I’ve never wanted to try a cruise. Not ever.
When the children were very small, friends of ours swore it was the best, most stress-free holiday with a baby and toddler they could think of, and they repeated it as their main holiday every year.
I was never convinced. Effectively trapped in one big floating hotel, with no way of getting away for a little peace?
But… recently I’ve had a bit of a change of heart.
Because really – what do we all want from a holiday?
To see new places?
To relax and be looked after for a change?
To have the kids happy with loads to do, and safe places to explore independently?
To enjoy good food and drink, and new experiences?
Check check check.
The thing is – I’ve come to realise that I was looking at it all wrong. I was seeing the cruise ship as the thing that was preventing me from having a holiday.
But actually? The cruise ship is your holiday – between a series of mini holidays.
You’re not ‘trapped’ on a ship; you’re spending some time being throughly looked after in a place with so much to do you’ll likely never do it all, and with so many nooks and crannies there’s always going to be a quiet corner for you to get away to when you don’t feel like sharing for a while. You don’t have to think about feeding anyone. You don’t have to think about the laundry. You don’t even have to consider what you can do today to entertain the masses. You don’t even have to get out of your chair to get yourself a drink, for goodness’ sake.
For someone who usually self-caters a family of 6’s annual break, that’s sounding like a massive holiday already.
And then there’s the destinations. I had a quick nosey just around the summer deals from Thomson cruises, and even a 7 day cruise can cover Corfu, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro – with full days in each to explore and get a taste of the cities. Total eye opener. I always presumed you’d get a couple of hours at most – but you get at least 6hrs, and in some cities you get 11 or 12hrs on shore, which is more than enough to get a taste of a new city, especially if you plan ahead.
And from next year there’s going to be flight-free options too
If you happen to have a non-flyer in the family (*looks at husband over glasses*), then there’s still options open to you for cruising; from next year Thomson’s have no fly cruises with UK sailings which all depart from the Port of Tyne, Newcastle. There are 10 itineraries planned, ticking off over 50 ports of call in 12 different countries. The Norwegian fjords are among the highlights –and I’m totally tempted.