Father’s Day Cruise Ideas
Written by: Paul Motter
This Sunday is Father’s Day, so I wanted to share ideas with you on what it is men enjoy about cruising. Why should you give a cruise to the main man in your family?
Travel industry polls indicate that women make the majority of vacation decisions, especially when it comes to destinations for the yearly family vacation. So many travel companies, including cruise lines, cater to feminine sensibilities in their marketing by putting the spotlight on activites women generally enjoy in their brochures and web site information.
Here at CruiseMates we hear the stories all the time. The lady of the house has wanted to try a cruise for years but she can’t convince her husband, but once he finally agrees to go he falls in love with going to sea and now takes the lead in all their future cruise plans.
So, what is it that men don’t know about cruising until they take their first cruise?
One of the unexpected delights of a cruise for men is the sense of adventure from just being at sea. Not only is sailing is one of the world’s oldest and most respected professions, some of the most famous men in history were sailors; Leif Erickson, Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan. Many of the world’s most famous discoveries were made by sailing men; Lewis and Clarke and the American Northwest, Hernando de Soto and the Mississippi River, Henry Hudson and the Hudson River, Jacques Cartier and the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
Historically, taking to the sea is one of the manliest activities ever, resulting in tales of mermaids and traditions that say women were unlucky on ships (I think that one depends on the circumstances). Even today, the world’s deadliest profession, crabfishing in Alaska, involves going to sea.
In light of how sailing has been viewed for the vast majority of human history it is somehat ironic that cruising is now considered a soft holiday and marketed to women as much or more than to men. But then again, there is a theory that women want to go “where the men are” and if any place is known for having manly men, it is the sea.
In fact, cruising isn’t alwaya a soft holiday at all, as I can tell you just having returned from a cruise to the Arctic Circle where our ship was used to break through Polar ice shelves to get to where the wildlife dwells. Talk about a hunting instinct. The only difference is that we were shooting with our cameras.
I don’t think a man ever lived who didn’t think about the role of the sea in history the first time he found himself beyond the horizon on a cruise ship or ocean liner. The sea has enabled mankind to discover and eventually conquer the world. We are the only species that thrives in every continent and climate on earth.
Men, contemplate the conviction and courage of men like Christopher Columbus, the tactical brilliance of Lord Nelson or the leadership qualities of John Smith who led early American settlers across the Atlantic and later explored much of Chesapeake Bay. You cannot help but feel invigorated by the thought of conquering the world via the oceans.
So, maybe it’s our little secret, but when men take their families on cruises we identify with that sense of leadership and mastery. We feel empowered by our ability to steer our loved ones to the sea to help them discover new worlds of their own.
That’s all part of the masculine psychology of the sea-going tradition just waiting to be awakened in your man. If you are one of the women who has always wanted to cruise its a subtle way to convince him to go.
What else do men like about cruises?
On a more practical basis cruises are an easy vacation for dads because most of the family will find their own fun. Remember the car trip where your teenage daughter didn’t want to go to your museum because it was TOO boring, but you had to hold up the entire family travel time when she met a REALLY COOL GUY at the hotel pool and couldn’t possibly pack her stuff as long as he was talking to her?
When you take your family on a cruise you will be surprised how much time you have just for yourself, and alone with your wife. You can find someone to take care of even the youngest kids every day, and if your kids are older you can be sure they will find their own things to do.
When it comes to free time all men are different, but you can take in a movie, read a good book uninterrupted, sit by the pool and drink a beer, play cards in the casino or work out in the gym. The idea here is that a cruise is a vacation for you, too. You will not be spending all of your time making sure everyone but yourself is amused.
That is not to ignore the fatherly satisfaction in giving your family the time of their lives. In fact, a cruise offers you plenty of opportunities to do that – and it is easy. All you have to do is find a challenging shore excursion like ziplining through a jungle canopy, or whale watching in Alaska where 30,000-pound humpbacks breach fully out of the water in full view of your boat.
If you or your wife don’t enjoy the details of making dinner every night, or even dealing with reservations for that matter, cruise ships make the dining experience as easy as possible and almost always a certain pleasure.
And what man doesn’t like great food and all you can eat? Cruises offer not only convenience but also a large variety of food. Best of all you won’t have to worry about whether the rest of the family likes your food choices. Let’s face it, the kids don’t want fois gras or loin of lamb for every meal, and you don’t want pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner (I’ll bet you’ve had a few pizza breakfasts on those road trips you have taken). Best of all, you won’t feel gouged when your teenage athlete orders two cheeseburgers, fries, a Coke and a shake at $5.00 per item.
On car trips it is impossible to please the entire family when it comes to meals. The kids want fast food all the time and after a day of driving they are far too cranky to endure a gourmet meal, and forget about finding a babysitter in a strange town. But on a cruise ship you can have gourmet food for every meal and all you tell everyone is what time to show up at the restaurant. Better yet, if you want alone time for dinner, the onboard children’s activities can easily provide that for you.
You will be able to give your wife all the attention she wants. There is no housekeeping on a cruise ship, the staff cleans up for everyone every day. The two of you can have as much time together as you want, with or without the kids, and nothing will make her happier than not having to worry about her usual daily details.
When it comes to itineraries men are different. Some guys want to snorkel or even SCUBA dive, which makes the Caribbean a great choice. More exotic choices for water sports include Tahiti and Bora Bora or the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
If you love history then a European cruise will get you to the most important historic places in the world. For ancient history a single cruise itinerary could get you to Athens, Rome, Venice, Istanbul, Ephesus, Cairo and Jerusalem. If you want more culture you can go to London, Lyon, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gdansk and St Petersburg, Russia – again on a single itinerary.
What else do men like about cruising? Financial planning is a breeze. You can figure your entire budget ahead of time and control costs. You already know exactly what you are spending for accomodations, transportation and food. The only added costs you have to worry about on a daily basis are beverages, shoreside tours and onboard shopping. You can watch your expenses on a minute by minute basis during the cruise on the interactive television system and you will get a fully tallied expense sheet at the end of the cruise.
If you are a man who likes alone time you can get away to smoke a cigar (Cubans are available in most Caribbean ports), enjoy a brandy, play in the casino or just take a long nap. There are great movies onboard either in the cinema (on some ships) or in your cabin. Many ships have DVD players and free movies in the library. Many newer ships have outdoor movie screens for “Movies under the Stars,” by the pool.
Bottom line, a cruise is a great vacation for Dad. Give your man a real vacation for Father’s Day this year. In the end, the vast majority of people who try a cruise come back again and again.
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