4) You’ve got no responsibilities
You don’t have to cook, clean, commute, take calls, or perform chores, and without all these normal everyday duties to deal with, your mind can truly wander. You’re constantly traveling without dealing with all of the stresses of constant traveling: get on board, unpack your suitcase -- ONCE -- and never worry about changing rooms. Your toothbrush stays in the same place on the same sink, your clothes stay in a nice pile, and you get to stuff your empty suitcase in the closet without worrying about repacking it for days (or even weeks). Last summer, a year after taking my first cruise, I went on a six-week road trip up and down the East Coast. It was an amazing experience, but packing and repacking every few days became the bane of my existence, eating up at least five hours every week. On a cruise, those five hours are yours to spend exactly how you want. Sit on deck and watch the birds, or the dolphins, or passing islands and shorelines. Take a nap in the sun. Swim in the pool, then the hot tub, then the pool again. Read that book you’ve been meaning to for the last six months. Catch up on last year’s TV series that all your friends swore was so good. And if you want to be social, there are a few thousand people around you happy to strike up a conversation.
5) Excursions and unexpected adventures abound
If the off-ship excursions aren’t exciting enough for you, ask around for other options. Tour guides, concierges, and other employees tasked with assisting passengers go through the same motions far more often than you do. If you want to get off the beaten path a little, ask a particularly adventurous and fun-loving guide if they know of any other options. It isn’t difficult to turn a sailboat cruise into a diving trip. Want to know more about the local history or culture of a destination? Do your research and ask an informed question -- I did it once outside a historic site in Nassau and ended up getting more than an hour’s worth of “secret” knowledge from my tour guide (including the cheapest place to buy a 12-pack of Kalik).
6) Even doing nothing is enthralling
On the final day at sea of my cruise, after spending a full day roaming around our private Bahamian cay sailing, swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing, I decided to do something I quite literally never do: I sat on deck and zoned out for an entire afternoon. No inbox, no to-do list, and no social media -- in today’s world, that kind of mental relaxation is all too rare. But even on the deck of a packed-to-capacity cruise ship, the gentle crashing of the waves remains constant. The wind never stops blowing. Even if you get stuck with a rainy day, sit under an overhang and watch water fall into water as the ocean roils and the boat sways. The demands of a cruise ship are few, and the chance to be immersed in the ocean from start to finish is unusual. By the time you dock back at home port, you’ll probably feel like the experience was worth every penny.