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Ana L. Flores is co-founder of Spanglish Baby, the award-winning online community for parents raising bilingual and bicultural kids, as well as co-author of the book, Bilingual is Better: Two Latina Moms on How the Bilingual Parenting Revolution is Changing the Face of America. A bicultual and bilingual Latina born in Houston, Ana was raised in El Salvador and lives with her familia in Los Angeles. She shares more of her personal life and insights as a Latina mom and entrepreneur on her blog Madre Vida.

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So You Think You Can’t Cruise? 5 Reasons Why You’re Wrong

By Ana Flores |

norwegian cruise line epic mediterranean cruiseI was one of those I’ll-never-go-on-a-cruise type of people. I also married one. We thought we were just too-cool-to-cruise, or whatever other pretentious assumptions we prided ourselves in making.

I had gone on one cruise with my mom and my best friends to collectively celebrate our Quinceañeras way back in the 80′s. Of course it was fun back then, but now that I know better why would I choose to be stuck in the middle of an ocean with thousands of people being herded around like cattle? Or so I glibly thought.

As the Universe likes to play tricks on me, I was karmically set up for a lesson in modern-day cruising  when I received an invitation for my family to go on a seven-day Western Mediterranean cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic. What? A free vacation for my family of three that so desperately needed one? Why, yes! Who cares if we’re not “cruise people” if it’s all in the name of a job well done, right?

I’m here to confess that those seven days turned out to be one of the best things that has ever happened to us as a family and as individuals. Not only were we quickly converted into cruise fanatics, but we discovered that all our misconceptions about cruises did not apply to the Norwegian Epic at all.

If you also think you can’t cruise, then this is for you.

5 Common Cruise Misconceptions Busted

#1. You’ve been told: Cruises are only for old people and newlyweds.

The truth: Cruises are so ideal for families and anyone who’s looking for a total disconnect and a worry-free vacation. Aboard the Epic we saw so much diversity of personalities, ages and life styles, but for sure families ruled. They’ve done an amazing job at making sure kids are ridiculously entertained all day long at their Recess Kid’s Club, Splash Academy events, and Port Play while docked. This means that while the kids are having fun, the parents get to have their own fun doing whatever they please, whenever they please. Not many vacations offer that piece of paradise, huh?

#2. You’ve been told: Cruises are so limited and over-scheduled. You can’t to do what you want, when you want to because there’s a schedule and a dress code for everything.

The truth: Norwegian Cruise Line wants you to embrace your Freestyle spirit! Their main concept aboard all their ships is that you get to choose your experience with them — Freestyle. This means there’s absolutely no dress codes, no seating arrangements, no pre-scheduled dinner and show times. Every night you receive their Freestyle Daily in your room for you to check out all the activities, entertainment and shows happening the next day so that you  can be captain of your own ship and decide what you want to do. And if all you want to do is lounge by the pool and watch soccer on a mega screen with an ocean backdrop (wait, is that my husband?!), then that is exactly what you will do.

#3. You’ve been told: Cruise food is terrible and the options are trite.

The truth: It was all about options and variety on the Norwegian Epic. In seven days we dined on Brasilian churrascería with an amazing bottle of Argentian Malbec; sushi and nigiri, Teppanyaki, Indian, Mediterranean dishes, and so much more. Every single restaurant we tried impressed us in one  way or another. Even the buffet stood on its own!

#4. You´ve been told: The entertainment is awful and not worth it.

The truth: Can you believe in one week we got to see the famed Vegas show “Legends in Concert” and “Blue Man Group?” We missed out on the Cirque Dreams and Dinner show, but heard it was well worth it. These are just some of the shows you can catch on board the Norwegian Epic. The best part is that every night there’s fun kid’s parties at the Splash Academy and Entourage for teens so you get to enjoy these shows on adult time — if you prefer — while the kids are having a total blast on their own.

#5. You’ve been told: You don’t even get to truly explore the ports of destination, so what’s the point?

The truth: Yeah, 10 hours in Rome or Florence really, truly is not enough time to explore these impressive cities and their cultural history. Yet, those 10 hours in Rome and the Vatican are more than I had ever had in my 40 years of life. If you consider the cost of a Euro (at $1.24 USD per $1 Euro right now) and how difficult it is for one family to coordinate even a seven-day vacation together with days off from work, school, etc then the chance of visiting six European ports and even more of their surrounding cities and islands while on shore excursions, then the cost involved makes it all worth it. I loved being able to finally set foot in a city like Rome and throw a coin over my left shoulder to land in the Trevi Fountain in hopes the legend that it will take me back to Rome comes true. It’s amazing how many memories can be made within a time span of 6 to 10 hours. All that, plus no need to unpack and check into a new hotel from city to city.

So now, do you think you can cruise?

A big thanks to Norwegian Cruise Line for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion.

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About Ana Flores

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Ana Flores

Ana L. Flores is co-founder of Spanglish Baby, the blog and online community for parents raising bilingual and bicultural kids. She is also the co-author of the book, Bilingual is Better: Two Latina Moms on How the Bilingual Parenting Revolution is Changing the Face of America. Ana shares her personal life and insights as a Latina mom and entrepreneur on her blog Madre Vida. Read bio and latest posts → Read Ana's latest posts →

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23 thoughts on “So You Think You Can’t Cruise? 5 Reasons Why You’re Wrong

  1. RubyDW says:

    Very cool. The hubs and I have been told many of these things by his family who cruise often. I’m guessing they just don’t want us to bring the kids. After reading the truths I think this would be the ideal family vacation for us. Thanks!

