How safe is cruising? Are cruises boring? Let's reveal the truth about cruises

03.08.24 by Travelex Insurance
Image credit: Getty Images
We’re debunking seven myths about cruises so you can have the confidence to plan a getaway on the water.

There’s something special about spending quality time aboard an ocean liner. The sun, the sea breeze, the never-ending activities and entertainment options — it’s easy to see why so many travelers insist on booking a cruise when it’s time for a trip.  

Despite their devoted following, cruises can sometimes get negative press. This often leaves first-time cruisers feeling a little uneasy about choosing a vacation on the high seas and asking themselves: “Are cruises dangerous?”, “Will I really get seasick on a cruise?”, or “Are cruises worth it?”.

Well, we’re here to tell you the truth about cruises. Yes, you can stop believing these age-old myths – or wondering “How safe is cruising, really?!” – and replace them with cruise facts!

After all, a vacation aboard an ocean liner can make for an amazing experience — so let’s find out if a cruise vacation is the ideal trip for you.

Don’t believe these seven cruise travel myths:

The truth about cruises: 7 common myths busted

Myth #1: You’ll definitely get seasick on a cruise.

Just because you hear stories about travelers getting seasick on a cruise, it doesn’t necessarily mean you'll experience this too.

Thanks to cruise ship improvements over the years, most liners are now equipped with stabilizers, so you may not feel any movement at all.

The stabilizers act like large fins on the side of the ship that minimize the rocking motion and block the force of the waves, which means you’re less likely to feel seasick on your cruise.

Plus, the sheer size of modern cruise ships means they’re less affected by the ocean's movements compared to smaller boats.

So, if the thought of big waves makes you question “How safe is cruising?”, remember that most cruise itineraries travel through calmer waters wherever possible, helping everyone on board to have a smoother sailing experience.

Myth #2: Cruises are too crowded.

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 on board. 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).

Many cruise ships now also offer adults-only trips and less crowded areas for those who want some quiet time, so it’s safe to say you can ignore this mistruth about cruises.

Tip: Don’t forget to check if the cruise trips you have in mind offer spaces for solitude if you want to escape potential crowds on board.

But, especially if there are lots of people on board, how safe is cruising when it comes to crime? Under U.S. law, cruise liners must follow certain security protocols — with the help of their monitoring systems — to help you and your belongings stay safe. Crew members also go through training for emergency scenarios, and maritime law enforcement units are often on board or nearby to help you feel safe no matter how many people are on your cruise.

Myth #3: Cruises are expensive.

So, are cruises expensive? Not always, and here’s why. Today, there is a lot of competition in the cruising industry, which means a little research is often all it takes to find a great cruise deal to suit your budget.

You can also save money by choosing a cruise that runs in the off-season, and looking for discounts, incentives, and packaged deals before booking.

If your budget is tight, you could consider shorter three- or four-day cruise trips. This is also a smart idea if you’re new to cruising and just want to test the waters.

Looking for ways to increase your budget for cruise trips this year? Check out our tips for how to save money when you book a cruise.

Myth #4: Cruises are boring.

Lovers of cruise trips will likely insist that this myth about cruising is not true at all — and with good reason. With an abundance of amenities and activities on the ship, you’ll likely forget you ever asked yourself if cruises are boring.

Plus, if you plan a cruise with land stops, each port will likely have lots of activity options, including shopping, enjoying the beach, tasting local cuisine, learning about the local culture, and more. Make sure you check which cruise excursions and other activities are available at each stop to help ensure you pick a cruise that’s exciting to you.

Oh, and if you’re still wondering “Are cruises boring?”, there are specialty cruise trips for all kinds of interests, from guest authors and romantic retreats to music specials and culinary cruises. Find something that sparks your interest and go for it. If you do, you’re more likely to have fun and fall in love with cruising.

Myth #5: Cruises are for certain age groups only.

The truth about cruises is your age doesn't affect whether you’ll love cruise trips or not. Today, cruise lines offer special programs for everyone — from kids to young adults, 30- and 40-somethings, and those enjoying the golden years!

On board the ship, you’ll likely find trendy activities, celebrity chef-inspired restaurants, fun programs for families with kids, adults-only areas, modern spas, and must-see entertainment are all part of your cruise package.

Plus, if your getaway includes stops at ports, you may find a variety of age-appropriate activities on shore to suit those you’re traveling with. From kid-friendly water parks to tours of the local town, be sure to check your cruise itinerary and do your research to see what land excursions would be right for your trip — and your age group.

Myth #6. Cruise ships are full of germs.

It’s easy to get caught up in this myth, especially given the stories of COVID-19 outbreaks on cruise trips during the height of the pandemic.

So, how safe is cruising for your health? While outbreaks of illness can sometimes occur, the reality is that cruise liners generally have industry-wide protocols for thorough cleaning and a sanitation process before each launch and during each cruise. If people do get sick and are quarantined, they generally go through those same strict protocols again.

Mainstream cruise ships also generally have onboard staff to deal with medical issues. Most ships offer an ample supply of hand sanitizer, and some attempt to limit the spread of germs by not offering self-service buffets for the first 48 hours of the trip.

Like on any type of vacation, if you follow general health protocols and do your best to stop germs from spreading, you don’t need to focus on whether cruises are dangerous to your health. Check out the U.S. Department of State’s cruise travel tips for more ways to stay healthy and safe at sea.

Myth #7: You don’t need travel insurance for cruise trips.

It’s smart to pack travel insurance on any type of vacation, but some cruises do insist that passengers purchase cruise travel insurance before they board the ship. Why? In the unlikely event of a medical emergency or other unforeseen incident, getting you back to shore from the middle of the ocean can be costly — and they need to know you can cover the bill.

If you choose to cruise with one of our Travelex plans, you’ll have cruise insurance coverage included in your base plan that offers benefits like:

  • Emergency medical and dental coverage.
  • Emergency medical evacuation from the ship.
  • Trip cancellation, interruption, and delay coverage.

Our Travelex travel insurance also offers 24/7 assistance, which can help ease some concerns about how safe cruising is. You can learn more about our cruise insurance coverage here. If you still have questions, reach out to our customer service team at 1-800-228-9792.

Plan a cruise to enjoy your own adventures at sea

With these seven myths debunked and replaced with cruise facts, it’s clear that many of the long-held beliefs about cruising are based on outdated information. The truth about cruises is they’re adaptable, offering something for everyone — regardless of age, lifestyle, or budget.

With state-of-the-art facilities, a variety of activities, and a commitment to safety and guest satisfaction, cruise trips stand out as a multifaceted vacation option. Whether you’re looking to meet new people, crave uninterrupted relaxation, or long to explore various destinations, busting these myths may open the door to an entirely new world of travel opportunities for you on the high seas.

So, it’s time to stop wondering if cruises are worth it and start researching, booking, and protecting your trip so you can hop on board for the adventure of a lifetime!

Ready to safeguard your trip at sea?

Our travel insurance can help keep you afloat when you need it most. Get a quote now.

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