14 Less Obvious Reasons Why Cruises are Awesome
The opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime experiences on the ocean are endless. There are the buffets. The pools. The skydiving and surfing simulators (which are awesome). The casinos. The all-you-could-drink packages. The themed bars. The ice skating rink. The carousel. The ropes course. Et cetera. A cruise ship is your chance for great fun and total indulgence, but why, at the end of the day, are cruises actually amazing? And what is it about them that keeps travelers coming back for more? Hint: It’s actually not the rock climbing wall.
1. The Odd Sense of Freedom/Getting Lost on Purpose
Nothing is quite like wandering around a cruise ship knowing, in effect, you cannot actually get lost. You are within some vast, shiny rocking city. This is where worry and confusion are nonexistent. So get lost! And do not panic when that hallway looks like the last one, or you thought you had just passed those Ping-Pong tables. It’s all OK. You will find your way back to your cabin.
Health Tip: This is a great way, when cruising, to get in your 10,000 steps.
2. Catching up on Sleep/the Subtle Beauty of an Inside Stateroom
You are, literally, being rocked to sleep. Activate your inner newborn and rock-a-bye-baby to a shocking amount of hours of REM. If staying in an inside stateroom – that is to say, without windows – do not be surprised if you wake up at the afternoon’s PA announcement about that event starting any minute. (At like 5 o’clock).
Tip: If, for some reason, you don’t want to sleep deep into the afternoons, alarm clocks still work on cruise ships.
3. Surprisingly Exhilarating Shore Excursions
You have been out on the high seas for a few days. You’re sleeping great. Eating great. You have gone on that simulator thing a few (or 26) times already. Things are right where you want them.
And then you dock.
This is, psychologically speaking, always a slight rupture in the itinerary at first until you do get out there, visit the local culture, and tackle that excursion.
Even when things seem like they can’t get any better, get on out there and explore!
Booking Tip: Book with Liberty Travel and expect to see some excursions completely taken care of through exclusive My Time benefits on select cruises!
4. The Host of the Ship Putting a Capital ‘E’ into Extrovert
You wonder what Ivy League school this person went to, and what city, state, or country created such a personality. Up seemingly at dawn, asleep seemingly never, the cruise ship host is somehow always casually passing you by saying hello and simultaneously hosting events by the pool, entertaining the masses during the nightly shows, and landing jokes endlessly off the cuff. This person is envied, loved, and mythologized, deservedly.
Dare: Attempt making the host late for something by engaging him or her in conversation. It won’t work. They’re too suave. They will be everywhere at all times. But try anyway.
5. Actual Infinity Views
The concept of the infinity view has been used somewhat freely when, in fact, it’s only really here – on a cruise – or up there – in the sky – where this view is actually attainable. And whereas in the sky you must lean forward and turn your neck uncomfortably to achieve the true infinity view, here you can be sitting casually in your swim trunks with a cocktail, looking straight out into infinity (and beyond)!
6. Piano Bars
You know that bar you secretly wish was in your hometown? That quiet place on the corner of Main Street with a resident piano player softly tapping a tune, all while you sip a martini or Old Fashioned? Well, cruise ships conveniently have this bar, usually with chaise longues galore and the kind of dim lighting you always wish you could get in your living room.
Observation: In many ways, what with all those futuristic simulators and other ultramodern amenities of cruise ships today, cruises are a perfect example of contrasts, wonderfully mixing the old and the new, a vessel not unlike a time machine, whether going backwards or forwards, or both.
7. Ping-Pong Becomes Freakishly Fun and Oddly Competitive
Either because of the extra wind, or increased amount of space, up on a lido deck or promenade nothing is quite like stretching out the limbs in a competitive match, or tournament, of Ping-Pong. Here the spin on the ball has a little extra English, and the issue of balance adds an extra element into what is an already fine game.
Health Tip: Table tennis is a sport, which means it’s calorie-burning and healthy. It’s in the Olympics. Like archery. And golf.
8. Staring at those Waves Created by the Ship’s Engine (During the Day or Night)
There is something undeniably therapeutic about this. You are also encouraged to contemplate life’s greatest questions when looking at this.
9. Feeling Worldly
Navigation and sailing the seas is the way of Columbus and Magellan. This was the way to discovery! So sail those high seas, seafarer, and discover the world! You are doing the stuff of legends and getting to your destination the way they used to do it in the old days.
Imagine: A squinting Columbus saying to you over a frothy pint of American lager, “Airplanes!? Airplanes?! In my day, we took to the seas!”
10. The Stars
You can see them. Like—they’re there! In the sky! A cruise ship offers absolutely breathtaking views with a look up at an unpolluted sky twinkling with countless stars.
11. The Names
The Breakaway. The Dawn. The Epic. The Sky. The Spirit. Rhapsody of the Seas. Serenade of the Seas. Mariner of the Seas. Quantum of the Seas! The Eclipse. The Silhouette. The Solstice. Imagery. Poetry. Artistry. Creativity. What is more romantic than a well-named ship?
12. Something Elegantly Supper-Clubby about the Evenings
Formal dinner wear. Sinatra’s greatest hits. An elegant Broadway-inspired show at night. A walk along the promenade. A few rolls of craps at the casino. A nightcap at the piano bar. Raise a glass to old school elegance and class – Salud!
Observation: Frank Sinatra songs seem to seep out from every fringe bar and it – or something like it (Bobby Darin and Billy Joel included) – will become the sort of soundtrack to your cruise, which is, of course, absolutely Ring-a-Ding-Ding.
13. The Type of Outlier Activity Allowing You to Wear that Shirt You Always Wanted to Wear
From family reunion shirts, to shirts with witty phrases, this becomes an occasion to essentially become a walking decal. For some reason, the cruise vacation allows for this type of public freedom. You could be who you are and wear it all on your sleeve. You are blessed with the freedom of being in international waters and are now a citizen of the world! So wear that gold dress or that sleeveless rainbow-printed muumuu!
We are all on the same boat.
Note: Conditions apply.
14. Seeing Couples Raise Their Hands When the Host Asks Who’s Been Married for 60 Years
That wildly impressive host will ask this at some time when he or she has a large crowd. “Raise your hands if you’re married twenty years!” Half the boat will raise their hands. “30 years!” Fewer. “40! 50! 60!” And then a very funny and simple question very quickly becomes somewhat moving, maybe even a bit emotional, and by all means a testament to how wonderful a thing life is, as the ship applauds a smiling white-haired couple of more than sixty years holding hands.
Note: Wait until you see them on the conga line.