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To cruise or hit the beach, that is the question

Reader Judy A asked: “We’ve always vacationed at the beach but my sister in law asked us to go on a cruise with their family.

“What is the most affordable and best vacation value? The cruise or beach trip?”

Without hesitation I replied: a vacation at sea! For value, variety and satisfaction, you haven’t lived until you’ve cruised!

Every day more and more people are discovering the fairly all-inclusive pleasures of a cruise vacation.

More singles, families, couples, honeymooners, second honeymooners and groups of friends are sailing away on the vacations of their lives. Last year alone approximately seven million people enjoyed a cruise vacation. When you add it all up it’s easy to see why.

The price of your ticket includes most if not all of your meals and in-between snacks on-board; your stateroom, activities, parties and entertainment; plus, an exciting voyage to some of the most enchanting and culturally-enriching places in the world.

You’ll find that a cruise ship is a floating resort, with all the things a fine resort has to offer and more!

You’ll meet new friends who share the same tastes and interests as you.

The hassles of an ordinary vacation are completely eliminated. A cruise is one convenient package.

You don’t have to worry about making dinner or nightclub reservations, running to make flight connections as you travel from one destination to another, or packing and unpacking.

You can lie back and be completely pampered. Or go non-stop.

Dine like never before. Enjoy one great show after another. Tempt Lady Luck in the casino. Let your cares float away!

A cruise vacation is the place that will allow dad to “veg” out in a deck chair and read a couple of books.

It is a location where mom can escape to a spa for the afternoon just by taking the elevator or short stroll.

The ship is a destination where your teens will disappear for hours and not get any flack from you because you know where they are at. After all they are still onboard and have not gone too far anyway.

And the younger children will get to watch new-release movies all evening while your folks are out and not need a baby-sitter.

During the day they’ll be spending hours playing with their new found cruise friends in supervised activities.

In the ports of calls you will discover history, art, music, cuisine, shopping and much more about foreign lands and people. There’s golf, tennis, snorkel, scuba, soft and/or hard adventure too.

It is a shore side world of discovery, excitement, adventure and education.

With all this going on it is no wonder that more people are taking cruise vacations than ever before.

And once they get a taste of cruising, they come back for more, again and again.

Today cruise itineraries range from a day trip to up to three months. However the normal sailing is between 3 and 7 days. You can sail to nowhere or over 500 ports worldwide.

Practically every destination is accessible by water and you can embark on your vacation at sea from over 30 North American ports. Some departures are close to home while others sail out of exciting and exotic locations scattered around the globe.

There’s the option of flying to your departure port or you have the option of driving to U.S. home ports in places like Baltimore, New York City, Charleston, S.C. and Mobile Ala. Enjoy the drive and turn it into the great family road trip and vacation at sea.

To help plan your getaway visit or call your local travel agency. Here the professionals will help you pick the cruise that best fits your vacation schedule, tastes and budget.

They can make all the arrangements to get you from your doorstep to your ship and back. They can advise on travel documentation and smooth the way for a calm vacation.

Don’t think that you can afford to cruise? Tally up all the expenses for your annual beach vacation. Add up the lodging, food, beverage, entertainment and other miscellaneous cost then have your agent compare this figure against the price of a vacation at sea.

I’m sure that when you see this side by side comparison that you be both surprised and agree with how affordable a cruise can be.

I encourage and look forward to your questions and/or comments. You can contact me at (740) 550-9540 or e-mail thetraveprofessor@gmail.com.

Bon Voyage!