I love to cruise! I have been on cruises all over the world, and it is one of my preferred methods of travel. Ocean cruises, river cruises – if it’s a cruise, it has my name all over it. And now that I’m fully in my “prime”, I love them even more.
I am a fussy cruiser, I must admit. I like ships that carry less than 750 travelers. Recently, I cruised the St. Lawrence River in Canada (from Montreal to Boston) on Seabourn Cruise Line and had a lovely time. Also, the smaller ships attract a clientele that most Prime women can identify with and enjoy their company for a week or even a month.
Why do I love it and believe it is the best vacation choice for prime women? Well, for one – and an obvious benefit – is the idea of unpacking one time for a 7-10 day trip. Unlike other tours we have been on, the constant move from one hotel to another gets tiring. Sure, there are fabulous, not to be missed hotels in this world, but if you are wanting to seem more than one or two cities on a trip, a cruise ship is the way to go.
I do think you need to be selective when you decide to take a cruise. You’ll want to do your homework and get recommendations from friends, but in the end, you want to make your choice on your particular wants and needs. To get you started, here are my criteria for cruise selection:
Destination, destination, destination: My husband and I prefer destinations that are hard to travel to and around without hassle. For example, among my favorite trips were cruising the Baltic Sea, South America and China.
Size matters: It has to be a somewhat small cruise line like Seabourn, Crystal, Oceania or Windstar. The larger, luxury cruise lines are fine, but they often cannot get into smaller ports. Pulling up to the port in downtown St. Petersburg in Russia, for example, was thrilling.
Cabin selection: We tried the penthouse/suite selection on past cruises but would not do it again. Why? We don’t really need a butler, and the extra room isn’t really that big a deal to warrant the exorbitant fee that often accompanies these extras. There are so many private and public gathering places on ships that you don’t really need to hide out in your cabin all day.
Restaurant choice: Food is usually exceptional. Many cruise lines offer a variety of eating venues. Even if you are a fussy eater, or prefer to eat gluten-free or vegan, there’s plenty of choices to go around.
Tour selection: We have learned over the years that the excursions offered by cruise lines are very good – and getting better. An alternative? Research ports of call yourself and arrange a private tour. Cruise lines offer private tours as well, but they come at a price. Consider using a local taxi company to tour you around specific areas of interest. There are tours by taxi all over the world, and it’s fun having a local person take you around. Check with your travel agent or Google taxi tours in the area you are visiting.
Fellow passengers: My husband and I have cruised by ourselves and with others. We have concluded that we prefer to cruise alone, because it opens doors to meet others. Sometimes, traveling with family or friends can limit your interaction with others. We have met fascinating people from all over the world on our cruises – some we are still in touch with today.
Our next cruise will be touring Vietnam on a culinary adventure in 2017. In the meantime, I will cruise vicariously with each fancy brochure or e-mail I receive.