Frequent cruise travelers know all about the value a cruise vacation offers. They know which cruise line is their favorite, what time of year they like to sail and the places they want to see on an itinerary. To a point, they like returning to a familiar ship, port of call or stateroom category too. But realize it or not, frequent cruise travelers can get in a bit of a rut. It happens most often with those who sail in the waters of the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Those are both areas that are often value-priced but can be less than dazzling after a few visits.
The bad news is that God, The Creator Of The Universe, is not likely to make any additional islands…but you never know.
The good news is that Cruise Lines, The Popular And Bullet-Proof, will make their own islands…count on it.
But the number of islands is really not the issue here. There are plenty of beautiful Caribbean Islands right now, we just need to look at them and maybe cruise travel in general, from a different angle.
Let’s talk about priorities
What is the ultimate decision-maker when booking a cruise vacation? What factor is a no-budge element of the equation? The travel dates? The cost? The Experience?
Thinking about your priorities can guide decisions effectively. But letting priorities get in the way of dreams is what we are looking to avoid here.
Priorities that involve numbers like dates and dollars are easy to define. Experiences, not so much. Think about these common priority items and define yours.
Simply put, budgeting is required to maximize the use of travel funds. To consider the price paid for the cruise plus as any pre- or post-cruise expenses, the total cost of cruise travel would be stupid. Not remis, not forgetful, not ‘something you did not get around to’. Stupid.
Today, there are many tools and a huge amount of information online that we can easily access. While trying to budget everything, like trying to plan everything, is not really recommended (must leave $ + time to be spontaneous) getting a general idea of what the total cost of a cruise vacation will be is not difficult.
In the Caribbean, there are cruise travelers who have had their fill of it but the travel budget does not allow travel to places farther away. The cost of airfare to Europe, for example, can often be more than the price of a 7-day Caribbean cruise.
We hear from a lot of Florida and other coastal state residents that they’re bored with the Caribbean but they don’t want to fly anywhere to do something else. Some of them try land vacations, stay-cations, RV life, minimalist______ and/or camping. Many of them return from that experience with a greater appreciation for cruise travel too though.
For you, it’s not that you don’t like the Caribbean, its just that you go there so often that the thrill is gone. Perhaps it’s time to take another look at airfare. Cruise lines have (wisely) positioned ships all around the continental United States to be within driving distance. That strategy served them well during the recent depression, when there was no way that the Smith family of four would have flown from Arizona to Miami paying for flights AND a cruise. But they did not have to anyway, they drove to the port and sailed on one of a number of ships available round-trip Galveston.
But if home port sailings to the Caribbean are not getting you excited, maybe it would be better to skip a year, save up travel funds, and go someplace entirely different the next year.
Being afraid of flying is another matter.
Get back the thrill
At first you are happy cruising in the Caribbean multiple times because visiting familiar places is fun and safe. You like telling others about your friend in Cozumel who has a great deal on jewelry, the beach you like or which side of the ship to book your balcony on for the best view because you have ‘been there, done that’.
But think back to the first time you did that Eastern or Western Caribbean itinerary. Remember the excitement of exploring new places, eating different foods or just walking along a new (to you) beach.
Bring back the thrill of the Caribbean by doing it differently.
Take a cue from destination focused cruise options
Small luxury ships like Azamara Club Cruises 2-ship fleet that sail an eclectic roster of itineraries, most of which never repeat. Azamara plans optional shore excursions to be immersive and exclusive to Azamara passengers. Those people have a gusto for learning and seeing new places. Sailing around the world, tiny 30-ton Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest take just 694 passengers.
Do that on your big ship cruise with three easy steps to point you in the right direction:
- Book early
- Schedule time for study
- Make your own immersion experience.
Invent a new you
This is so easy its ridiculous that we don’t all do it, right now. Vow not to do anything you ever did before on Cozumel. If you would take a cab to a favorite beach, try another. Right down to the brand of beer you drink, nothing the same, this works. (Also works with real life)
This article is brought to by Cruise Compete. CruiseCompete.com allows you to easily compare multiple offers from Cruise Experts.