Why Cruising is the Perfect Vacation Choice for Any Season

When you hear the term “cruise,” you may envision an expensive, warm weather vacation that honeymooners take to tropical locations.

And while you can certainly find cruises ideal for love birds and which feature plenty of sun-soaked days on an expensive ship with stops at pristine beaches, cruising is a much more well-rounded vacation option than you may realize.

As for how and why cruising is practical for any time of the year — and ideal for groups of any size and with varying budgets — consider the following:

Cruise Ships Travel the World Over

If you want to relax in the warm sun, both on board the ship and at tropical ports of call, by all means book a cruise to Mexico, the Caribbean or the South Pacific. However, there are plenty of other options that will allow you to see gorgeous parts of the world while wearing something other than a swimsuit.

For example, Princess offers a number of Alaska cruise packages that are available for any season. So, if you’ve saved up some have vacation time for the winter and want to experience glaciers, wildlife and national parks, this type of cruise will be perfect for you.

Bottom line: If you pack the right type of apparel, cruises are an ideal travel option regardless of when and where you go.

Cruises Offer Great Value

Taking a cruise doesn’t have to be a budget-busting experience. In fact, they tend to be the perfect choice for money-conscious vacationers. Even the shortest vacation can get pricey when you factor in airfare, hotel stays, meals and other costs. But when you book a cruise, just about everything is all-inclusive. Better yet, some cruise packages include airfare, which makes them an extra-attractive option for people on a budget.

Cruises are Ideal for Couples and Large Family Reunions

When it comes to vacation options that are well-suited for couples and extended families alike, it’s hard to beat a cruise. Of course, cruises offer varying amenities, themes and activities, which means you can choose a vacation ideal for you and your guests.

For instance, some cruises focus on creating experiences for the whole family, including activities for the kids and fun for the adults. Additionally, you can enjoy family time together — everyone can gather together for dinner in the ship’s dining room — and have free time where everyone does their own thing.

Meantime, couples can enjoy romantic strolls on board the ship while watching the sunset and explore the ports of call together. Some cruises even offer options for singles who want to meet that special someone.

Cruises Make Sense for Those Averse to Planning

If planning an itinerary gives you heart palpitations, a cruise is an ideal solution to your trip anxiety. When you choose a cruise, the schedule is already planned for you, so there is no worrying about which hotels to book, what activities to plan and which restaurants to try. Granted, you do have to select your cruise package and dates of travel, but the friendly cruise ship crew will handle everything else.

It’s Always a Perfect Time for a Cruise

It must be nice to know you don’t have to win the lottery or travel with only your sweetie to enjoy a cruise. Once you start looking at your options, you’ll realize cruises are ideal for any budget and any size group during just about any season of the year.

Going on a Cruise Out of Miami? Read This Guide!

A cruise out of Miami is the most relaxing way to unwind during the spring or summer. When you step out on the deck during the cruise, you’ll feel ocean breezes as the ship sails to its destination. A good Miami cruise will give you endless attractions to enjoy, both on the ship and in various cities by its ports of call. If you’ve never been, you really are missing out because a good cruise is a vacation unlike any other. In this guide, you’ll learn how to prepare for a short or long cruise after arriving in Miami.

 

Transportation Around Miami Before the Cruise

 

The best way to travel around Miami before a cruise is by using public transportation. When you need to visit a store or restaurant, hop on a bus. You get to see the city from a unique perspective, plus it’s only $2 to ride a bus in Miami. Miami can be an expensive place to visit, so this is definitely a win-win.

 

Thanks to the roads in Miami, the process of navigating the city by train is simple. The trains run through Miami to the north and south, and they have Wi-Fi. In order to ride the train, you’ll need an Easy Card since you can’t pay for a trip using cash.

 

Convenient Hotels Near Miami Port 

 

If you arrive in Miami ahead of time, consider staying at the Hyatt Regency Miami because it’s only 10 minutes away from the Port of Miami. Since cruises are notoriously indulgent affairs, you’ll benefit from working out at the hotel’s fitness center a bit beforehand. Or, just kick back and relax at the spa before your ocean trip.

