Steve Leland

Cruising Will Return…But When is the Question

I’m not one to moan about inconveniences, but take away my life’s passion and I’m likely to go off the deep end. Take away the ability to cruise to the four corners of the earth and you will definitely hear from me. Not to cast blame on anyone in particular or throw caution to the wind but this indefinite strangle hold on cruising has to end. I have the utmost confidence that cruise lines know how to tackle the challenges of the new norm.

If anyone should have reasons to cast aspersions towards cruising it might be someone who has seen things from the inside, possibly someone who has worked onboard ships for fifteen years and someone who has spent the majority of his 68 years working in the industry.  That would be me and despite what the media might tout in their headlines, I’m ready to go as soon as the first vessel casts off. 

To those in the never cruise community that wear their aversions to cruising as a badge of honor, please accept my apologies for you missing out on this popular mode of world discovery.  I’ve heard your comments on how you wouldn’t be caught dead onboard a cruise ship. That part is very likely true as it has been reported that approximately only 200 persons die from natural causes on ships over the course of a year.  In Las Vegas alone about 1100 visitors die each year. 

Keeping it clean..

Ah yes, but what about cleanliness and health concerns?  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, cruise ships calling on U.S. ports, received at least two unannounced health inspections every year and underwent three or more formal internal public health inspections each year. You can expect even more heightened emphasis on daily cleaning regions to be implemented by the cruise lines.

I’ve navigated busy airports for flights to an isolated hotel in a single destination and while this holiday option may very well provide solitary bliss, secluded from crowds, I look for a little more inspiration in my precious vacation time.  Where else can you go with gourmet meals, nightly entertainment and deluxe accommodations with room service all part of the experience.  Who could discount the advantage of traveling to multiple destinations without repacking and non stop outdoor activities within steps of your door, all for far less expense. 

Once the opportunity to sail the seven seas made its way into life’s master plan, I never looked back. I’ve heard your never cruise comments that you would feel trapped on a ship but in some ways growing up in rural Nebraska sheltered me from the opportunity of experiencing exotic ports of call and diverse cultures. Never once denying the fantastic benefits of midwestern childhood, once I set sail from Port Everglades in 1980, it’s been full steam ahead with over 600 cruises under my belt.

You can go your own way

You’re entitled to your preferential mode of holiday travel, but as for cruising in general, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Three in ten (31%) US adults say they have been on a cruise before and one in six (16%) say they plan on cruising within the next year.

According to a recent report by the Cruise Lines International Association, people who cruise are very loyal to cruising, with 92 percent of cruisers saying they will probably or definitively book a cruise as their next vacation, and 65 percent of cruisers rating cruises as the best type of vacation, over land-based vacations, all-inclusive resorts, tours, vacation house rentals or camping.

There is a cruise for everyone, 

…..even YOU

Repeat cruisers are drawn to cruise travel largely due to the value this vacation type offers. When choosing a cruise, it’s a good idea to utilize the services of experienced travel advisors that can direct you to the correct cruise experience. You’ve likely heard that there is a cruise for everyone, but it’s essential to find the one that’s for specifically for you.

But as for me,

I’ve settled into the realization that I’ve morphed from the era of carefree fun into self fulfilling adventure. I love experiential adventure, visiting places off the radar of mass marketed travel.  Maybe it’s the 15 years of Caribbean cruising or living in Florida but beach destinations have lost some of their luster but that’s just me. If you enjoy fun in the sun, go for it.  Wherever your travel preferences lie, get out there and experience the world. For me, all my bags are packed I’m ready to sail. When that first cruise pulls away again, consider me there and I’ll be sure to share the renewed spirit of cruising with our devoted Porthole readers

-Steve Leland


As a former Cruise Director, Steve has been cruising the world for the past forty years. Bringing a new dimension to cruise journalism, he continues to spin the globe searching for off the grid cruise adventures and unplugged destinations to share with Porthole Cruise Magazine readers.