BY HANNAH MAZANEC, BLOGGER
Before I was born, my parents were obsessed with cruises; I guess that’s where I get my love for travel!. When I was a baby, they took me on a few Princess Cruise lines which I do not remember much but I do remember that it felt magical. It felt like being in a big sea palace. Most of the places we went to when I was little were in the Caribbean Islands and I remember always trying to recreate Shakira’s music videos in the water thinking I looked just like her, when in fact I did not.
When I got a little older, my parents decided to start taking me on Royal Caribbean cruise lines and I can easily say that Royal Caribbean is my favorite cruise line. Their ships have so many options for all different ages to have a good time. My dad and I started a tradition where we bought a soda pack on every single cruise we went on together. The pack came with a Coca-Cola sticker on my room card and a water bottle and we ended up keeping almost all of the cups for a while. Every cruise is different but they all have the same idea with different activities.
When looking for a family-friendly cruise or a place to just get away for a week, I suggest The Royal Caribbean, Disney’s cruise line and Princess Cruises because they have a variety of options. There are rooms where kids can meet and play with other kids their age and do activities together. When I was little I remember going to the playrooms, playing games and having movie nights with the friends I had made. To this day, I still remember every friend I have made on cruise ships. Sometimes I begged my parents to leave early from dinner just so I could go to the kids’ room.
For college students, I would suggest going on Carnival Cruise lines and the Royal Caribbean. Carnival has a more adventurous vibe about it and I have heard great stories from my friends that I met on other cruises. They said that this specific cruise line is super fun for college students that are 21 and over since there aren’t that many adults that like to go on them. Cruises are especially popular during spring break when friend groups want to travel and party together.
When booking a cruise, make sure to look at where they are going and decide on the cruise that has the best destinations for you. Usually, you can book excursions at those destinations and see what you could do when you get there. Or, you can decide you don’t want to spend money on excursions and just explore the areas around the dock. There is always the option to be able to spend more money but it depends on your personal preference.
One of my favorite experiences on a cruise was when I went to Italy with my parents. My mom scheduled excursions on every port stop and they were all early in the morning but definitely worth it. We went to Pompeii, Ephesus, Sicily, Greece and Rome. I was 11 years old at the time so I didn’t understand how fortunate I was to have that experience but now I wish I was back there all the time. We walked on the active volcano Mt. Etna, had a tour of the Acropolis in Athens Greece, visited the Oracle of Delphi and even went into the Colosseum. For someone who was at such a young age to experience all of these great landmarks emphasized my idea of how big the world is and how unique each part of it is.
Going on a vacation for a week in a big boat that floats on the water can sound scary but I promise it is the best experience you will ever have. If you’re worried about possibly getting sea sick, I suggest packing some motion sickness pills just in case. But other than that, It feels like you are in a whole different universe. I have made lifelong friends and memories so I highly suggest thinking about going on a cruise on your next vacation. They are 100% worth the expense.