Caribbean Destinations: To Cruise or to Fly?

Lately, I’ve had a lot of people ask me whether I prefer to Cruise or fly to my paradise destination.  I find there are pros and cons to both, so let me elaborate.

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Cruising Pros:

With cruising, you have many options, and it’s all-inclusive!  I ventured on my first cruise back in 2013 with Royal Caribbean.  I am partial to Royal because they cruise to all of my favorite crystal blue water destinations in the Caribbean. Their cruise ships are luxurious and include the most up-to-date technology features such as mechanical arm bartenders and a bar that lifts on hydraulics! All of your food & non-alcoholic beverages are included in your price, and you can pay a flat fee to add a beverage package which gives you access to all the alcoholic beverages your heart desires.

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In most cases, you may choose a trip that lasts for 5, 7, or 10 days, and anything in between.  Some cruises allow for a longer journey for two weeks or more.  In most of these voyages, you will be able to visit multiple destinations during your stay, giving you a lot of bang for your buck!

 

You will also have access to many sources of entertainment while on the ship such as shopping, live shows, ice skating, rock climbing, wave riding, casinos, and night clubs for the adults (just to name a few). Usually, cruises are very adult-friendly, and not so much kid-friendly, although there are a few exceptions to that. Above all, you will have a 360 degree view of the ocean by taking a short walk around the ship, while enjoying beautiful views including breath-taking sunrises and sunsets.

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Sounds amazing right?

Cruising Cons: 

If your imagination grew wildly in the “pros” section, you must know, there are downsides to cruising. Remember, you are on a ship every day and every night, when you eat, sleep, walk, or involve yourself with any on-board activity. This can be a bit overwhelming for those who have not cruised before, especially if you are prone to sea-sickness. Here’s a bit of advice: Choose a room that is not on the lowest level, but not on the highest level either. That should help with the overall “moving” feeling that you may have while on the ship. You can also bring patches or pills to help with the motion or dizziness you may get while on board.

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Ships can malfunction!  I don’t want to scare you into not ever wanting to cruise, because malfunctions happen less than 25% of the time, but it can and has happened before.  The first cruise I ever took was on Granduer of the Seas which caught fire after night two.  Thankfully, no one was hurt, and Royal Caribbean handled the matter in the most professional way they possibly could have, giving everyone on board a free cruise, and redemption for all expenses during the initial cruise.

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When visiting your destinations, please know that you are on a time schedule. You may think that you’re getting to see all of these beautiful places, and you are, but you may notice that the cruise line only gives you a couple of hours at each place, with absolutely no overnight stays. You won’t be able to do a whole lot of research on excursions, destinations or restaurants that fit in that time crunch. You will see a lot of places during your voyage, but you will be limited to your stay while there, and you must, must get back to the ship before departing, or they can leave without you!

Flying to Your Destination Pros: 

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Depending on where you are headed, you may have a short or long flight to get there. In a lot of cases with cruising, you may be able to drive to a port that is not too far from home, if you live near the coast. In some cases, your cruise to the Caribbean could take days, even a week for some destinations, whereas flying, may be half a day or even just a few hours spent on a plane.

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Once you get to where you are going, you’re there for the entire duration of your trip!  You can rent a car and travel to places that may be only a few hours away from where you are staying, that you would not have been able to visit while on a cruise. You will also be more secluded if you have rented a condo or house, than if staying on a cruise where you do hear a lot of the commotion from other passengers.

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No curfews, no time crunch!  Stay as late on the beach as you want, without having to worry about being called in, or getting left behind.  This is a great benefit, especially if you’re like me, and you like to head early to the beach to watch the sunrise. You also have the ability to enjoy the entertainment at your destination at night-time.

Flying to Your Destination Cons: 

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You may be looking at higher costs for flying to your destination. Some sites such as Cheap Caribbean, Groupon, Kayak, etc. will allow for all-inclusive deals that may even include airfare to help you save money. Usually, you will have to find/buy your own excursions without any discounts that you may find on a cruise ship.

If you’re like me, you may also be fearful of flying. Turbulence, height, and motion sickness could all come into play, and you may be looking at a long flight over large bodies of water in order to reach your destination.

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Once you’ve reached your destination, you may be relying on your own devices to find which areas in your destination are safe to visit, especially if you are going out of the country. I’d encourage a guide, or using a resort for resources, when it comes to recommendations of where to go. Remember, your safety comes first!

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Now…. some of the cons I’ve mentioned here, may be minimal to you, as they were for me. I’m always able to find enjoyment of just being in the Caribbean, near or on the water, so I’m sure you will have plenty to be excited about!

What are some pros and cons that you’ve found with cruising or flying?  Which do you prefer?  I’d love to know your thoughts!

 

9 thoughts on “Caribbean Destinations: To Cruise or to Fly?

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