We recently returned from an independent land tour of Cuba to research some of the cruise ports there. While recounting our overland trip, we thought about the advantages of cruising over exploring by land. Here are 10 reasons:
- We all know one advantage of cruising is the convenience of unpacking just once. So wish that were true of a land tour. Although we packed just a carry-on to make getting around Cuba simple; there were days we wished that we had taken a larger suitcase. That’s not to say we haven’t sailed with just a carry-on, but we didn’t need to drag it everywhere with us. Nothing like unpacking and packing once for an entire week.
- Your transportation for your entire trip is the ship. You know where it docks and you need not worry about seats being available. Finding a ticket office to buy a ticket or getting between a bus station and the lodging establishment wasn’t always easy. Even worse, payment is always in CUCs.
- You can drink water from the tap on a cruise ship!
- After drinking all that water from the tap, you will be happy to find several restrooms on the ship and even a toilet in your room. It will have a toilet seat and abundant toilet paper. It will not cost you a dime to use.
- The pillow on your bed will not feel like the waste paper basket bag that you tied up and put a pillow case over.
- Your ship will serve a variety of food. If you like to eat spaghetti or pizza, you will find it readily available, but won’t be limited to just these two dishes that seem to appear at the top of every restaurant menu in Cuba.
- You won’t need to exchange money to spend on the ship. In fact, you can use a credit card for purchases. That means that you won’t need to carry the wads of cash that you will need on a land tour. Foreigners are definitely an easy target when traveling by land.
- Travel time is more pleasant and more efficient. There are plenty of spots on the ship to see the view. Nobody will be pulling curtains like they do on the bus to prevent you from seeing the world outside.
- Shore excursions are plentiful and totally organized for you. You just need to join and follow the leader. No worries about finding maps, exchanging money for CUCs to pay for admissions, or dealing with the language barrier.
- If you are an American, you don’t need to worry about being in one of the 12 categories that allow Americans to travel to Cuba.
Of course, for the more adventurous person, a land tour is a wonderful introduction to Cuba. Just remember that several hours may be spent on a bus to move you from place to place. If cruising, you just rely on the ship to transport you in a comfortable bed while you sleep, thus leaving more time to explore this fascinating island.