TEN. We were able to see 5 different cities and visit 3 different countries. Try to do that on your own in six days and you'll be feeling crazy! We were able to see Savona briefly while boarding the ship (a 30 minute train ride from us); Napoli (Naples), Italy; Olympia, Greece (the original site of the Olympic games); Split, Croatia; Trieste, Italy; and then stopped for a day in Venice on the train ride back home.
NINE. You only have to settle into one hotel room. Unpack for the week and then sleep while the ship takes you to your next destination. It eliminates all of the stressful part of traveling! I mean, does any one actually enjoy checking the hotel room to make sure they didn't leave anything behind?!?
EIGHT. We met people from all over Europe. Costa, the cruise line we traveled with, thought we were Italian because we booked through the Italian site. This meant that once we explained to the officials that we belonged in Italy (and showed them our visa several times) and boarded the ship, we were seated with Italians. I wish I could have said that we practiced Italian every night for the entire dinner. Unfortunately, our Italian is no where near that level! However, we were able to interact with some Italians and learn a few new words, as well as meet several others from around the continent.
SEVEN. You can find affordable deals. We enjoyed a six day cruise for $60 a day. And in case you are wondering what the catch is, that includes our lodging, transportation (on the boat of course), and food. The only extras you'd need to factor in would be any activities you did off the ship and any drinks you would want to indulge in. Incredibly doable!
SIX. You get great food and fine dining every. single. night. I enjoy great food. I love multi-course meals. Cruises are all about this!
FIVE. There's a spa on board. I love feeling pampered every now and then. I rarely take time to get my hair cut, much less get a facial or have a massage. So when I'm on vacation, it's nice to feel pampered a bit. Alex and I both enjoyed our massages this trip!
FOUR. Cruising simplifies planning a vacation. I can't even begin to imagine how we would have tried to plan to see everything that we did without the cruise ship. They took care of all of the logistics of getting us to our destination. There are plenty of excursions offered through the cruise lines if you want to simplify things further. Or you could do what Alex and I did this trip: look things up so you have a vague idea of what you want to do and then ask people on the boat before you get to the next port. We found the people that we met on the ship had wonderful ideas about what we should do in Split and Trieste because they had already been there.
THREE. There are tons of things to do on the ship. If you can't tell by now, I quite enjoy cruises. In the spirit of full disclosure, this was my 7th cruise. It's hard to be bored on a cruise ship. The larger the ship, the more things there are to do. You can find several pools and hot tubs on board, places to play games, read books, sit and enjoy a conversation with a drink in hand, listen to music, dance, lay out in the sun, and exercise. I've even been on ships in the past that have mini golf, an ice skating rink and a rock climbing wall. Really, you've got no excuse to be bored!
TWO. There's nothing like being rocked to sleep by the lull of the waves. Are there storms where it can get a bit more dramatic? Sure, we had one on our cruise. However, it's a small price to pay for being rocked to sleep every night as a grown adult.
ONE. It is a widely known fact that Mediterranean cruises attract, well, older people. If more 20- and 30-somethings traveled the European seas, Alex and I wouldn't have to feel so young all the time. Like most people around us are at least 35 years older, young.
Still not convinced? Check out Alex's photos from our cruise and stop in Venice on the way home to have us try to convince you one last time!