If you've always wanted to learn more about seeing the world from a cruise ship, October is the perfect month to do so.
This October, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is hosting "Plan a Cruise Month," an annual month-long event designed to help travelers understand more about the cruising industry and support its member cruise lines.
This month, there are several #ChooseCruise CLIA Twitter events planned to help spread the word about cruising. You'll also want to keep your ear out for some awesome cruise deals the cruise lines are offering this month. I'll also be blogging about cruising all month long!
You can follow along with weekly #ChooseCruise Twitter chats on:
To kick off Plan a Cruise Month, here are five reasons you should consider booking a cruise for your next vacation.
1. High Level of Service--When you travel on a cruise ship, you can expect the highest levels of service in the travel & hospitality industry! Crew members live and work on board to serve you. Often cruise passengers find themselves returning again and again to the same bar or dining venue on board, simply because of the way they are treated by the bartender or wait staff at that location. While you're on board, your cabin steward will likely greet you each morning in the hallway outside your door, and ensure your stateroom is clean and tidy when you return! If you are the kind of traveler who enjoys being treated like royalty while on vacation, a cruise will likely fit the bill.
2. High Value for Your Vacation Dollar--When you plan a cruise, all of your food and entertainment is included in the price you'll pay. While some travelers have the impression that cruising is super expensive, if you do the math, cruising often costs less per day than planning your own vacation with hotel stays, food and entertainment. Your cruise is also completely paid for before you board the ship, which means there are no surprise expenses on board. While you may choose to purchase souvenirs and splurge for specialty services on board, most expenses can be managed before you lock your front door to head to the airport! Cruise travelers love coming home from vacation and NOT having a huge bill to pay. Booking your cruise in advance gives you that much more time to spread your payments out over the intervening months. Some cruise lines will even arrange pre-authorized payments for you! Carnival Cruise Line, for example, has a "set it and forget it" monthly payment option that my clients absolutely love. Even if your cruise line does not offer this service, your travel agent can make periodic payments on your behalf if you arrange this with them.
3. Comfort and Pampering on Board--How would you like someone to turn down the sheets for you every night before bed? Present you with a pillow menu when you get on board, so you can choose the exact comfort you prefer to lay your head on each night? Provide plush robes and slippers for you to use throughout your vacation? These are just some of the ways you may be pampered on your cruise vacation. Additional options, such as 24-hour room service, custom-blended bath products, specialty spa staterooms and in-cabin dining are some of the opportunities you're presented with when planning a cruise. Being overwhelmed by all of the ways you can be pampered and provided with comfort on your cruise is a good problem to have! Your travel agent can help you prioritize.
4. The Amenities and Activities on Board (and on Shore)--One of the greatest misconceptions out there when it comes to cruising is that there is nothing to do on board. Nothing could be further from the truth! Cruise ships are busy places, with plenty of activities for cruisers to choose from. Each evening, you'll be provided with a newsletter that details the next day's schedule on board. This is usually also posted in the Guest Services area of the ship. Cruise ships feature live game shows, poolside contests, full-equipped gyms, theatres, karaoke bars, pubs, bingo, trivia contests, dance lessons, cooking classes and demonstrations...the list goes on and on. The good news is, these activities are all optional so you can stay as busy or relaxed from day to day as you like! On port days, you can stay on board, join a shore excursion, or head off to explore on your own. The options are endless.
5. Destinations--On a cruise, you'll unpack your bags once, yet experience multiple destinations in one trip! I love going to sleep in the same comfy bed each night, and waking up in a new port every day or two. There is nothing like waking up and heading over to your balcony to step outside and take in your new surroundings. Cruises depart from and visit ports all over the world. Explore the Hawaiian islands, the Southern Caribbean, Mediterranean or even travel up the Mekong River on a river cruise. Whatever part of the world you want to explore, there's a cruise for that.
If you still have questions about cruising, let's have a discussion! Join in on the #ChooseCruise CLIA Twitter chats this month, or leave a comment, below.