...Cruise...

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Why People Cruise


It often seems that there are as many motives to cruise as there are people. Sometimes the reason is pure curiosity. Other times it's because of your travel agent's recommendation or, very often, positive word-of-mouth from a friend. Perhaps it's simply to fulfill a fantasy. Or maybe it's just to get away from a cold winter.
There are 14 reasons people have given as to why they take a cruise.

1. A cruise is a hassle-free vacation. On a cruise, you pack and unpack only once. There's no driving around, looking for your hotel, or wondering where you should eat next. The cruise experience minimizes your concerns, melts away your stress and maximizes your actual vacation time.

2. A cruise takes you away from it all. "It's different out there…" So went one cruise line's promotional slogan. Smog, pollution, stress, traffic, alarm clocks, beepers, ringing telephones, blinking computers, chattering fax machines-these are not what a cruise is all about. Cruises are instead about water, sea, sky, and landscape-the simple things that touch us so deeply.

3. You're pampered like nowhere else. Breakfast in bed. Lounging on deck. Soaking in a hot tub. Afternoon tea. Perhaps champagne and caviar. And the most ever-present and gracious service you're ever likely to experience. There are rare in our everyday like but commonplace on a cruise.

4. You can do it all - or nothing at all. Most cruises provide a vast series of choices, the kind that enable you to pick, choose, or pass up as you wish. Your day might start with morning exercises on deck, yoga in the gym, or dance lessons in the lounge, followed by breakfast. After eating, maybe it's a cooking class or a port lecture. You might choose to watch a new movie or learn a new sport…and all this before lunch. But no one will pressure you. You can sleep in until noon or snooze in a deck chair. It's all up to you.
The level of planned activities also varies from ship to ship and from cruise line to cruise line. People who like plenty of things going on can certainly find a cruise that fits the bill. On the other hand, more independent types can select a cruise that features a very relaxed experience with very little structure.

5. You can sample a broad geographic area. A cruise usually covers a vast area, stopping at the most interesting places along the way. This is why over 80% of cruisers, according to a CLIA (Cruise Line Industry Association) study, consider a cruise vacation to be a good way to sample vacation spots that may want to return to later for a resort vacation. A number of destinations are in fact best visited via a ship. Some examples: Alaska, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Indonesia, and the fjords of Norway.

6. Cruises offer a huge variety of events, activities and meals. See a show. Snooze lazily by the pool. Jog. Learn. Swim. Shop. Dine indoors or out, casual or elegant, seven times a day if you want. Explore a port or stay onboard. Cruises these days are about choice. Of course the size and "personality" of the ship determine what choices you'll have, but almost surely you'll find it impossible to be bored on a cruise.

7. It's easy to make friends on a cruise. Meeting new people on a cruise is simple. Opportunities to socialize seemingly are endless. Many of the people you meet will share your interests-that you chose the same ship, cruise and destination assures it. And some of these friendships may endure well beyond the cruise.

8. A cruise is a romantic experience. It's amazing how many films, plays, songs, and books use cruises as the setting for romance. Cruises have a way of breathing new energy into an old relationship, or of setting the stage for a new one. (A Cosmopolitan survey concluded that 80% of cruisers feel more amorous at sea. It concluded many other things that we will not go into here….)

9. A cruise is a learning experience. Even if your goal is merely to have a good time, you're almost sure to learn something new about the ports you visit. On many cruises, expert lecturers onboard give "enrichment" presentations that help you understand more fully the history and culture of place on the itinerary. Indeed, some specialty cruise lines make passenger learning their primary goal (and that's precisely why their passengers select them). A few merge "soft" adventure experiences with education, offering what is called and "expedition" cruise product.

10. There's a cruise that can satisfy virtually anyone. As you've no doubt concluded by now, just about everyone-families, singles, clubs, church groups, young people, old people, lovers of sports, lovers of knowledge, and more-can find a cruise to be fulfilling. Few other vacation experiences can make that claim. And it doesn't even have to be a vacation. Many companies hold their meetings, retreats, or incentive events on ships. Some charter the whole vessel.

11. Everybody's talking about how wonderful cruises are. Cruising is an "in" thing. Everyone seems to talk about cruises-and that's being reinforced by many TV shows and movies. Several studies indicate that word-of-mouth from relatives, friends, and acquaintances is a prime reason why you will choose a cruise. And several experts argue that a "hidden" reason for people to go on a cruise is so they can brag about it when they get back.

12. Cruises represent a safe travel experience. In an age when crime or terrorism happens far too easily, a cruise represents one of the safest vacation choices available. The ship's environment is highly managed. Anything out of the ordinary is swiftly noted. Passage onto and off the ship is strictly controlled. And vessels have safety devices and construction features that make problems very unlikely.

13. It's fabulous value for the money. When you compare what you get for your cruise dollar to what you'd pay for a similar land-based vacation, you discover quickly that a cruise is a remarkable bargain. Since consumers regularly rate cruises higher than other vacation choices, a cruise's value becomes keenly apparent.

14. You know what you're paying in advance. A cruise generally is an inclusive vacation. When people pay for their cruise experience, they know up front what the majority of their vacation will cost. Rarely is this so for other sorts of trips. For example, a family driving through southern Europe will probably know what their air, hotel, and car rental costs will be. But the cost of food, drinks, gas, tolls, and entertainment is quite unpredictable. These items could easily add 50% to the cost of the trip.

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