enjoy a cruise as long as I picked the right one.
Thursday 1st of November 2018
I love the sea. I enjoy being out in that great big ocean but I need off the ship after a day. I understand what you mean. I always look at the itinerary and make sure there are more days at port than sea days. That's just what works for us. I know others that like the sea days and that's great, but not for me. Make sure to compare itineraries available and you should find something that works for you. :) Thanks for stopping by!
Thursday 1st of November 2018
I have always wanted to go on a cruise. I have not yet managed to do it. I am hoping in the next couple of years I can cross it off my bucket list.
Thursday 1st of November 2018
I hope you do too! Another reason I love to cruise (which I didn't mention above) is that you can brook a great deal a year, two and sometimes even three years in advance. You can place a downpayment (sometimes they have low downpayment specials) and you pay it off slowly. Just make sure you find out what your final cancellation date with full refund is, just in case. Wishing you a great future cruise (cause I know you're going to make this happen for you) and don't hesitate to contact me for any advice.