I Am Not Above Cruising.

What’s the deal with hating on cruises? So many people roll their eyes and say they don’t want to be herded on and off the ship with a thousand other tourists, or that they don’t see it as “real” travel. Here is my defence.

1.) When a cruise rocks into town they have done the research for you, and show you in the form of excursions what the top attractions are. They will drive you from the ship to the attraction in comfort, giving you a history lesson along the way, let you skip the line, and give you a guided tour, usually followed by a cold or hot drink (climate dependant) on the return to the ship. I learn way more on a cruise through its port history courses prior to arrival than I would travelling on my own, and spend a fraction of the time having to plan, which in a world of busy busy busy, I appreciate!


Did I mention our little munchkins get us priority boarding? Thanks kids!

2.) Unpacking once. Holla! We have two small kids and have been to 22 countries with them before our oldest was 2 and a half. We’ve done road trips, farm stays, Airbnb, glamping blah blah blah and the hardest part is unpacking and packing up. Being on a cruise is so flippin’ easy. We can settle in, sit back, and get to where we need to be.


We used the top bunk as a “kids can’t reach” area for extra winter clothes, toys etc. 

3.) Crummy weather — not my problem! The ships have plenty of things to do inside if it’s pouring rain, brutally hot, or super chilly. We’ve seen Cirque du Soleil at sea, had amazing exercise classes, and relaxed at day spas while we otherwise would have been feeling bummed about bad weather.


It’s 5 degrees and crazy windy outside on a sea day.  Ohhhhh well!  Guess we’ll just chill out in this awesome play group!

4.) Long hard travel days? See above! A 24 hour span of cruising is a non-issue. No one is strapped into a car, bored, and asking “are we there yet?” We just enjoy ourselves, and are hand delivered to the hot spots!


Not a bad way to get around Norway!

5.) Food, baby! Do you know how much time we spend planning out who needs to eat what, where we will get it, and so forth? Our kids eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper, bedtime snack, and milk at bed time. It is such a treat to be able to nip to the buffet to grab a prepared snack, and then leave without having to clean up behind myself. Easy peasy!


Blurry pic, but how great is it to have three people to watch your child while you eat. Ha. Thanks for the killer service!

6.) It is the appetizer of travel…a little taster!  There are some places that I want to check out but don’t know if I would commit an entire trip to.  Cruising gives you the chance to have a sneak peek at a half dozen places so you can later say “whoa, I didn’t see that coming!” (good or bad) and decide where you want to go back to invest more time.  If it’s a place you don’t click with, no prob Bob.  You’ll be gone by 6 pm.  If you love it, you can start planning the big return!


We booked this cruise specifically for Svalbard, with everything else being “bonus.”  We LOVED Norway though and would definitely return.  Cycling with daddy? Such a hit!

7.) It’s a great way to visit hard to reach areas like the Arctic, or South Pacific Islands.  You can do little hopper flights but cruising gets you to the destination with a leisurely pace, and killer scenery along the way!


205 kilometres of Norwegian Fjords.  Ya, cruising sucks. 

If you’re looking to stumble upon a cool underground club that needs a secret password to enter, you won’t have that experience on a cruise, but isn’t there a time and place for everything? I give cruising a wild thumbs up for ease!

Have you cruised?  What did you think??

J xo


Plus, how cute is this towel animal waiting for the kiddos at bedtime (with our jammies laid out for us, in the background!).


2 thoughts on “I Am Not Above Cruising.

  1. Amanda Patsey says:

    Haven’t cruised yet and have been really hesitant to, BUT your article here is trying so hard to convince me to change my mind… the unpacking once thing might be a game changer. We are big hotel hoppers, and while it is often necessary because we are just moving on to see new things, it also SUCKS!!


    • fiftyfourcountrieslater says:

      Hey Amanda, Tyler here. Try cruising, if it turns out it’s not for you, then at least you know that. We really do enjoy it. There are naysayers who moan that it’s not “real travel”, but I mean… I wasn’t there, then I somehow covered some distance, and now I am there… that’s the definition of travel isn’t it? Haha, I agree though, that a 12 hour port stop is in no way as immersive as hunkering down somewhere for a week. We see most cruises as more of a taster… what was our impression, would we come back? That sort of thing. Where would you try for your first one? Any specific area of interest? Maybe a river cruise? I’d love to know!

      Also, regarding unpacking while traveling… I forget where we went, but way back at the beginning of our relationship, the very first night Jessica and I traveled somewhere over night, when we got to the hotel I began unpacking (we were only there for one night I think, maybe two) and Jessica was like, “Whoa, whoa, what are you doing?” to which I replied, “Fully unpacking – each and every item… you don’t?” We both just kind of looked at each other processing the fact that we had different travel systems, haha. Up until then Jessica was a fast paced, on the go world nomad who had an efficiently organized bag that she never unpacked. In time, I won her over and now we always fully unpack, which became all the more helpful since having kids! Do you guys fully unpack, or stick to leaving lots in your luggage?


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