Why Now Is the Perfect Time to Book a Cruise

As Christmas approaches, we are reminded of the Star of Bethlehem and how it guided the Three Wise Men. It might have been a comet or a meteor, but the message the Three Wise men got was “This is something you should be doing right now.”  There is no star in the east at the moment, but many signs are indicating this is an excellent time to book a cruise. What are your plans for your next family vacation?

  1. When resorts get crowded, prices go up. If you waited until summer to book a theme park reservation, you know how expensive hotels can get. It seems many hotels and resorts, having lost out on business during the pandemic, pushed prices up to make the money back all at once.

Cruises:  The major cruise lines have lots of capacity. New ships are entering service. All these berths need to get filled. Fares can be quite reasonable.

  1. Airfares are expensive during the summer. It makes sense. The airlines cut back on flights during the pandemic. Now they are filling flights and trying to earn back lost revenue. You might get a good hotel rate, but you still need to get there.

Cruises:  Cruise lines send lots of business to the airlines through gateway cities. If you plan to sail with a big line with lots of ships, they may be able to offer you a better rate than you could find on your own. Their rate might have better baggage allowances than the no frills rate offered by the airline.

  1. Ships are theme parks too. You have seen the mega ships on TV. They have water slides and go cart tracks. They have many of the attractions you expect to find on land-based resorts. They have plenty of pools too.

Cruises:  You can get the theme park experience without the crowds. According to disneyparknurds.com, 110,000 people maxes out the Magic Kingdom. In 2022, daily attendance is about 57,000 (1). The RCL Wonder of the Seas carries 6,988 passengers. (2)  Not all of them come for the theme park attractions.

  1. Restaurants can be tourist traps. We had some bad experiences in Venice. Tourist restaurants know you aren’t coming back. They can charge top dollar for mediocre food. No one wants to be taken advantage of if they can avoid it.

Cruises:  One of the benefits of cruising is the best restaurant in town often arrives when the ship docks. Meals on cruise ships are generally included in the fare.

  1. No worries about drinking and driving. Europe and Asia have strict rules about how much alcohol you can consume and get behind the wheel. You do not want to pose a danger to others or get arrested in a foreign country.

Cruises:  On a ship you drink, then walk back to your cabin. If you are unsteady on your feet, your friends help you.

  1. Some places are worth a day, not a week. I get bored easily. I would rather visit three or four places for a day or two instead of spending seven days in a place I have fully explored by the third day.

Cruises:  The destinations change every few days. You can explore each port city for a day, maybe two. If you fell in love with the city, you can return for a week and stay in a hotel.

  1. You do not like to explore on your own. Some people are adventurous, others are not. They would like to travel on a modern bus and be shown around by an English-speaking guide.

Cruises:  You have the option to tour on your own or book a tour through the onboard tour office.

  1. The exchange rate is favorable, if you even need foreign currency at all. The US dollar has been strong through the summer and early fall. If you prefer to do everything in dollars, you can go ashore, board your tour bus and pay for purchases with credit cards.

Cruises:  The ship you choose will likely have the US dollar as the dominant currency. Your shipboard account will be settled by credit card.

  1. Drinking the water is not a problem. Your chances of catching a bug from foreign food is low too. Unlike land-based resorts and street food vendors, all your shipboard meals are prepared with food purchased by the line and transported with the ship.

Cruises:  You can drink the water, no problem.

  1. Everyone speaks the same language. My wife has remarked in some European countries, the only people who speak English are the people trying to sell you something.

Cruises:  On ships, the crew, officers and passengers should all be fluent in English. There is no language barrier.

  1. You think your travel days are behind you. Walking is tough. Climbing stairs is even tougher. Running across the street is not going to happen. You think travel is not for you because you are older.

Cruises:  The cruise industry gives lots of attention to the older segments of the market. Tours are rated by activity level. The deck surfaces are flat. There are elevators everywhere.

Cruising provides the best of both worlds. You can experience the wonders of travel while minimizing the inconveniences.

Ed. Notes: CruiseCompete and its member travel advisors provide many curated cruise and land deals, offers and amenities on over 50 cruise lines with over 500 cruise ships sailing all around the world. Browse Cruise Ships and Cruise Lines

Sea Tales 2023 Family Cruise Travel Planner

Shore Excursions – Ports, Day & Weekend Trips

Cover photo: Grand Princess ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Dennis Cox is All Things Cruise Writer and Official Photographer View Dennis’ blog


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