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"!
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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