5 Popular Cruise Myths Debunked
Despite how popular and ubiquitous cruises have become in recent years, myths surrounding them continue to run rampant, almost always stemming from people who have never set foot on an actual cruise ship. So without further ado, five cruise myths debunked by someone who’s actually been on eight cruises in different parts of the world (i.e. sailings through different bodies of water).
1) I’ll get seasick
Okay, if you’ve NEVER been on a cruise ship before, how do you know you’ll get seasick? The number of times people I know who have said this and yet never sailed on a cruise ship just astounds me. A few things to keep in mind. Hyping it up in your head never helps one’s actual physical self (i.e. you’ll convince yourself it’s going to happen and thus ultimately mar your cruise). Likewise, obviously major storms and hurricanes aside, sailing in the Caribbean (probably the most popular cruising destination for North American travelers) means the waters are extremely mellow; you’re not going to be contending with any major rocky seas.
Generally when sailing in the Caribbean, you can feel SLIGHT movement but I find it to be more like a sedate lull, nothing more. And sometimes at meals, if you study a beverage glass, you can detect a slight movement of the liquid but it’s by no means sloshing about, simply moving as if you were gently rocking a baby to sleep.
Out of my eight cruises, there were only two occasions where the conditions were quite rocky- sailing from Copenhagen, Denmark up to Norway and coming back from Alaska’s Inside Passage to Vancouver. I never got seasick but my legs did feel a bit wobbly at times.
As a preemptive measure, if you’ve never taken a cruise before, a short three or four nights in the Caribbean is always a good start. And while onboard, if you’re really concerned or are starting to feel a bit queasy, take Dramamine. More people are now sporting motion sickness patches. However, I’ve read that once people remove them, they actually start to feel worse, so do your research. Remind yourself, one person getting seasick doesn’t mean you will. And being motion sick doesn’t automatically mean you’ll get seasick.
2) There are too many people
Okay, so yes, there’s no denying that cruise ships are designed to hold a LOT of people. However, that doesn’t mean that all cruise ships have the same number of passengers and more importantly, that you can’t find a quiet corner (or five) on the ship. Because they do exist. If immense crowds aren’t your thing, then sailing on the largest cruise ship in the world (the Harmony of the Seas, which can hold 6,000 guests) is probably not for you. However, do your research because vessels with a fraction of those passenger numbers exist. Keep in mind, too, that older ships generally hold fewer guests and itineraries outside of the Caribbean are featured on smaller ships.
Consider too, if you’ve been to Disney World at Christmas or Prague in the summer, cruise ship crowds are a piece of cake.
3) Cruises are nothing but “party boats”
If you’re looking to avoid the partying crowd, then here’s the thing, don’t book the cheapest cruise deal you find. Just as you probably want to avoid the very cheap package to an all-inclusive in Cancun, the same can be said for cruise ships. If you’re willing to spend more, you’ll find the passenger demographic won’t be so “party inclined.” And if you have kids, or don’t mind there being a lot of kids, then sailing with a family friendly cruise line will also help. Although I’ve yet to sail with them, I have a lot of interest in Holland America, namely because they have the distinction of serving a much older clientele which suits me just fine since I know I wouldn’t be awoken by children running up and down the hallways at all hours of the night. I’ve never been a partier and I’ve never been once disturbed by any partiers on any of the cruises I’ve taken. At least on Disney cruises, and I know it would be the same on other cruise lines, it’s very easy to order a drink or two at one of the bars and quietly enjoy it.
4) I’ll get bored on sea days
Let me ask you this, do you enjoy sitting at home and doing nothing? Or just passing the day being on the computer , working out, or reading? Well, picture this. Imagine doing those things but having an ocean right before you. As I cruise more I really wish there were more days at sea (but without sacrificing the port days because I still really like them too). The art of doing nothing grows more and more appealing the older you get. And if relaxing for some reason just turns you off (I don’t know how), there’s still swimming, the spa, movies (hopefully your cruise ship has a movie theater), live entertainment, and more.
5.) I’m a seasoned traveler, what could a cruise possibly offer me?
I get it, it’s easy for hardcore travelers to look down on cruises. I mean, you’re generally sailing with people whose travel experience is probably more limited, as in they wouldn’t necessarily be planning trips to Prague or Peru by themselves. And cruise ships don’t spend enough time in the ports for you to really have an authentic experience at the destination you’re visiting. And yet, sometimes even the seasoned traveler needs a break from the logistics of planning. I obviously would have no qualms in visiting Norway by myself (whatsoever!). However, with only a week at my disposal, my Norway cruise made it easy for me to see four areas of the country. Had I been traveling by myself, I probably would have made it to two destinations, tops.
A bucket list cruise is an Arctic Circle sailing; these generally run in the late spring/early summer when being able to experience the Midnight Sun would be phenomenal. In some cases, a cruise ship makes traveling to certain areas of the world a lot easier. I like to think of myself as a hardcore, seasoned traveler and even I know that cruises have immense benefits, especially when it comes to checking off items from my bucket list.
I know, it’ easy for popular myths to take root and hold fast in one’s mindset. However, when it comes to the institution of travel, I can’t stress enough the practice of trying something for yourself and coming to your own conclusion, not just following along with everyone else’s. If being surrounded by lots of people isn’t your thing, search out a smaller ship. If the idea of a Caribbean cruise sounds positively dreadful to you, then find one sailing to a cold weather destination. If you get claustrophobic easily, then book a larger stateroom or one with a balcony too. Cruises are by no means the only way I like to travel, but they are one of them.
Pin me and save for later!