Top 10 Reasons to Cruise
Let's talk. So, why not cruise? You'll have a ball-believe me, I know. I've been on a bazillion of them. In fact, my initials are even shippy: H.M.S. It's destiny--I'm a cruise prophet. What can I say? Just this: You want to know why cruising is so great? Here you go, in black and white:


1.   The Smorgasbord.  

The Smorgasbord Ok, we're Americans. We like to eat. As much as possible. Or at least we like to have the option. Well, there's no better place to stuff yourself silly than on cruise ships, which, as you may have heard, offer no end of chowing-down opportunities. Everywhere you turn there's something to shove in your mouth, tickle your palette, whet your whistle. From breakfast buffets to high-tea sandwiches, pizza all day, soft ice cream at 4, sushi before dinner, hors d'oeuvres in the bar, five-course dinners, and midnight buffets, it's a nonstop feeding frenzy. Did I mention 24-hour room service? Don't forget to pack your elasticized pants! And, all you health nuts out there needn't worry, since most ships offer a vegetarian and a low-fat, low-cal dish at lunch and dinner-you don't have to blow your diet!

2.   The Fun and Games. return to topreturn to top

The Fun and Games No one will force you to participate if you're an old stick-in-the-mud, but if you're game, there's always something to do, even on the smallest ships. From wine-tasting to swing lessons, movies, relay races in the pool, and-you guessed it-that all time cruise favorite: Bingo!! Don't roll your eyes, either. I won $300 smackaroonies on a recent cruise. We can all guess what my new favorite game is! Hey, you never know.

3.   The Passengers Next Door. return to topreturn to top

The Passengers Next Door Ok, so maybe they have their TV on too loud just when you're trying to hit the sack, but they're probably wonderful people. Cruises are a great way to meet people from all over America, and depending where you cruise, from all over the world. They're like great big summer camps for adults, where you're bound to make new friends, or at least have fun trying.

4.   The Massages. return to topreturn to top

The Massages And the facials, manicures, seaweed wraps, foot rubs, scalp massages, up-doos. You can be kneaded, rubbed, patted and wrapped to your heart's content. Spas on ships are big deals these days, and the newest ships are pulling out all the stops when it comes to offering gorgeous, soothing spas, not to mention sprawling spaces and dozens of treatments available all day long. Ionithermie Superdetox treatment anyone?

5.   The Performers. return to topreturn to top

The Performers They're all over the place: at the piano, dancing across stage, juggling bowling balls, sawing assistants in half, singing a song, playing in a band, spinning a record, bwanging a steal drum or telling a joke. Take your pick, there are professionals entertaining you everywhere you turn.

6.   The Suitcase. return to topreturn to top

The Suitcase You'll only have to unpack it once. How great is that!? You'll visit three or four or five or even six different islands or countries on a typical 7-night cruise, and will never have to lug your suitcase anywhere else once you get on board-just shove it under your bed and fahgetaboudit; the ports come to YOU! Now that's service.

7.   The Ports. return to topreturn to top

The Ports You may forget since you'll be having so much fun on board, but a cruise actually takes you places, exciting, exotic, bustling, barren, old, and new places where you can join the throngs shopping or touring, or venture off on your own to a quiet part of town or a remote corner of the island, armed with nothing more than a sense of serendipity. (And a watch, so you make it back to the ship before it departs for the next port!)

8.   The Ocean. return to topreturn to top

The Ocean Helloooo, people, you're floating in it. These babies don't have wheels, you know, they have fins (well, sort of). Anyway, it's the sea that makes a cruise so special. That great big body of water surrounding the ship, swooshing past, reflecting the moon, carrying you to far-flung places, making you feel oh so away-from-it all. It's romantic. It's nature at its purest and most powerful. And, it's your home for the week!

9.   The Pillow Goodies. return to topreturn to top

The Pillow Goodies What better way to end the day than to come back to your cozy cabin and find your bed turned down, your pillow fluffed, your socks picked up, your shoes aligned, and a nice piece of chocolate placed ever-so-carefully on your pillow. Sweet dreams.

10.   The Uniform. return to topreturn to top

The Uniform I don't care who you are. Old, young, married, single, gay, straight or somewhere in between. Officers in uniforms-I'm talking eye candy. They may be shlumpy in their own clothes, but in those white uniforms with those gold stripes and epaulettes, smiling at all who pass them, you'll be drawn. Their mere presence and the tradition they represent sets a cruise apart from any other type of vacation. On the night of the captain's cocktail party, they're everywhere, like ants, dressed to the nines. And, hey, you never know. I've heard more than one story of love at sea.


spacer Written by Heidi Sarna.

Heidi Sarna, a veteran travel writer who's been on nearly 100 cruises in the past 10 years, is the author of Frommer's Caribbean Cruises and Ports of Call, and contributes articles on cruising to many national magazines and newspapers.

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