Photo by Jason Leppert
It has to be the single greatest argument to be made about the benefits of cruise travel: You can simply arrive to your cabin, unpack once and relax while the ship takes you to any number of international ports.
The alternative as we know is to backpack it or hotel hop, neither of which are nearly as restful.
Besides, nobody wants to fly between stops if they don’t have to anymore, and land-based transportation is still a headache compared to a cruise.
Say, you went to Europe for a bus tour with only a busload of fellow travelers. You might spend up to only a few nights in any one hotel before you’re off again with a group of people that you may or may not have gelled with. On a cruise, you can come and go as you please in port via singular shore excursions with (usually) different sets of passengers each time.
The best part is that your hotel room moves with you.
You never have to live out of a suitcase nor plan to regularly check in and out. You can be as social or reclusive as you wish onboard.
If there’s a region of the world that you’ve never been to, land-based options tend to be more localized whereas cruise ones spread out farther to explore a greater overview. Why be locked into one part of the Mediterranean, for instance, if you can see the highlights on a single or extended sailing?
Once you discover your favorite area, you can then always go back and spend more time there later on.
It also seems that some parts of the world were almost custom made for cruise travel—like the islands of Hawaii. It used to be that one would not only have to hotel hop but also island hop to see our country’s 50th state. Until you find your one perfect island, a cruise is once more the perfect way to sample nearly all of them within just a week.
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Another thing to consider is your comfort level abroad.
Shoreside vacations are dependent on shoreside dining, and not all international hotels serve western-style meals. Cruises dedicated to the American market cater to American tastes regardless of where they sail.
If the cuisine is too exotic for you in any given destination, all the comforts of home, food included, will be waiting for you back onboard.
This is also the same reason why there are cruise lines dedicated to foreign travelers from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and now China. We all like what we’re used to, to a certain degree. Travel allows us to be bold and explore, sure, but cruising allows us to be as comfortable as we like while doing so.
The argument for a world cruise becomes even more interesting when you realize that you can conveniently unpack once and not just see part of the world but most of it.
If you have the time, and money, to spare, there is no greater way to spend half the year traveling than to board a ship roundtrip from a domestic homeport in order to visit some of the most iconic foreign ports of call. Going around the world in 180 days requires, of course, that you consider laundry planning, but some world cruises even include such service, further perfecting the prospect.
Still, no matter how long your cruise—whether three days or 180—the notion of unpacking once and seeing any portion of the globe without hassle is a sublime one.
This post first appeared on TravelPulse.