Cruising – size doesn’t matter

It’s not the size of the ship; it’s the motion of the ocean

By Katherine Weir

The idea that cruise holidays are still dominated by OAP’s who want to play bridge and bowls all day, is way off the mark. Modern ships are essentially an action-packed floating hotel, attracting younger crowds every year.

Cruise Ship HDR - 45

I have never been on a cruise, myself, but for the last three years it’s all I’ve heard about from my (young at heart) parents. Like a large selection of holiday makers, they turned their noses up at taking a cruise over a normal package holiday as they believed it would bore them. They had been going abroad religiously once to three times a year since early into their marriage, and until three years ago they had never contemplated becoming ‘one of those people who go on a cruise’.

The changing point came when their travel agent suggested a cruise holiday to them that was very cheap. The word ‘cheap’ or ‘bargain’ stirs something in my mother that will change her mind on anything and everything. Her resolve waivers at the mere hint of a sale or reduction in price, and she is the only woman I know who can walk into a supermarket for milk and bread, and come out with a sorry looking conifer and some throw pillows.

Cruise Ship HDR - 07

This cheap cruise offer was due to the ship in question taking its swan song voyage, making prices unusually low for the final journey. Every misconception my parents had previously had about taking a cruise went instantly out of the window, when they realised they could spend two weeks on a cruise visiting eight destinations for cheaper than a week in Skiathos. On returning from their holiday they were officially cruise converts, and since then they have taken a cruise every year as long as it falls in the cheap cruises bracket that my mother deems acceptable.

Any holiday that produces enough photographs and videos, for me to have no illusion of missing a single second of their experience, proves they had a good time.

On his experience of being ‘one of those people who go on a cruise’, my father, Clive Weir, said: “It doesn’t feel like you’re on a cruise. It’s like you’re a guest at a plush hotel that stops at a different destination every day.”

My mother, frugal Grace, said of her experience: “We found it fascinating meeting lots of different people from different cultures, but my favourite part of a cruise was the food. It has been excellent on every one we’ve been on. A highlight of every day was deciding what to try next.”

Cruise onboard the Iberostar Grand Amazon (53)

Speaking of food, most cruises offer a wide selection to tantalise the taste buds and expand the waistlines. With most meals included in the price of your holiday you can afford to sample anything and everything. The fear that all you will do on a cruise is stuff your face is a real one, so make sure you brought your elasticated trousers just in case your will power to stay away is weak.

I think I would definitely try a cruise as I would love to see several destinations on one trip without the need of a backpack or a dingy hostel. I view this type of holiday like a destination tasting – like a wine one but hopefully you’ll be sober for some of it. If you decide that one of the stops really caught your eye then this could be the place you choose for next year’s holiday.

As a as a 13 storey building this cruise ship is dwarfed by Alaska's Hubbard Glacier

There has been talk that the Weir’s may be hopping on a cruise again for this year’s holiday, but may be ditching the sunshine for a cooler destination that has topped their list. Alaska cruises have caught their eye and if talks continue they could be visiting scenic ports and glaciers as they sail from Vancouver to explore Canada.

Give me strength for the barrage of photos and videos after this one.

Katherine Weir if an avid blogger and writer of all things food, travel, entertainment and health and well-being. Follow her on Twitter @KatherineWeir