 

The Holiday Inn is another ideal place to stay before taking a cruise since it’s only one mile from the Port of Miami. It also has a fitness center along with other features, such as free Wi-Fi and an outdoor swimming pool.

 

Food Worth Trying Before Boarding the Ship

 

There are several items that you must try before stepping on the ship. In Miami, the food scene attracts thousands of people. The city is known for its distinctive, fusion-heavy cuisine that includes fresh crab, fish tacos, bold Cuban sandwiches, and key lime pie.

 

If you’re only going to spend one day in Miami, order a delicious Cuban sandwich for lunch from Las Olas Cafe. El Exquisito also sells Cuban sandwiches; however, they’re much larger. One sandwich has enough meat for two people!

 

Cruise Tactics

 

A cruise ship has many dining spots where passengers can order either quick snacks or elegant dishes. If you want to sample the fancy food, don’t just bring your swimsuit. You should pack formal clothing, too, because most places on a ship that provide elevated cuisine have a strict dress code.

 

While you’re on the deck, you’ll see landscapes and buildings from a distant. You can admire these sites easier if you use a pair of binoculars; photography buffs will want to pack that long prime or zoom lens to capture the perfect shot.

 

6 Cruises with An Active Twist

For some people, the thought of cruising from one destination to another is heaven, while for others the thought of being stuck on a boat for a week is hell. But maybe there is the option to please both.

 

I’m a very active guy. For a long time I was definitely one of those types that viewed cruise ships more like prisons than getaways. Yet after being cajoled into taking an expedition cruise to Antarctica, I was hooked!

 

So why was I hooked? The main reason was the type of cruise itself. It was an expedition-style cruise which is far different from standard mega cruise itineraries you would find on Royal Caribbean or P&O. Expedition cruises have a sharper focus on wildlife and active pursuits which I explain in this article.

 

For active people searching for the perfect getaway, these 6 cruises are sure to get your juices flowing.

 

Antarctica Basecamp Itinerary

 

I’ll start with my favourite. Antarctica is an alien landscape where icebergs the size of small cities dwarf your ship. The Basecamp itinerary has a particular focus on activities. During the cruise you’ll camp out on the ice for one night, go sea kayaking, snowshoeing, hiking and much more. You’ll see plenty of penguins, seals and whales along the way. If you want, you can also choose to do the ‘Polar Plunge’ and jump into the icy waters from your boat – cold but epic!

 

Galapagos Dive Cruise

 

The Galapagos Islands really need no introduction. The unique wildlife and landscapes make this archipelago completely captivating. Nothing can really prepare you for the close wildlife encounters. On almost every cruise itinerary you’ll swim with seals, sea turtles, sharks and marine iguanas. Special dive-focused cruises give passengers the chance to dive each day and also take regular snorkelling trips. This is a very active trip and you’ll be exhausted in your bed each night – well worth it though.

 

Alaska Inside Passage Cruise

 

You can choose a standard cruise or expedition-style cruise in Alaska. Both have their pros and cons. But if you want to see bears, whales and eagles, you’re better off taking an expedition cruise. Amazing wildlife aside, Alaska is great for active people thanks to its numerous shore excursions. No matter which cruise ship you sail on, you’ll be given a plethora of options when ashore. You can choose anything from gold panning and white-water rafting, to dog sledding and glacier hiking! With so many choices in each port, Alaska cruises are perfect for both active families and couples.

 

Northwest Passage Cruise

 

Potentially one of the greatest expedition cruises on earth, the Northwest Passage is fabled among sailors. Because of thick ice, the passage has just recently opened up and can still only be traversed during August and September. Every day you’ll make shore landings to explore landscapes and local cultures. You’ll see polar bears and whales, meet native Inuit people and visit the remains of the lost Thule culture. Active people will relish the daily hikes and zodiac trips to explore new regions.

 

Carnival Cruises

 

I know Carnival do not offer expedition cruises, but they do offer a serious amount of active pursuits onboard their ships. If you’re looking for a cruise for the kids to enjoy then Carnival are an excellent option. Their ships are jam-packed with fun things like rock climbing, go-karting, surf pools, ice-rinks, and much more. Although you won’t leave the ship as often as you would an expedition cruise, with so many active options, the kids may not want to! They’re also well-priced and provide plenty of adult-focused entertainment also such as daily theatre shows and wine bars.

