Ok, we all knew this was coming. It is time for me to poetically describe why I absolutely love traveling by cruise.
1). It is relaxing. Everything is taken care of for you. Going off -grid and exploring by yourself is an awesome rush. It is also exhausting: you have to plan out your stops, find sleeping arrangements, worry about safety, make sure you can communicate, have back up plans, and have back up plans for the back up plans. So there is something to be said for having your hotel travel with you. You are like a friggin turtle: the boat slowly meanders its way from port to port, with all necessities (i.e. bars) right there on its back. And you know who wins races? Turtles.
2). It is surprisingly budget friendly. Well, this one really depends on how you travel. You can obviously spend less if you are staying in the bare minimum hostels, eating out of local street carts, and only doing free hiking tours. But if you want private rooms, decent food, and constant access to entertainment then a cruise is pretty hard to beat. Especially ones that go to multiple countries. I mean, you can leave your stuff in your safe room, have good food, enjoy ship concerts and games, and travel easily between several ports --- all for a couple hundred bucks. Not bad. ( Just don't hit the spa because those prices are jacked up about 200%)
3). Unlimited food. Speaking of things to help your budget...let's talk about the food. It is usually solid, it is always available, and it is included in your price. All you can eat crab cakes? Don't mind if I do. 2 am pizza because I drank too much at the pool bar? Glad I won't have to see that bill in the morning.
4). You can go a lot of places in a short amount of time. Let's be honest - I have a lot of fucking countries left. We are really going for quantity not quality at this point. One boat can take me to 4 ports in one week? Sold. Would I consider doing this for every country on my list? Obviously not - there are places you want to go and spend weeks or months to fully enjoy. But there are places that a two-day layover on your boat will be all you want or need.
I can already hear some of you out there: "Aly, you want to travel the world and explore other cultures and live on the edge. You're going to try and do that in a giant slow boat because you get lots of crab cakes?" I understand; it seems to go against everything that being an adventurer is all about. Where is the action, excitement and spontaneity?
But see, while adventuring is awesome it can also be hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. There are days where you will be tired and hungry and frightened. You will find yourself in a freezing village smelling disgusting. You will find yourself in a taxicab with a driver who has a high probability of kidnapping you. You will wake up sick as hell and think 'holy shit, eating food out of that street cart was probably a bad idea because now I feel my intestines liquefying."
These moments will happen. There is nothing you can do about it, and they certainly don't make the trips less worth taking (honestly, they probably are some of the greatest moments). BUT...there comes a point where you say "for this next trip, I just to lay down and have a drink with a little umbrella. And eat crab legs. Lots of crab legs."