Of all the types of holidays Cruising seems to generate a stir of opinion like no other, we asked our Overseas agent Laura whether it really is a love or hate kind of break.
“Despite a mutual love of travel, the idea of cruising hadn’t really appealed to us before” Like many people we had a stereotypical misconception that it would be really expensive, stuffy and full of people old enough to be our grandparents, In reality – it was none of those things.
Our decision to finally bite the bullet was determined by one thing: The Itinerary. As well as Venice, our ports of call included Dubrovnik, Santorini and Athens, all of which were high up on my bucket list , as well as the Greek islands of Corfu and Katakolon (Ancient Olympia).
The chance to visit all of these places in one go seemed like an ideal (if temporary) antidote to our growing wanderlust and the price was attractive too… (consider that it was low season). Despite the initial appeal of time spent on shore the notion of spending a week at sea also had a unique appeal.
On board, admittedly we tended to keep ourselves to ourselves but we were far from bored. Our packed itinerary meant we were only on board the ship for the evenings and one sea day so we spent most of that time relaxing. We took our time over long dinners (our later sitting meant we didn’t have to rush out of the way for the next diners) then worked off the waistline-busting meals with a few laps of the jogging track before breakfast.
We watched from our balcony as fiery sunsets lit up the ocean like fireworks and picked our favorite bars (OK, favorite bar staff) and frequented those for pre-dinner drinks. And on a couple of evenings, reclined on sun loungers and wrapped in blankets, we watched old movies on the screen under the stars. To be honest, for ocean-lovers like us, just being out at sea with a cocktail or a glass of wine in hand, watching the distant island float by like clouds was bliss in itself and at one point we were even lucky enough to spot a pod of dolphins playing alongside the ship – you don’t get that in many hotels.
So, in conclusion, would we cruise again? The answer is a resounding, though cautious, YES – provided we picked the right cruise line as well as the right itinerary.There are so many cruise companies on the market today, each with their own slightly different niche, that the myths and outdated stereotypes that have hindered the industry for so long are being well and truly challenged.
So whilst we wouldn’t do it for every holiday ( we still prefer the freedom and the unhurried vibe of a timetable-free holiday), we’ll definitely enjoy figuring out which cruise line suits us best.