Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Come Sail Away with Me

This morning, I got to work early. And I caved, and did something that I have been debating about for weeks. Months, even. Ok, I will not lie, I have been jonesing for this for about a year.

I booked a cruise.

Oh Lord help me. I LOVE cruises.

Let me back up a second. Why was I debating about this so much, if I love them so much?

Budget. Oh yes, that word again. Sadly, vacations and budgets don't really go hand in hand. The only vacations I have taken in recent time have been to NYC, and I have been lucky enough to stay with family for part or all of the time. Hotels, dinners on the town, and flights can just be ridiculously expensive for someone like me watching their pennies and paying off a mortgage. It always worked out though - I love getting to visit with family AND be on vacation.

But cruises fall into a special category called ALL-INCLUSIVE. Drive yourself to the port, stay one night prior in a cheapo hotel (or motel. But after that one unfortunate time of me sleep-walking and opening the front door to the outside at 2AM, I am wary of staying in open-air places, even if they are ueber cheap...), and then get on a ship and sail off for a week. You can sunbathe all day, karaoke, ride on the slide, watch a show, be pampered, eat amazing 5-star meals, and then at the end, fall into this most amazing bed with Westin-ish bedding. Each day, you get off the ship onto a new island, do fun things all day, then come back aboard for cocktail hour. And you already paid for it. Amazing.

Some of you may wonder about the extras. It's not all-inclusive if you factor in excursions on each island, or the alcohol, or the hotel beforehand, true. But, its budget-able. In a city somewhere, the dinners and shows add up, and hotel costs fluctuate from street to street. You can end up thinking too much about how much you are spending rather than just enjoying the trip.

On a cruise, you can pretty more or less double the booking cost, and that is the total max price you will pay for the entire thing, and many times, less. Hotel, drinks, excursions, gas, tip, everything. And from my experience, it is way less than any other vacation. I love the beach. But I could never get close to this much for this price for your standard beach vacation. And this way, we get to go to so many places, instead of just one beach! Maximum bang for your (budgeted) buck.

Have you been on a cruise? Where did you go? What do you like or dislike about cruises?


Unknown said...

We took a family trip when I was 13 or 14 – a 12-day Mediterranean cruise that started in Istanbul and ended in Barcelona. To this day, I say it was one of the best vacations of my life. I got to visit so many amazing places! Enjoy your trip!

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, that sounds like so much fun Jordan! The Mediterranean is on my future to-do list for sure :)