 

Amazon River Cruise

 

The Amazon is a mythical place of dangerous beasts, giant waterfalls and tales of discovery. The mightiest river on earth is a great option for active travellers who want to explore this region. In fact, taking a cruise is pretty much the only option people have of exploring deep into the region. Active people are best off taking a cruise in the dry season as you’ll take daily guided shore hikes to search for wildlife and learn more about the beautiful rainforest. In the wet season you’ll stay aboard the boat far more because the forest paths are all flooded. I seriously suggest taking a swim with the piranhas – most species don’t bite…   

7 Benefits of Taking a Cruise

If you are planning to take some time off of work, but are not sure where you are headed, a cruise is always an option you should consider. You might wonder why everyone who is returning from a cruise is so happy and there’s a reason for it. It’s an amazing experience that comes at a great value and something that your whole family can enjoy. They can truly be the perfect vacation.

Is there a better way to relax than to lay under the sun, with a cocktail in your hand, while you sail away? We believe there’s not. However, it’s are not only a great leisure activity. In fact there are numerous benefits of taking a cruise. Here are just seven of them.

It Can Save you a Lot of Money

At first, when looking at the price of a cruise, you might think that they are an expensive treat. However, when you consider the value you are getting, you will actually realize that cruises can save you a lot of money. In fact, some of the best packages come at great prices. In most cases, you‘ll be paying under $100 per night, which is extremely affordable, especially considering that you‘ll be getting a hotel, a dinner, a show and an overall unforgettable experience. Furthermore, if you are traveling to a cheap place, you‘ll be able to save even more. Have kids? On some cruise lines your kids will be able to sail either completely for free or at discount rates, if they are sharing a cabin with you. What’s more, even if you are looking for luxury, you can find the best value on a cruise as well, all with the best alcoholic beverages, shore tours and more.

There is Little to No Planning Involved

Most people dread going on a vacation, simply because of the time it takes to plan one. However, you won’t need to go through the tedious process of planning. Forget about booking different hotels or plane tickets. With a cruise, you‘ll be able to travel the world, while having the comfort you need and there’s isn’t any planning involved. Everything you need to do is simply pick your ship, pack your bags and you‘re good to go. If your family is big, or you are planning a trip for a group, with a cruise you won’t experience any additional hassle in planning. Most cruise lines provide group offers that will not only give you further discounts on your travel, but will help you with the booking of cabins and more.

Getting Out of Your Own Head

One of the hardest things to do in our busy everyday lives is to get out of our own heads. Even when we are on vacation, we often think about the different issues that are currently on our mind. What about my project? What about my work? These are all questions that are on the minds of students and adults who are about to take a vacation. Nevertheless, on a ship you‘ll get a chance to stay away from your work and study life for a while and completely enjoy your free time.

Meeting New People

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, the scientific benefit of meeting new people is a proven fact. On a ship you will be able to meet a lot of new faces. What’s more you can easily find great talking points and things in common, because after all you are all enjoying a nice cruise. Nevertheless, make sure to make the most out of your new interactions. Cruising is also one of the most romantic travel experiences. Whether you are with your other half or are a single who would like to meet someone new, there’s no better place for you than a cruise. What’s more, most lines have special packages for weddings and honeymoons, as well as vow renewals.

Take the Whole Family With You

There aren’t a lot of vacations where you can take your family and be certain that everyone will enjoy their time. With the multitude of activities and the uniqueness of the experience they offer, cruises are fun for each member of the family. What’s more with everything located on a single ship, you‘ll be able to go and do different stuff, without worrying where all of you are. You will all be on the same ship.

