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For all your cynical friends:

1. The Amenities Are On Point

Sure, pools and whatnot are great. But how about being 300 feet above water with 360 views? Royal Caribbean has an unprecedented view (think: the London Eye) on their new Quantum Class ships, along with an ice-skating rink, a skydiving simulator, zip lines, and even bumper cars. Crystal Cruises (with an almost 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio) take it a step further with activities like language lessons and digital filmmaking classes. Some Celebrity Cruises offer Lawn Club, a half-acre patch of grass where guests can chill out, cook your own meals, play croquet, or just hang on a hammock.

2. The Food Is Actually Really Good

If you’ve ever heard a complaint about Cruise Food, fear not. Cruise companies have heard your cries, and are rolling out cuisine with the makings of Michelin stars. Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers restaurants run by Le Cordon Bleu, while Oceania Cruises has a partnership with famous French chef Jacques Pepin. And some Norwegian Cruises have a Svedka Ice Bar. For…you know, reasons.

3. The Entertainment Isn’t Tacky

Plenty of big lines bring some serious entertainment on-board, from well-known performers to Broadway shows to acts by improv comedy group Second City.

4. It Doesn’t Have to Be “Family Friendly”

No, being on a cruise doesn’t have to mean you’re surrounded by screaming kiddos. Plenty of cruise ships have “adult-only” areas. And make sure you talk to the cruise line before booking if you’re looking to avoid children altogether—certain voyages, timing, and ships mean you’re less likely to encounter kids. (Booking on your own? Think: longer trips, more “luxury” lines, and avoiding holidays.)

5. But It Can Be

If you do have kids, obviously kid-friendly is a must. But that doesn’t have to mean cheesy. Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Holland America Cruises all offer kid-friendly activities and even “clubs” where kids (in similar age ranges) can hang out. Even better? This means they’re out of your hair, and you can park yourself at the pool or the bar. (Just a thought.)

6. You’re Going Cool Places *While* You’re Relaxing and Eating and Drinking (i.e. Not Cooped Up on a Plane)

When it comes to cruises, destinations are key. And some of the newer experiences have some seriously enviable locations. From seeing the Alaska glaciers (Royal Caribbean), to making your way through the Hawaiian Islands (Princess Cruises), to hopping through Central America (Celebrity Cruises), you can find any destination to suit anything you’d want to do or see. And yes, there are short excursions, too—like New England to Canada and short Caribbean voyages.

7. Not Every Cruise Gives You Just Two Hours to See the City

Being able to *see* the land of port is key—that’s kind of the point of travel, no? Azamara Club Cruises focuses on this in particular through their programs like Cruise Global, Eat Local (which helps curate for guests places where locales *actually* eat), Insider Access (which facilitates small hangouts with locals to focus on cultural exchange), and Nights and Cool Places (a “nightcap” of sorts that feature after-dinner tours with experiences best seen at night). Oceania Cruises also a ton of on-shore excursions, like guided market tours and wine tours.

8. Everything’s *Mostly* Included

Many cruises feature all-inclusive packages, including Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Crystal Cruises—and if not offered, many lines will provide a breakdown for anything you’d want included. Time to book?

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When you plan travel with Vacationisms, you're shopping small and supporting a privately owned business based in Goffstown, NH.

We're owned by a husband and wife power duo living locally with their two-nager. Yes, two-nager. When you plan your travel with us, you aren't only supporting our amazing team, you're supporting the community, too. We reinvest heavily in our community in social advocacy, youth development and athletic programs, and we too shop small. We believe that our community is important and we appreciate your business to allow us to continue.