When it comes to cruising, there’s plenty of misinformation floating around out there. You may hear negative reports in the media or people implying a cruise is something only retired people would enjoy. The thought of a cruise ship may bring up a visual of the old show “The Love Boat” and along with it, every travel cliché in the book.
Don’t buy the negative press. Read on as we debunk the top eight cruise myths that may keep travel lovers from having a wonderful vacation at sea and on land.
Myth #1: You'll get seasick
Just because you assume you’ll get seasick doesn’t mean you will. These days, cruise ships are equipped with stabilizers, so there may be times you don’t even feel movement. Still, there are waves on the ocean, so it's best to be prepared. Consider booking a cabin in the middle of the deck where the ship is more stable. Book your cruise on a route or during a season known for calmer seas. Read our article on how to prevent seasickness on a cruise for prevention ideas and remedies.
Myth #2: Cruises are too crowded
With privacy in mind, cruise lines have created adult-only and less crowded sections of the ship. Cruise ships are massive, so if you want some privacy, it’s likely you’ll be able to find a spot to call your own somewhere. Even better, you can book a cabin with a balcony so you can get some alone time inside or out (and order room service too).
Myth #3: Cruises are expensive
With so much competition in the cruising space, you can often find a great deal. Cruise in the off-season or look for discounts and incentives, like excursions and spa treatments. Watch those extra luxuries like gambling and drinking, which can quickly add up. You don’t have to go on a three-week cruise right off the bat either. Try out a three- or four-day cruise first. Check out our tips for how to save for vacation on a tight budget. With some planning and saving, you can afford a cruise.
Myth #4: Cruises are boring
We beg to differ. With tons of amenities and activities on the ship, there’s never a reason to be bored. Stops at each port have plentiful options, including shopping, enjoying a beach, tasting local cuisine, learning to scuba dive and so much more. Always check out what shore excursions may be available in each port and find your adventure. There are specialty cruises for all kinds of interests, from guest authors and marriage retreats to music lovers and culinary cruises. Find something that sparks your interest and go for it.
Myth #5: Cruises are for old people
If cruising conjures up images of older folks playing bingo and shuffleboard, it’s time to rethink your paradigm. These days, cruise lines offer special programming for everyone — from kids to young adults, 30- and 40-somethings, and the not-yet-retired crowd. More than ever, you’ll find trendy activities, celebrity chef-inspired restaurants, fun programs for families with kids, adult-only areas, modern spas, and must-see entertainment. There are lots of adventures to be found while onshore excursions as well, including everything from glacier hiking in Alaska to kite surfing in Aruba.
Myth #6: Cruises are dangerous
With constant news reports often focusing on the negative, it’s easy to believe there’s a problem around every corner — people falling overboard, getting sick, or having issues with weather. In reality, however, cruises are statistically one of the safest forms of travel. The U.S. Coast Guard inspects all ships sailing from U.S. ports on a quarterly basis and each ship sails with its own dedicated team of mechanics, engineers, and crew members who undergo rigorous training via safety drills to prepare them for emergency situations. Rest assured, if a potential danger were to arise, they would know what to do.
Myth #7: Cruise ships are full of germs
Not true. Cruise lines have industry-wide protocols for thorough cleaning and sanitation processes before each launch and during each cruise. If people do get sick and are quarantined, they go through those same strict protocols again. All mainstream ships have onboard teams of doctors and/or nurses to deal with medical issues. In reality, health officials track all illnesses on cruise ships but not always on land, which is why you may be likely to hear of sickness on a cruise ship before you’d ever hear about it on land. Most ships offer an ample supply of hand sanitizers, and some attempt to limit the spread of germs by not offering self-service buffets for the first 48 hours of the trip.
Myth #8: Taking a cruise isn’t really traveling
So many options exist these days — from specialty and river cruises to volunteerism and eco-friendly cruising — there’s no reason to feel like you won’t have an adventure or experience the local culture. There are plenty of ways to have authentic experiences without following the crowds on bus tours or to souvenir shops. You may choose a cruise that allows you to follow the ships' chefs to local markets, shop for local ingredients, and even cook with them back onboard. Others may allow passengers to book home visits, where local families host cruisers in their own houses for a meal or immersive activities. Consider itineraries that offer overnight port calls if you're someone that wants to explore more nightlife. With a multitude of adventures to choose from, you can’t go wrong with a cruise matched with your interests. Cruising offers adventures full of culture, exploration, and exciting experiences. While you’re planning, don’t forget to protect your investment with travel insurance. See the many advantages of our cruise insurance, and how we can help if the need arises.