Lifelong cruisers and cruise & travel consultants will all tell you that the Top 5 most underrated cruising experiences are simple when you think about them – and they are not what you would expect! Many people will tell you there are spectacular destinations and adventures to be had, and there are new people to meet and so many things to see and do. However, the world-wise cruisers book their cruise based on one thing – the ship.
Why? Let me tell you about the Top 5 most underrated cruising experiences.
Value Plus Cabins
An Oceanview Cabin to be exact. In our opinion this is one of the most underrated cabins available. It is tucked between the great value of an inside cabin which offers minimum $$, with minimum space, yet no natural light; and the perks of the more costly yet spacious balcony cabin that includes a private outside area, fresh sea air and loads of natural light.
Either cabin is good, in fact depending on your budget, both are great.
Just before you book though, take a sneaky glance at an oceanview cabin, where you get the best of both worlds at a reasonable price. There’s a window to take advantage of the sea view from your slightly larger cabin. Plus there’s loads of natural light – BONUS!
Been There Done That
Exploring a port or experiencing a new destination is great, there is so much to do and see. And while we would never advise against skipping a destination (there is always something new), many old salts have been there and done that. Or it may be that the weather is too hot, too cold, too wet, or you just don’t feel like a day on the town.
Don’t despair, because you now have a somewhat unique opportunity to stay & play onboard, while the majority of your shipmates simply vanish for the day. Imagine it. A whole entire ship all to yourself. No lines at the water park. You can take your pick of deck chairs or cabanas. The spa is empty, as is the pool. No kids. No fuss. And the atmosphere is one of cosy homeyness as the crew go about their assigned tasks.
It’s your choice to do ANYTHING or NOTHING. Perfect.
My choice? Spa & Bar. The Spa will usually have discount prices on port days – massage, facial, mani & pedi… plus you are first in line for a cocktail. What would your choice be?
Food Glorious Food
Another dent in the hip pocket – well no, actually. Every cruise ship offers a fine dining restaurant. A place to sit down and be waited on with the option to order as many portions as you like. All at no added cost. Score!
What is this wondrous place you ask? It’s the Main Dining Room, of course. And every ship has one. No need for a trendy, al-la-carte fancy schmancy restaurant that will charge you an add-on fee (unless there is an extra special occasion, or it’s THE best steak/Asian/gourmet-chef restaurant afloat). No need to lock yourself in to an all you can eat buffet (unless you have teenagers you need to fill in a hurry).
The classically cool main dining room offer a tempting selection to suit all tastes, diets, families, couples or just friends. Feeling like three desserts tonight? No dramas. Or just needing an appetiser as a main or a bowl of soup and a pud? Or are you after a proper sit down three course dinner served to you by a friendly waiter who will remember your name each night you dine there?
Good food. Great company. Excellent service. And all included in your cruise fare. What more can you ask for?
How many times have you jumped on a shore excursion? Not to knock the organized shore tours, because many are truly amazing, once in a lifetime opportunities. But, let’s be honest … they’re highly organized, precisely scheduled, and often without any wiggle room for you to go explore.
Sometimes you have you own plan for exploring on your own. To take a stroll through the town or markets. Or laze the day away on that secluded beach you spotted last time you were here. Or find a restaurant or bar somewhere to use the free WiFi as you soak up some local flavour.
Only thing you really need to remember is to be back onboard at least half an hour BEFORE the ship is due to depart. We cannot stress this enough, THE SHIP WILL NOT WAIT FOR YOU! She sails whether you are onboard or not. So as long as you remember this one rule, your destination is yours to plan and experience as you wish.
Let’s Do Nothing
Adventure Parks, Surf simulators. Skydiving. Ice skating. Virtual reality racing cars. Ziplines. Sushi tasting. Jazz clubs. Wine blending sessions. All of these and more are “must do” experiences available onboard the latest and greatest ships that ever put to sea. Trying to fit EVERYTHING in during a sea day can be quite hard work.
We say it’s time to use the KISS principle – Keep It Simple @ Sea
Many returning cruisers will tell you they find a nook on the sun deck each day to snooze or simply gaze at the open ocean. Relaxing. Doing nothing but enjoying their sea voyage. Taking time out to simply be. And even if you do jump into all the activities on offer, be sure and stop from time to time to breathe in the rejuvenating, salty air.
One More Tip
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Life (and travel) is meant for those who always choose to wander, yet are never lost.
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