Cruises are currently in the middle of a big resurgence in popularity. For a few years, it seemed like cruises might have been killed off by an age of ever-faster trains and cheap flights, but something about the romance and the luxury of the experience has managed to keep them alive. For most cruisers today, the cruise is no longer about a way to travel in style from one place to another – instead, it’s all about enjoying your time on the boat itself, living the sea life and relaxing on the ocean waves. This has led to a shift in focus, from trying to make the ship go as fast as possible to it taking weeks for it to get anywhere.
The nice thing about cruises is that your holiday starts as soon as you get on the ship: there’s no sitting around in departure lounges and on planes. Most big cities have a port somewhere nearby, and the chances are that there are cruises no more than a few hours’ drive away from you.
So what can you do once you’re on a cruise ship? Modern cruise ships are basically like big, luxurious floating hotels, and are often truly huge, big enough to include a whole town’s worth of facilities. The world’s largest ship is currently Freedom of the Seas, and listing everything on board would take a long time: it includes swimming pools and a water park, shops and cafes, an ice rink, a boxing ring, and more. The second-largest, the Queen Mary II, is arguably even better equipped, with restaurants and bars, a casino, swimming pools and a planetarium among other things.
The best thing to do, though, is just sit back and relax. Because cruise ships are open at the top, it’s no trouble for them to set sail down towards the equator and give you some real sun to enjoy. All you need to do is wake up, get out of your room and go up on deck, and you’re set.