What’s it like to take a cruise?

[quote_simple]Earlier this month I travelled aboard Celebrity Silhouette cruise ship. I began in Venice followed by Koper, Ravenna and Split. I’ll be sharing my experiences from these incredible destinations over the next few weeks but first of all I wanted to tell you what it’s actually like to go on a cruise.[/quote_simple]

As a travel lover, being able to visit a new destination every day of the week is pretty much a dream come true. Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed with all the places in the world that I want to visit and I wonder how I’m ever going to see them all.
I’m not the type of traveller who just wants to tick places off so I can say I’ve ‘done a country’ but I do want to see as many new places and have as many new experiences as I can.

So when Celebrity Cruises invited me aboard to try a cruising experience, I already knew I was going to love it.

You’re essentially floating aboard the biggest and most luxurious hotel you could possibly imagine and you wake up in a new country almost every day, what’s not to love about it?

Library aboard Celebrity Silhouette
Library aboard Celebrity Silhouette

Each evening you go to bed with those excitable butterflies and a belly filled with anticipation for your next destination. What will the weather be like? And the people and the food and all those new things to experience. It’s like that first day of a holiday where you gaze at everything in awe, you take pictures of everything and you excitedly point to all the sights that you’ve longingly drooled over in guidebooks.

I was like a kid on Christmas day but the best part is, it happens over and over again. Every day you get this new excitement as the ship approaches land and you get your first glimpse of the country. Hillsides dotted with tiny houses, secluded beaches that can only be seen from sea, farway cities with colouful buildings and the distant cathedral spires that pierce the skyline. This new country gradually gets bigger and you can see people waving and welcoming you when they spot you tucking into your breakfast on your balcony. And then you remember that you’re still in your fluffy dressing gown and you should really get dressed…

Some people think cruising is just for older people who have retired and want an easy way to see the world. Of course, I think it’s a fantastic way for older people to travel, it’s easy and luxurious and you can see as much or as little as you like, but cruising is really for people who love travelling to new places.

Cruising through Venice
Leaving Venice

There were lots of people onboard who wanted to see as much of Europe as they could in the few weeks they had spare. We’d all love to spend months travelling around Europe but who has the time or money to do that?

Cruising makes travel simple and I soon discovered how addictive it can be.

My conversation starter with anyone on the ship would be, ‘Is this your first cruise?’ It’s not terribly imaginative, I know, but I must have asked more than 30 people this same question and every single person was a seasoned cruiser. Most people had taken 4 or 5 cruises, with the Mediterranean and South America being the most popular destinations, and I even spoke to one couple who were on their 14th cruise!

“It’s addictive,” they chuckled. “There’s no other way to see so much of the world in such a fantastic way.”

These were some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met on my travels. They’ve literally seen the world and I’d spend the next few hours questioning them about their favourite destinations. South America is now very high on my bucket list!

Lawn aboard Celebrity Silhouette

Hidden chillout areas about Celebrity Silhouette

And that’s another thing about cruising, it’s very sociable. I found myself chatting to someone new every night at dinner or while soaking up the sun on the deck. If you’d like to find a quiet corner in a romantic restaurant then you can certainly do that but a lot of the time you’ll find yourself chatting to a new crowd on a daily basis.

Oh yes, and there’s the restaurants. And the bars. And the shops. It really feels like you’re in a small town with so much available. You book reservations for different restaurants but go for pre-dinner drinks before your meal. After you’ve eaten you can take a stroll outside to walk off your dinner and you can take a seat and admire the stars. Take a look around the shops or go for a coffee, see a show or watch some live music. As you walk around you’ll probably bump into a friend and head to a bar for a late-night drink. I’d head back to my room feeling like I’d had a big night out and sit on my balcony with a cup of tea while wrapped up in a blanket as I enjoyed the sea breeze and the clear night sky.

Watching the sunset in Split

Then that excitable feeling would come back. The butterflies in my belly would start fluttering as I thought about the next new destination the following morning and I realized how cruising can become so addictive!

Many thanks to Celebrity Cruises for inviting me along and hosting my trip. All opinions are, as always, my own.



Monica is the founder and editor of The Travel Hack. She began the blog in 2009 when she left the UK to travel around Asia and Australia for two years. She's now a full time blogger and has travelled around the world in search of affordable luxury travel experiences.Monica lives in Wales with her growing family and now also blogs about travelling with young children!

SHOWHIDE Comments (26)
  1. I can so relate to the excitement of seeing a new destination every morning! On my cruise I’d leave the curtains open so that when I woke in the morning I’d see the sun rise on a brand new view – and I’m not even a morning person!

  2. This looks like such an experience! I’ve never been on a cruise myself but have heard lots of good things. I think the only things I’d be hesitant about would be 1) the safety record of the company and 2) if kids were running around all the time. Did you go on an adult-only cruise? Did you find the rooms were quiet when you were in bed / when you needed some alone time?

    1. My cruise wasn’t adult only but I only saw one kid on the whole ship. I think some companies are probably more family orientated but Celebrity Cruises are more adult. And yes, I couldn’t hear anything in my room at all. It was exactly the same as being in a hotel. I guess if you have a noisy neighbour you might hear them but only if they were particularly loud.
      I thought about the safety aspect before I got on but once I was aboard it didn’t even cross my mind. There was a safety briefing but you feel super safe.

  3. I can’t agree more! I am such a cruise evangelist, having recently been on board Celebrity Reflection. There’s no other way you could see so many destinations in the same time frame (without being totally stressed!). And I’m with you on the butterflies…I could barely sit still for my entire cruise because I was just too darned excited!

  4. I love the photos of Celebrity! It looks like a very luxurious cruise.

    I took my first cruise last year with my mom through Carnival and I had so much fun! I had always looked at cruising as “not real travel” but that’s not at all true. Cruising is just a different way to go about it and quite a relaxing one too.

    I’m going on my second cruise this January and I can’t wait!!

    1. Oooh where are you going for your second cruise?
      Celebrity was really luxurious and that’s what made it for me – I love a bit of luxury. And I know what you mean about it not being ‘real travel’ but sometimes (actually most of the time) people don’t have the time or money to see so many places.

  5. Cruising is definitely a great way to see many places quickly, which is why I think it’s a great option for the Caribbean since most islands are small. I don’t know about doing a European one, however, as I feel like there is too much to see in each place with only a few hours!

    1. That’s true, you don’t get to explore quite as much as you’d like in each European destination. It gives you a nice taster for when you go back to see more but I do like the sound of a Caribbean cruise… 🙂

    1. You should, it’s a totally different experience as an adult. I went in my early teenage years too and really enjoyed it then too. It was great for my parents because they could leave me to do my own thing, knowing that there was no where for me to get lost. Perfect for a teenage who dies with embarrassment every time they’re seen in public with their parents!

  6. Wow, that library looks amazing! I wasn’t sure about taking a cruise (like you said, it’s something I associate with the older generation) but actually I’d probably consider it with a group of friends as a way to see a lot of different places in just a few days 🙂

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