Each day, more and more people discover the value of sailing away on a cruise vacation versus a typical land vacation. After considering the following, you may want to make cruising the high seas an option on your next European vacation:
Beautiful accommodations, top run entertainment, fabulous dining, and transportation from port-to port is all included in the value of your cruise fare…. and you pay for it in US dollars! Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a 7 day Western Mediterranean cruise starting at $849.00 per person in June, on the Norwegian Epic. Drink packages are often included, or available for purchase depending on the cruise line. So, no more racking up large bar tabs!
Exotic Ports in a Short Amount of time
The Mediterranean is known for its beautiful historic ports of call. Taking a cruise through the Eastern or Western Mediterranean allows you to visit scenic ports like Venice, Dubrovnik, Santorini, Athens and Barcelona. You’ll do so in a shorter amount of time than it would take you to backpack, train, drive or ferry-transfer your way through the Mediterranean region. High-speed train tickets for a similar trip can also be expensive, and not particularly easy to figure out for the first time traveler. I love that cruising eliminates the stress and tension over directions!
Unpack – one and done
I’m adventurous, so I do like backpacking Europe, and seeing new places from that perspective, however, I loath packing and unpacking, or moving rooms during a trip. It takes up so much sightseeing time and my energy. It’s a nice to unpack once, have the option for laundry service, and a fabulous crew tend to my cabin regularly.
Off the ship, now what? Cruise lines offer a variety of spectacular shore excursions to enhance your trip! These are available for an additional charge, but prices are typically reasonable. When booked through the cruise line, they ensure you’ll arrive back to the ship in time. If you aren’t sure what excursion to book, the Cruise Director holds a seminar prior to arrival in port. There’s also excellent information on each port of call online, and in your cabin. Members of the cruise line staff at the shore excursion desk are also available to help! They’ve most likely been there, done that, so they’re suggestions will be reliable.
Unlimited Dining and Drink Options
Unlimited dining and drink options are available and (almost always) included in the value of your cruise fare. Cruise ships offer gourmet dining options made from exotic and local ingredients. They also have executive chef table experiences that will tantalize your taste buds. If you’re looking for something more casual, choose from a gastropub for a cold beer and burger, a 24 hour ice-cream/pizza option, or a convenient buffet. Healthier options are highlighted too, and most diet restrictions can be accommodated. Flexibility is key to dining on cruise ship. You don’t have to dine at a scheduled time, or dress in full length gowns at dinner. Most cruise major cruise lines have programs that allow you to choose when you want to eat, and advertise a relaxed dress code. If you’re a traditional cruiser, and prefer a dining time, or dressing up, you can do that too!
Your onboard experience can be as much or as little as you want it to be. Spend your free time enjoying sports activities, live music, comedy shows, dancing the night away at the disco, or floating away at the adult only pools. Taking in a live Broadway-style theatre show is one of my favorite things to do after a busy day of exploring. Norwegian Cruise Lines’ the Epic offers amazing Broadway -style theatre shows developed by producers like the Jean Ann Ryan company, Cirque Dreams, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Burn the floor. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines features show like Mama Mia, Cats and Grease! Just think of the cost to attend a Broadway show in New York or Chicago! This is all included in the value of your cruise fare! Happy Cruising!