Cruise on a RTW Trip?
Everyone has habits which are hard to break. Maybe those habits are minor, such as using a certain technique each time you pack your suitcase to travel. Possibly an over-compulsive need to over pack, just in case you happen to go ballroom dancing. With me, I happen to have a love for the sea, thus, I have become obsessed with cruise lines.
Their size impresses me, the thought of being out at sea captivates me, and the (mostly) low-cost per day tempts me. I’ve been on several cruises in recent years, and I find myself planning most of my vacations around a sea voyage. This trip apparently is no different.
I’ve read many blogs where some persons claim that they would never set foot on a cruise ship. That cruising is cheating, it’s an awful way to travel, and only their grandparents should have the right to choose that option. Some people are even annoyed at cruisers. They think that we’re lazy, and may subconsciously compare us to a herd of tourists, frequenting every tourist trap for miles around. While some of these opinions might have a bit of truth to them, it’s not always the case. My case is quite different really.
I am a cruiser! I love being a cruiser! Not for the ease of getting into and out of a country in a couple of hours but I simply love ships!!!
I find ships to be amazing works of art. It’s easy to google or search on Wikipedia, the logistics of how a massive vessel can stay afloat, but there is nothing that will compare to setting sail, or gliding through the ocean amidst bars, clubs and even ice skating rinks!
Did I mention the food? It’s found 24/7 and the choices are beyond diverse. Best of all, it’s already paid for in your cruise fare, unless you are interested in specialty dining, to celebrate an occasion or whatever. Birthday girl? Pop that champagne!
Now to the controversial part of this topic. Are cruisers cheating the laws of travel? I think not, once your reasons for traveling via cruise ships are practical. Personally, I use cruise lines to check out a particular region which I have never visited before. I will get a feel of the place, soak in the atmosphere and try a local cuisine or two. I make a conscious effort not to fall subject to the tourist traps, and rather, usually search for a taxi to take me as far away from the cruise port within reason.
I have no illusions of being able to say that I saw all there is to see in Barcelona if it was simply a cruise stop. However, if I have always wanted to see the La Sagrada Familia…. or to casually enjoy a glass of Sangria and people watch for a while, it would be a great opportunity. However, I would definitely be back to Spain to spend a longer time to actually get to know the place a bit more.
There are definitely two big drawbacks to cruising however. One, you really don’t get the chance to socialize with locals, seeing that you’re not staying for any long period of time. If you’re lucky and if you leave the tourist traps, you may meet local people in a small eatery, off the cruise radar and have a wonderful conversation. That, however, is as good as it gets.
Second drawback, is the time limit. Regardless if you fall head over heels with a place or not, when that ship is ready to pull out of harbor, you had better be on board!
So, should I cruise during my RTW trip? I think so. Most big decisions have pros and cons. Since this trip is an experiment, and I have never been to Europe… I think it would be a great idea to just get a peek at what several countries are like, given my short time frame. Maybe next year I will plan a backpacking trip that will take me back to those regions and many more!
What’s your opinion?