Cruise ships today are more popular than ever! Find out why more families and millennials are spending their holidays on the open seas.
Cruise ship vacations on the rise
Once only an option for the rich and famous, cruises have become popular vacation choices for many Americans. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), more people spend their vacation on a cruise ship every year. Its 2018 industry outlook predicted that 28 million people will spend their holiday on ocean cruise ships – 10.2 million more than in 2009.
Why cruise ship vacations?
Traveling on ocean liners gives you the chance to completely disconnect from your daily life. You don’t have to shop for groceries, walk the dog, clean the kitchen, or cook! While you often still have to do all of those things when vacationing on land, most cruises are all-inclusive.
On many cruises, you pay one price for all amenities, such as a private room with cleaning service, workout rooms, spa facilities, as well as activities and entertainment for all ages. Some cruise ships will charge extra for spa amenities, alcohol, and extra excursions, so be sure to check pricing before you go.
Several cruisers enjoy an extra ship journey or excursion every couple of days when you’ll arrive at an interesting new port. What fun destination will you discover today? Bonus: Even with the excursions, you never have to pack and unpack, figure out tricky driving in foreign countries or listen to your kids asking: “Are we there yet?”
Cruise ship activities
A universe in itself, a cruise ship has a lot to offer. Some larger vessels have shopping malls, casual and chic restaurants, bars and nightclubs, various on-deck swimming pools, well-equipped gyms and clubs for the kids. So, you’ll find plenty of options for you and your family to fully enjoy the time between ports.
The entertainment never stops! Daily children’s programs keep younger passengers entertained, and the nightly musical shows are memorable events for young and old. A recent study by the Tourism Research Institute suggests that cruise ship operators will place an increased focus on providing offers for multi-generational travel, as trips with the whole family have become one of the main trends in the industry.
The most popular destinations for cruise ships
Since most people enjoy a holiday in the sun, the main destinations of cruises are the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico and the Mediterranean. Passengers want to experience the life, culture, and history of the different places they visit. Therefore, cruise ships usually offer free guided tours through the port cities and their points of interest. In recent years, destinations have become more exotic, as travelers seek more unique, undiscovered places. Alaska, for example, has become increasingly popular over the past three years. Others prefer to go south to Antarctica.
Which cruise ship is best for you?
Cruises can be as large as cities, or intimate affairs. Which boat is right for you? Here are some things to consider for your trip:
Large cruise ships:
These ships can hold anywhere from 950 to more than 3000 passengers. Due to the number of passengers, bigger ships tend to be more affordable. They offer activities for the whole family, and children are likely to find friends to play with onboard. With a greater variety of activities, entertainment, restaurants, and people, many families prefer the larger cruiser.
Smaller cruise ships:
These could host as few as 30 sea-lovers at a time, so they offer a more intimate trip. If you’re looking for a more luxurious journey to exotic places, smaller ships might be the right choice for you. They can fit in more remote ports due to their smaller size, so you might have more options of places to visit. A CLIA study on consumer behavior shows that more millennials are opting for vacations on small-sized cruise ships.
Cost and departure points of cruise ships
The cost of a cruise ship vacation heavily depends on three factors: the route and duration of your journey, the cruise line, and the type of cabin you choose. In order to get a rough idea of the cost, you can use a cruise finder tool that provides a comparison of different lines and routes. They sometimes also point out special offers you might be interested in. Be aware that there might be hidden costs to a cruise holiday, such as the journey to the actual departure port of your ship, exclusive drinks and meals, and the travel insurance that is usually not included in the price. As for the starting point of your cruise, the options are plentiful: In Canada and the US alone, there are almost 30 ports from which you can plan your next travel.