Having Fun

We all like to relax, but having fun is also something you need to do. On a cruise you will be able to join in over a dozen of new and exciting activities that will make your vacation even better. In fact, most ships have a bar and a restaurant, where you‘ll be able to enjoy life music and a few drinks. Depending on the ship of your choice, the list of onboard activities may include everything from pottery classes, to yoga, comedy routines, dance workshops, basketball and more. Ships are much like floating cities in the middle of the oceans and have Wi-Fi, cell service and satellite TV, so you won’t need to worry about leaving behind your comfort as well. If scrolling down your smartphone is something you often do, on a cruise you‘ll be able to do so as well, all while enjoying the nice hot sun and the ocean breeze. On a cruise you will also be able to forget all of your cares, as there are always enough lifeboats and doctors aboard to help in an emergency situation and everything you need is always there.

Learning About New Cultures

If you are taking an international cruise, you‘re getting a chance to learn more about new cultures. They are a bit more expensive, but at the end of the day, they can be an unforgettable experience. What’s more you’ll be able to do visit a dozen of new locations and you‘ll need to unpack only once. You won’t have to deal with the hassle of changing hotels, and yet you will be able to wake up on a new location every single day. That’s perfect. Some of the best cruises will let you visit all of the cities that you’ve wanted to visit your entire life and you‘ll be able to do so on a great value price and for a week or a month of your time. There certainly isn’t a better vacation than a cruise, as it lets you enjoy multiple cultures and visit over a dozen of new locations without much hassle or planning.

In a world polluted by productivity and stress, it’s hard to forget the importance of taking a break. Whether you are single or have a family, your lack of energy can not only harm your relationship with others and yourself, but can be relatively unhealthy. Make sure to plan your break and book a cruise, because there’s no better way to relax than to enjoy a nice sea travel.

About author:

Robert Everett: I am a freelance writer currently based in Chicago. Solving students career and university problems. Having interest in marketing and business.
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Our Norwegian Cruise Send Off

Read the whole story on This Girl Travels!

We recently took an amazing cruise with Norwegian Cruise lines, sailing on the Breakaway out of NYC.  The entire trip was fantastic, one of the best cruises we have ever taken, but the last day was something to remember (and left us excitedly thinking of our next Norwegian cruise),

We begun our last day on the Norwegian Breakaway by sleeping in pretty late (even the 7 year old).. It was warmer then I expected when we got up- we were at the very bottom of Virginia, headed back to New York, and the weather was still OK for shorts and t-shirts, which was a nice surprise.

We opened the balcony to get some warm, fresh air while we got ready for the day.

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After a  quiet breakfast while looking at the ocean, a view we are sure to miss this time tomorrow, we dropped the boy of at kids club for about an hour while the husband and I enjoyed a few last moments in the “adults only” hot tub.  The deck was subdued, as most people were spending the day inside.  However, it was still warm, and it was quite the opposite back home- we were going to get every drop of warmth that we could squeeze out! Afterward, we picked up my son and headed out to lunch before going to watch the International Crew Talent Show, which let the crew show off their stuff. Everything from singing to traditional dances were performed, it was fun, and pretty neat to see what a talented group is on board here.

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We went to the final character meet and greet- today was SpongeBob and Patrick in their “traditonal” gear. Just about every other day there were different Nickelodeon characters available for photo ops, and to do shows or dance parties with the kids.  You are able to take your own photos as well as the staff photographer. I love that we can take our own photos, and have the option to buy theirs as well.  Some cruise lines won’t let you, which is one of those “things” that makes me want to cruise with Norwegian again. They don’t nickel and dime you to death.
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Day 7- Last Day On Board the Breakaway

We began our last day on the Norwegian Breakaway by sleeping in pretty late. It was warmer then I expected when we got up- we were at the very bottom of Virginia, and the weather was still OK for shorts and t-shirts, which was a nice surprise.

We opened the balcony to get some warm, fresh air while we got ready for the day.

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We headed up to breakfast, first grabbing some cereal and a bowl for my son on the way up. He was thrilled to see that they got more of his favorite cereal in- they had previously run out. We had a nice, quiet breakfast while looking at the ocean, a view we are sure to miss this time tomorrow.

We dropped the boy of at kids club, although it was only open for 45 minutes by that time. One thing I would like is if they would have more/better hours at the kids club- it seems they are closed as much as they are open.

