Today’s trans-oceanic travel entails riding an aircraft several miles above the earth at high speed. By riding an airplane, people get from one side of the world to another in a matter of hours. Compare that to the old days when crossing the world’s oceans require days or even weeks of travel on ship. And during that era, unless you were rich and powerful, ordinary passengers have to contend with crowded and noisy steerage accommodations, hot bunks, poor service, and rudimentary meals.
However, during the 1980s, a new shipping industry emerged. The market was filled with people who wanted to experience the nostalgia of sea travel. It was a market that wished to visit the tropical paradises of the Caribbean and the picturesque nations of the Mediterranean. It was a niche market that wished to experience unhurried, leisurely travel. The cruise industry was born. With the airing of the late 70s television show “The Love Boat,” people began to have a glimpse of the cruise industry. Within a few decades, the industry blossomed into a gigantic, thriving business that provided enormous benefits to global tourism, the ship building industry, and many other sectors.
The cruise industry’s most visible workhorses are cruise ships, gigantic vessels that are more floating hotels than ships with shops, casinos, restaurants, spas, theatres, and other amenities. But cruise companies are not stopping there. In fact, many are building even bigger ships; the largest cruise ship in the world, The Oasis of the Sea, can carry more than 6,000 passengers and has the amenities of a city!
In a typical cruise, the ship departs from the originating port. Then the ship stops at certain ports of call in different regions for a few days. During such layovers, passengers can disembark and explore the area. Then the cruise ship returns to its originating port.
Many people think that cruises are boring. Well, it may seem so. Just imagine being in the ocean for days or weeks, with nothing to see but a vast expanse of sea and sky. Well, this is hardly the case. Remember that a modern cruise ship is almost like a hotel (or a city in case of the largest ones). That means, it has many amenities and facilities to keep passengers occupied. So, on your cruise, you may experience the following:
1. Dine on the finest food. Restaurants in the ship offer the best food in the world, prepared by some of the best, award-winning chefs.
2. Witness a show. During evenings, an entertainment group performs grand shows in the ship’s amphitheater. Talented acrobats, singers, dancers, and other artists perform breathtaking performances that leave you in awe. Concerts, musicales, and operas are just some of the typical shows performed in cruise ships.
3. Engage in swimming and other watersports. Most cruise ships have swimming pools in their decks where passengers can have a refreshing dip. Some cruise ships even have a store of personal watercraft which you can ride once it docks at a port of call.
4. Relax. A cruise ship offers a variety of establishments that can make your stay as pleasant and as relaxed as possible. Have a massage at one of the ship’s spas or drink a coffee at the promenade while you watch spectacular seascapes.
5. Meet people. A cruise ship is a melting pot of people all over the world. It’s a great place to make new friends.
Join a cruise now!