Monday, January 5, 2015

Top reasons we cruise

As a family, we enjoy cruising. There is no other vacation that can offer us everything that cruising does. Basically, to pay a flat price for 7 days of hotel and transportation to 3 different ports, including taxes, gratuities, and most expensively, food for 4 people, is something that we just can't get with any other type of vacation.

1. Cruises are almost all inclusive. Almost everything is included, unless you want to buy a ton of adult beverages or souvenirs...and most importantly to me...child care/activities. Think about a family of 4 traveling to the Bahamas to stay at Atlantis for 5 days. Flight alone costs more than our cruise. Plus food, plus hotel, plus you have to figure out how to fill your days and entertain your children. Yes, excursions on a cruise cost extra, but they are well organized and you don't have to do anything but show up and have fun!

2. Everyone gets their own activities. There are so many things offered on the boat, that you can do everything or nothing at all. After being able to see and do all kinds of cool things in several different ports, we always take a shower and get ready for family dinner. After that, the boys go to their clubs, and Josh and I catch a show or a comedy act, then he goes to play in the casino while I go sit on our balcony with a book and my ipod. Everyone gets to vacation how they want. I like to do trivia games and take pictures. Josh likes to gamble and see comedy shows. The boys love the scavenger hunts, arcades, swimming, and games. It's a win-win.

3. Let's talk Kid's Clubs. The kids can do their thing and we can go on a date night. The kids can sign themselves in and out, and in the evening can come back to the room and watch cartoons and eat free room service and cookies. You can't do that on a regular vacation in a hotel room. Or at least it would be frowned upon. Our kids spent the afternoons there playing and having a great time, and any time I suggested we do activities together, the eyes began to roll. We had mandatory dinners together and then they were free to enjoy vacation how they wanted.

4. You never HAVE to do anything. The food is always coming to you and you didn't have to cook it. Better yet, you don't have to clean it. And every day, your room gets cleaned about 4 times. And don't even get me started on the turn down service and nightly chocolates!

5. The staff learns what you like and dislike and will strive to make you happy. I am obsessed with crème brulee, but I only get to eat it one or two times a year. This is probably a blessing because when our head waiter learned of my love, he provided us with 4, yes 4, crème brulees every night. Overload? Yes. But greatly appreciated.

6. Opportunities to see many places and experience adventures. This trip we walked Key West, Florida, visited the southernmost point of the US, ate Key Lime Pie on a stick, visited the home of Ernest Hemingway, drank out of coconuts, drove a jeep through a pine forest, visited a waterfall, talked to parakeets, saw a giant starfish in the wild, visited a private island, rented a cabana, swam in the most gorgeous of oceans, napped under palm trees, saw sting rays and dolphins, learned a ridiculous amount of history on the Bahamas, and that was all OFF the boat.

7. The staff is from all over the world. We have talked to so many people and learned about so many countries. This cruise we met people from Malta, Indonesia, the Philippines, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Russia, England, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Denmark, Belarus, the Chech Republic etc. How amazing is that? I felt like I was at the Olympics but I am not athletic and I don't like to be sweaty.

We will probably always cruise. It's just something that we love, that helps us create memories with our children, and maybe someday Josh and I will take a cruise ALONE. It could happen.

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