It’s lovely to be able to get straight off your plane and onto your transfer bus without entering the airport building. There was no need for passport control as the formalities are dealt with in bulk by the cruise line. I loved not having to bother with my hold baggage: I didn’t see it after I checked in at my departure airport until after we’d arrived on board ship and it was delivered to my cabin for me.
A New Port Every Day
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this. Normally, we like to have a thorough explore of an area when we are on holiday. When you are only in a port for a day, you can’t do that. It’s a great way to visit lots of places though and you can spend many a happy hour planning where you will return to in the future. Also, on a touring holiday, you’re forever having to repack your suitcase, but on a cruise your hotel travels with you. I was sad to leave some ports and there were one or two that I’d have liked to have a stroll round in the evening. Our ship did leave a bit later a couple of nights, but that didn’t happen in the ports where I wanted it to.
Friendliness of Staff and Fellow Passengers
There’s a kind of camaraderie on board and off. You’re from the same ship and you have that in common. You’re relaxed and you’re on holiday. We found everyone was very friendly. The service from the staff was friendly and helpful too.
Turn Down Service
I loved that our cabin got a tidy up whilst we were at dinner. It’s lovely to come back to find that the towels have been neatly hung up and your bed has been smoothed down. Better still, there were chocolates.
The choice of food on a cruise ship is immense. There are usually a number of different restaurants ranging from self-service buffets to fine dining experiences. We found the self-service was our preferred option for breakfast and lunch: it’s quicker; you get plenty of choice; and you can go at pretty much whatever time suits you. For dinner we had a set sitting in a restaurant. Our three courses plus coffee was managed every night in just one and a half hours and it worked amazingly efficiently. Considering the challenges of catering on that sort of vast scale the quality of the food was high. Food is usually available at any time of the day or night, so you’ll never go hungry.
We travelled with P&O and very much enjoyed our holiday overall and you can read about what I didn’t like about cruising here. Obviously, this list of 5 things I loved about cruising, is based on one cruise, on one particular ship: the Azura.