This morning, I disembarked from my very first cruise. We spent 3 nights on the Majesty of the Seas with ports in Coco Cay and Nassau before heading back to Miami. It was almost exactly how I imagined a cruise would be, and it was a ton of fun!
Here are my 5 first impressions of cruising:
It impressed me how when you cruise, your vacation really can be any way you want it to be. There are activities throughout the day to enjoy on the ship, from dance classes to facial demonstrations to game shows. You can play basketball, try your luck in the casino, or swim in the pool.
But if you don’t feel like going, going, going all day, you don’t have to. Because you can also do absolutely nothing. There were lots of people lounging around on deck chairs with a chilled drink, dipping their feet in the pool, or even taking a nap in their room (guilty).
When you’re in port, you can come and go from the ship as you please. Even when it’s tendered, as long as you make it back in time for departure, you have the freedom to stay on the ship, or go to land, or a little bit of both.
While the food was delicious, it’s not the taste that impressed me the most. One thing that I’ve known for a long time, but never experienced until now, was the fact that when you’re on a cruise, almost all of the food on the ship is yours to try, and you can have as much as you want. It’s so neat to me to be able to order things off a menu or graze on a buffet and not have to think about how much any of it costs. It’s included in the fare, and that’s one thing that makes a cruise vacation so relaxing and fun.
There are, of course, specialty restaurants on board where you usually pay a fixed surcharge to enjoy the food served there. The cool thing about those, though, is that almost always that single amount covers whatever you would like there, meaning that once you can pay it, the menu is all-you-can-eat.
On Majesty of the Seas, for example, there was a Johnny Rockets onboard, and it was $5.95 to eat as much as you want.
Most cruise ships nowadays hold at least a few thousand people. They’re quite literally like small floating cities. It amazes me that a cruise ship can hold that many people to begin with. It impresses me even more that it doesn’t feel crowded.
It’s fun because you’re on this journey with all these other people, and it’s cool to meet people and get to know them a little bit. However, it can definitely be a little bit frustrating when everyone is trying to get to the buffet at the same time as you!
4. Easy Traveling
I know it’s the cliche thing to say, but that’s because it’s so true: cruising means unpacking your suitcase once and being able to experience a lot of different places.
What could be easier or more fun than that?! It’s so unlike traditional travel, where you’d be traveling from place to place using most likely different modes of transportation, finding hotels, places to eat, and constantly packing and repacking.
I think it puts a lot of relaxation back into vacationing, where you settle in and let your captain take you from place to place, all in the comfort of a ship with your own room and lots of great food.
Cruising is also easy on your wallet. If you compared how much it would cost to go to the same amount of places your cruise would go traveling traditionally, chances are it’ll be a lot more expensive. Not to mention stressful trying to make sure your arrangements all go according to plan. So why not truly give yourself a vacation and hop on a cruise ship?
5. Friendly Crew
I know that the level of friendliness from staff is different based on a lot of things, and I’ve particularly noticed it also depends on the area of the country you’re in. But as far as cruise ships go, the crew is top notch. I was so blown away by how friendly and genuinely caring they are toward their guests.
Our cabin steward was usually in our hallway, and he said hello or asked how our day was going just about every time we saw him. Other crew members were the same way. I saw lots of them having conversations with people about everything from life stories, to answering curious questions about something that was happening on the ship. They didn’t just curtly answer and then keep walking either. Sometimes they would stay for several minutes, or even sit down and have conversations over a quick snack.
On our ship there was crew from 59 different countries, so there were plenty of languages swirling around between them and the guests. I think it’s so neat how many cultures come together on a cruise, as well as how friendly and easygoing of an atmosphere it is. The crew seems to really care that their guests are having an awesome vacation, and it was so nice to see.
I’ve waited for the day I would go on my first cruise for many years now, and I’m so happy I finally got to experience one. It was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to cruise a lot more in the future!