A girls’ getaway is always something to look forward to, whether you’re a group of singletons looking for some catch-up time, old friends wanting to reconnect, or a bridal party seeking that last trip before your bestie gets hitched…
“Girl sail-aways are becoming more and more popular in the South African market,” says Nick Wilkinson, Norwegian Cruise Line Vice-President and Managing Director UK, Ireland, Israel, Middle East & Africa.
“It’s a great way to travel as a group without feeling like you have to do and see everything together. The beauty of a cruise is that it allows you the freedom to do as much or as little as you wish,” he adds. “And of course, there is also the feeling of safety on board, which makes female travellers much more at ease.”
If you’re ready to make waves with the whole crew, here are our top 10 reasons why a cruise makes the perfect girls’ getaway:
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1. Planning is easy
Planning a group getaway can be overwhelming. There’s the itinerary, booking hotels, organising transport, and taking care of all the admin. Never mind meal planning, activities and sight-seeing! Cruise holidays need far less organising, you have everything you need right on the ship! From a wide variety of dining options, activities and entertainment, the only thing you have to do is step on board and enjoy the journey.
2. Accommodation to suit all styles and budgets
It doesn’t matter if you are a small group of friends or a big party, there’s always a cruise ship to suit your needs. From single cabins to larger suites that can accommodate big groups, cruising offers the ideal range of suites and staterooms. Want some ‘me time’? No problem, single rooms have plenty of space for the single traveller. If you prefer to relive slumber parties, book a bigger room and you and the girls can talk into the early hours of the morning (onesies optional of course).
3. There’s something for everyone
It’s a floating resort with so much to see and do all in one place. Take the spa time from a wellness retreat, the nightlife from a casino stay, sunbathing from a beach resort, throw in some added activities and destinations that change daily and you have a recipe for a great time! The young at heart will have the time of their lives at waterparks, laser-tag, trying out the outdoor race track as well as interactive gaming. Fitness fanatics can sweat it out in a multitude of high-energy activities, including gym classes, rock-climbing, yoga and water sports. Interesting art and craft activities as well as language lessons, cooking classes and wine tasting are on offer, and if that isn’t for you, then relaxing in the library with a good book might be right up your alley.
4. No designated driver required
Time with friends can go from a casual dinner into an all-night affair. A fun night out can be sundowners followed by a leisurely dinner, taking in an amazing theatre show and dancing till the sun comes up at the disco – or even giving lady luck a chance at the casino. That means it’s ladies night, every night!
5. On-shore excitement
Tick off some of the greatest sites and iconic landmarks on your bucket list. Cruise ships offer a host of memorable activities on shore. Explore your ports of call with guided tours or for larger groups, private tours can be arranged ensuring that you all enjoy the same experiences together. What’s even better is you can choose to only do and see what really excites you. Some prefer to delve into the local history, whilst others want to hit the shopping districts. Split up and enjoy what you want to, when you want to.
6. Guilt free indulgence
It’s all about you and the ideal opportunity to treat yourself. Go for that head-to-toe treatment at the spa you’ve always wanted, buy that scarf in the boutique and go on… have another cocktail. Girlfriends are always happy to see you enjoying your time and will encourage you to spoil yourself. This is the time for you to indulge without having to be judged, so make the most of it!
7. Girl packing power
We all have that one friend, the serial over-packer. Luckily though, she’s always on hand to make sure you have one of everything you forgot to pack. A bit nippy at the deck party? No problem, she will have an extra pashmina to keep you warm. Want to change your look for the night? No sweat. She will have that curling iron hot and ready to go. The fun part of any occasion is admiring one another’s outfit options and your packing prowess is more likely to be complemented by friends than ridiculed by those who wear the same outfit twice! An added bonus? That tiny black dress you bought but have yet had the courage to wear, the new swim suit you feel is slightly “too young” and those over-the-top sunglasses are all fair game: friends are there to encourage and support, without caring what others think!
Many people will argue that we’re too connected these days in all the wrong ways. Never able to switch off, our email, social media and smartphones are on at all times. But when was the last time you had real face time? Book clubs are all well and fine, but you run back to work and family and responsibilities kick in all too quickly. A week together on a cruise allows friends to do nothing but spend time with one another, and it’s a perfect way to put down the phone and find an excuse to focus on each other.
9. She has your back
With so much on offer on a cruise there’s always an opportunity to try something new and with your friends cheering you on all the way. What could be better? Try some oysters for the first time, go down a water slide, learn French, just break out of your shell and go for it! Your friends will support you and you’ll have fun trying something new.
10. You deserve it
As we grow, so do our priorities. All too often we focus on our partners and children and the holidays we plan are reserved solely for those loved ones. Old friends remind you of who you are, and new friends can help you discover who you are still becoming. Friends offer an outside perspective on your life and can help you return refreshed, relaxed and more appreciative of those you had a break from. After spending time away, your perspective will be different, and you’ll have some sound advice tucked under your belt. It’s group therapy at its best.