Cruises Versus Land-Based Vacations
Planning a vacation can be the best part for many families. The day before is what turns the dream into a nightmare. After packing the van, loading the snacks, getting the maps, securing children in car seats, and finally getting on the road, you’re exhausted before you get there.
You arrive late at the motel because of a traffic jam, the rooms are full and you’re back in the car with tired, crying, children. Isn’t that fun? If you had listened to your spouse and booked the cruise, you’d be lounging on the deck under the stars while the children would be happily entertained at the kid’s program.
Sure the Grand Canyon is great – as are other land sites. But if vacation means more to you than running from place to place and a different hotel each night, then you need to kick back on a cruise.
You leave the car in the parking lot because you enter a complete town inside a cruise ship. Everything you need from 24-hour food service to entertainment to sports is all there within walking distance from your cabin.
If you get a budget hotel on land, you’ll be lucky to get the towels changed and a swipe of cleaning. On a cruise ship, you have an assigned Cabin Steward who is literally on-call to meet your needs.
Not only do you have clean towels, but you find the towels arranged in the most creative shapes – a new one every day. Whether you book an inexpensive cabin on the lower decks or an oceanfront suite with a balcony, you receive the kind of service that’s usually reserved for celebrities.
On land, you have to negotiate with the family or travel group about where to go and what to see. Somebody wins, somebody loses. Not so on a cruise, where Dad can skeet shoot, Mom checks in for a massage and facial at the spa, teens go to their video game room, kids can’t wait to get to the children’s program and even Grandma can find a bridge game.
Just remember to leave your wallet in the cabin. Dozens of daily shipboard activities are free. On land, you wear out your credit card since everything comes at a price. Perhaps the most astounding aspect of cruising for newcomers is the food.
From breakfast on the pool deck to lunch buffet and dinner, you can eat 24/7. Cruises are known for lavish Midnight Buffets if you have room to eat after ordering your choice among four to five courses at dinner.
But in case you danced past the late buffet, call for cabin service to bring pizza and sandwiches to your cabin. Every meal is an event – whether it’s a themed dinner or the dressy dinner on Captain’s welcome night.
Once again, put away your wallet. Cruising is the ultimate all-you-can-eat experience and every delicious bite is part of the total per person cost. Go ahead, eat your weight in the lobster tail and prime steak – it’s all-inclusive.
If you estimate just the cost of food on a land vacation, you may find that alone is the amount it takes to send the family on a cruise vacation. For the wandering tourist, there’s ample time to stroll around foreign ports of call when the ship docks.
Prior to docking, the cruise director offers briefing sessions to tell you about the attractions, special events, and side trips that you can do while on land. Cruise travel has it all – food, fun, pampering, and the chance to visit exotic ports.