Is A Cruise For You? The Good, Bad and the Ugly
We just returned from a 10-day cruise around Italy on the Celebrity Constellation. I was in heaven; it was hot and sunny most days, and the seas were never rough. Our ports of call were so enjoyable—Catania, Sicily; Salerno, Rome, Livorno, Italy and Dubrovnik, Croatia. This was our first Mediterranean cruise, we were so excited and it proved to be a lovely trip. But, having said that, I think I may have to do some more homework if and when we cruise again.
Below I have listed some of the good, the bad and the ugly of cruising…in my opinion anyway.
- A great way to see many destinations in a short period of time. It’s a chance test the waters of a destination for a possible future excursion.
- Considering that all your meals and accommodations, on board activities and night time entertainment as well as port to port transportation is all included, it can be very economical.
- Most cruise lines have a staff to passenger ratio of at least two to one so one can feel pretty pampered.
- If I had to guess I would say the average age on Celebrity Cruises is middle fifties to middle sixties. So we fit right in with average crowd.
- The food is very good, plentiful and readily available at all times. You have to be very disciplined not to go crazy with all your choices. No one will stop you from having two appetizers, entrees or desserts. You can keep your calories at bay though. There were also many healthy choices to choose from. And you can work off those extra calories at the gym, using the stairs rather than the elevators or using the walking/running track on the upper deck. You can also opt for more active activities at the ports of call.
- There are many hidden costs that one needs to be prepared for. There may alternate restaurants on board but you have to pay for them. All drinks, including non-alcoholic drinks such as soda, juice, coffee, tea, and even bottled water come at an extra cost, usually pretty steep. And an 18% service fee is added on to all these extras.
- If you are the type of person who likes to be doing something physical or challenging all day long, you are out of luck. But “At Sea” travel days you do have a choice of how busy you want to be. There are many facilities on board such as the gym, the swimming pools, daily dance lessons, even bridge games. Or you can choose to sit by the pool all day and do nothing but read books, sleep and people watch ( a people watcher’s paradise). Or you can attend different workshops, be pampered at the spa, use the computer or try your hand at the casino, but these all have a cost to them.
- The extra costs are outrageous and plentiful. The costs of alcoholic drinks, including wine, along with cost of non-alcoholic drinks are so high that you are almost forced to purchase one of the over priced drink packages, which we did to the tune of $650 each. Yikes!! There were three alternate restaurants on board, however at $45 and $95 per person were over priced. Many of the classes at the gym or the other various workshops onboard came with a price tag.
- Most of the excursions purchased through the cruise line come at a big cost. Even with the more reasonably priced ones we found ourselves on a bus with 35 to 40 other people. If I had to do it over again I would rethink our excursions and do more homework ahead of time.
So there you have it. There are so many types of cruises to choose from and so many cruise lines, depending on your likes and dislikes and your pocketbook . So, my biggest advice to you is, really do your homework before you decide on a cruise and pick one that’s right for you.
Tell me, have you cruised before? Please let me know your thoughts and experiences…I’d love to hear about them. For more information and insight into cruising check out this website – www.wanderlustwayfarer.com.