Cruise misconceptions we need to leave in 2019

Do you have those cruise skeptic friends who are still saying that cruises are boring and for old people? I know I do, but I’m slowly converting them into cruise addicts one by one! Most of them change their minds when they actually step on board! Here is a list of cruise misconceptions I hear about all the time, that we need to leave in 2019!

Costa Luminosa and MSC Sinfonia

Cruises are boring

On most cruise holidays you are never more than a day or two from a port, and there need never be a dull day onboard. Bigger ships have everything from ice-skating rinks to basketball courts and on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships, bumper cars, an indoor sky-diving tunnel, simulated surfing and a pod which takes you 300 feet above the ship.(I love Quantum-class ships!) Most ships have first-class fitness and spa facilities, Broadway style entertainment, casinos, cooking courses and classes in everything from astronomy to Zumba. Not all activities are adrenaline pumping either, like the biggest library at sea on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (its 8,000 books should keep you going for a while!) I know I like both, relaxing and quiet cruises and also busy, action packed cruises! All in all, you won’t get bored!

You’ll feel trapped on a cruise ship

The thought of being in the middle of the sea, surrounded by hoards of other holidaymakers and with only a small cabin space to call your own, can instantly put those with claustrophobic tendencies off the idea of cruising. It’s true that there are thousands of guests on a massive ship, BUT you must remember that you are boarding a ship, not some random little boat. These cruise ships are designed to hold people, supplies, machines, etc. They can be compared to small cities or a floating resort complex. It’s still pretty easy to find a spot where you can relax . In my personal experience, bigger and newer ships do feel more crowded at times compared to older and smaller ships but I’ve never felt like I couldn’t escape the crowds on a cruise.

The Lanai deck of Costa Venezia

Cruises are for old people

I used to think so too. Haha! Well, maybe in the past when cruise lines were few and prices were still steep. But now that there are lots of them and many of these cruise companies are starting to tap the younger generations, the average age of passengers is slowly dropping annually. According to CLIA’s 2018 Cruise Review, the average age of cruisers in a global setting had dropped to 46 y/o, the lowest in 20 years! It’s expected to drop continuously as cruise lines target to reach the millennial market by adding more interesting and exciting features like family-friendly suites and activities, onboard bars/clubs, romantic dining options, and themed-parties for single people. Some cruise lines even have studio cabins for relatively young solo cruisers. I am 20 years old and I started cruising when I was much younger, from my own personal experience I can tell you for sure that cruises are not just for old people!

You will be spending the whole trip on board

It is true that on larger ships, especially those on classic Med or Caribbean itineraries, your port time will be limited to the day (the usual times are from 8 a.m. to about 5 p.m.). However, many lines, particularly ones with smaller ships are staying longer and in some cases overnight. So, for example, if you find yourself on a Canary Islands cruise, you are likely to spend all evening in port, allowing for dinner in town and, on some islands, stargazing, as the islands are so near to each other. Certainly in the case of St Petersburg, most cruise lines spend a night or two as it’s impossible to see the city in a day.

Cruises are expensive

First things first. Cruises can be quite expensive… (my bank account will confirm that!) but they can also be pretty cheap if you know how to find a great deal or if you have a good travel agent! There was a time when cruising was so expensive that only the most well-to-do could afford the privilege, but a fast-growing market means more ships and more competition, which drives prices down. The emergence of casual cruising and family cruising also means that cruise companies are lowering prices to attract a new type of holidaymaker, and amazing cruises can be picked up for the price of a package holiday. When you consider all that’s included – endless activities, free kids’ clubs, world-class shows and entertainment, the multiple destinations and all you can eat food… the value is clear to see.

It’s too formal

Cruising has long been associated with gala balls, glamorous casinos and formal Captain’s dinners, so you’d expect to need a suitcase full of elegant evening attire to fit in. Not so. While formality still exists on Cunard and some of the smaller luxury ships, most of the larger lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, have replaced formal nights with ‘Dress Up or Not Nights’. And even if your cruise ship does have a dress code in place, a casual suit or cocktail dress will usually suffice, even Cunard has loosened its position on ties recently! I personally like dressing up and enjoy theme nights but some people don’t and that’s fine! With so many cruise lines to choose from, there’s something suit everyone!

You can’t cruise solo

Solo cruising has never been more affordable than today! Solos have long had cause to complain about a lack of affordable cruise holiday options. The dreaded single supplement has meant that lone cruisers have had to pay through the nose for their single status, however if you choose your cruise line wisely you shouldn’t have to pay a single penny more than passengers in pairs. Norwegian is leading the way with their Studio complex, complete with single cabins, lounge and bar. Fred. Olsen specialises in attracting solo guests, with more than 200 single cabins fleetwide, regular solo supplement promotions and solo hosts and events onboard. Saga also offers a high proportion of solo cabins (25 percent) for over 50s.

You will get seasick

Well, this one’s pretty subjective. Seasickness or motion sickness doesn’t affect us the same way. I, for one, don’t get get seasick but some of my cruise buddies do. For people who do get seasick easily I would recommend picking a large cruise ship (the larger the better), and choose a cabin close to the ship’s balancing point (low and centre). Having a window or balcony to look out of can also help reduce sickness while in your stateroom. You can take patches, bands or pills for seasickness with you but rest assured that if you do get caught unawares, you’ll usually find a remedy in the onboard shop or medical centre. If all else fails, take a river cruise! But do keep in mind that most of the ships built today are much larger than they used to be in the past so they don’t rock and roll as much older ships do!

All cruises itineraries are the same

It’s not just about the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. The fact is, if there is a body of water there’s likely to be a ship sailing on it. These days you can choose from a wide variety of cruise itineraries, from short mini-cruises to long, repositioning cruises, there’s something for everyone.

All you do is eat

It’s true that cruise ships offer amazing culinary delights in their dining rooms and specialty restaurants, but eating doesn’t have to be on the top of the agenda with all the onboard activities. For example, Royal Caribbean ships offer rock climbing, basketball, miniature golf, an outdoor jogging track, and specialty fitness classes such as pilates, yoga, and spinning.

Cruising is dangerous

Fires. Power outages. Rogue waves. Rough seas. Hurricanes. Passengers “falling” overboard. You’ve heard about it all on the news, but before you work yourself into a panic, know this: Statistically, cruises are one of the safest forms of travel.

Additionally, each ship sails with its own dedicated team of mechanics and engineers, who are specially trained to deal with any malfunctions that might arise. Crew members undergo rigorous training via safety drills to prepare them for emergency situations. All mainstream ships have onboard teams of doctors and/or nurses to deal with medical issues, and the control rooms on all vessels employ equipment dedicated to avoiding hurricanes and minimizing exposure to excessively rough waters.

As for “falling” overboard, the odds are low unless you’re somewhere you shouldn’t be. Most balconies and outer decks have high railings or partitions to keep anyone from toppling over the side.

All in all, if you’re a first time cruiser, I hope I debunked some of these “cruise myths” for you. And if you’re a seasoned cruiser I hope that you’re debunking these myths to first time cruisers all the time so we don’t have to hear about them in 2020!

Would you add some cruise misconceptions to this list?

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