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5 reasons why a luxury cruise beats a luxury hotel

Cruise Advice

If you're a luxury hotel sort of person, you might be resisting the idea of taking a cruise, carrying an image in your mind of serried ranks of sun loungers, overcrowded pools, umbrella drinks and queues for everything. But think again!

Just as hotels vary, depending on their price level, location and type of clientele, likewise there are ships for everyone: it's just a question of finding the right one for you (and I'll let you into a secret - a specialist cruise agency will help you every step of the way). You might wonder why you would even bother - hotels suit you fine. Here are our five top reasons to choose a cruise instead.

1. Wake up somewhere new every day

We often hear non-cruisers explain that they like to explore in-depth: but in fact planning a daily expedition from your hotel can be challenging and stressful. Within days you will have exhausted the sightseeing opportunities and done the most interesting hikes. On a cruise you wake in a new place every day: you can explore independently ashore, arrange a private trip, or join a tour you couldn't have arranged for yourself: access to a private palace, for example, or a market visit and cooking class with a local chef.

Ponant luxury cruise in Mykonos

2. Unpack only once

You may have done some amazing tours, in India for example, or on safari in East Africa. But I can't be the only one who is terrible at working out how to pack when on the move: remembering what you are going to need for each day's activity, ensuring it is to hand in your suitcase, and in a presentable state. Imagine unpacking only once, and then having everything at your fingertips, whatever the weather and wherever you plan to go.

Butler service on a Silversea luxury cruise

3. A sea view every time

Choosing your accommodation in a hotel can be tricky, and it is hard to get to grips with the different types of room available: photo angles can be misleading, and those partial sea views can be a disappointment. On a luxury ship, all the rooms are ocean front, and most with private verandah. You can pick exactly where you are going to be, and select your room by number rather than category. The layout is clear, and if your family is travelling with you, interconnecting rooms and adjacent suites are all available.

Enjoying the views of Tahiti on a Paul Gauguin cruise

4. As private or as social as you wish

For some people, the thought of meeting new people when on holiday is anathema - in that case, choose a lovely spacious suite on board with a butler to take care of you and private guides to meet you in every port. But if you like to socialise, you will find plenty of kindred spirits on a ship, and plenty of ways to meet them: at a lecture or class, over a game of bridge, or relaxing at a beautiful bar with sea view. And because everyone joins the ship on the same day, you won't have that disappointing experience of meeting someone whose company you really enjoy, only to find they are flying home tomorrow.

Top of the Yacht bar on SeaDream Yacht Club

5. Extraordinary value

Now we come to the most important thing - the extraordinary value for money that a luxury cruise represents. Take a look at the upfront cost: it may seem a little high, but probably around the same cost as your favourite luxury boutique or resort hotel. Then take a look at what's included: the outstanding food in a variety of restaurants, the extensive room service menus, the surprise caviar at cocktail hour, the range of included drinks including spirits and Champagne, all the service charges, and in some cases even the shore excursions. The value is beyond extraordinary.

Enjoying caviar on board Silver Moon
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising. Most recently she's cruised on Windstar and has also sailed with Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SeaDream, Ponant, AmaWaterways and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Danube, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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