Fresh off the Boat

Twelve days on a cruise ship isn’t the preferred holiday option for most students, especially with gap years and summer vacations spent on Contiki, or just backpacking in general on offer. However, I’m here to change your misconceptions on cruising and why it is another incredible way to see our beautiful world.

Firstly, you do not have to be over 60 or play bingo to go on a cruise. Yeah, I know right?! Booking a cruise for you and your best friends will be the single most drunk and enjoyable experiences you will have on 78 thousand tonnes of steel in the middle on the ocean. Yes, of course there are a considerable number of over 50s enjoying their children’s inheritance, but with over 3000 people on board you will always find like-minded people who, like you, want nothing more than to go to happy hour every day before riding that Dutch courage to the nightclub which is open every night.

Days at sea can be spent doing numerous activities which you will actually have to prioritise because there is too much to do. Activities on board include many fitness classes, water volleyball in one of the 3 pools on board and beginners ballroom dance classes everyday which I would highly recommend because who doesn’t want to pull out those moves on formal nights and give DiCaprio a run for his money. Night times on board are a real treat with live music happening all around the ship, and a different first-class stage show every night that will make you forget all about your worries and studies.

Secondly, the on board experience is literally only half the trip, my cruise in particular took us to 6 different island destinations in New Caledonia and Vanuatu. These islands were incredibly beautiful in so many ways, the environment, the people, the food, everything! Surprisingly, the interactions and experiences we shared with the locals were very intimate and real, considering the amount of tourists they receive every year to boost their economies and general livelihoods. The locals were extremely friendly and joyful, and why wouldn’t they be when living in paradise.

Some highlights off the ship for me were the pristine beaches with warm water that will make you never want to leave, freediving at The Blue Lagoon (it was so blue!) and most importantly the snorkelling at every island, from anemones with clownfish to a school of baby angel fish and the most fluorescent pink coral I have ever seen. The sea life in the Pacific islands is truly a sight to see. Fun filled days on shore end with us heading back to our ship and relaxing until the seven course dinner awaits you every single night, with desserts to die for and mains that don’t even come close to mi goreng back at uni.

Most importantly, you will never forget the friendships you create with the people you meet on cruises, from the amazing crew, to the beautiful locals and the lifelong friends you make from simply getting ridiculously day-drunk while cruising the South Pacific, without a care in the world.