Have you ever wondered why cruising has become such a popular travel choice in the last 10 years? Of course, the ships have become magnificent entertainment centres and escape pods for many people. But for me, cruising is not just about jumping on a ship and sailing from one port to another. It isn’t about the incredibly abundant food and drink choices, the on-board activities or the star-studded evening entertainment.

Cruising for me is not just about the number of countries visited in 14 days or even the wonderful serendipity of new friendships that are often made. Even the visual highlights that are communicated in pictures and words on our Instagram or Facebook pages don’t tell the full story.

For me, the Art of Cruising is about savouring the entire journey. It is about appreciating how the cruise experience touches us at a more personal, abstract level. When I cruise I gain an appreciation and understanding of myself.  Cruising lets me discover, enrich and add memorable events to my life story.

I believe a cruise can change us. We become explorers in the true sense of the word. The pleasure of the entire cruise experience can generate the most powerful and beautiful and long-lasting memories.

A sunset become more than an amber glow. A morning cup of coffee while gazing out on a crystal calm sea is engraved in our mind. We are going somewhere, moving forward. Our life has a purpose and direction. Enabling cruisers to achieve these magic moments are the elusive holy grail that cruise lines continually hope to achieve. They are the memories that last.

Cruising Amplifies Our Inner Journey

Appreciating the overall cruise experience and recognising how we have been impacted (and often changed) by it allows us to take home something quite mysterious. Cruising supports and amplifies our inner journey. It reinforces who we are. Yes we go on cruises to have fun, see the sites, enjoy the wonderful sense of freedom miles from the shore, but at its heart, why do we cruise?

There is a famous quote by Isak Dinesen that says, ‘The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.’ For me, there is truth to this observation. Here are 5 reasons I believe we love to cruise.

To Connect

In conversations with hundreds of women in my Sixty and Me Community, many have said they gain strength and balance from the sea. They long to live near the water especially as they reach retirement age. There is something quite primitive and ancient about having a connection to the sea. We desire to learn its secrets and make them our own. So cruises allow us to understand that life itself is a journey of exploration and discovery. Cruising empowers us to feel connected to that process. It takes us on a literal journey but the power it has is in the inner voyage.

To Escape

Cruising is pure and simple escape. You can stay in your cabin for the entire cruise. It’s a bit like visiting Las Vegas. You can be anything or anyone your heart desires. A brain surgeon, corporate CEO, world famous author. No one is checking and you can create a new persona in order to leave the other one behind. It’s a bit like Cinderella however and at midnight  (or when the cruise ends) the carriage will turn into a pumpkin.

To Reflect

I love finding a seat by a window, watching the waves, with a cup of tea and a good book or some knitting and just dream away. Like being on a time machine. On a cruise we are in a way, forced to just relax, suspend our daily routines and give the brain a new pathway to see things just a little differently. Decisions that need to be made in our lives often surface and the gentle rocking of the sea connects us with a distant wisdom.

To Indulge

WE are on diets, holding ourselves back. On a cruise we can relax, let go, accept our bodies, challenge stereotypes – everyone is there to support your journey.  On a cruise, I allow myself to let go just a little of the diet, to forget the calories, silence that little voice that reminds me of the rules. We can give ourselves permission to try 3 desserts before the healthy salad. Why not? As they say, “Life is short, eat dessert first!”  In a great article by Liza Dunkel, she described her first adventure cruise as summer camp for adults with gourmet food and alcohol.

The Art of Cruising reminds us that there is space for us to embrace small indulgences with non judgemental enjoyment.  A little bit of letting go is for me a part of the cruise experience! Put rules on the back burner and just enjoy! You can always walk those circuits on the deck as the sun sets and feed your spirit instead!

To Be Pampered

In my opinion, we don’t pamper ourselves enough. Strong women don’t ask for help but the staff on most cruises completely ignore this and go completely out of their way to make you feel special, beautiful, interesting and lovable. It’s how they are trained. They open doors, escort you arm in arm to your dinner table, fill that water or wine glass before you can blink. Crusing is a beautiful way to surrender and let someone else take care of you. Why both Viking and Fred Olsen won my heart Best experiences have been because of the staff

Strength comes from appreciating our vulnerability. The ocean does this. For me the Art of Cruising is gives us a chance to reset the map of our lives and we navigate the sea journey, we can release fear, step outside comfort zone,

Why do you cruise? What are your most precious memories of a cruise experience? Please share how you define the Art of Cruising?  

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