Many people might see transatlantic travel as something they’d rather just get over with, but throw a cruise ship into the mix and we’re faced with a long haul trip that actually starts to look a little fun. With UK to USA cruises up for grabs, gone are the days of cramped legs, recycled air and food carts. You’ll still have a crazy huge array of destinations on offer, but with West End-quality entertainment, a dizzying selection of cuisine and activities already set and ready for you.
It’s safe to say transatlantic travel just got a makeover. If you’re headed stateside in the near future, here are our top nine reasons why you should pick USA cruise deals over flights.
1. The entertainment is way better
And we mean way, way better. On a flight you’ve got a handful of films to keep you entertained on your travels, but on a cruise, you’ve still got the odd film – with Royal Caribbean® they’re by the pool – plus rock climbing walls, zip-lines, waterparks, cooking classes, wine tasting events and live music. Cunard offers dance classes, while Royal Caribbean offers a string of Broadway-quality musicals. There’s very little you can’t find on a cruise ship in the ways of entertainment.
2. Once docked, you get straight to the activities
There’s no denying that when you fly, at the end of your journey is a whole lot of faffing – arranging car hire, lugging your suitcase around and checking into your hotel. With a cruise, you can prearrange your port excursions in the USA so that once your ship docks, it’s straight to the fun. In New York City, you can go straight to a tour of Central Park, while in San Francisco, Alcatraz awaits.
3. You’ll actually want to eat the food on a transatlantic cruise
Okay, that’s not to say there aren’t some airlines whose food we’d happily eat, but it’s safe to say that food on cruise ships is on a whole different level. Most cruise ships offer a buffet for breakfast and lunch, followed by a multi-course dinner in a lavish dining room. In between that, you’ve got snack spots – Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, pizza and coffee, for instance – plus speciality restaurants, some of which are designed by celebrity chefs. While the latter won’t usually be included in your standard cruise package, it’s always nice to have options.
4. You can still hit all the coastal hotspots on a cruise ship
Anyone who says cruise ships limit where you can visit has clearly never seen the bottomless list of cruise destinations. Hawaii, Miami, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Seattle, Alaska, Boston and San Diego are all up for grabs, as are cities just beyond cruise ports like Philadelphia, which can be reached via excursions.
5. Forget legroom – here, you get a whole cabin
One of the biggest gripes travellers have with air travel is the lack of space, and on a flight to the USA you’re looking at six hours of flight time at least. With a cruise ship, space comes by the barrelful, so to speak. You’ll not only have your own cabin, but go for an upgrade and you’ll have a balcony or veranda too. And then there are the open-air decks, walking tracks and gyms onboard – if you’re looking for legroom, you’ve come to the right place.
6. Travel kid-free, if you want
If you’re looking to escape little ones on your travels to the USA, there’s no better place to do it than on a cruise. Most lines today offer some variation of an adults-only cruise, and even if they aren’t explicitly labelled as such, their activities and entertainment on offer are generally a good indication of their clientele. Luxury lines like Seabourn, Silversea, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises® and Oceania Cruises are all geared more toward adults, and that’s generally who you’ll see onboard.
7. Your whole trip is planned for you
This is perhaps the most crucial, and beloved reason so many people take cruises to the USA and beyond every year. The beauty of cruises is in their simplicity. They can be as structured or laid-back as you like, with activities, entertainment, food and your itinerary already sorted. While flights are only a very small portion of your holiday, your cruise ship plays a huge part. But instead of requiring meticulous planning like other holidays, here, all you have to do is show up. If you want to hit the pool every day at 9am, you’re free to do so, but you’re also equally welcome to park yourself in your ship’s library with a good book for hours on end.
8. Spa while you travel
We might be totally wrong, but we’re pretty sure there’s yet to be a flight with a spa, at least not one that’s available to anyone short of royalty. With a cruise ship, you’re never more than a short walk to your nearest spa, and when we say spa, we don’t just mean a one-room shack near the engine. We’re talking the real deal, equipped with massage and body treatments, manicures and pedicures, plus Turkish baths and Finnish saunas. You won’t find moisture-ridding recycled air here.
9. Cruise ships are home
And finally, we’d pick cruising to the USA over flights because cruise ships aren’t just a travel vessel – they’re home. Once you’ve unpacked, you’ve set down roots of sorts, and won’t need to worry about carting around your belongings no matter how many destinations you visit. The people at your dinner table each night start to become friends, and the faces you see at the gym each morning become familiar. In a way that flights just aren’t, cruise ships are a little holiday community.
Ready to start seeing stars and stripes? Us too. Check out our top transatlantic cruise deals to get planning underway.
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We are acting as an agent on behalf of travel suppliers and your booking will be subject to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Prices may be subject to very limited availability and are correct as at the date and time of writing. Prices may go up or down from time to time. Prices quoted are for the dates, accommodation, board basis, departure points and number of persons sharing specified only and cannot be combined with any other offer. We reserve the right to amend any quotes given if there is a genuine error as soon as we become aware of it. We reserve the right to withdraw any offers without notice.