There’s no one “best” way to vacation. Some of us enjoy flying to a place and discovering it on our own. Others love guided tours. Some of us are all about solo travel. Some of us choose to cruise. And many of us enjoy all of the above depending on the place. We’re all different with varying budgets, styles, wants and needs, but no matter what you’re into, a European cruise is money well spent. Whether you set sail on the ocean or do a small river cruise like I did last year, you deserve a relaxing vacation. Here’s why a cruise in Europe should be on you list of options to consider.
Why you should go on a European cruise
First, let me mention that I’ve been on two ocean cruises, both of which were in the Caribbean. As an American, when we think of cruises, the turquoise waters of the Caribbean come to mind and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’ve also gone on a France river cruise where there were only 100 other passengers. Both experiences were fantastic and I highly recommend cruising. I’m also a firm believer that everyone should explore Europe. So let’s put the two together.
Here’s why you should book a European cruise:
1. Get a taste of a variety of cities.
Have you ever flown somewhere for a week just to realize the place isn’t for you? Or maybe halfway through your trip you’ve done everything you set out to do and wish you had plans to see other cities? This won’t be a problem on a European cruise. You’ll dock in several ports and get a feel for each of them before moving on. The scenery is always changing and you’ll be able to pack a lot into your trip. If you like keeping a fast pace, embarking on a cruise to Europe might be just your style.
2. Experience a floating city
Before going on a cruise, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought, how cool could a cruise ship be? I was floored because they are pretty dang cool. The cruise liners of today are a major attraction unto themselves full of activities that add to your overall holiday experience. Young and old alike can enjoy themselves — from the avid outdoors-person to the foodie to the theater buff.
Most cruise ships are equipped with a full range of spa options, multiple swimming decks and pools, casinos, night-clubs, a variety of restaurants, Broadway shows, fitness center, live music, rock-climbing, golf and even ice skating. With such a wide variety of opportunities, the question that begs asking is, what isn’t there to do while you’re cruising between ports? Which leads me to my next point on a European cruise…
3. Boredom? What’s that?
Before going on an ocean cruise, I wrongly assumed I’d see everything on the ship and do all the activities by the time the vacation was over. But that didn’t happen. Ships these days are massive and you’d probably need to do a few cruises to see and experience everything.
The dining options are truly impressive as are the nighttime shows as well as all the activities. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing family vacation or an action-packed week of fun, there’s an option for every type of cruiser and I promise you will never get bored.
4. No stress
Sometimes when we only have a few short weeks of vacation each year, a stress-free European cruise (this one from NCL is calling my name) is exactly what we need! A cruise gives you the best of both worlds — a glimpse into top European cities while having all the comforts of home aboard the ship.
Once you’ve made your way onto the ship, you can kick back and relax not worrying about how to navigate a city’s metro to get to your hotel or dinner since the ship is your home base. Life is easy. Your meal, entertainment and sightseeing options are all outlined for you once you’re cruising so you can see what’s going on each day. Not interested in a certain port? Or don’t care about the casino or other activities on board? No problem. You can do what you want.
5. European charm
Europe is known for a ton of things but its charm is one of my favorites. From the architecture and decor to the European way of life, charm oozes out of Europe’s pores. If you’ve never been to Europe, it’s worth the extra hours in the air to/from to cruise around Europe. It’s especially great if you’re like me and don’t love lounging around on the beach.
I’ve wanted to go on a European cruise on one of the major cruise lines for a while now so maybe I’ll have to book that sooner than later. Planning a Europe cruise this year? May your seas be calm. 😉
A European river cruise is definitely on my list of things to do, hopefully sooner than later.
We took our first cruise last year (out of the US to the Caribbean) and it was great! I did like unpacking once and having a home base, yet still visiting three new countries. And you’re right about the on board entertainment, we were never at a loss for something to do, even if we were just playing cards with a beautiful view of the ocean stretching out in front of us.
Very cool, what cruise line did you sail with, Stacey? I’ve done Carnival but have heard great things about the other big lines as well. I think we should all try a cruise at least once. It’s fun, organized and no shortage of things to do so takes the guess work out of things if you have no time to plan a trip on your own. Thanks for your comment. 😉
One good reason not to go on a cruise! We went on a 7 day tour of the Med a couple of years back. After two days I ended up in sick bay with pneumonia, the Italian Dr was great but said the problem was caused he thought by the air conditioning. We did as much as we could under the circumstances but I was feeling pretty rough and was on drip every day for an hour.
Having said that our friend who arranged the trip was the second in command and we had the second best cabin on the ship and special cards that took us into pretty much everything free of charge. If I had not have been so ill it would have been wonderful despite the weather not being good either. Sadly because of me it was spoilt for my husband as well.
I would love to go on another cruise but I am too scared to. T’other Diane
Oh no!! What a nightmare! Unfortunately you do hear of viruses on cruise ships. Yuck. I hope that bad experience won’t deter you from booking a cruise in the future… maybe with time….
I found out this morning that my boyfriend’s parents will be on a Mediterranean cruise in just a few short weeks, I can’t wait to hear their impressions on it!
Awesome, I’m jealous. 😉 I hope they have a great time. Report back, OK?