At earlier stages of my life taking a cruise was never an option. In my twenties I simply couldn’t afford it, nor did they go to places I was interested in visiting. Later, I didn’t want to be bound by the constraints of a ship’s schedule. Now, the commercials but I wonder if I’m really showing my family a good time by taking them on a cruise or deep inside to I feel like it’s less maintenance with the family? Vogue Search helps answer the question if an all-inclusive cruise is right for you /your family with the pros and cons to each side.
I had previously traveled all three stages of the “bliss triangle”. While single, where each day started with the promise of meeting someone new. With a boyfriend, where each day contained that bliss of discovering something new together, and as a newlywed where there was that sense of stability but not losing that carefree spirit that brought us together in the first place. I have fond memories of traveling at all 3 stages.
Now that we have kids traveling presents a plethora of new challenges, particularly at the airport, with layovers, delays, security etc. Moreover, we don’t like to stay in one location and will typically visit three cities over a three week vacation, so driving can also be a challenge. Conversely, the time on the drive has produced tons of memories that we’ll never forget, including stops at small towns that wouldn’t show up in any tourist guide.
So when our friends went on an all-inclusive cruise with stories of ice cream bars, pizza restaurants open almost all night, arts & craft rooms with instructors, and amenities like babysitting sounded like a match made in heaven. These are some of the good things about taking a cruise. Also the way it seemed like no matter what group of people you were looking to hang out with, a family, or a family of party animals, large friend-fam groups, or travelers from different countries. You mean I can put the kids to bed and then go downstairs and play a couple of hands of blackjack? All of this while taking a tour of the countryside with picturesque views from the privacy of our own room, these are some of the appealing aspects of taking a cruise vacation.
Conversely, if the kids stay indoors most of the day and just let the staff pamper them, that’s something they can do at hotel and we don’t even need to leave the city. Another strike against a cruise is the tease factor. True you will pass many beautiful cities as you sail down the Rhine, but you can’t stop at any of them only were tour map takes you. Leads to very little chance of discovery and cabin fever isn’t cured by a 3 hour shore leave.
In any case, if you do find that a cruise will fit for your vacation this year, here are some of our ideas for the ways to bridge the pros and cons.
Firstly, over the past ten years the cruise lines have changed exponentially and now more resemble floating amusement parks than large boats. Water slides, surfing, roller coasters, Vegas type shows are just some of the amenities they offer. This is in addition to the spas, restaurants, gambling, and endless alcohol cleverly charged to your room makes it easy to spend as much as you would staying in a four/five star resort. Just the same if this is what you’re after then AIDA has some options that you might enjoy particularly if you’re a couple or your kids aren’t quite to the teen years yet.
AIDA – Pearls of the Mediterranean 1 $1300 USD – 6 days starting in Mallorca and stopping in Ajaccio (France), Civitavecchia (Italy), Livorno (Italy), and ending in Barcelona. One of the things we liked about this program was that the ship arrived at 8am and left at 8pm for the next port providing you able time to visit the city, albiet for only 1 day, but at least you could get a feel and see if it would be someplace that you would want to come back and stay directly.
Some of the amenities include:
✔ Culinary pampering
program ✔ Good weather guarantee in the Beach Club *
✔ Activity deck * with double water slide
✔ Sauna landscape with sea view **
✔ More than 30 fitness classes per week
✔ Top-class entertainment
✔ Fantastic kids & teens offers
✔ English on board, gratuities
* On AIDAprima, AIDAperla ** Exclusive Organic Spa on AIDAprima and AIDAperla for an extra charge
With an AIDA cruise incl. Flight
- Return flights
- Port check-in (subject to regulatory approval and time of day)
- AIDA will take care of you if there is a delay in the flight times