On Tuesday night I returned from my first (ever) cruise experience. Celebrity Cruises invited me to experience a four night/five day cruise through Cartagena, Panama, and Costa Rica (docking in Cozumel) and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. But if we are being honest, I was a little bit nervous leading up to the trip! I am always one to say yes to a new adventure (I live to travel) but my biggest concerns were that a) I would feel trapped on the boat and b) I would be seasick. I ended up having the most incredible time (neither of these things happened) and would 1,000% take another cruise. In the next week or two I will be sharing a full journal of my trip (so many photos to edit!) but in the meantime I wanted to tell you more about the cruise ship experience in general and why I enjoyed it so much.)
PS – While I have you, Celebrity is running a special offer (ends 12/27/16). If you are thinking about booking a cruise, now is the time to do it!
ONE // You won’t feel trapped. I swear. This was my #1 concern as so many people I chatted with (prior to my trip) expressed this concern. Note that none of them had ever actually taken a cruise! I liken the experience to staying at a beautiful, all-inclusive resort (the Celebrity Equinox is huge) with excursions in between. There are full days at sea in between docking at various ports but on those days at sea you can hang at the pool, go to the gym, visit the spa, the casino, etc. etc. On our one day at sea I was more than happy to spend my day at the pool after going on excursions to Costa Rica and Panama on the days before.
TWO // Unpack once; see ten countries (or see a lot). This is my favorite part. I love globe trotting. I do. But sometimes, when your goal is to see a lot in a short amount of time, it can be a little bit annoying to pack, unpack, repack, and so on and so forth. On my this summer’s trip to Northwest France I stayed in four different hotels over the course of five nights. It was really fun, but it was exhausting! I loved being able to put away all of my clothes, take out my beauty products, unpack my laptop and work stuff at my desk and really get comfortable in my room.
THREE // You (probably) won’t get sea sick. I say “probably” as everyone is different and I legally can’t claim that you won’t but if I didn’t get sick, you probably won’t either. I am extremely sensitive to motion (in cars + smaller boats like ferries). I can’t even read in the car and as someone who’s been really sick on the short ferry ride from Cape Cod to Nantucket, I was very concerned about this. The reality is that the boat is so big that there’s very little shifting. There were times where the waters would be a bit more rocky but I would just sit down and be totally fine. And at night the (very slight) rocking lulled me right to sleep!
FOUR // You can still be healthy. Cruises get a bad reputation for being unhealthy. It can be that way, but the Celebrity Equinox boasted a gym that is nicer than the one I go to at home, and there were lots of healthy eating options. I managed to sneak in a workout every day (running on the treadmill and lifting weights) but they also offer classes (yoga, Pilates, etc.) There is even a track around the top deck if you prefer not to run on the treadmill. And of course there is lots of unhealthy food (I personally recommend the gelato spot on Deck 5) but there is also loads of fresh fruit, produce, a great salad bar, and so on and so forth.
FIVE // It’s the perfect mix of adventure and leisure. I am someone who likes to get out and about and see as much as possible when I’m traveling, but I also love relaxation. This is all sort of “done” for you on a cruise. You plan your excursions ahead of time (I visited a monkey jungle island in Panama and the rainforest in Costa Rica), and then on the days that you are at sea, you can just enjoy the ship (and work on your tan if you choose). There’s a beautiful pool, several relaxation decks, a Canyon Ranch Spa… all perfect ways to unwind.
SIX // It doesn’t feel crowded. This is probably the part that shocked me the most. The ship holds 2,850 people but there is so much to do and see on the cruise that it never felt overly crowded. There was always a seat at whatever bar I went to, none of the restaurants were ever at full capacity, I never waited in line at the cafeteria, and I always managed a seat at the pool area. And this was on a fully booked cruise! The ship really is that big.
SEVEN // It’s like staying at a (traveling) world class resort that has everything you need. I mentioned this a little bit before but I was truly blown away by all of the amenities – the spa, amazing restaurants, the musical performances at night, the pool(s), the fitness center, etc. There is also quite a bit of shopping. I didn’t shop but they have several fantastic boutiques and there is even an Apple store!
EIGHT // The food. Yes, the food. This was a shocker to me as well but the food on our cruise was so good! Every morning I’d get an iced Americano at this cute little coffee shop… for lunch I’d have a big green salad from the cafeteria that I’d eat by the pool, and for each of our four nights on the cruise, we dined at an amazing restaurant. My favorite (by far) was at Murano. I actually felt as though we were on The Titanic… it was that fancy! We had what was one of the most delicious meals I’d had in ages (I’m still dreaming about dessert – a fluffy Grand Marnier soufflé!) complete with wine pairings. It was unreal.
Thank you to Celebrity Cruises for this amazing trip – and for making my first cruise such a memorable one!
I love cruises for so many of the same reasons. It also accommodates families that want to do different things!
I’ve never been on Celebrity, only Royal Carribean but will be sure to check out Celebrity next time! Can’t wait to see lots more photos!
Have a great week, Grace!
Thanks Tracy!!! Hope you have a great week as well 🙂 xx
Great list of reasons! Looked like a fun adventure.
Thank you Carrie! Hope you had a great weekend!! XOXO
I’m like you, not really a cruise person, but we did a family one to Alaska a few years ago and it was perfect. First of all it’s hard to cover Alaska. All the reasons you stated are great. My nephew( the only kid in our small family) had a ball at the kids clubhouse. His mother knew he was safe and he was never bored! Likewise, my dad was able to go to his room and take a nap if he got too tired. Our ship was smaller, than yours, but there was still plenty to do. We had a girl spa day, our one day at sea, perfect. There were tons of excursions. This year we are doing a small river cruise to Spain and Portugal. The other thing is, I would have gone stir crazy, but it was only a week. Yours even shorter. More than a week would be too long. That’s the ticket. Yours looked really great and I highly recommend the Alaska one, amazing sightseeing! ( whale watching, etc). Not my preferred way of travel, but for certain instances and reasons I agree with you. Dad is older now, so it makes travel easier for him in his “golden years”
Alaska is SO high up on my list – it sounds like an incredible place!!!
So bummed that I didn’t know you were going on this trip, I ended up turning it down because I was too nervous to travel alone (ridiculous reason, I know). Your trip looked AMAZING! I love the Celebrity team! Can’t wait to see more!
Pink Champagne Problems
You are the THIRD person I know that said that (Also, Cass from Coco & Kelly and Molly from A Piece of Toast!) I wish you went!!! I had the best time!!!
I want to go on a cruise SO bad! I’ve only been on one with my family when I was a kid, and it was the best experience of my life. But when I ask my family now, they’re super against it, because of high risk poisonings and whatnot. 🙁
Oh that is so interesting! I didn’t realize there is a risk (everything we ate was amazing – my only complaint that I ate TOO MUCH!!) haha!
Good points. I love to travel too and took my first cruise on Celebrity from Rome to Istanbul for 11 nights. I loved it too and would go in a heartbeat again. It’s wonderful getting to see so many ports and just to see so much of the coast line of Italy, Greece and Turkey. I felt I got to see so much history and spent 5 days in Rome first. It is a great city and you would love it if you have never been there. Still have a
lot of places to go on my bucket list. Love your column.
Hi Pam! Nice to hear from you – thanks for stopping by and commenting! 🙂 I loved Italy and Greece but I’ve never been to Turkey. I agree with you… there is so so much to do and see!