Why You Should Give Cruising a Second Chance

by Christina Garofalo

Why You Should Give Cruising a Second Chance

by Christina Garofalo

So your first cruise experience wasn’t great: Maybe you were bored on sea days, or you weren’t excited about the food. But don’t swear off cruising just yet. Here are some common complaints from first-time cruisers, and exciting alternatives to consider for next time.

So your first cruise experience wasn’t great: Maybe you were bored on sea days, or you weren’t excited about the food. But don’t swear off cruising just yet. Here are some common complaints from first-time cruisers, and exciting alternatives to consider for next time.

10
Bissagos Islands
1 of 10
You found it monotonous.

Tropical island hopping isn’t for everyone. There is a plethora of cruises with diverse destinations: Want to explore the unique cultures and rare wildlife of West Africa & Cape Verde? There's Hurtigruten's 12-day expedition to Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands. Want to see a mix of Asia’s mega modern cities and lush nature? Try Windstar Cruises’ 12-day itinerary from in Hong Kong to Tokyo, which includes the less-visited islands of Amari and Miyakojima as well as Taipei and Kobe.
 

Tropical island hopping isn’t for everyone. There is a plethora of cruises with diverse destinations: Want to explore the unique cultures and rare wildlife of West Africa & Cape Verde? There's Hurtigruten's 12-day expedition to Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands. Want to see a mix of Asia’s mega modern cities and lush nature? Try Windstar Cruises’ 12-day itinerary from in Hong Kong to Tokyo, which includes the less-visited islands of Amari and Miyakojima as well as Taipei and Kobe.
 

845x600_bigisland_hawaii_istock-mihtiander.jpg
2 of 10
You were bored on sea days.

Choose an itinerary with zero sea days. Norwegian Cruise Line’s seven-day Hawaiian itinerary overnights on each of the main islands (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island) and sails between islands while passengers sleep, so each morning you wake to the sun rising over your next destinations. So, you don’t have to do anything other than disembark and explore.

Choose an itinerary with zero sea days. Norwegian Cruise Line’s seven-day Hawaiian itinerary overnights on each of the main islands (Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island) and sails between islands while passengers sleep, so each morning you wake to the sun rising over your next destinations. So, you don’t have to do anything other than disembark and explore.

Peskesi Organic Farm, Aghios Nikolaos, Greece
3 of 10
You didn’t like the food on board.

In recent years, cruise lines have invested more in specialty dining experiences: Umi Uma & Sushi Bar on Crystal Cruises has menus by Michelin-star chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and Silversea’s unique Sea And Land Taste (S.A.L.T.) program offers market trips and cooking demos with local chefs to infuse culture into dining on board.

In recent years, cruise lines have invested more in specialty dining experiences: Umi Uma & Sushi Bar on Crystal Cruises has menus by Michelin-star chef Nobu Matsuhisa, and Silversea’s unique Sea And Land Taste (S.A.L.T.) program offers market trips and cooking demos with local chefs to infuse culture into dining on board.

Amalfi
4 of 10
There were too many people.

Not all ships are megaships. Intimate cruises, like SeaDream Yacht Club’s 112-person twin vessels, offer a yacht-like experience, where the focus is more on what’s outside: sailings along the Amalfi and Dalmatian Coast promise stunning vistas and cultural experience. Avoid cruising during peak seasons (i.e., summer, Thanksgiving, and Christmas), when ships are at high occupancy.

Not all ships are megaships. Intimate cruises, like SeaDream Yacht Club’s 112-person twin vessels, offer a yacht-like experience, where the focus is more on what’s outside: sailings along the Amalfi and Dalmatian Coast promise stunning vistas and cultural experience. Avoid cruising during peak seasons (i.e., summer, Thanksgiving, and Christmas), when ships are at high occupancy.

Skagway, Alaska
5 of 10
You were traveling solo and overpaid.

