I’m finding cruising a satisfying way to travel. Days in port provide the opportunity for organised shore excursions which have a local guide and include the highlights of a place tailored to particular interests (landscape, museums and galleries, shopping etc) and different activity or mobility levels. We chose shore excursions as we were not certain whether we would be able to manage to get enough out of a shore visit if we were relying on our own ability to get around. They have been very good, and the quality of the experience certainly depends on the capacity of the guide. Next time I think we would be more equipped to go for more independent excursions. Clearly, forward planning would assist as well.
Sea days give one a chance to recover and enjoy some time for writing, reading, resting and socialising. We have met some very nice people, mostly Dutch and American on this cruise, but certainly some Australians! They have been good fun.
The meals have been generally of good quality with much variety and very fresh and well prepared. Staff members are great too, making an effort to remember guests names and certainly very accommodating to requests. Very polite as well, and happy to have a chat.
There is also a range of entertainment available that means there is always something to do. This cruise is more geared to older people, though there are a number of young people as well.
The spa services, gym, IT and seminar program has also been quite good, and the range of books in the library provides for some good reading opportunities. There is even an acupuncturist to deal with all the aches and pains that crop up.
The sleeping accommodation that we have chosen is certainly smaller than a hotel room, but we don’t spend much time in it, so it is not a concern. There are so many spaces to sit and read, walk, exercise and be entertained that one does not need to do anything but shower and sleep. The water is hot and the beds comfortable.
A real advantage of course is being in a different place every day (mostly) while not having to pack and unpack. The disadvantage to this, say over car or coach travel is not seeing as much of the countryside. Another advantage over coach tours is the variety of people. With so many on board, it means one can have meals with different people, and meet different people in the cafes and bars on board, whereas on a coach tour, one is stuck with the same group for the duration.
But it is certainly a very comfortable way of travelling!