If you’ve never cruised before, it may be hard to understand why some people are self-proclaimed cruise addicts. Some travelers love cruising so much that they often book their next cruise while still on board. According to a survey by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), about 92% of cruise travelers say they will likely or definitely book a cruise as their next vacation.
Why is cruising so alluring and distinct from other forms of travel? Here are some reasons why people cruise, and why you might want to join them:
1. To Sample a Variety of Destinations
Are you struggling to choose between Venice, Rome or Florence? If you pick the right Mediterranean cruise, you don’t have to decide — you can sample them all. One of the best parts about cruising is being able to easily check out several destinations on one trip. Imagine eating fish and chips in England, roaming lava fields in Iceland and photographing fjords in Norway all on the same trip. If you’re a traveler with an extensive bucket list, you’ll quickly realize why people go on cruises.
Many travelers enjoy cruising because it also helps them plan future journeys. For example, maybe you’re not sure if you want to spend a week in Barcelona, but you really want to visit Spain. If you take a cruise to Spain, you can gain a sense of Barcelona’s culture, scenery and overall vibe before you commit to a longer stay. Maybe you’ll fall in love with this vibrant city, or perhaps you’ll discover you’d rather explore the Andalusia region further.
Overall, cruising helps solve the great problem that travel lovers face: so many places, so little time. A cruise lets you experience all of the destinations you’ve always dreamed of and discover new treasures along the way.
2. To Try New Foods
What would you prefer — sampling Costa Rican coffee in your local supermarket or tasting it in Costa Rica? Cruising gives you the chance to sample iconic dishes and exciting flavors in their place of origin. Even if you’ve tried different foods at a restaurant near your home, nothing compares to tasting exotic cuisine when surrounded by a region’s sounds, sights and aroma. Foodies, wine connoisseurs, chocolate lovers and budding chefs can all find their bliss on a cruise.
If you’re worried about choosing a cruise that offers delicious food on board, you can rest assured if you travel with Windstar. At Windstar Cruises, you won’t find buffet rows packed with pizza and burgers like you might expect with a larger cruise line. Instead, we believe the cuisine is an essential part of the experience and should reflect the local culture. We enjoy treating our guests to fresh, seasonally and regionally inspired dishes prepared by trained chefs.
We want to make sure you feel comfortable as you dine too, and offer options to suit your needs. You can enjoy open seating and decadent meals in a range of venues, including our French-inspired Stella Bistro and outdoor Candles restaurant. If you want to indulge in your favorite grilled foods and enjoy a casual but elegant setting, stop by the Star Grill. Feel like staying in with a meal and movie? No problem. Room service is always included.
3. To Experience Exotic Cultures
Cruise lovers crave cultural experiences, and they know what awaits them when they step onboard. Experiencing a different culture awakens the senses, creates unforgettable memories and breaks up the monotony of everyday life. It’s exhilarating to experience an unfamiliar culture, and it teaches new ways to appreciate life and interact with others. Imagine shopping next to locals in a Slovenian farmers market, for example, or witnessing a pearl harvest in French Polynesia. It’s hard not to be transformed by new cultural experiences, and it’s part of what makes a cruise so valuable and addictive to many travelers.
4. To Expand Their Minds
Are you a curious traveler who enjoys diving into the local history and traditions of the places you visit? The best cruise lines embrace the regions of the world they sail to and encourage their guests to do the same. If you want to learn as much as you can during your expedition and experience the area on a deeper level, choose a cruise that offers classes, lectures and other onboard learning opportunities.
At Windstar Cruises, we want to enhance our guests’ understanding of each destination and make their journeys both pleasurable and meaningful. On some of our voyages, you’ll find guest speakers covering topics from tropical ecology to Pacific Island art. Our lecturers include authors, professors, photographers, naturalists, historians and experienced world travelers.
If you’re an adventurous learner who can’t wait to take the classroom outdoors, consider Windstar Signature Expeditions. With this program, you’ll cruise alongside expert guides on an unparalleled Alaskan voyage. Naturalists, historians, glaciologists and other specialists will give talks, answer questions and join you on expeditions into Alaska’s spectacular wilderness.
Foodies will want to consider reserving a spot on one of our James Beard Foundation Culinary Themed Cruises. On a culinary cruise, you’ll get to shop with the chef, watch live cooking demonstrations, sample wine with experts and thrill your taste buds.
5. To Have Fun
To many people, cruising is fun. It’s an opportunity for you to forget about work or a packed schedule and get back in touch with your playful side. In general, cruises are designed for the enjoyment of its passengers and often include nightly entertainment and an assortment of onboard activities.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to worry about karaoke seeping through your cabin walls at 2 a.m. On a cruise with Windstar, you won’t find crowded nightclubs and thumping music that plays until dawn. Our small ships carry roughly 250 to 300 guests, so we focus on creating a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere. We do offer live music after dinner in the lounge and invite guests to dance and enjoy mingling with fellow travelers.
If you’re not really into dancing or after-dinner drinks, have no fear. There are plenty of other ways to enjoy your time onboard. For example, if you could use a massage, Windstar’s World Spa welcomes you. If you like to work out to relieve stress, enjoy unlimited use of our Fitness Center. You can also use our Watersports Platform to get active and have fun right off the ship’s stern with activities like water skiing or kayaking. If your perfect day involves sunbathing on the deck or soaking in the pool with a tropical cocktail, you can do those things, too. At Windstar Cruises, nothing’s expected of you, and we want you to feel at home.
6. To Seek Adventure
Although plenty of cruise fans look forward to relaxing their entire voyage, others can’t wait to discover new thrills. If you wish, a cruise can help you reclaim your sense of adventure, and the best part is, you get to choose how you want to explore each port. Whether you love nature, art, culture or history, an exciting and unique experience awaits you every time you dock.
At Windstar Cruises, we’ve carefully selected excursions for each destination to ensure you have easy access to rewarding experiences. By booking one of our excursions, you don’t have to worry about finding and contacting reputable tour companies or arranging transportation — all of that’s done for you. Your only job is to select the excursions that excite you the most and let us know. For example, if you’re an outdoor thrill-seeker, you might choose between swimming with stingrays or taking a scenic kayak tour on a cruise to Tahiti. Depending on the length of your voyage, maybe you’ll decide to do both.
You’re welcome to explore each port on your own instead if you prefer and create your own adventure. Sometimes the most pleasurable moments are the ones that force you to slow down and savor your surroundings. If you would love to spend a day people-watching at an open-air cafe, you’ll have that option.
7. To Travel Stress-Free
Traveling in any form can be life-changing. But if you’ve ever explored a new destination by driving or flying, you might recall how exhausting it is to continually pack and unpack, stay in different hotel rooms, figure out transportation and meals, and worry about a host of other travel-related chores. Cruising eliminates a lot of the hassles associated with other forms of travel. According to the CLIA survey, 88% of cruisers say cruises are better for relaxation than other vacations.
The moment you step aboard a Windstar ship, your worries will slip away. You only need to unpack once, and you can make your private cabin feel like a cozy home away from home. You don’t have to constantly get used to a new bed or worry about cooking or cleaning. We also offer convenient laundry services to make your experience even less stressful. This also means you can pack light for your cruise and leave excess luggage at home.
On a cruise, you get to decide how you want to spend each day. If that means you want to visit a museum one day and spend the next day doing absolutely nothing but lounging on a deck chair, no one will stop you.
8. To Meet Like-Minded People
When you tour an area by car, it’s hard to meet people and make new friends because you’re always on the move. When you take a cruise, on the other hand, you’ll be traveling with others who want to visit the same destinations you do and sharing unique experiences. For example, you might go on an excursion with fellow cruise guests and talk about the experience as you relax in the lounge later on.
You’ll also have the chance to meet interesting people who may have traveled to other places you’d like to visit or share similar passions. This can especially be the case if you go on a themed cruise. A themed cruise includes activities involving a specific interest or hobby and might include exclusive access to events or lectures.
Overall, cruising encourages a social connection and sharing common experiences. You may run into like-minded individuals you would have never met otherwise. And who knows — maybe a lifelong friendship can blossom.
9. To Explore Exclusive Destinations
Some of the most spectacular places in the world are best accessed by boat, and for some destinations, you have to travel by water to get there. Think of the tiny secluded islands dotting the South Pacific or the ruggedly beautiful volcanic islands found throughout the Mediterranean.
While it’s true that larger ships might not be able to dock at remote locations, tinier vessels, like those you’ll find at Windstar, can take you to secluded gems found throughout the world. For example, on an Alaska cruise, you might witness the rare, pristine beauty of remote spots throughout Prince William Sound. Or, if you’re hoping to experience a warm, tropical paradise to yourself, we can help you get there.
10. To Have Cruise-Only Experiences
Some things you simply cannot experience unless you take a cruise. For example, where else can you enjoy a cup of coffee as you watch the sunrise from the middle of the Atlantic? Just being able to wake up every day greeted by a fresh, salty breeze and an expanse of blue water is enough to keep cruisers craving more. Cruising is truly an experience you have to try to understand.
Why Take a Cruise With Windstar?
Are you ready to discover why people love to cruise firsthand? If your first-ever cruise is with Windstar, you’re sure to get hooked. At Windstar Cruises, you won’t find overcrowded, ordinary cruise ships. We take pleasure in defying clichés and welcoming our guests into a relaxed, intimate and elegant atmosphere. We enjoy cultural immersion as much as you do, and we want to create a voyage that’ll help you feel both pampered and exhilarated. If you love to travel, taste new foods and experience unique cultures, it’s time to give cruising a try.