More ships are providing solo cabins priced for one with unique perks. Norwegian’s four new ships offer Studio guests an exclusive lounge to mingle with like-minded travelers. The MS Koningsdam’s ocean-view cabins for singles offer plush bathrobes and complimentary fruit baskets. Pro tip: Smaller ships are better for making friends, since you’ll run into the same people on tours and on board. 

More ships are providing solo cabins priced for one with unique perks. Norwegian’s four new ships offer Studio guests an exclusive lounge to mingle with like-minded travelers. The MS Koningsdam’s ocean-view cabins for singles offer plush bathrobes and complimentary fruit baskets. Pro tip: Smaller ships are better for making friends, since you’ll run into the same people on tours and on board. 

Patagonia
6 of 10
It wasn’t adventurous enough.

Choose an adventure-focused destination. Atlas Ocean Voyages 12-Night Valparaiso to Ushuaia sailing, for instance, stops in Chilean Patagonia, where passengers can hike or bike around fjords and glaciers and catch views from the Andes to the ocean.

Choose an adventure-focused destination. Atlas Ocean Voyages 12-Night Valparaiso to Ushuaia sailing, for instance, stops in Chilean Patagonia, where passengers can hike or bike around fjords and glaciers and catch views from the Andes to the ocean.

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
7 of 10
You wanted to stay longer in a destination.

When you’re having fun on land, it feels like a drag to get back to the ship by 5 p.m. and have dinner on board. Many cruises spend more than one night in each destination, so you can soak up the restaurants and nightlife. U by Uniworld takes it a step further on its youth-focused river cruises, offering guided outings to nightclubs in Amsterdam and Paris.

When you’re having fun on land, it feels like a drag to get back to the ship by 5 p.m. and have dinner on board. Many cruises spend more than one night in each destination, so you can soak up the restaurants and nightlife. U by Uniworld takes it a step further on its youth-focused river cruises, offering guided outings to nightclubs in Amsterdam and Paris.

Galapagos Tortoise
8 of 10
You felt like you could have done the same trip on land.

Choose a cruise that grants you access to a destination you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford or navigate. Celebrity Cruise’s Galapagos Islands tour makes a bucket-list destination (hello, Darwin fans)—rich with wildlife and untouched nature—accessible and comfortable.

Choose a cruise that grants you access to a destination you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford or navigate. Celebrity Cruise’s Galapagos Islands tour makes a bucket-list destination (hello, Darwin fans)—rich with wildlife and untouched nature—accessible and comfortable.

Greece
9 of 10
You felt there was a lack of culture.

Visit the great cities of the ancient world on a Mediterranean cruise visits to the famed museums and monuments of Rome. For something more off-the-beaten path, Peter Sommer’s 15-day cruise through Greece’s Dodecanese Islands—which have been settled by the Carians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, the Crusader Knights of St. John, and the Ottomans. You’ll visit three UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites, castles, monasteries, and villages.

Visit the great cities of the ancient world on a Mediterranean cruise visits to the famed museums and monuments of Rome. For something more off-the-beaten path, Peter Sommer’s 15-day cruise through Greece’s Dodecanese Islands—which have been settled by the Carians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, the Crusader Knights of St. John, and the Ottomans. You’ll visit three UNESCO-listed World Heritage sites, castles, monasteries, and villages.

Durnstein, Austria
10 of 10
You were younger than everyone by 20-30 years.

U by Uniworld targets travelers aged 21 to 45 with 120-passenger sailings designed for a younger audience. Think: A rooftop bar and lounge, a coffee bar, mixology and cooking classes, and DJ dance parties. The excursions follow suit—with bar-hopping in Paris or biking through Austria’s wine country.
 

U by Uniworld targets travelers aged 21 to 45 with 120-passenger sailings designed for a younger audience. Think: A rooftop bar and lounge, a coffee bar, mixology and cooking classes, and DJ dance parties. The excursions follow suit—with bar-hopping in Paris or biking through Austria’s wine country.
 

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