16 Reasons a Cruise Vacation is Almost Always Worth the Splurge

Top-notch amenities and endless entertainment make cruises worth every penny.
Last updated May 31, 2023 | By Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Edited By Michael Kurko
Woman having fun on cruise ship

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When you really need a vacation but are also trying to keep more money in your bank account, a cruise may be the perfect solution. Many would-be cruisers are still nervous about hopping aboard due to lingering anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But like the rest of the hospitality industry, cruise lines have made adjustments to keep travelers safe. Plus, when you’re looking for a full vacation package, cruises are one of the best options.

Here are 16 reasons cruises are still almost always worth the splurge.

Bargains are easy to find

Pavel Losevsky/Adobe girl and boy with mother enter in white passenger liner

There are amazing cruises available for travelers on all sorts of budgets. Some even offer all-inclusive packages that come out to around $100 a night per person (or less).

You’re likely to find great deals on cruises any time of year, particularly if you live near a port, so shopping around for bargains is often as simple as a quick search online.

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Multiple destinations without hotel hopping

WavebreakMediaMicro/Adobe mature couple drinking a cocktail

If you’re planning to hit more than one destination on your vacation, a cruise is a great way to avoid unpacking, re-packing, and lugging a suitcase around from spot to spot.

When you cruise, you’ll unpack your bags just once and be able to enjoy all each destination has to offer without the hassle of hotel hopping. Cruisers also have the benefit of only having to check in and check out once.

Cruise lengths for everyone

Oleksandr Kotenko/Adobe cruise liner in the waters of Aurlandsfjord Norway

From a weekend getaway to a months-long voyage around the world, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to choosing the cruise that’s right for your situation (and budget).

The shorter, budget-friendly option may cost $200 or less, while a five-month trip around the world can be tens of thousands of dollars or even up to nearly $100,000 depending on the cruise line).

An eclectic array of onboard activities

vvoe/Adobe many tourists relaxing on the deck of cruise liner

One of the big sellers with cruise ships is that there really is something for everyone — a big perk if you don’t always see eye-to-eye on itineraries with the group you’re traveling with.

On a cruise, you can spend the day sunbathing by a pool, climb a rock wall, choose from an array of dining options, see a show, hit the gym, then check out a karaoke bar — all in one day.

It’s an all-in-one deal

simona/Adobe young adult woman enjoying sunset  on a ferry cruise

Cruises are like an all-inclusive vacation to the extreme. Packages often include lodging, unlimited dining access, a drinks package, access to amenities, entertainment, and more.

In addition to taking away the stress of planning all parts of a vacation, the all-inclusive nature of cruises often makes them a much cheaper option than the standard island vacation.

There are cruises all over the world

ake1150/Adobe Amsterdam canal cruise ship

As long as you are OK with traveling to the port, you can embark on cruises that travel all over the world — and this isn’t limited to the super pricey voyages around the world either.

Whether you are looking to dock at a few Caribbean islands, explore the Mediterranean, or cruise around the Maldives and Sri Lanka, you can find a package that meets your needs.

Pro Tip: If you have to fly to the port your cruise sails from, you can earn travel rewards from your trip with the right travel credit cards.

It can be romantic

Maridav/Adobe cruise travel tourists couple pointing at sea view from ferry tour

Many people choose to honeymoon aboard cruises — and some even choose to get married on them. The sun, salty air, and dark, quiet nights at sea can create a delightfully romantic setting for couples.

Plus, there’s no pressure to find a top restaurant to impress your sweetie since there will be plenty to choose from on board.

It’s also great for families

Pixel-Shot/Adobe young family resting on yacht

Cruises can be great for traveling with the whole family. There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages — from pools and basketball courts to arcades and kid-friendly shows and restaurants

There’s such an eclectic array of activities, that parents whose children are old enough to hang out alone for a while may be able to sneak away for a romantic dinner or walk on the beach.

Socializing is easy

Mediteraneo/Adobe friends with glasses of champagne on yacht

On a cruise, you’re all in it together so it’s easy to socialize and make friends to meet up with later in the trip or even at one of the bars on board for a nightcap.

Many cruises also organize events for people looking for friends, or even dates, to link up on board.

Plenty of space to relax

skyNext/Adobe man sitting on the railings of his luxurious yacht

Because all the basics of your vacation are taken care of on a cruise, it leaves a lot of time to simply kick back and relax.

Plus, on most cruises, there are plenty of amenities to help you find your zen no matter how you like to kick back — from hot tubs and spas to poolside bars and lounges.

Lots of entertainment

Tropical studio/Adobe  couple in snorkeling mask hold hand

When you visit a new city, navigating shows and entertainment options can be a huge hassle, but on a cruise, it’s all taken care of for you. Many ships have live bands, theaters, comedians, dancers, and the like. Entertainment options really run the gamut.

Most cruises typically also have entertainment options just for kids so parents never have to worry about the little ones getting bored.

Spa services are often available

alfa27/Adobe young couple receiving head massage at beauty spa

For an extra fee, those looking to indulge in a little me time can often schedule as many spa services as they’d like — from facials to full-body massages and even mani-pedis.

Healthy dining options and gyms

Maridav/Adobe woman eating brunch at luxury travel hotel

An all-you-can-eat buffet may not sound like the ideal situation for the health-conscious, but modern cruises have plenty of healthy eating options, as well as full health clubs on board.

Royal Caribbean, for example, offers workout classes and a full gym for those who want to keep up their routines while out at sea.

Budget options are available

michaeljung/Adobe friends on cruise

There’s a cruise available for every budget — and travelers can choose to skip out or add as much as they want based on how much they’d like to spend.

Those shooting for a cheaper trip can opt out of extra services like a drinks package or spa privileges and can even request a cheaper cabin (one without a balcony, for example).

Those looking to splurge can choose from an array of add-ons or simply opt for more luxurious liners.

Great restaurants and bars

DisobeyArt/Adobe friends drinking tropical cocktails at boat party

Finding a great place to eat or a nice bar to grab a few drinks can be stressful on vacation — particularly if you’ve never visited the destination before.

A cruise takes all the guesswork out of drinking and dining plans. The biggest decision you’ll have to make is if you want to hit the buffet or make it a steak house night.

Convenience, convenience, convenience

Maridav/Adobe tourist looking at glacier front in Glacier Bay

Many people love cruises for the same reasons they love all-inclusive resorts. The bonus of boarding a ship, however, is that you don’t have to stay in one place.

You get all the convenience of an all-inclusive — entertainment, amenities on board, food, and nightlife.

But you also have the advantage of traveling to a new destination or several different destinations.

Bottom line

rh2010/Adobe woman tourist enjoying beautiful landscape view on the riverside

Booking a cruise vacation can be an incredible and financially-savvy option for travelers of all sorts — from large families to young couples to those planning for retirement.

Many solo travelers enjoy the convenience and endless entertainment options on cruises as well.

Before you book, consider how much money and time you want to spend on a cruise. Going in with intentions will make the (already easy) booking process that much simpler.

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Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.