Published on April 17, 2017 by Lola Augustine Brown

When the topic of cruises comes up, many people are quick to comment that being stuck on a ship isn’t their thing. There are many common misconceptions about cruises that no doubt color people’s opinions, and these are often outdated notions that need to be challenged. In reality, cruising is an excellent vacation option for many travelers – you might just need to rethink what a modern cruise actually entails.

To get you started, here are six reasons why cruises make great vacations:

1) Most major cruise lines make accessibility a priority. If you need to use a mobility device or have any kind of extra requirements, the major cruise lines likely already have everything you need in place. From accessible cabins, to special seating in restaurants and theaters, to wide aisles and elevators throughout the ship, you will encounter few accessibility issues (if any) on modern cruises.

2) Gourmet food experiences are the new norm. Forget what you’ve heard about bad food on cruises. These days, most big ships have restaurants with menus developed by celebrity chefs. For example, Carnival Cruise Lines has Guy Fieri burger restaurants on most ships, and you can eat at Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas.

You’ll also find that several cruises offer cooking lessons, wine tastings, and other experiences targeted at foodies. Yes, you can still get all-you-can-eat pizza and ice cream, but you’re not stuck with those options.

3) Cruises make for the ultimate multi-generational vacation. If you’re traveling with kids, cruises are great because they offer free childcare. Each cruise company varies in terms of what’s available (some have nurseries to look after infants, whereas others only take children aged three and up, for example), but the childcare on offer is always of excellent quality. You may well find that your kids have so much fun that they have little interest in hanging out with you!

Cruise ships also often have clubs and areas for teenagers, so you won’t have to deal with your older kids complaining about being bored. The range of activities offered will suit all ages and interests, so if you’re traveling with parents or even grandparents, there’s bound to be something for them – whether their idea of fun is spa visits, casinos, waterslides, discos, or just chilling out by the pool.

4) The entertainment on board is world-class. These days, the theaters on cruise ships can rival those on Broadway, and may even offer the same shows too. On Royal Caribbean ships you can catch performances of Grease, Cats, We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia!, or Saturday Night Fever. If you go on a Disney Cruise you can check out Beauty and the Beast, Frozen: A Musical Spectacular, Disney’s Aladdin, and many other wonderful shows that will delight grown-ups and kids alike.

Every ship offers lounge entertainment as well – some have casinos, while others offer educational programs where you can learn new skills. Of course there are also pools and sports facilities on board too.

5) Everything is taken care of for you. Many people love cruising because once you’re booked, you don’t need to worry about a thing. Everything you want to do, eat, or enjoy is right there on board. You don’t have to think too hard about where you’re going for dinner, or what you need to do to entertain the rest of your party because it is all thought out and taken care of. Cruising is easy, and allows people to really relax and enjoy themselves.

6) You needn’t spend a penny more once on board. Although you could easily spend plenty on expensive shore excursions and dinners at the fanciest onboard restaurants, you don’t have to. The basics (and a lot more besides) are included in the cost of your cruise, and if you don’t want to splurge on anything else then you’ll still have an amazing time. For this reason, many people find cruising to be a much cheaper option than resort vacations where they need to pay for meals, hotels, car hires, and more.