5 reasons why you should take a cruise in your Thirties
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
When I think of my last cruise to the Bahamas with my sister, the first words that come to mind are "Dolce Far Niente" and if you do not know what that means, you probably need a cruise!
Not that there wasn't plenty to do onboard the brand new Nieuw Statendam, Holland America's latest ship whose godmother is none other than The Oprah Winfrey herself, but a short trip to the islands right before Christmas was just what I needed to replenish and uplift my spirits.
1. Disconnect from your daily routine.
If you are a millennial in this day and age, your list of stress factors is longer than your Amazon save-for-later! There is the job, the kids (if any), the bills, social media and I could go on and on but you get the picture. Long story short,
YOU NEED A BREAK from life! Whether you have 3 days or 3 months, there is a cruise out there for you and once you are on that ship, you can pretty much decide how connected or disconnected you want to be from the rest of the world.
Unless you've purchased an internet package with the cruise line, odds are you will not have any internet access until you've reached a port with free Wi-Fi. Certain cruise lines do offer complimentary internet service however most do not. For those of us who need to stay in touch with family, work or friends, the best option is to buy a package or use the computer lab on the ship to check emails.
Our verandah room
2. An all-inclusive vacation.
After you've paid for your cruise, you don't have anything else to pay for (granted you've pre-paid your gratuities and have purchased a beverage package prior to sailing).
Going on vacation can hit your budget pretty hard when you are unfamiliar with a destination; whether it is a surprise hotel tax or transfers, or super expensive drinks, it can be challenging to know how much you should bring on a trip for extras and food and beverage.
With a cruise EVERYTHING is included so you don't have to worry about carrying loads of cash (unless you plan to gamble your life savings away in the casino). You can also pre-pay your excursions with the cruise line so you are not wandering the port looking for something to do when you stop. As a travel advisor, I encourage people to book excursions with the cruise line because if there are any unforeseen events such as bad weather or late arrival, you will be reimbursed immediately. The cruise line will also make sure that all are back onboard before the cruise departs if you've booked with them.
3. Family friendly or not.
I am not sure what the ratio of millennial parents is nowadays but rest assure that there is a cruise for everyone. Whether you have a family or not, cruise lines cater to different age groups; Some all in one place and others zero in on a niche while being either adult-only cruises like Viking or family-focused like Disney.
Holland America's Nieuw Statendam luckily caters to both age groups but I would say mostly to the more sophisticated traveling family. If you are anything like me and dread the all-inclusive "style" resort, this ship is for you. It feels more like a four star floating hotel, so you can find a lot of quiet spaces if you need to read a book or meditate.
There is an area dedicated to children onboard, which is divided into 4 categories. Club HAL for children ages 3-7, a play area for kids ages 8 to 12; a video arcade; and the Loft for teenagers. I must warn you though; most cruise lines charge for children as they do adults. Did you cringe? I know I did when I tried to take my 12 month old son on a cruise last year and was told that he would be paying the same rate as me. That's right! Most cruise lines will not allow a child onboard before 6 months of age and will charge you a full fare for your little human if you decide to bring him along with you.
My sister and I, since we went on our cruise sans children, indulged on all the adult entertainment that was provided to us. We dined at all but one of the specialty restaurants on the ship, stayed fit at the fully equipped gym onboard and relaxed at the spa whenever possible. They also offered a vast selection of live entertainment: there is a Rolling Stone rock room, the Lincoln Center Stage which showcases live chamber music performances and shares the stage with our favorite, the B.B. King Blues Club, the Mainstage with a variety of performances, the World Stage with an immersive entertainment experience and a Post Modern Jukebox.
My sister did say she missed all the craziness we had on our last cruise, the club, the pool contests and karaoke but I didn't! Something about the slowness of things and savoring my every meal without feeling rushed was just what the doctor ordered.
4. You get to see so much in one trip.
When I think of cruising, I think of a sample menu like the Spanish tapas version of vacationing. You only unpack once yet visit several places in one trip. The most unpleasant feeling to me when I go on vacation has to be the packing situation. Did I forget anything? What time do I have to be up tomorrow? Where is my charger? and so on. With cruising, you really get that peace of mind of unpacking as if you were home, getting to hang your clothes, having them washed if you desire (at an extra cost of course) and keeping yourself organized and free to plan other things while on your vacation.
On our days at sea, which on a land tour would mean hopping in and out of cabs and waiting in a long line to clear customs, we lounged at the spa, watched new movie releases in the comfort of our cabin and attended live shows.
There wasn't much for us to plan with just a couple of stops in the Bahamas but the ship offered a nice feature that would be very helpful on a more complex itinerary. It is equipped with Holland America's Explorations Central, an immersive onboard programing designed to make your journey more engaging. Before you arrive at any of the ports, you can learn about that specific destination; what there is to see there, do and book excursions with the help of a guide.
5. Budget friendly.
Many people have a huge misconception about cruising. They either think it is too expensive for their budget or too cheap to consider. The truth is that there is a budget for everyone on almost every ship and there are also ships for every budget. Our Verandah cabin sold from about $799.00 per person at the time we went for a 4 day cruise, however different cabin categories sold for either half the price or double on the same cruise. Different category means different position on the ship, bigger or smaller cabin, different amenities in the room but the service is pretty much consistent at all levels.
There's also the option of being on either a budget friendly cruise or a luxury ship with specific amenities catered to that public. Cruise ships can carry anywhere from 50 to close to 7,000 passengers. Certain cruise lines sell itineraries for as low as $499 per person on a 7 day cruise and others as high as $30,000.00+ per person on the same length itinerary. Just know what you want, where you want to go, how much you want to spend and what quality of service you are looking for.
If you have a group travelling with you, (usually 10 cabins or more) you can even get a group rate and some free amenities (if you have a good travel advisor wink wink!) that gives you a great option for any friend or family gathering such as a reunion or a wedding. We've organized cruises for groups as large as 400 people here at the office where they've gotten some pretty amazing deals.
I have gone on a cruise with my family as a child, with my classmates for a reunion and now as a 30 something year old with my sister. All three experiences were different but this last cruise I enjoyed the most. I know my limits, my taste in entertainment has greatly evolved and self-care is at the top of my list. Who knows what my next cruise experience will be? I am currently eyeing a millennial river cruise in Europe. I will keep you posted on that when it finally happens. Until then, keep on traveling friends.