By Vicky Anscombe on 20 May 2015

Cruising used to be the domain of the elderly and infirm, people who didn’t like flying, and people who liked to take their travel at a slower pace.

These days, it’s way cooler than stuffing yourself on a plane and not leaving your resort for two weeks. Here’s why.

Danielle Fear from Cruise Miss

Cruise ship fever grabbed me eight years ago and has never let go - I actually don't think I will ever holiday via a land-based resort again. If there is no cruise ship involved then I am not interested. Cruising gives you the freedom to explore a new destination every day, to admire some of the best sunsets you will ever see, and to enjoy some of the finest food in the world - what more could anyone want?

I tend to sail from UK ports, so I cut out having to visit an airport. It’s ideal really because I don't like flying, and after having experienced the ease of embarking and disembarking on a cruise several times, I don't think I could handle the stress that comes with flying again.

Couple on boat

Scott Sanders from Disney Cruise Line Blog

When I’m asked why cruises are so great, many reasons come to mind. For me, it is knowing that we are going on a family adventure where we do not have to worry about the travel logistics, or the day to day chores such as cooking and cleaning. Without those things to worry about, we have more time relax and enjoy our vacation. Cruising also helps us as parents share little parts of the world with our daughter.

One of the best parts of a cruise vacation is it can be as relaxing or as busy as you want it to be. There are more than enough activities to keep you busy and enough quiet places to read a book or take an afternoon nap.

John Honeywell (aka Captain Greybeard), editor of World of Cruising Magazine 

I went on my first first voyage in 1997, and I've never looked back.

I spent a day in Cairo visiting the Pyramids, drove down to join the ship in Port Said, and woke up next morning in Ashdod, ready to take an excursion to Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

When I wrote about that first cruise, one of the things that hooked me was the fact that once we were on the ship we didn’t have to pack and unpack our suitcases every time we reached a new destination.

The same thing applies today, and in the intervening years, ships have grown bigger, the variety of food and entertainment on offer have improved beyond measure, and the fares have gone down.

A cruise ship is such an inviting home from home. You can spend a day ashore in an expensive country like Norway, and not having to worry about the cost of food and drink because it’s waiting for you back on the ship. After an exhausting day fighting through the sunburned throng at Pompeii, you can return to an air-conditioned cabin, a warm shower, and an ice-cold cocktail.

Mike Jirout from Ship Mate App

There's a reason why the cruise industry continues to grow at a record outpacing most other types of vacations. Actually, there are many reasons. Depending on the cruiser's age, lifestyle, and personal preferences, these can vary pretty drastically. Thanks to our cruise app, we've become aware of cruisers of every type.

There are those in their teens, excited about the arcades and all-you-can-eat frozen yoghurt. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those in their retirement years, excited for an oceanfront massage and some Broadway-style shows.

Cruise rookies picture endless buffets when they think about cruising. That's definitely part of the experience, but there's so much more to look forward to. On the Norwegian Getaway, you can dine at celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian's restaurant, Ocean Blue. On some celebrity ships you can order sushi lollipops from your iPad menu.

Cruising is great for those who would rather relax than spend time planning reservations, billing, transportation, and the many other inconveniences that come with traditional vacations. Once you're on board, everything you could ever need or want is within a short walk from your cabin.

You can lounge by the pool, get a hot stone massage, practice your golf swing, get a meal, watch a Broadway show, and win a few bucks at the casino, all within a few hundred yards. The convenience factor comes in particularly handy when you're cruising with a family or other large group.

Cruise ship dancers

Adam Coulter, UK Editor, Cruise Critic

A cruise holiday is a convenient way to travel and explore new destinations. You can travel to different countries, yet you only need to unpack once, and you'll spend less time waiting for trains or planes. Depending on the itinerary you select, each day you’ll be able to visit a new place - it's ideal for those keen to explore as many new destinations as possible.

A cruise is also an excellent value holiday choice because all major expenses (lodging, meals, activities and entertainment) tend to be included with most lines. Be sure to check what is included before you book, but you could be pleasantly surprised by the value - particularly if you compare it with the amount you'd spend on land for a hotel, dinner and a show. And remember - no more expensive taxis home! Just bear in mind that you’ll pay extra for personal add-ons such as alcohol, shore excursions, spa treatments and speciality dining.

For those travelling with children, it’s worth noting that all kids’ clubs are completely free (there is usually a charge for babies), and offer a full programme of entertainment throughout the cruise, giving you some much-needed ‘us’ time.

Cruises are not as samey as they may seem at first glance, and there is a cruise to suit every individual taste. Someone’s ideal cruise might be a large ship fitted with bumper cars and onboard rock-climbing walls, while another person will prefer an intimate and luxurious ship, and someone else may opt for an expedition-style adventure on a smaller ship. The good news is that all of these options exist – to help pick the perfect ship for you, do your research before booking.

Cruising can also offer a chance to slow down and enjoy life at a calmer pace. In this 'always online' world, switching off the mobile and getting away from the laptop for a few days is highly appealing.

Image credit: Flickr, with thanks to RogerJeff and muha...

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