What makes cruises so appealing?

Cruises have been a popular holiday choice for couples of all ages and families travelling together for years, and increasingly they are delivering an exceptional travel experience for educational groups and students.  Cruising is an ideal choice for an adventure holiday due to the variety of destinations on offer, the different and often exotic departure points and ports of call, and the exciting itineraries available.

Cruises have been a popular holiday choice for couples of all ages and families travelling together for years, and increasingly they are delivering an exceptional travel experience for educational groups and students.  Cruising is an ideal choice for an adventure holiday due to the variety of destinations on offer, the different and often exotic departure points and ports of call, and the exciting itineraries available.

Saving the pennies

While many people might consider cruising to be an expensive holiday option, given that the cost of travel on the cruise liner, accommodation, and food are included in the overall price, cruises in fact offer genuine value for money and allow travellers working with limited funds to budget sensibly.  The basic costs are known from the outset so only spending money is required in addition to the cost of the cruise, and that can be tailored to suit the individual pocket.

As many cruise packages will include return travel to the point of departure, there is often no need to book flights and hotels separately, which is usually required when touring and is always more costly.  Further, many cruise organisers offer discounts for group or student bookings, including special interest groups studying, for instance, geography, a foreign language, or history.

Where to go

With the whole world to explore, deciding where to go can be tricky.  Some of the more popular and widely served destinations include the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, and the Greek Islands.

Mediterranean cruises offer the opportunity to visit exciting cities such as Rome, Genoa, Naples, and Nice.  All of these cities are steeped in history and culture, often combining places of interest with a lively nightlife.

Individuals who choose to cruise to the Greek Islands will find that ports of call can include Athens, Crete, and Ephesus, plus many more areas sporting romantic ancient ruins sitting alongside sheltered, secluded beaches.

The Caribbean attracts more attention than any other cruising destination, and with good reason.  With over 7,000 islands in the region, itineraries include the Eastern Caribbean, which typically takes in Barbados and St. Lucia; the Western Caribbean, featuring the Cayman Islands and Jamaica; and the Southern Caribbean, usually visiting Trinidad and Tobago as well as Tortola.

On-board activities

Depending on the individual cruise liner there are a number of great ways to relax when at sea or, alternatively, to engage in lively shipboard life, depending on personal choice.  Besides the quality of service and excellent food, most cruise ships have a range of other facilities available including libraries and games rooms, sports, spa and fitness facilities, and entertainment centres.  The larger cruise liners provide additional attractions, which may include climbing walls, ice skating rinks, and even on-board casinos.

Special performance cruises often feature dance groups and bands, as well as theatrical performances, and these provide a unique and fun source of entertainment for passengers.

Excursions

Most of the major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean Cruises, offer travellers the opportunity to purchase an impressive number of excursions at some or all of the ports of call they visit; however, these are not mandatory and student or other groups are completely at liberty to devise an independent itinerary when not at sea.  Some of the most popular excursions when taking a cruise to the Caribbean include swimming with dolphins when visiting the Bahamas; the Bob Marley tour in Montego Bay, Jamaica; mountain biking in Antigua, and a trip to indulge in sailing and snorkelling in Barbados.

Top Image by Christian Lambert

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