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Why Are Cruises So Popular Anyway?

Cruises have really taken off in the last fifteen years or so, with all the major cruise lines adding new ships to their fleets. But what makes cruises so popular and why might you consider choosing one for a vacation? Well, let's take a look at what all they offer:

Cruises Feature Destinations All Over the World

When you think of cruises, you may think of the Caribbean or perhaps Alaska, the two most popular cruise destinations for U.S. travelers. (European travelers often cruise in the Mediterranean, which is another popular destination.)

While these destinations are exotic enough for many folks (hey, I'd be happy to cruise just about anywhere since the experience itself offers so much), they represent only a small portion of the areas you can find cruises to.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting Australia and New Zealand? What about Southeast Asia? Perhaps Antarctica? South America? The South Pacific? Eastern Canada and New England? Hawaii? Scandinavia? The British Isles? Eastern Siberia? The fjords of Greenland? Morocco?

Guess what? You can find cruises that visit all those destinations--and more!

The variety of cities and countries where ships stop is one reason cruise vacations are so popular. You can visit many, many ports in the world, and cruises let you see more than one (often many more) per trip. And perhaps the biggest perk is that you only have to unpack once.

Cruises Are for All Types of Travelers

In the early days, cruises tended to be most popular with the retired and the wealthy. While many of those folks still enjoy cruising today, there really are no stereotypes about your average cruiser any more.

There are cruises that are great for families with children, others that cater go couples, some with special events for singles or gay and lesbian passengers, some that are perfect for active adventurers, and some that are low-key and cater to those who just want to relax.

While demographics vary from ship to ship, there really are cruises for any kind of person who's looking to see the world and have a good time.

If you're not sure you want, try one of the mainstream lines. They are known for having a Vegas vibe, where there are entertainment options for just about everyone. If you prefer peace and relaxation to constant entertainment, choose a small ship or a luxury line.

Cruises are Affordable

Another big reason cruises have become so popular is they are an affordable vacation option. With all your main requirements (food, lodging, and the cruise itself) included in the ticket price, you won't have a heap of expenditures to worry about once you're on board.

It's true that "all inclusive" isn't quite as all inclusive as the cruise lines might lead you to believe (expect to pay for everything from massages to alternative dining to shore excursions to diet sodas and alcoholic beverages), the major expenses are included.

Just browse online at sites such as Travelocity to get an idea of just how affordable cruises can be. You can find one-week packages to the Caribbean or Mexican Riveria for $600-$800. To spend a week in Alaska, you can get in for $800 or less. Shorter cruises of three or four days, often wrapped around a long weekend, start around $300.

As you can see, cruises are popular vacation choices for many reasons. You can find ships visiting many, many parts of the world, there are cruises to appeal to just about all types of travelers, and lastly these floating vacations are affordable.

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