In the interest of full disclosure, when Carnival offered to take my family on an 8-day cruise, I was 100% onboard (cruising pun completely intended). I was overworked and I needed a vacation in the worst way.
But once I set foot on the beautiful Carnival Freedom, I realized that this vacation would be one of the best I’ve ever had.
And it was.
Currently, I love everything about cruising and believe it’s the best way for a family to enjoy some quality time together. Here are 5 reasons why I prefer cruising to traditional vacations.
#1 – No need for rental cars or hotels: I’m not a fan of renting cars and installing car seats for the kiddos — especially when I’m trying to relax on vacation. When you cruise, it’s a simple process: 1) Fly to the port. 2) Take a shuttle to the ship. 3) Get on the ship.
There is no need to find a hotel either because the ship is the hotel! Cruising absolutely simplifies the vacation process.
#2 – Everything you need is in one place: Ever go on a traditional vacation and have to travel 15 miles to find something to do or to find a good place to eat? Well, it happened to me plenty of times and I was never happy about it. That’s where cruising saves the day because the ship is like a big floating city.
Want entertainment? There are bars, comedy shows, a spa, live music, dance clubs, karaoke, gourmet restaurants, and stage shows, just to name a few. Again, Carnival comes through with diverse entertainment choices to please every grown up on the ship.
But what about the kiddos?
The Carnival Freedom has a video game arcade, an amazing waterpark, a Seuss At Sea breakfast where their favorite Dr. Seuss characters came to life, interactive game shows, and 24-hour ice cream and pizza are just some examples how the kids stayed entertained onboard.
Even though we went to some extremely exotic locations, it was tough to get off of the ship due to how much fun we had on it.
#3 – Built-in childcare: What do you do if you want to have some adult fun on a traditional vacation? Oftentimes you’ll be out of luck because it’s hard to find childcare. Thankfully when we cruised, we had Camp Carnival to help with that. It’s like a summer camp and the kids are divided into different groups (2-5 years, 6-8 years, and 9-11 years) to engage in age-specific activities ranging from art, movies, games, reading, toys, and more. Not to mention, they even offer nighttime care as well. It’s the perfect option for parents who need a quick getaway (and let’s face it, all of us need that every now and then).
#4 – It’s affordable: Again, full disclosure here – Carnival paid for my cruise, but even if they didn’t, I’m happy to report that cruising is extremely affordable. When I think back to a recent family vacation to Hawaii, I cringe at the costs we endured. After the hotel, the rental car, and the food – my wallet was significantly lighter. As mentioned earlier, a great part about cruising is you don’t have to worry about a hotel or a rental car – and the meals are included. That’s a lot of money that’s being saved right there. Based on what I’ve seen, cruising is much less expensive than a traditional vacation.
#5 – The awesome people: Oftentimes it’s a mixed bag when you go on a traditional vacation. You never know if the people you’ll meet will be friendly or not. My experience was totally different when I cruised with my family. Everyone I met was extremely nice. No joke – the customer service I received while on the Freedom was the best I’ve ever received anywhere. The crew members knew my name (and how to pronounce it properly, which adds extra bonus points), they knew my family members’ names, they were attentive and timely whenever we had an issue that needed to be addressed, and they even displayed a sense of humor by creating little frog towels and leaving them in my room. The word “epic” wouldn’t even begin to describe how amazing these folks were.
But that’s only half of it, because the guests were amazing, too. Meeting great people who want to share their happiness with you is probably one of the coolest parts of cruising. It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin is, your political affiliations, or any of the other noise – everyone comes together for one singular goal, which is to have a good time.
These are just a few reasons why cruising is really the only way I choose to vacation with my family. Needless to say, I’m already thinking about how badly I want to go on my next cruise.
This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind.