Have you ever thought about hopping on a cruise ship rather than flying to your destination? When we decided to slowly travel in South East Asia, we looked at the cost of flying vs cruising.
Plane Or Cruise Ship
Our main goal was to get closer to South East Asia, specifically, Thailand. If we were to have flown from Toronto to Chiang Mai, Thailand it would have cost approximately $1200-1300 CAD or ~$1000 USD and with the fastest route taking just slightly over 24 hours. Now think about being on an airplane for that time period.
Well, I was not keen on doing that flight even though we’d probably rack up miles so quickly! We decided to scope out cruise deals and we found a cruise from Vancouver to Tokyo, Japan for $1000 CAD or ~800 USD with the flight from Toronto to Vancouver costing approx $300 CAD. Therefore, with prices almost similar and the fact that on the cruise we would be able to visit some additional places, we ended up booking the cruise ship.
We have cruised several times before and love traveling this way. In our opinion, you’re able to visit many places without having to pack your bags and flying. You wake up and you’re in someplace new.
We’ve gathered a list of some pros and cons of cruising vs flying as follows:
PROS of a Cruise Ship
You get to roam around and do as you choose.
You can catch a show, play your odds at the casino, enjoy live music/band or even bar hop as there are numerous bars on board. There are also ships with ice skating rinks, rock climbing, surfing, and merry-go-rounds.
There are various food options and the one thing on a cruise is that you never go hungry. They range from fine dinning to buffet style or fast food joints. There are also a variety of healthier food options. Costs
There are cruise deals for less than $100 USD per day. This cruise that we grabbed was approximately $800 USD for a 14 night cruise. However, because of the route of this cruise, we paid $300 USD in taxes (this is the most we’ve ever paid in taxes for a cruise). But, all in all, it was still less than $100 USD per day per person which to us is a steal! Remember, this includes lodging and all your meals!
Places to Visit
Cruises will have several ports of calls and, as mentioned above, without having to pack each time, you’re able to wake up and be in a new place/country to explore.
People from all around the world are on the ship (which is basically a small island) and it’s so easy to talk to anyone. Usually they’re so friendly that you’ll end up hearing about their life story. There are also quite alot of single cruisers.
Cruising is a great way to decouple from the ‘wired’ world. You’re out in the ocean with no wifi (if you don’t purchase it from the ship) and no disruptions. All you need is to grab a book, a drink and lounge. For those with kids, there are a variety of programs similar to a daycare. Yay!
If you’d like to burn some calories since you’ll be consuming an unlimited amount of food, you can hit the gym. You’ll also get great ocean views while working out.
CONS of a Cruise Ship
Cruises are typically, at minimum, a week, while flying may take you one day.
Some additional costs which new cruisers may not be aware of are your daily gratuity costs (about $15 CAD or $13.50 USD per day per person). Also, alcoholic beverages are at an additional cost. However, in saying that, there are many drink specials (ie. $5 wines by the glass, buy one get one, etc) throughout the day as well as drink packages which are available for purchase.
While you are able to do your own thing in each port of call, you may be tempted to do an excursion with the cruise line. This will be at an additional cost.
While you’re able to visit several places on a cruise, you’re on a schedule whereby you arrive at a certain time and you must be back onboard at a specific time or you’ll need to find your own way to the next port of call.
Stuck on a ship and cannot leave. Although, as mentioned above, there are a variety of things to do on a ship, some may feel “claustrophobic”.
Most cruise lines do not really accommodate for certain food restrictions or allergies (ie. nut allergy).
Available at an additional cost which is quite pricey and service is choppy most of the time.
It can get ‘bumpy’ at times in the ocean and some may get sea sick.
Depending on the cruise, there may be an older or younger age group. Therefore, if you’re looking for a certain demographic, think about your destinations or cruise route.
Every time a cruise comes to an end, I (Alicia) always have a feeling of anxiety. On the cruise, everything is taken care of for you from making your bed and cleaning your cabin to cooking and preparing your meals and providing you with packaged excursions. Basically, there is no need for you to worry about anything. Therefore, at the end of our cruise, I get the feeling that I need to become ‘responsible’ again and plan my days/meals. 😀
Have you cruised before and what are some of your experiences with cruising?
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