I saw a joke recently as I was researching on this topic that cracked me up.
Why don’t black people go on cruises?
They’re not falling for that one again. *I died of laughter*
It sounds like something Kevin Hart or Trevah Noah would say. Truthfully, though, cruise ships sound amazing, yet for some reason Africans generally don’t even care as much for them as statistics probably would say we should since we have no lack of oceans and big bodies of water around us. Maybe there is some truth to our feeling safer on land, but for a heart that loves adventure cruises should definitely be on the list of “to do’s”.
Why should we cruise more?
1. Convenience. Cruise lines make it easy for the worrisome traveller 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 traveller can rest easy knowing no further calls have to be made, except to figure out their transportation to the port of departure. 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.
2. More Travelling. Unlike visiting a resort, which locks you in to one location, a cruise ship stops at several ports. Depending on the length of your cruise, you could see five or more different locations in one vacation. If you’re into seeing new places, you can rack up quite a few on a seven-day cruise. And since you’re on the ship, you don’t have to worry about making new travel arrangements for each spot.
3. Better for your wallet? 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 on-board entertainment and sightseeing. Cruise lines offer specials on their popular destinations all the time. If you travel in the off-season, you can get a cruise package at a major discount, but you’re going to have to work for it by booking weeks if not months in advance and going through a few travel websites. Cruise lines offer different package tiers throughout the year.
4. Diversity. When you stay in a resort, or visit one city, you have a limited number of activities you and your family can do while still staying within the confines of your area. Cruise lines really pack the entertainment into the ship. The cruise line plans both day and night activities for every day you’re at sea. For example, you can shop at several stores, attend an art auction, get a massage, play in a ping pong tournament, lay out by the pool, take in a bingo game, visit a casino, or learn ballroom dancing – all within a few feet of your stateroom and while eating excellent food. If you’re the type who likes to be active when you’re on vacation, you’ll love the at sea days on a cruise.
5. Specialized. One significant advantage to a cruise is the plentiful options for what type of cruise a traveller 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 even cruises tailored to older generations. This gives individuals the ability to create a trip that is specifically for them.
6. Family Friendly Options. Traveling can be very relaxing for the average person, but if a traveller 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 on-board 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.
With all these benefits there are a few things to watch out for on the downside as well as with everything in life.
1. One downside to a cruise is the possibility of becoming sea sick; it definitely should be a serious consideration because a vacation that was meant to be enjoyable may become a horror story. So know your body. I for example, get car sick over long distances if it’s a stuffy, small place, and/or I have nothing to distract me. It may be different on a ship however because there is a lot of breathing room.
2. Bad weather. 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 on-board and onshore at destination sites. If the weather is bad during visits to the onshore destination sites, many travellers will miss out on sightseeing activities, which is part of the excitement of taking a cruise.
3. Expenses. Lastly if you are not careful you might end up spending more than you expected to. Most excursions on land are typical tourist-type events, and the ports cater to tourists since that’s where the cruise ships dock. Because of that, it’s hard to get the authentic cultural experience of the place you’re visiting – and prices are typically inflated for everything from food to souvenirs and adventures. 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 peak season.
So it might not be the perfect trip but it is definitely a worthy adventure to add to the bucket list and a brilliant way to tour our continent at its finest. For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of cruises check out Moneycrashers and Whattravel.com.
Shingai is an upcoming writer with a passion for words and expression through writing. She lived in Zimbabwe as a child and has traveled to over ten countries. She craves adventure and hopes to be an inspirational writer. She is currently pursuing a degree in English Literature with a minor in Psychology at Daystar University.