Everyone has their preferred way to travel – one look at a travel site like Icelolly.com or wikitravel can confirm this, with the many options open to you. Some people don’t consider it a vacation unless they come home more exhausted than when they left, backpacking and exploring the hidden nooks and crannies of some far off place. Others scoff at this and won’t settle for anything other than kicking back on a beach and stuffing their faces at an all inclusive resort. While most travellers do partake in a variety of types of travel, they do tend to gravitate towards one they prefer the most and sometimes doing other kinds are done so rather begrudgingly.
I’ll be honest – I’ve never taken a cruise and until recently I never even considered it as a travel option. Why? I guess because I see it as too similar to all inclusive resorts and feel I would get bored rather easily. That all changed though when I talked to a few friends about their travels and they were recently converted cruise enthusiasts. This got me thinking – what was I missing out by not hitting the open seas?
It turns out, I was missing a lot. My snobbery was unfounded because I was thinking all cruises were expensive, restrictive and monotonous ventures that never really explored the world. The truth is there are tons of cruise holiday deals out there to exciting and varied destinations all over the globe. Why take a cruise? Here are a few things I realized:
The World is Mostly Water
Thanks, professor! This geography fact aside, it should become apparent to many that cruises make use of the Earth’s waterways to explore – something we don’t do often enough and can still wow you with exciting sights and experiences. Imagine being out on the open water, on a perfectly clear day, with nothing else on the horizon or in the sky – it’s a humbling thought!
We forget that until rather recently, getting anywhere quickly and of a great distance was done by boat – and while it’s not the fastest way anymore, some destinations still are not ideal for air travel. Taking in the majesty of Antarctica or Alaska can really only be done by cruise ship for most of the general public. Places like Venice, Caribbean islands or Australia’s Whitsunday Islands are completely different experiences by cruise ship as you get the feeling that the ship, something impermanent, is your base and your stops are things to quickly enjoy. It’s a way of thinking I’m very interested in exploring more.
Most of know what a whale or dolphin looks like but aside from trips to marinas, most of our experiences with these creatures is limited to media representations. It’s something else entirely to see these animals in their natural habitat, wild and going about their business. I’d love to take a cruise somewhere that let me see those once in a lifetime animal spectacles that can’t be planned for.
The biggest reason I want to take a cruise is because it is something different that could not exist as a travel form if it wasn’t remarkable in some way. Whether it’s the food, the entertainment, the stops along the way or the people you meet onboard, taking a cruise is just another experience to add to my life. As I transition from one stage to the next, travel is something I want to retain, even if it is a very different beast than when I first began, as there is always value in getting out there and trying something new.