Although cruising is a great way to travel, many of its benefits aren’t obvious from the outset. Those amongst us who haven’t taken the plunge may be worried that they’ll be trapped on board at the mercy of the operator. When you really go with the flow, however, you’ll realize a cruise is much more than simply a fun way to travel. Here are six hidden benefits that make cruising such a popular way to see the world.

There are Countless Destinations to Choose From

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Cruises don’t just sail around the Mediterranean or Caribbean--not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. The amount of destinations offered is incredible. Whether you fancy sailing away for an African safari, Island hopping around the Pacific, or breaking the ice on an Antarctic adventure, there is a cruise for you. The choice isn’t limited to the destination, either; you can pick the type of vessel that floats your boat. From epic ships like Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas to more intimate ships with under 100 passengers, you can pick the ship that will take you to your perfect destination(s).

Everything Is Included in the Package Price

Everything about cruising really is easy. The cost is all wrapped up nicely in one package, so you know what you’re getting without any added surprises. You just pay, board and go with the flow. When you feel like relaxing you’re in the perfect place and likewise when you want to play and let out your inner adrenaline-junky.

It Can Make Traveling More Affordable

Cruises give off the impression of being expensive, but they are often far from it. Now, we’re not saying they’re cheap, but if you compare a cruise to a typical vacation you may well be surprised. Visit some of the world’s most expensive countries by cruise ship and you’ll not only save money on accommodation but you’ll save on food, drink and leisure activities. Cruising really can make some out-of-bounds countries more affordable. Even better, if the cruise ship sails from where you live, you don’t even have to worry about other travel costs.

There Is an Abundance of Entertainment

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There’s no chance of you getting bored on a cruise, as the entertainment on offer is outstanding. This includes entertainment you might expect like swimming pools, casinos and nighttime shows. That is just the tip of the iceberg, though. During the day, you can throw yourself in the deep end with bumper cars, rock climbing and indoor skydiving. Then, in the evening, be wowed by Broadway performances, countless dining options and be served a drink or two by a robotic bartender. You can always find a slice of peace and quiet if you want it, but boredom won’t be on your radar.

It’s Really Easy to Make New Friends

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On a cruise, you’re only alone if you want to be. Everything you do offers an opportunity to make new friends, from hitting up the pool to taking a cooking class. If you choose a sit-down lunch or dinner, you’ll be seated at a table with fellow cruisers, the perfect time to get to know each other. What’s more, your new friends are likely to be from different places, giving you the chance to learn about new locations and cultures. If you’re traveling as a family, your children will always have playmates, and you will too.

You Can Boost Your Long-Time Happiness

What better benefit can there be than a vacation proven to boost your I.Q., health and long-term happiness? It may sound too good to be true, but a study from the University of China has shown that the benefits can last up to six months. According to the study, the relationship part of your brain is enhanced as you interact with friends, family and new acquaintances. The emotional part of your brain is boosted by the happiness and excitement of cruising. Meanwhile, the thinking part of your brain is expanded by the many new places you’ll visit and experience. All in all, it makes cruising much better for you than a one-destination vacation.