  2. Helena says:

    Guilty! As in I’m one of those that doesn’t think cruising is for her…mostly because the idea of being “stuck” on a ship for seven days drives me crazy. But I wouldn’t really be stuck right? I’d be out and about checking out all cool kind of stuff. Thanks for showing me another side of cruising maybe one day I’ll convert. Un besote! Y que ricas vacaciones amiguita :D

  3. Ana L. Flores says:

    I´m happy to convert you! Hahaha! We were seriously so happily surprised because we had no expectations and never imagined we´d have such, such an amazing time.
    Plus, my husband and I got to relax and reconnect one on one since my daughter was having a blast on her own at the Kid´s Club. She wanted nothing to do with us, and that´s ok. Win-win!

  4. Rachel says:

    I love cruising. NCL knows how to do it big for families. I’m so enthused by yor article, I may book a cruise! :-)

  5. Alba Garza says:

    My husband and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon. It was so much fun. And I told all my friends we would have had a blast if we all had took all our families. There is so much to do. There is a big selection of food. I gained 10 lbs on my cruise…lol

  6. Jeannette says:

    Now I want to go on a cruise. So happy you and your family had so much fun…and ate so well!

  7. Dariela says:

    I am totally for a cruise kind of person but I actually did think that it was more for older and new weds like you mention. I can’t believe the amount of shows and the food! I want to take my family to one!!!

  8. Ana Flores says:

    @Rachel, there’s actually some great Summer deals right now at ncl.com!! :)

    @Alba let’s not mention the weight gain! LOL! Although we did so much walking during the tours that I hope it all balances out!

    @Jeannette, GO!! :)

    @Dariela, a common misconception for sure. You would love it so much and the kids would go crazy on their own

  9. Selena M.B. says:

    So guilty of thinking these fallacies. This campaign has shed a whole new light on cruising, and they are now (which one to choose, will be difficult) is now allotted with other dream vacations on my bucket list.

  10. gail says:

    you definitely can do whatever u want on a cruise! thats what i love so much about them!

  11. Michelle says:

    Sounds great! These are some of the reasons I’ve always been hesitant to cruise but you’ve definite assuaged my fears!

  12. Maria Amelia says:

    I’ve not yet been on a cruise, but I come from a family of, er, “cruisers” and have friends that have turned it into an art form selecting top deck suites for their accommodations. That said, they are all highly selective about what cruise lines they book and what their destinations will be. You were very fortunate to be asked to join Norwegian Cruise Lines on this excursion. Additionally, your destination and itinerary was first rate. Good for you, Ana. I’m glad you had fun.

  13. ML@My3LittleBirds says:

    I’ve been guilty of thinking these things about cruises, but the more I learn, the more intrigued I am, especially now that I have kids. I think that one of the BEST aspects of cruises is that there are activities catered to all age groups, and now that I’m a mom (who often travels with the grandparents) a cruise is looking better and better as a vacation option.

  14. Presley's Pantry says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I have never been on a cruise for the same reasons…. thought I was too cool…. I may have to look into a family vacation a board a epic cruise liner! :) Thanks for the insight Ana

  15. designhermomma says:

    I have never gone on cruise, because I’m not 80 years old. But you are totally changing my mind! I’m starting to think I need to go on one!

  16. Casi says:

    These are all the reasons I didn’t want to take a cruise and now you’ve made me want to take one! This campaign has really made me want to take a cruise! I am ready to book. Thanks for sharing and it sounds like you had an amazing time!

  17. Beth Anne says:

    I have to admit that I get nervous about a cruise because of the food – I’m deathly allergic to seafood. I would just be worried that out to see with a buffet (risky for allergies!) & them serving so many people, I’d really be putting myself at risk.

  18. Mommyfriend says:

    I literally just dragged my husband in here from another room to read this post. I’ve been dying to go on a Norwegian Cruise Line but he’s had his doubts about cruises in general. Thanks for being on my side! (Also, I think you made a believer out of him.)

  19. [...] So You Think You Can’t Cruise? 5 Reasons Why You Are Wrong — Some of you might know that Ana and her family were on a European cruise last week. If [...]

  20. Meghan says:

    #5 is the one that always gets me…but I have to say that I *do* love the idea of being able to see a bunch of different cities in a short amount of time.

  21. [...] you’re probably convinced that cruises are indeed an ideal family vacation and even those who think they are too-cool-to-cruise (guilty as charged!) can be [...]

  22. [...] kids to Europe and have a relaxed, no-hassle vacation at the same time! How? Aboard a cruise! Yes, even if you’re a I’ll-never-be-caught-dead-in-a-cruise person, this is something you should consider and might change your [...]

  23. [...] of the cities I’ve always wanted to visit is Rome, but I never thought I’d get there on a cruise! Of course, my husband and I were only in Rome and the Vatican for less than 10 hours while the [...]

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