I'm curious to find out: what is your number one reason for choosing a cruise over a land-based resort?
My reason is convenience.
My ankles and knees are shot, so I can't walk long distances. I love cruising, because everything I need is close at hand. Land-based mega-resorts can entail a LOT of walking in a day, so I'm a bit leery. If I want a cheeseburger at 3 am, it's easy on a cruise. At a resort (if it's even available) it can be a hike to the snack bar, cuz very few resorts have 24 hr. room service. Also, quality of food and service can vary much more widely in the thousands of resort choices, compared with hundreds of cruise ship options.
I have NEVER felt claustrophobic or bored on a cruise (number one complaints of the cruise-phobic), and we always stay in an inside cabin.
Edited to add: On my first cruise on the Splendour of the Seas, I was struck by the number of elderly folks onboard (it was a 10 day) and in my review, I commented on the number of walkers and wheelchairs onboard. Now I know why. A cruise is ideal for those persons of limited mobility. I'm not in that category (yet), but I do appreciate that everything I need is less than 1000 feet away.
Just 1 month to go until the "Cruise Cynic Mystery Cruise" ... January 2008
When I had a really stressful job, managing a regional office for a fortune 500 company with 4 sub-offices in 5 different cities with 30+ employees, we often went on a resort and totally vegetated for a couple of weeks.
For the last few years and allmost no stress, we enjoy a cruise and doing more visiting rather than just laying on the beach.
Aside from the notable differences, I would have to say it's something that is difficult to put into words. Specifically, the reason is the feeling I get when the ship leaves port. I don't get that feeling when boarding the plane, leaving the house, or when going to a resort for a vacation.
I feel the stress ooozing out of my mind and body. I think it has something to do with your physical environment helping your mind to achieve a state you want to be in. I suppose it's why people meditate in a serene and quiet place, possibly around nature, and not in a subway station.
i totally agree with Banker. There is a feeling, a mood, the atsmosphere on a cruise ship that you just don't find at a land-based resort. Maybe it has something to do with the sea, the air the motion, the escape- lack of access to a "mainland".
Im much more practical..on a land base resort if you don't like the place you are staying, your are stuck..on a cruise, you have the opportunity to try 3 or more different ports and if you really like one, you can come back and do a land base visit..plus with 2000+ folks onboard verses a much smaller number on a land base vacation, you have a greater opportunity to meet people
For us, cruise vs. land-based resort is really a false choice. We don't much care for land resorts because we're not huge on beaches, golf, or the usual resort stuff. So we only spend time at them very occasionally, usually with friends who tend to like a particular place and ask us to come along.
Instead, for us the choice is generally between a cruise and a land vacation of the non-resort variety. Like cynic, we're not infirm yet, and so we like to see as much of the world as possible more or less up close, and not through the windows of a tour bus. We've been lucky to travel a lot over almost four decades for business and for pleasure, but the more you do it, it seems the more there is to see.
We like cruising because it combines the opportunity for relaxation with the opportunity to get out and see some great places. Our pattern is to try to find itineraries that give us the chance to spend several days at one or both ends on intetersting land trips, then use the ports of call as "special introductory offers" to evaluate for possible return visits. Sometimes these stops turn into "it was worth exactly on day, and we're glad we got to see it;" sometimes they're "we've got to come back;" and once in a while they're "oh, well."
This means that we're pretty much completely finished messing around in the Caribbean, because the embarkation/debarkation ports offer nothing in particular that we haven't seen a million times, and because the stops are generally underwhelming. The only exception would be if we were to go with friends who really wanted to go down there, in which case our attitude would be, "OK, it's a floating resort on which we'll spend the equivalent of seven sea days."
Bottom line, cruises give us the chance to see and evaluate a number of places efficiently and comfortably, while also giving us the chance to do our "land thing" at one or both ends. At the ports, we seldom take ships' tours. We generally get ideas from reading and from other cruisers and set off on our own. We find that we tend to be much more relaxed and refreshed after a day of discovery and a bit of mind-stretching than we are after a day at a beach or a pool. So for us, an interesting itinerary combined with the amenities of a ship make the perfect combination.
Our first vacation after we were married was a five-week grand tour of Europe in 1970, starting in Rome and ending in London, stopping in Venice, Italy's pre-Alps near Turin (to see friends), Geneva, Munich (for Oktoberfest and to visit more friends), Cologne for a trade show (and a writeoff), Geingen (the town in Germany where they make the Steiff toys to see another friend), Paris, and London. We did it almost exclusively by train and Channel steamer, and carried our bags all the way in the days before wheeled suitcases. We still don't know how we pulled it off, and we know we could never do it that way and for that long again. But that trip gave us the bug, and these days cruises let us more or less perpetuate our wanderlust as we get older.
I feel that cruising is a little like playing make believe. You get to dress up. You are served 5 course meals in an elegant setting, eating and trying things you might never have the oppertunity to try at home. You can put a little more attitude in your step and dance like your a pro. Who knows the difference (If they could dance they'd be out there too.) Get a chance to make a difference in a complete stranger's life (It's one on my favorite parts) because people are so open and friendly on a cruise they open up to you and it's such an awesome chance to encourage them. I'll miss my Thanksgiving cruise this year. I gained too much weight after my fall and I promised myself I'd lose 10 lbs before I booked another!!
VIKING SERENADE 1993
STAR PRINCESS 2002
NCL STAR 2004
MS OOSTERDAM 2008