My husband and I headed over to the pool area, and climbed into a hot tub. It was a little cool, but we had been wanting to use one since we got here, and it just hadn’t happened- this was for sure our last chance. We were not in the hot tub 5 minutes when a coast guard helicopter started circling- they were rendezvousing with our ship to transfer a sick person to a local hospital. While there is medical staff on board, the person was more seriously ill and needed a hospital. It was pretty cool watching the rescue operation, and pretty much everyone on the sip came out to see it. (No one was glad that someone was ill, but seeing the procedure was neat. Yes, we are bad people, every one of us.)

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It was time to go grab the bugger from kids club, and then we went back to the room to change into dry clothes.

We headed out to lunch, and then wanted to try bringing the kiddo back to kids club (since they had been closed for two hours and were supposed to be open again), but they wouldn’t let him in, since they were only taking kids who wanted to be in the talent show. Even when they are open, they are closed. He was really bummed, he wanted to play with the kids before we left. He didn’t want to preform, he just wanted to play, poor bubbie.

Instead, he came with us to watch the International Crew Talent Show, which let the crew show off their stuff. Everything from singing to traditional dances were performed, it was fun, and pretty neat to see what a talented group is on board here.
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Cruise Like a Norwegian – Day 5

We tried out the Uptown Grill for breakfast today instead of the main buffet. It had much less in the way of options, but also way less people, so it was a nice change of pace. The food was also a little different, so that was cool.  We are going to try it again tomorrow, but we will stop in the regular buffet first for cereal for the little mister and bring it up with us, he’s on a huge cereal kick right now.

After breakfast, we headed down for origami making. Today, it was paper boxes. We learned how to make them, and also paper airplanes that worked very well- like, across the restaurant and down the hall well. The planes might not be origami, but they were fun to make.

Then we made our way to the top deck for another go on the Breakaway Bounce

ropes course cruise

and my son tried the ropes course. He was a little freaked out to do the big one, so he did the “mini” one with mom as a chaperone. He enjoyed it, and he felt like” hot stuff” afterward. There were quite a few kids in his age group doing the mini course, so that was a good thing.

Since we figure today is going to be the last “warm” day, we made sure to get some pool and water slide time in, of course. My son really loves the splash park, and he is going to miss it.

spalsh park

There was also a “Nick Live Poolside” competition today, and while my son didn’t want to participate, we had fun watching. Kids had relays, water balloon toss, and got pie in the face and of course- the famous Nickelodeon slime.

We grabbed some hot dogs by the pool, and watched as one of the crew created an ice sculpture. It took him almost no time, and he made the Statue of Liberty (fitting, as we will see it again soon).

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After drying off, we headed inside for a towel folding demonstration. My son is enthralled with this, and how it is done- and he is excited every night to see what kind of animal will wait for him on his bed. The staff made quite a few animals, from turtles to monkeys to swans- some were really, really impressive (and seem super complicated).
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Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Day 4

Today we woke up to a beautiful, sunny day and gorgeous view. The sparkling blue waters of Nassau were right outside our door, and we could not wait to greet them in person.

family travel

After a quick breakfast, we headed into town. We walked through the shopping district a bit, but mostly were interested in some beach time. The closest one was Junkanoo Beach (also known as “The Long Warf”), about 15 minutes away. As soon as we arrived, it was time to hit the beach. We of course had to build sandcastles, then my son and I were in the water for most of the day. Daddy preferred his beach time. (Hmmmmm….ha)

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After spending most of the day, we decided to head back. We stopped in a few local stores (we were looking for something special for a friend of ours who made a request) and headed back to the ship. After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we showered and headed down to the “Breakaway Pier Party”, which was so much fun. The crew was out en masse, dancing and partying the whole time.

Even SpongeBob and Patrick got in on the action, and posed for some photos with the kids as well.

SponeBob was a dancing machine, let me tell you . He really knows how to bust a spongy move.

We stayed out for nearly the whole party, and were having a great time- it really was super fun. One thing that stuck me as well was that Julie, the Cruise Director, who is Canadian but whose last name I don’t know- was out on stilts. She is the one in the pink pants. Really! That’s something. One of the kids club crew was the clown on stilts- very multi- talented. Julie also danced in the last song in “Burn the Floor”, and will soon make several more appearances today. The woman does not mess around.
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