I have travelled a lot, been to many countries, and know flying like it is a common cold to be caught on regular occasion. For a short holiday from Australia to Fiji or the Pacific Islands, a cruise is a way better option, as I just found out. This article is a comparison of two similar holidays… Read on.
Sydney Harbour cruises, most people’s minds are a trip around the harbour and maybe an additional look out into the ocean, to catch a look at a whale or a dolphin if they are lucky. Well, there is a whole more going on. If you want to get away from winter, there is a very easy way to do it. I just did it. Cruises out of the harbour and onto Fiji and the Pacific Islands are leaving all the time. The prices are amazing and we had a wonderful time. Everything is just so immediate, and when you realise the costs are very inexpensive and the cruises are available very regularly. All those Fiji Islands are not a distant image in your mind. I have flown extensively in my life, and I have been to many places, but I had never been on a cruise before. I wasn’t aware of them leaving all the time from Sydney, until a friend suggested we take a cruise for four days and make our own long weekend. No one at the office even knew. I took the days off as a matter of course. No one had any idea I was having a smashing time on, well, what I have to say was the holiday of my life. At 10 am in the morning, we were getting on the ship, and our party and holiday started precisely a minute after. Compare that with a flight or long drive to any other destination. That is what I call full value, and prompted me to write this article, a comparison of a cruise against a holiday, including a flight and hotel for the same amount of time to a similar destination.
- Travel Time. Travel time to the cruise is as long as it takes to get to the terminal. I live by a train line, so it was a quick ride into the city, and then a short taxi to the terminal. A pass through immigration and we were away. All in all, it was very inexpensive and over before we knew it, and our holiday had already started. For a flight, you have your travel time to the airport, airport waiting, and check-in early because it is an international flight to a similar location, a flight of 4 hours to Fiji, more airport waiting and then transport to the resort or hotel. Just the airports and flight come to about 8 hours without including any other time. Being very generous, that is about a total of 10 hours. Both ways that is a total of 20 hours, which is basically a day. Not forgetting that flights don’t leave throughout the night, and so you lose more than a day of your holiday when you travel.
- Perspective. There is something about seeing those huge views across the ocean. There is something spectacular about seeing an island as a dot on the horizon. The calmness and deep blue of the open ocean. I had never experienced anything like it. That kind of feeling is very hard to find, and is not going to be found if you are flying there. You can see the Fiji Islands out of a small aeroplane window if you are lucky enough to be sitting in the right spot.
- Friendliness. Resorts and hotels are great places to stay, but there is something indifferent about them. It is rare to make friends or feel anything about anyone else who is staying in the hotel. The cruise ship is very different. Whether it is said or not, there is a bond between everyone on the ship. There is a sense of togetherness, which manifests itself in a warmth and friendliness. There is just no comparison. Service. 5 star hotels and resorts have excellent service. You still need to time carefully when to order your drinks at the pool, because the local serving staff have come from a culture that is mellow and slower. They have been standing in the sun their whole life. No one could have people running around and serving you like it was a business lunch in Tokyo. Cruise staff, are a little different. The cruise is on a ship. Ships have a very strict and manner to them. A Captain is always a Captain. There is no excuse on a ship, and there is nowhere anyone can go missing. The service is different and it is a little better. ‘Service with responsibility’ is the best way to describe it.
- Price. This one is very surprising. Let’s look at what the hotel with breakfast and flight package costs. The best deal on a packaged deal of hotel and flights will come to no less than 800 dollars. You could easily spend another 100 dollars per person, per day, on food for 4 days and 3 nights, and that is being very reasonable. We are not going to include any other transit costs. That means 1200 dollars per person. Our 4 day, 3 night deal, including meals and taxes was about 600 dollars per person. Our actual holiday was longer, had fewer hassles, and we visited so many places.