There are a lot of myths surrounding cruising. Many of which may be the reason people are missing out on cruising altogether. So, we thought it best to shed some light on these common misconceptions. In this article, we talk to cruising experts to get the real lowdown on some of the things you may have heard:
- Myth: Cruises are only good for people who want to relax
- Myth: Cruising is expensive
- Myth: Cruising is only for old people
- Myth: None of the ports cruise ships stop at are interesting
- Myth: Sea days are boring
- Myth: Seasickness will ruin my cruise
- Myth: The food on cruises isn’t fresh or of a high standard
- Myth: You don’t get enough time in port
Perhaps in the past cruises were thought of as holidays only for those wanting to relax but today, there really is a cruise for everyone. Looking for an adventure? An expedition cruise mixes adventure and relaxation. We chatted to Danielle, a cruise expert and blogger at Cruise Miss who disagrees that cruises are only good for those who wish to relax. “Cruises are for anyone and everyone,” she said, “and you can do as much or as little as you like. There are so many options available and a wide variety of ships that can offer you rest and relaxation (if that’s what you’re looking for!) or, you can load up on action and spend your days climbing walls, racing dodgem cars, doing obstacle courses on the top deck and even whizzing around the decks on various water slides. You’d be surprised at what you can find at sea!”
One myth we hear regularly is that cruising is expensive. But with just one price to pay for every part of your holiday, cruising often turns out to be the same or even cheaper than a traditional getaway. We spoke to Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor of Cruise Critic, he said, “a land-based holiday, in general, often costs a lot more for the same sort of accommodation, food and entertainment package offered by a cruise. Modern-day cruise ships are packed with innovative on board activities, such as ropes courses, water parks, mini-golf, movie theatres, rock climbing walls, zip wires, bumper cars, Las Vegas-style shows, surfing and skydiving simulators and a host of other thrilling offerings to suit all ages.
“In fact, a cruise often makes a cost-effective choice for big groups or families, since some of the cheapest cruise cabins can often sleep four. Third and fourth passenger fares can also be discounted off the regular cruise rates, so for larger groups, a cruise can make a truly affordable holiday option. There are now also more exciting cruise itineraries than ever before, sailing directly from the UK to the Mediterranean, Canaries and Caribbean, so travellers don’t have to worry about the added costs and hassles of flying.
“To take advantage of excellent cruise deals, we recommend checking out the deals being offered by cruise lines during Wave Season - the renowned cruise promotional period from January to March. Wave Season provides travellers with the chance to grab an ocean or river cruise bargain, as well as a host of added extras, such as free drinks packages, on board credit, buy-one-get-one-free fares and cabin upgrades.”
With so many cruise lines, cruise ships and destinations to choose from, the idea that cruising is only for old people is untrue. From laidback river cruises for those enjoying their retirement to solo cruises for those who prefer to sail alone, there truly is something for everyone.
Lisa, blogger at Cruising with Kids, often cruises with her family, “cruising is perfect for a family holiday because it’s so convenient, relaxing and fun. Everything you could possibly need for your child is provided, including buffet food around the clock - perfect for picky eaters! Kids clubs enable the little ones to make new friends and allow parents a well-deserved break, night nursery means parents can enjoy a rare date night and there’s also lots of other fantastic facilities for all ages including soft play, rock climbing and water slides.”
Lisa explained why she loves cruising with her children, “the best thing about cruising with kids is that you get to travel to lots of different places all with the convenience of your children only needing to get used to sleeping in one cabin. No packing, unpacking, getting used to new rooms as you would need to on a road trip.”
We asked industry expert Adam for his opinion on this particular myth, he said, “overall, the average age of cruise passengers has fallen to its lowest for 20 years and we predict that cruises will continue to prove a compelling option for younger crowds and specialist groups since so many cruise lines are now catering to their needs. Not only is there a significant growth in themed cruises but cruise lines are also ramping up ship-based dance, trance and top DJ hosted music festivals. Certain cruise lines are also targeting millennials and young professionals by creating new ships specifically created with them in mind.
“Cruising is also a great holiday choice for multigenerational families. With so many ships and cruise lines offering a wide range of on board activities and destination itineraries, there really is something for every member of a family to enjoy. A cruise is a convenient all-in-one holiday for families - not only because it can satisfy a variety of generational tastes but also because you hit multiple destinations and experiences together, all on one holiday.”
Cruises travel all over the world; to big cities and small towns. You can experience so many different locations, cultures and traditions, like the beautiful rugged landscapes of Alaska and the remote islands of the Indian Ocean all on a cruise. Ships come in all different shapes and sizes opening up the opportunity to visit more and more ports. Small ship cruises provide an intimate and personal holiday with the ability to visit ports larger ships can’t. It’s almost impossible not to find a voyage that goes to your chosen destination.
There are so many incredible things to do on board, it’s impossible to be bored during a sea day. Cruise ships create the most phenomenal entertainment venues. A prime example is Celebrity Cruises ship, Celebrity Edge. On board, you’ll find the Magic Carpet (the world’s first cantilevered, floating platform), Eden, The Resort Deck, The Grand Plaza, a juice bar and casino. And that’s on top of the spa facilities, fitness facilities and multiple dining experiences! With so many things to do at sea, there’s no time to be bored.
Thanks to the size of cruise ships, most people never experience seasickness. For those that do, the teams on board are trained and apple to help quell the symptoms quickly and professionally. Lisa worked on cruise ships for three years, she said, “the best remedy to combat seasickness is plenty of fresh air, ideally on the promenade midship where the ship moves the least. Drinking ginger ale or eating anything that contains ginger is great for settling stomachs.
“On a pleasant day I honestly don’t think you can tell you are at sea. Stabilisers prevent cruise ships from rolling around too much and create a lovely smooth experience.”
Adam told us how he deals with seasickness, “one of the most widely recommended remedies is a scopolamine patch applied behind the ear at least eight hours before exposure, with effectiveness for up to three days. If you are susceptible to motion sickness, then it might be an idea to book a low deck, midship cabin. You can also book a port-intensive itinerary in order to spend as few days at sea as possible.” For other ways to avoid seasickness during a cruise, view our guide.
Cruise ships provide themselves on their fantastic cuisine. Modern ships focus on creating exceptional dining experiences and providing a wealth of options. You won’t be limited to a set menu and you can choose anything from an elegant steakhouse to a laid back burger joint. Adam said, “one of the key things holidaymakers love about cruises is the exceptional cuisine served from morning to night. Indeed, most cruise lines stake their reputation on their food, so they certainly invest a lot of time and planning to make sure they off the best menus possible that can tempt most appetites.
Making sure you get enough time in port for everything you want to do is important. Most ships stop in port for a whole day. In some cases, they stop overnight in popular ports of call. You can check the expected time of arrival on your cruise’s itinerary before booking to ensure you have enough time. Danielle explained how to maximise your time in port, “some itineraries offer more time in port than others. If you’re looking for a cruise that allows enough time to really explore each place that you visit, the best thing to do is ask one of ROL Cruise’s sales experts. They will be able to guide you in picking the correct cruise line and itinerary.”