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Once reserved only for daring explorers, today, cruising is the fastest-growing sector in the vacation industry. Those who have tried it return to it every year. But regardless of its soaring popularity, cruises are still dismissed and sneered at by those who haven’t yet dared to set sail. If you are one of the latter, read on to see what makes it so popular and why you shouldn’t miss out on it this year.

Discover the far-flung places

Cruises are putting the thrill of discovery back into travelling. In the recent years, we have seen an increased interest in the off-the-beaten track regions and not-so-ordinary tourist destinations that are otherwise inaccessible or hardly accessible by land. Want to see the Arctic and Antarctic Circles? Or the tiny Sava River in Europe? Chances are you will find a cruise line that voyages to these regions. Let us not forget the always popular Caribbean islands, which can only be experienced this way.

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A journey for everyone

Modern cruise ships offer spaces and activities for all ages, personalities, and moods. From quiet corners where early risers can sip their morning coffee, to formal and informal restaurants and bars for evening dates. If you have kids in tow, you will probably be spending a lot of time close to pools or kids’ clubs, but you can also choose to leave the job of watching over your little ones to the staff and enjoy your newly gained freedom. Many people try their luck at a casino, or visit a live show at a theatre.

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On board education courses have also become quite popular, so if you decide to learn how to cook, you can now do it in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Travellers with disabilities are also reporting that they are encountering far less accessibility issues on cruise ships than on land. All of this gives you plenty of opportunities to tailor the trip to suit your own taste and do whatever you like – or don’t do anything at all. Also, if you are looking for a trip that would be suitable for a multigenerational vacation with your kids and parents, look no further.

See many places – unpack once

The beauty of taking a cruise is that exotic destinations sort of come to you. During your cruise, you will probably visit several ports, where you can simply take a short excursion and forget about packing, unpacking, and pulling your luggage behind you. It stays in your cabin all the time.

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Now, if you haven’t been on a cruise ship before, packing could be a bit tricky. You can expect to have at least two formal dinners on a 7-day cruise, so make sure to pack at least one elegant attire combo. However, the daytime dress code is always casual. This means that you should pack the most comfortable shoes and clothes you have, because relaxing and enjoying yourself should be your priorities.

Unplug completely

While the cruising companies are competing to make online communication less expensive (some have even gone so far as to make it free), on-board Wi-Fi service is still pricy, slow and unreliable. It takes a few days to get use to this feeling of getting out of your comfort zone.

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But give it a day or two and you will realize that the Earth is still spinning even though you haven’t been checking your emails every 10 minutes, or sharing your every meal and mood on social networks. Embrace this state of disconnectedness and learn to talk with others in person and enjoy their company.