Comparing Cruise Vacations to Land Vacations!                                                                          


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Cruise Vacations vs. Land Vacations - 10 comparisons!

Are you planning your next getaway but not sure whether to take a cruise vacation or a land based one? We have compiled a list of ten comparisons between cruise vacations and land based vacations.


1. Vacation arrival

Whether you fly, drive or bus to your vacation destination or your cruise port, you will face virtually the same obstacles. For driving, there's traffic, directions and parking concerns for both cruises and land vacations. For flying, there are the airport waits, the flight itself and the transfers to your hotel/resort or your cruise ship. Checking in to a hotel can be somewhat easier (although we've had some long wait problems at resorts) than checking in for your cruise holiday. However, cruise vacations allow you to enjoy your surroundings once on board your fabulous cruise ship without the hassle of luggage. Your vacation luggage "magically" appears in your stateroom. For both types of vacations there are specified check-in times. On land though, you can't "miss the boat"!

2. Accommodations

Cruises have become so popular that the cruise industry is VERY competitive. Most standard accommodations are therefore quite similar, but clean and well appointed. You have a variety of price points for your vacation accommodation, but there are few surprises. The rooms are extremely well laid out in relatively small spaces. They do seam however quite spacious because of the overall design and layout. The rooms are very well cared for as well. You will find that your room steward will "tidy up" many times a day for you. And, as I mentioned there are no bad vacation surprises. Everything is clean, neat and operable.

Land based vacation hotels and resorts will often offer different price points for your room as well. The land vacation rooms will normally be larger than on cruise ships. A large amount of this "extra" space equates to "space" that is open and unused except to be able to move around more. They may also have other amenities which undoubtedly increases the vacation package price. Top ranked vacation resorts will have room stewards that may look after you throughout the day as well - again a price point as on cruise vacations. On a land vacation, you have more risk getting a poor room or an odorous room. And, the resort itself may be stretching its ranking considerably.

3. Food

Again, because the cruise industry is so competitive, they all strive to please your palate with exceptional cuisine. Most cruise vacations have an elegant dining room for vacationers to have an intimate meal or a large get-together. Everyone you talk to who has vacationed on a cruise will tell you how much food you are exposed to. The pricier cruise lines even have world class chefs and cuisine along with expansive wine cellars. These would compare quite favorably with even the very best land based resorts.

On land vacations, you may experience excellent dining as well. However, there is a higher risk of being exposed to unappealing cuisine which can make for a disastrous vacation. The food variety on a land vacation may be decidedly smaller than that on cruise ships.

4. Water

This is a very concerning issue for all vacationers. We have all heard of cases of sickness and diseases contracted while on vacations and quite often related to water. While most land based vacation resorts have excellent water, it is sometimes not as well regulated and tested as on cruise ships. I personally have not heard of anyone that has contracted a disease or sickness from ship's drinking water for a great number of years.

5. Entertainment and Amenities

Hands down, this category is won by cruise vacations. Each night on most cruise ships vacationers will be entertained by Las Vegas and Broadway style shows - all FREE! Some cruise ships have ten or more lounges and night clubs for your entertainment. As mentioned earlier, most new cruise ships have a wide variety of restaurant and dining options for cruise vacationers. Most new cruise ships have fitness centers and spas to rival the best land based resorts. Pools and hot tubs aboard cruise ships also compare favorably to many resorts. Running tracks and sports decks with everything from basketball to tennis to rock climbing, mini golf and even ice skating make cruise vacationing fun and exciting for cruise passengers. As with land vacations, cruises offer daily planned events while at sea in many different activities for a variety of ages. If you have nothing to do while on cruise vacations, it's because you wish to do nothing - and sometimes that's just what's required!

6. Family Vacationing

Some land based vacations offer great packages for family vacationing. Some vacation resorts even offer special programs for children. You can plan educational excursions, adventure tours and just plain fun trips. Kids can play in the pool or enjoy some of the other activities available at the vacation resort.

All of the above is true for most vacation cruises as well. And to top this off, many cruises will "hit" three or more ports or islands with different cultures in one week for families to experience. These ports-of-call make for fun, exciting and educational trips and tours for family cruise vacations. Often, the cruise lines will have different agendas for young children and for teenagers - including teen only discos. The well trained staff will entertain younger children while mom and dad can get a little "down time". Cruise vacations can also be considered safer than some land based vacations because of the controlled environment of the cruise ship.

7. Travel vacations

If you are land traveling for your vacation, it will mean traveling by car or bus etc. or a combination of land travel with air travel to get from vacation spot to vacation spot. You may find that a bus travel vacation is relaxing and enjoyable. Your vacation may include a variety of places that are quite far apart which could mean air travel. I find air travel quite taxing and not very relaxing. Frustratingly long line-ups for airport screening, long waits, and cramped seating all combine to make vacation travel stressful.

On a travel vacation cruise however, you can visit a number of different ports, islands and areas while enjoying the amenities, scrumptious dining, and fantastic vistas as you approach your next vacation spot. Imagine enjoying the amenities on your floating resort while cruising to your next cruise stop. No packing, unpacking, packing, unpacking… you get the picture. Just enjoy the vacation travel and then enjoy the vacation port-of-call!

8. Cost

Most cruise vacations are considered to be a type of all-inclusive vacation. You pay one price for the cruise. This includes your accommodation, dining and entertainment. They do not often include your alcoholic beverages. Some cruise lines offer a wine package or domestic beer package available as an extra cost. Add to this all of the included activities and amenities, cruises offer a fantastic value and are normally quite comparable to a land based resort with similar amenities.

9. Shopping

For many vacationers, especially the ladies, shopping is a prime concern for any vacation. A land based vacation will offer shopping in the cities, towns and villages at and around your vacation resort.

Cruise vacationing can actually offer you even more shopping pleasure. Some cruise ships have a dedicated area with shops. These shops may change their stock throughout the vacation adding new items. As well, vacationers may find special time limited offers by ship merchants. Add to this, as many as four different ports in a seven night cruise and your cruise vacations can be a shopping extravaganzas!

10. Tours

Land vacation resorts offer guests a variety of tour options. As well, there are numerous private tour operators available to vacation guests. These are usually offered as an extra cost above and beyond the price of your vacation package.

This is also true of cruise vacations. Virtually all shore excursions are extra costs beyond the price of your cruise vacation (unless you stroll through the port-of-call). I find however that there are often more options offered by the cruise lines. Because your vacation stay in port is limited in time, the cruise lines seek out what they conceive to be good value for safe tours and compile them so that cruise vacationers can quickly choose which tours to take.

I hope that this list helps dispel some concerns that you may have when trying to choose between land based and cruise vacations. I also hope that it did not seem too one sided. Both types of vacations have merits. Both will not necessarily appeal to all vacationers. Weigh your options, check out the best deals available (there are always deals), and book your special vacation on-line from the comfort of your own home or office!

For more aricles about a cruise vacation and other cruise related products choose from one of the following links:

Discount cruises for great all inclusive resort style vacations!

Cruise ships for all inclusive resort style Alaskan cruises, Caribbean cruises and romantic getaways!

Related articles for a map to our cruise articles!



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