You love cruises. You like fly and drive vacations too. You love your friends. They hear you rave about your unforgettable travel adventures. One day an idea comes up: “Why don’t you travel with us next time?” This has the potential for a great positive bonding experience or a great disaster. Let’s look at why a cruise is the best and “safest” choice from the relationship standpoint.
- Costs are known up front. When you book a cruise, the vacation is basically all inclusive. Yes, there are extras, but the payment to your travel agent usually includes the cruise fare, airfares and transfers. When you travel together on land, you are paying for hotels as you go and splitting meal costs.
- Everyone has their own shipboard account. People drink on vacation. They splurge on restaurant meals. In land-based vacations, you are either settling up each restaurant check together or “feeding the kitty” with cash and paying each bill from that combined pool. On cruises, every drink or restaurant supplement is billed to the passenger who ordered it. There is no resentment about someone ordering the most expensive drink or entrée.
- Not too much familiarity. Why do land based friendships endure? Because you go home after you get together. Ben Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” If you tour together, ride together, shop together and dine together, you start you get on each other’s nerves. On a cruise ship, everyone can agree to have dinner together. The rest of the day is self-organized or on your own. You can choose as much or as little togetherness as you want.
- Host you own party. What makes friendships so much fun at home? You get together and enjoy each other’s company. On a seven-night cruise you can each organize a cabin party and play host for the evening. What a great way to celebrate a birthday! Organizing parties is easy on a cruise ship.
- Opportunities to find romance. Six people traveling in a van across Europe doesn’t allow for spontaneous relationships with a seventh person to easily develop. At sea, you can meet new people, spend time alone together and then return to your group for dinner in the evening. It is your choice if you want to introduce your new friend to your old friends.
- Glam entertaining without the glam price tag. Ships usually have gala evenings. You and your friends can dress up, dine and dance without the hefty price tag this includes at home. The ship has shops and a spa to help with the glamming up process.
- Go Casual. In real life, all meals are not formal affairs. You like a good hot dog or burger. Sometimes you just want a salad. You want the option of simple meals that can be consumed on the go. Ships have multiple dining venues including sit down and buffet options. Most are included in the price of your ticket.
- Hit the beach. You are beach people. The ship has pools and deck chairs, but it’s not the same. When the ship docks in port, the friends who want to enjoy the beach can grab their towels and flip flops and head ashore. You can enjoy the beach for a day without the long drive getting there and back.
- No drinking and driving. You enjoy partying but are mindful of the dangers of driving home. Even if you watch your own drinking carefully, you have no control over the other drivers on the road. On a cruise, you can drink and dance, then walk back to your cabin. No driving involved.
- Playing tour guide. Why did your friends want to travel with you? Because you talked about the great restaurants you found, the street markets and the live entertainment. When you stop in ports you can show them the highlights it has taken you years to discover.
Traveling together on a cruise can strengthen friendships, not put a strain on them.
Cover photo: Queen Victoria passenger choral group, credit Bryce Sanders
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