What an overdue post. I’m sure I could list 100 reasons but I’ll try and keep it at ten. Cruising has changed so much over the last few decades. It is almost unrecognisable from the days of ballroom dancing, formal dining and afternoon tea.
There are of course cruise lines which still provide this traditional cruising experience. They have a very loyal following but I would not say I am one of them. I am far more interested in the experience that newer cruise lines have to offer. For me, the number of waterslides on the top of a ship says a lot about how much I am going to enjoy the cruise ship. The more the better in my opinion!
1) Freestyle dining and constant eating
One of the main things which, I believe, has been holding back younger people from trying cruising is the traditional dining routine. I’m sure there are quite a few people terrified that if they cruise they’ll have to wear a bow tie and sit with a lot of old people on a giant table. Fortunately this is not the case.
Many of the larger cruise lines have dropped this ‘set meal set table’ idea in favour of being able to eat where and when you want. On cruise lines like NCL and Royal Caribbean you are able to show up to the restaurants and be seated the same way as you would in a land based restaurant. There is also normally a buffet which means (almost) 24 hour access to food. Not just food, but really really good food with tons of variety. As well at the more traditional ‘fancy’ foods of the main restaurants there is also often a pub/diner type restaurant where you can pop in for a burger.
2) No more bow ties and dinner jackets
The formal dress required on more traditional cruise lines has also been removed on a lot of ships. There are still opportunities to get dressed up and have professional photos taken however on cruise lines such as NCL and Royal Caribbean there is no forced formal dress code (not compared to cruise lines like Cunard anyway!) This means you can pack much lighter and don’t have to worry about ironing your party dress. All in all it makes for a much more relaxed atmosphere.
3) Loads of bars to enjoy a ultimate drinks packages
The popularity of all-inclusive beverage packages is without a doubt increasing. Cruise lines such as NCL are now offering it as part of their special offer booking package. There are very few holidays where you can have a free bar for the length of your time there, let alone 10+ free bars 24 hours a day! Cocktails by the pool, glass of Prosecco with lunch and whatever beer/wine/spirits you fancy long into the evening.
For more info about NCL’s ultimate beverage package, including my drinks recommendations. Click here: NCL’s Ultimate Beverage Package.
4) Activities onboard
There are so many on board activities now which would have been unthinkable years ago ago, rock climbing walls, zip lines, water slides. With the size of cruise ships increasing this means that there is more room for new activities! Theres are theatres with musicals, comedians, jugglers, magicians, a casino, bowling alley, arcade, sports courts, spa, gym. The list goes on and on. Not to mention all of the eating and drinking which is one of the best activities to do…Cruise lines are constantly trying to out to do each other with the latest activity, all in an effort to attract young thrill seeking cruisers.
5) Ease of travel
Being on a cruise, to me, is like being baby sat. It’s a really easy way for young people to explore multiple countries within a relatively short period of time. Cruising allows you to visit exotic destinations which you may not have gone to alone. It allows you to see a country for a day. If you like it you can return but theres certainly no obligation to do so. I’ve have visited a few which I definitely will not be returning to! (See 5 cruise ports I would not return to).
It is thanks to cruising that I have been able to visit 35 countries at the age of 23. I certainly couldn’t have achieved such a number without cruising.
6) Onboard gadgets
Robot operated bars, 3D movies, virtual portholes, facial recognition in photos and so much more! With each new cruise ship comes new innovations in regards to technology and onboard gadgets. The latest ‘trend’ at the moment seems to be for wearable tech. Carnival have launched the ‘ocean medallion’ which can be worn as a necklace/bracelet. This will be used to pay for purchases onboard, it’ll unlock your cabin door and help you with onboard navigation.
7) Broadway shows
If cruising was just for old people I really doubt that they would have shows such as ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ onboard. Priscilla is without a doubt my favourite musical, I first saw it onboard the Norwegian Epic and went back the next night to watch it again. It is an amazing show but I don’t think I’d fancy showing it to my Gran, not sure what she would think of all of those teeny drag outfits!
Productions onboard cruise ships are as good, sometimes even better, than those on land. The theatres are large enough to stage full musicals, dancers, circuses and anything you can possibly imagine. I have been to much smaller theatres on land than those on cruise ships, I always forget that I’m on a ship when at the theatre.
Price is one thing which has in the past, meant that cruising was reserved for the wealthy (and as a result usually old). Cruising is still a relatively expensive way to travel but when you compare it to staying in a hotel on land it doesn’t seem as expensive. Factoring in the cost of meals and entertainment cruising can actually be the cheaper than staying on land! On my recent holiday to Miami it actually worked out cheaper to take a week cruise than stay in hotels for a week.
There are ways to minimise the costs of cruising. For more information on how I cruise on a budget click here: 10 tips for cruising on a budget.
9) Opportunity to disconnect
Cruising is the ultimate way to get away from it all. You can be as connected or as disconnected as you want. This definitely appeals to me and I think it does to a lot of other younger people too. I love being uncontactable!
It provides the ultimate opportunity to relax. There are no time schedules and nothing at all that you have to do. I can’t think of any other time in life where I am as free as relaxed as onboard a cruise ship.
10) Blogs like this!
I am living proof that cruising isn’t just for old people. Through writing this blog I have made tons of friends who are a similar age and living life one cruise at a time.
I’d like to give a little shout out here to Sanna over at VeganCruiser.co.uk. Her post on 10 reasons why I love to cruise is spot on and I couldn’t agree more! I’d also like to mention Victoria at LostAshore.co.uk and her post Smashing The Stereotypes, (we certainly are doing that!)
Are you a young cruiser? Why not join the young cruising conversation. We’re an interesting bunch!