Cruisin' on a Budget
by Yasmeen Chaney
As I embarked on summer this year, I was faced with the challenge: “To cruise or not to cruise,” that was the ultimate question! I’ve always wanted to sail around the world and experience new things, but there was always one thing that prohibited me from doing so, motion sickness!
And now with the current economic status, there is another barrier, money. What to do now? I mean there are patches and pills that you can take to succumb to the motion sickness, but no patch or pill for the recession. Lucky for me, my friend introduced me to dinner cruises. Dinner cruises are the up and coming alternative to extended day cruises; they “offer remarkable scenery, fine dining, and an intimate cruise experience” (Mayntz).
According to Francesca Regazzoni, writer for Trends in Travel and Tourism 2009, people no longer need month-long vacations “to satisfy their wanderlust and indulge their senses in a foreign destination.” They now have the option to enjoy a getaway, on a 2-4 hour dinner cruise which provides the same atmosphere and experience as a 5-7 day cruise, but at a smaller rate.
As Melissa Mayntz has clearly stated, dinner cruises provide "for a romantic, indulgent diversion when there isn’t time for a proper cruise vacation; with elegant and sumptuous dining, spirited entertainment, and the ambiance of a luxurious ship, there truly can be no finer way to pass an evening.” Who wouldn’t want to spend a nice evening sailing along the glistening water, allowing the crash of waves to be your soundtrack?
Dinner cruises sounded like a cruise alternative that my friends and I could thoroughly enjoy on a budget. In order to find the right cruise for us, I began to search dinner cruises online. I found a wealth of information, including types of dinner cruises, expectations and most importantly costs and discounts.
I learned from www.lovetoknow.com, that the “the costs
of meal cruises range from under $30 per person to well over $100 per person, and reservations are nearly always required. Children are generally less expensive, and groups can usually be accommodated at discounts unless the entire boat needs to be reserved.” This was music to my ears, especially when I compared it to the extended day cruises which range from $500 to well over $1000.
There are also a variety of cruises that you can choose from. FantaSea Yacht Charters, which is located in the Greater Houston area at the South Shore Harbour Resort on Scenic Clear Lake; they offer the following all inclusive cruises:
• 80’s Flashback
• As well as special holiday cruises (Christmas, Valentine’s, etc.)
They also cater to Weddings, Corporate meetings and private parties. After looking at the various choices, I decided on the R&B exclusive cruise from 8-10:30 p.m. The cruise proved to be everything we thought it would be and more! The view was magnificent, food delicious, the deejay was awesome and most importantly, the team members were tremendous.
Needless to say, we had a blast! And it wasn’t just our group but other guests as well. Janice, a guest from Oklahoma, stated that this was “by far the best dinner cruise she had ever been on.” And Monica, from Galveston, stated that she enjoyed dinner cruises so much, that this was her fifth one this year!
My friends and I agreed with a majority of the guests, that dinner cruises are a great way to escape, if only for a moment. They are cost efficient and prove for a memorable experience. I do plan on experiencing the other types of dinner cruises; and who knows, maybe one day I will save up enough money to take an extended stay cruise as well; but until then, I will be smooth sailing on the boardwalk!