You may have spotted ALL over the news that the largest cruise ship in the world – Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas – docked in Southampton for the first time ever this week. Cruise ships come in and out of the UK all the time, but this is another level of ship. I was invited to join Amanda from The Ana Mum Diary down in Southampton, spending a day on board Oasis of the Seas and see in real life exactly how impressive this vast floating holiday actually is, before it head off into the sunset and back to Florida for a Winter season in the Sunny Caribbean (via Spain – and yes, I was tempted to try and stowaway).
I’m well aware this may feel a little random for a largely beauty/lifestyle focussed blog – so let me explain the background to this. I am not a life-long cruiser by any means, but in my previous job I was introduced to the world of cruising. Prior to this, in all honesty cruising wasn’t something I’d ever considered as a holiday option. But, after getting a bit of an insight into the cruise world (and it really is a whole other world) gave me a different appreciation for it than I would have had previously – that’s sort of what I wanted to touch on in this post. Plus whatever your holiday destination/type of choice is can very much sit within the ‘lifestyle’ category!
One thing I have learnt about the world of cruising is that it’s a topic that everyone has an opinion on – regardless of having experienced it or not. There are people who may never have even seen a cruise ship in real life who would dismiss it without a thought “Oh no, I’m not that type/that’s not for me/I’m not old enough for a cruise yet.” or there are those that have experienced it and absolutely adore it and will talk at lengths about how wonderful it is. It really is an opinion splitter more than any other form of holiday choice.
Having been on board a few ships – last year I was on a cruise around the med for around a week, I’ve done a couple of nights off the coast of Germany/Holland for the launch of a new ship (all in a work capacity) and then this week I spent a day exploring/experiencing the largest ship in the world (with my blogger hat on instead this time). I can honestly say I really do ‘get’ the appeal of a cruise. You have your room, you board and unpack and enjoy all the amenities on board with the option to get off and explore various destinations as you go. Without the hassle of packing/unpacking and moving around. As someone who loves the ease of an all-inclusive holiday – the idea of a cruise appeals to this side of me. It’s easy, you have pretty much everything you need.
But there’s still somewhat of a stigma of going on a cruise for some people – it’s seen as the holiday choice of the later years of life. A bit like a Saga brochure, you don’t want it in your life ‘before your time’. Perhaps you’re worried it will feel crowded on board (as someone who has just come off a close to full 6,000 passenger ship, I can tell you it doesn’t). Maybe worried about what the other guests/passengers will be like? Well, that’s no different from a hotel and a bit luck of the draw. The cost? Well, there’s no denying a cruise isn’t really a cheap option – but it does have lots of variables (which route, how long, which ship, what time of year…) and there are often deals to be had so it’s like any other holiday in that sense and pays to do your research. You might feel restricted by the ship timetable? Sure, that is something to consider – most of the time the ship sails overnight. With arrival happening in the early hours of the morning and the departure in the evening. So whilst you might be able to visit that picturesque town in Southern France for lunch, you may need to get back on the ship in time for dinner. But when it comes to food – you honestly have nothing to worry about. The food is great (in my experience to date) and you can certainly never worry about feeling hungry on a cruise as there’s plenty (and then some). Really, the to-cruise or not-to-cruise debate has so many sides! I know that after spending a day on board, there was a big part of me that was sad to leave and would have loved to stay longer.
What’s your opinion on the idea of a cruise holiday?
What I’d be really interested to know is from you guys reading – what are your views/opinions on taking a cruise holiday. As I suspect the majority of readers are mostly not what would be described as the ‘typical’ cruise audience? I’d be really interested to hear in all total honesty if a cruise is something you have ever considered, if so why and if not why… whatever your opinions are. Please share as it would be really interesting to read. As I said, the world of the cruise is one that definitely sparks opinions and I’d love to hear whatever yours is on the matter!
*largest cruise ship. Technically there are a handful of cargo ships that are larger than Oasis of the Seas…