Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My First Cruise

I am still dazed from my my very first cruise experience with Norwegian Epic on her maiden in the Mediterranean Sea. It was a 7 day cruise starting from Barcelona - Naples - Rome - Florence/Pisa - Cannes - Marseilles - Barcelona. The cruise kicked off on the 14 August and back on the 21st August. As a cruising newbie, I have to admit I was somewhat sceptical before boarding the ship. I didn't know what to expect and what not to expect. But I know that this experience will be different from my usual experience of travel. 

I think cruises make for a great vacation as everything is taken care of for you. All you need to do is show up. That's exactly what my cruise experience was like. It was filled with buffets, cheesy entertainment, lots of drinking and large amount of time at the pool. A cruise was pretty much everything I thought it would be. But who would have known that it could be so much fun. I wanted to stay longer. 

When cruising, everything is included such as your accommodation, all food, entertainment, fitness and etc.  however there were some that was additional cost, such as on shore excursion, Spa services, on-board shopping, internet access and alcohol drinks. 

Everything about it made it right but on contrary, there were plenty of things that could have been better. 
  • Not enough pool area: There were 4,000 people on the cruise and there was only two tiny pools that were always crowded and loud. Definitely this needs improvement!
  • No free drinking water: This is ridiculous and specially when you are on a summer vacation where the temperature is at its peak. Thank god, knowing it from our family who has cruise before, we did load in water
  • Small showers: With my size, I was having trouble enjoying my bath. I wonder what would happen with people who are bigger than me. 
  • The buffet closing: this thing really irritated me. As much as they marketed as free and easy cruising but the buffet closing time was just a killer. The only thing that we needed to rush for. 

My recommendation if you are cruising for the first time: 
  • Stock up your water
  • Make sure to get a balcony for your 'me' or 'us' time
  • Get your alcohol included in your package
  • Get your internet access included if you don't want to be out of touch with the world
  • Plan your excursion well
The biggest reason why I loved my first cruise so much was the ease and comfort of travelling part way around. It's pure hassle free, no visas, airport security, waking up early to catch a flight, no cues, no unpacking and repacking... The list is truly endless. More than that the company we were with made it our best.