1.  The food, The Food, The FOOD!!!  When you board a cruise ship you immediately can open your mouth and start chewing.  While cruising the meals are included unless you chose to dine in one of the specialty restaurants.  This means the dining room, the buffet, the poolside snack bar, the dessert buffet, room service etc.  It is all included.  I married a foodie.  It’s the truth.  Do you know how much money I save cruising?  My husband is thrilled because YES! he can have an appetizer, the soup AND the salad, an entree (sometimes 2) AND dessert with coffee.  Sure, if you want soda, alcohol or some juice (depending on the cruise line) you will pay for beverages.  In most cases you can have water, tea, iced tea and coffee free of charge.

  2.  Entertainment.  We have seen Broadway style shows, comedy, magicians and cover bands in the evening hours.  We have seen game shows played with guests as the contestants, been to lectures, wine tasting, art auctions etc during the day.  Out by the pool we’ve seen ice carving, belly flop contests, movies projected on a screen after dark in addition to a DJ playing music during busy pool hours.  We’ve played mini golf, basketball, soccer, shuffleboard and ping pong on the higher decks.  We’ve enjoyed board games and card games in the library.  To say that there is something for everyone in the entertainment department is a fact.

  3.  Kids Programs.  For those of us in the parenting time of life this is a great perk.  If you are taking your kids on your vacation consider enrolling them in one of the on board kids programs.  These are offered daily and the hours can fluctuate depending on the day and if you are at sea or in port.  Typically it’s easier for children that are over 3 and toilet trained but there are nursery hours on some ships for the under 3 crowd. Note the nursery is limited on the number of children allowed at a time so advance reservations are encouraged if not required.  Many kids enjoy the programs and activities so much parents have reported that they barely saw their kids on ship.  I’ve seen arts and crafts, story time, games, dance parties, science experiments, free play, organized sports and so much more.  There are special dinner events as well so that parents can enjoy an evening meal and maybe time in one of the lounges as well.  There is also a separate teen program so don’t worry about the older kids.  There is something for everyone in the kids programs.

  4.  Room Service.  If you are like me you need to have your morning coffee while you shower, dress and get ready for the day.  Simply put your room service order in the night before (which is free as you read above) and you will be able to enjoy a nice warm cup as you greet another morning of doing nothing or doing everything on ship.

  5.  You don’t travel…. Travel comes to you.  Unpack once and see some of the worlds great cities. Whether you want to climb ancient ruins, lounge on the beach, swim with sting rays or do nothing at all… the world really is brought to your front door when you cruise.  With options world wide you can get a beautiful overview of much of this world via cruise ship.

  6.  Spa Services.  Is your idea of vacation pure relaxation and pampering?  If so the spa services department on board a cruise ship will be a delight.  Massages, facials, body wraps, hair, nails they do it all.  Watch for specials while the ship is in port and reserve your spot early if you wish to indulge in pampering on the special formal nights on board.

  7.  Pool, Hot Tub, Water Slide, Splash Pad.  For water babies young and young at heart the bar has been set pretty high with some of the newly re-imagined pool and splash pad areas on ship.  Have you ever imagined cruising down a water slide while sailing in the Caribbean?  We can do that.  So fun!

  8.  Adults Only Area.  For those traveling without kids or those adults taking a break from their kids there are special adults only pool areas and common areas for your enjoyment.  This gives a little bit of quieter space for those willing to step away from the family environment for the entire cruise or just for a little while.

  9.  Casino.  One of the benefits of international waters.  If you like to gamble this is an option on many cruise lines.  Black Jack, Roulette, Slot Machines and more are available while the ship is at sea in the Casino area.

  10.  Lounges, Nightclubs.  For music lovers, dancers and those wishing to enjoy a cocktail or other adult beverage look to the lounges and night clubs throughout the ship.  Most ships have many to choose from with different themes to draw different age groups or to play to different genres.  Be sure to see if the lounge you are in has a specialty drink.  These are also great places to catch a quiet moment during the day if you care to read while relaxing in front of the big picture windows in many lounges.

So, there you have it.  My Top 10 List why you MUST consider a cruise for your next vacation.

Need help dialing in just which cruise line or what part of the world you should cruise to first?  Let me know, I’m here to help.

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