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By Mikkel Paige Mihlrad of Sometimes Home

I was anxious to take my first cruise in 2006 when I was a resident in Orlando, Florida. There was a cruise port just about an hour east of where I lived and I had always wanted to try it. I was instantly HOOKED.

There is so much planning that goes into a lot of my trips. Even if I book it just weeks in advance, no matter how minimal I try to make my advance scheduling and organization, I seem to never have enough time. This results in some additional stress I don't necessarily adore.

I like to arrange where I am staying, have an idea of not-to-miss restaurants and even the best sites. When you travel on land without a tour company, most of this is up to your own discretion and organization. I own two businesses; so, unfortunately, trip planning sometimes ends up falling by the wayside! And that's not what vacations are for, right?

Stingray in Grand Cayman

The best thing about cruises is they are planned for you! All you have to do is pick your itinerary and dates; the rest is at your fingertips from the courtesy of the cruise line crew and entertainment staff. It's that simple. They're designed to make it easy to say yes and book.

Gone is restaurant planning.

Gone is hotel searching.

Gone is the need to obtain a tourist visa.

Heck, sometimes I don't even get off the ship when it's in port! The ships are created to add maximum value and enjoyment for your getaway. So when it's in port I often find it's the best time for me to feel like I have the whole ship to myself. (This is especially wonderful if you've already visited the port you're in on a previous trip.)

Mandara Spa

There are two things you need to decide on when you cruise and two things alone:

  • Sailing date
  • Itinerary (cities/ ports you wish to visit)

If you want to factor in 'budget' as a third, I would understand. If you want to save money, try going in the off-season, shortening the length of your sailing, traveling out of very accessible ports (like Miami or Los Angeles), or doing a last minute cruise.

Truly, that's it! Book and enjoy. Minimal decisions allow you access to the cruise and all the amenities it has to offer ("heavy lifting" planning by others included).


When I'm on a cruise I kick back and let the cruise scheduler do the planning for me. The ability to make reservations at specialty restaurants can be done on the cruise; it doesn't have to be done ahead of time. Going to a comedy show or enjoying live music is also a favorite thing to do -- and there is no need to do anything beforehand but show up that evening.

Here are some amazing things you can do on many cruise ships that don't require any advanced planning before your trip, whatsoever:

  • Rock climb
  • Enjoy morning coffee and reading at a cafe
  • Indulge in a spa treatment
  • Go bowling
  • Order room service (it’s always a fun thing to do on vacation, right?)
  • Get a workout in at a gym with one of the best views you’ve ever seen (the ocean!)
  • Challenge yourself on a ropes course
  • See a movie
  • Be wowed with an acrobatics performance
  • Head to a bar to enjoy handcrafted cocktails
  • Stay up all night at an evening dance party
  • Participate in game shows

You can be sure of this when it comes to cruises: it will be the most relaxing, fulfilling trip you don't really have to plan.

Book. Wait. Board. RELAX and ENJOY.

(Repeat as needed to relieve day-to-day stress in everyday life.)

Norwegian Breakaway - Beach

Thanks so much to Mikkel Paige for this fantastic article on cruising! You can keep up with her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. To read more from Mikkel, check out her article on why January is the Best Time to Visit Norway.

Photo credit: Header image provided by Mikkel Paige Mihlrad.