Photo courtesy of Paul Guaguin
I admit, I am a bit of a cruise addict. I love to cruise - both ocean and river. While I know there a large number of people who have never cruised or don't see the excitement like I do, I believe it's because they haven't been introduced properly or they haven't been on the right cruise that fits their style.
It's understandable. Many who have never cruised have an image about cruising that would have me running away as well. And most often those who have tried a cruise once and "never again" have been on ships quite different than their personal style.
Given the large number of ships and itineraries to choose from, its very easy to settle on
a cruise that looks perfect, but in the end is not quite what was expected. Here is where I shamelessly plug my trade! If you are new to cruising (and even if you are not), work with a professional cruise travel specialist, someone who will get to know you, your style and needs and then match you with the best options. NOT the other way around. There is a cruise line and ship for everyone, but not every cruise is for you.
That said, why do I love to cruise? These three reasons apply to both oceans and rivers:
#1 I only have to unpack and pack once.
Unpack once, put your luggage under the bed and forget about it until the end of the cruise. More time to spend sleeping in, a leisurely breakfast or off to explore the port.
#2 I wake up in a different city every day (unless its an overnight stay).
It's exciting to wake up in a new port. Something new, something different every day. I can enjoy a wonderful dinner with newfound friends, evening entertainment or just relax while someone else does the "driving" to the next destination.
#3 It's a great value considering what is included.
Accommodations, meals and entertainment, all included. When you compare what is included on a cruise versus a land tour or an all-inclusive resort, cruises really do offer exceptonal value.
So that said, while I enjoy both ocean and river cruises, they are very different experiences. Some folks, like me, will enjoy both types of experiences. Others will be drawn to only one over the other. For example, someone who seeks different entertainment venues and casinos may not enjoy the more intimate aspects of a river cruise. On the other hand, if someone really enjoys immersiving themselves into local culture, a river cruise might be just the ticket.
So what are the differences between ocean and river cruising?
Here are the primary ones:
So what type of cruise is the right for you? It all depends on what you would like to experience.
A river cruise may be for you if you enjoy: smaller groups and more intimate environments, getting to know your fellow passengers, history and culture, exploring small towns and country side by foot or bicycle, art and wine themed cruises or if sea sickness stops you from taking an ocean cruise.
An ocean cruise may be for you if you enjoy: lots of dining options, lots of on-board activities and entertainment, choice of cabin sizes, spas, the sight of the open ocean and rugged coastlines.
JANUARY kicks off WAVE season, when cruise lines offer great promotions and exceptional value for the 2017/2018 cruise season. If you are thinking about a cruise vacation this year or next, now is the time to book!
CALL or EMAIL me! I am here to help you find the best options for you.
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder