For many people, taking a cruise is the vacation of a lifetime. These floating resorts offer passengers a number of shipboard activities, round-the-clock meals, exotic ports of call and adventurous shore excursions. On few other vacations can the traveler experience such a wide array of cultures, food and sights.
Cruises are available in a range of packages to suit every traveler and budget. While day cruises enable a passenger to experience a nice meal, offshore views of the skyline and sometimes a little gambling, longer cruises offer the most bang for the buck and specialist cruises cater to a specific hobby, interest or location.
Weekend cruises, usually three to four days long, take in one or two ports, a private island owned by the cruise line and a day at sea. Although the itinerary changes, the Bahamas are the most popular, and often least expensive, of the weekend cruises.
Six and seven day cruises have greater flexibility in where they travel. The typical week-long cruise stops at three or four ports with a couple of days at sea. These cruises are popular throughout the Caribbean and along the Baja coast of California and Mexico.
Longer cruises, two weeks and longer, offer a wide range of cruising options. In the Caribbean, a two week cruise often takes in a lot of the Caribbean, stopping at eight or ten ports. Two cruises are also popular through the Panama Canal from one side of the US to the other, around Alaska, in Australia and through the Mediterranean. Even longer can span a month or so and take in exotic places such as islands in the South Pacific.
Special cruises may travel the great rivers of Western Europe, the fjords of Norway, the Antarctic, or incorporated a specific interest such as art or wine. One cruise line in the southwestern United States visits points of interest for history buffs as well as using train travel to access inshore points. Disney owns cruise ships as well as its theme parks which cater to children and families.
A cruise vacation enables travelers to visit a number of different places, meet new people, experience different cultures and enjoy a variety of meals and activities. With careful planning, keeping in mind which places or interests a traveler desires to experience as well as a budget, a cruise can be one of the most enjoyable vacations a person or family can take. So enjoyable, in fact, that some passengers take all of their vacations on cruise ships.