Is cruising for me?
Up until yesterday I’d have said no, cruise holidays have never been on my radar. Why? I’ve always been a ‘do & see’ type traveller, one who likes to be on the go, whether it’s traipsing round ancient monuments, meandering through beautiful countryside or trekking in the backblocks of Nepal. I like to get the most out of wherever I am and to me that’s always involved immersing myself in the culture and history of a place.
I’ve never quite figured why would anyone would want to spend days on end hovering over squillions of litres of water going nowhere in particular.
I’d get bored on a cruise. Wouldn’t I?
Yesterday I was invited to a travel information morning tea hosted by Brice and Turner Travel Associates, a new boutique travel agency in Currambine, in the northern suburbs of Perth. In just an hour the lovely Bronwen Milsom from Royal Caribbean Cruises changed my whole way of thinking when it comes to taking a leisurely cruise over the infinite blue ocean.
Cruise ships it seems are not what I thought they were. Boredom doesn’t come into it. Bronwen explained a few things to us and her passion for these ships was evident. A few of the insights I came away with are:
One of the greatest pleasures of travelling is to be able to experience different cuisines and to have a choice in when and what you eat. Italian food, Asian food, a la carte or casual, whatever you fancy. I’d never seen that as possible on board a ship. The image that I had of on board dining, that of a huge dining room dotted with tables and chairs and separate sittings offering little choice is apparently outdated.
The cruise ships in this fleet have so many dining options that you’re almost spoilt for choice. Depending on the ship, you can eat in cafes or fine dining restaurants, have Italian, Japanese, seafood or steak, you can grab a burger, sandwiches or a healthy lunch and you could have a latte and cake or an ice cream to tide you over.
And then there’s your drinking options, champagne bars, cocktail bars, English pubs and several different lounges. Sobriety would be difficult.
You can relax in a theatre and watch top musical acts, Broadway shows or specially created performances of water ballet in the Aqua theatre, you can watch ice shows or you can go to the movies. Or you can get involved. There’s karaoke to embarrass yourself with, themed parties to have fun with and nightclubs to dance the night away in. You choose.
If you’re feeling lucky head for the casino and spin the wheels or pull at the slot machines or maybe get serious with blackjack or poker. Or not.
- Rock-climbing walls.
- Fitness centres.
- Miniature golf courses.
- Jogging tracks.
- Bungee trampolines.
- Ice skating – yes, there are ice skating rinks on some ships.
- FlowRider – the first ever shipboard surf parks are now onboard Freedom of the Sea and Liberty of the seas.
Was I worried about being bored?
If you’re more of a relaxation type person rather than activity type person, it seems that, once on board, you can just let go of your mind and body and put it in the capable hands of the experienced consultants of the Caribbean Cruise line.
On offer are day spas, fitness centres, beauty salons, solariums, pools and whirlpools. You’ll have access to a full range of beauty treatments and massages, facials and even Chakra Stone therapy. And you can also listen to seminars on heath, beauty and fitness. To top it off you can have a healthy drink in the adults only solarium.
There’s lots more that makes these cruises so amazing. There’s the Kid’s Clubs that cater for children of all ages and there’s the Teen Centres. You can go on shore excursions and there are various packages that you can pre buy that include food, drinks and entertainment. Just check out the Caribbean Cruise’s website here for lots more info.
The sting in the tale:
As with every scorpion there’s a sting in this tale. As a solo traveller I will have to pay twice the price if I want to cruise on one of these magnificent floating communities. They don’t do single rooms, so I either have to find myself a partner or pay for a virtual one, neither of which I’m keen on doing right now.
But if you’re a couple or a family looking for a holiday where you can have everything organised for you and do as little or as much as you please these cruises could be for you. Prices are generally reasonable and there’s heaps for you to do. So, if I’ve wetted your appetite and you’d like to know more about Royal Caribbean Cruises just head to their website here.
For now, I think I might have to browse through the different cruises and dream of cocktails under starry skies and Mr Right suddenly making an appearance.
Morning tea hosted by Brice and Turner Associates, Currambine. Ph: 08 9304 2933
All photos courtesy of Royal Caribbean International