No we’re not talking about your Saturday night escapades, we’re talking about following in the footsteps of our ancestors by setting sail on the ocean blue and exploring the world! From the likes of the Spanish, British and Romans, exploring by sea has been around for tens of thousands of years and has been the main mode of transportation for great numbers of people to cross far distances and explore new lands. Evident throughout the later part of the 19th century, and well in to the 20th century, ocean liners became a main mode of transporting European immigrants across the Atlantic.
Throughout the first half of the 20th century, as the need to accommodate large sums of passengers from various socioeconomic classes for a weeks’ long journey came in to play, ocean liners quickly shifted in their dynamic and design. However, by the 1960’s air transportation grew in popularity and accessibility and replaced the ocean liner. This shift eventually led to the rise of the leisure cruise ship, and cruising as a form of vacationing throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
Nowadays, cruising is a multi-billion dollar industry with about a dozen reputable companies spanning travel across the globe from popular destinations like the Caribbean and Europe, to the more seasonal and exotic like Alaska and South Africa. The brands also accommodate everyone from the budget-friendly family traveler to the 5-star luxury cruiser. And with capacities reaching almost 3x that of the original ocean liners, cruise ships have not only become the mode to the destination, but part of the vacation itself.
Aside from being floating hotels with all of the related facilities - bars, restaurants, theaters, casinos, swimming pools - and a full spectrum of accommodations, including king-sized beds for us GIANTS, there are many other reasons why cruising has become more popular again.
1. Value – Everything can be purchased in one package. The majority of both your needs and your family's needs, such as transportation and various accommodations, are included in the price. Many packages even offer airfare and food/beverage costs. If you consider airfare, hotel stays, a rental car, and meals into the cost of a vacation, even a short trip can get expensive. Taking a cruise addresses this problem by consolidating these costs into one package.
2. All-in-One Vacation – There are not many other vacation options which offer the all-in-one experience like a cruise vacation. While on a cruise you can visit multiple destinations while not changing rooms and having to constantly pack and unpack your luggage. A cruise affords you the chance to enjoy your choice of several entertainment and fine dining options, all of which are located steps away from your room. There is no need to scour the phone book and maps to find restaurants, they are right there on the ship. Most cruises offer entertainment which may include comedians, live bands, and other live acts. They also offer nightlife options such as dancing, casinos, and daytime activities ranging from sunbathing, to swimming, and often times golf, shuffleboard, tennis, etc. All of this can be enjoyed while traveling between destinations. When the ship docks, the various locations may be explored and local culture sampled. 3. A Good Family Vacation Option – Cruises offer options for families to stay together while enjoying separate vacations. Many cruises focus on creating a vacation experience for the entire family offering childcare facilities where kids can enjoy activities designed just for them while the parents can enjoy some grown-up time. Many cruises also offer family friendly entertainment for those who want to spend more time together. While on a cruise, families can spend a week, or more, together without getting in the way of each other's plans. Everyone can go their own way and then come together as a family for meals and other events.
4. Food – Most cruise ships hire top quality chefs and cooks for their kitchens. Many of these chefs studied at very prestigious culinary institutes and come highly recommended. For instance, Georges Blanc, a world-renowned master chef from France, has become the signature chef for Carnival Cruise Lines. Most ships offer several cuisine options and several different restaurants to accommodate every palette. Kid friendly cuisine, alongside fine dining choices, make family dining an enjoyable event.
5. Entertainment and Activities – Both on and off the ship, cruise lines have really stepped up to the plate with offering top notch entertainment and activities. Some cruise operators go very far in developing new entertainment concepts on board of their vessels, including surf pools, planetariums, on-deck LED movie screens, golf simulators, water parks, ice-skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, bungee trampolines and more. The same effort is put in to developing tour and excursions at each destination, from historical and cultural tours to adventure activities like scuba diving and zip-lining cruise lines put a lot into making sure you have several options on what, and how, to experience your port of call.
Many people choose cruises for their vacations because of the reasons mentioned here and thensome. No matter the reason for choosing one, a cruise is a great value, offering relaxation and fun in a friendly atmosphere with good food and entertainment all in one unique location.
For complete photo and video albums from my Caribbeaan cruise on the expansive Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas (pictured above docked in Labadee, Haiti), go to Ace World Travel’s Facebook and YouTube page. For additional information and tips on planning your GIANT cruise, and for information on current promotions and rates, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org