New to Cruising
If you’ve never been on a cruise before it’s natural that you’ll have a few questions, a few things you’re not quite sure about. Here, we’ll talk you through what life on board is like, talk about just who cruises and bust some common cruise myths.
Let's start by telling you that the vast majority of people who have ever been on a cruise holiday book again sometime. Many become regular cruise enthusiasts, planning their next holiday virtually as soon as they return home. No other type of holiday offers the wonderful entertainment, fine dining options, enjoyable activities and the chance to visit some of the world's most exciting destinations that you'll discover on a cruise. Plus, you’ll only have to unpack your luggage once!
Here, we'll address just a few of the misconceptions about cruise holidays and, we hope, reassure you that there are a host of excellent reasons why cruise holidays are continuing to increase in popularity year after year.
Cruises are too formal
Cruises can be thoroughly informal, with no dress code at all, or can offer a taste of fine cruising tradition with black-tie cocktail evenings at the captain's table. The norm is somewhere in between.
While some cruise lines pride themselves on continuing to provide a taste of traditional cruise dining experiences, with formal dining at set times for example, others are far more flexible these days.
They'll offer open seating at times to suit you and will feature a variety of different restaurants enabling you to choose a new dining experience each evening.
Some like their passengers to dress for dinner, some are completely dress-code free, others have a mix, with designated 'formal' evenings.
Activities and entertainment are there for you to enjoy if you like to join in – but there's no pressure. It's your holiday and you can enjoy it however you please.
It will be overcrowded
Cruises are popular and, at times on a main pool deck or in a show lounge, there may be a lively atmosphere with lots of people enjoying themselves.
But there isn't a cruise ship on the seas today that doesn't provide plenty of peaceful places to enjoy a bit of quiet solitude. The cruise lines understand that many people seek out these havens to relax and enjoy some 'me' time and they're keen to provide them.
Alternatively, you can always find ships and itineraries that cater specifically for those seeking a more tranquil and serene ambience, there are lots to choose from.
I’ll get seasick
If we said no-one ever gets seasick on a cruise we wouldn't be telling the truth. But while people do sometimes feel queasy, today's cruise liners have addressed the stability issues that previously caused seasickness. Modern cruise ships have stabilizers attached to the hull which use automatic sensors to position themselves in the best way to counteract the waves. The ship’s officers will also set the smoothest course possible to minimise any movement.
Most cruise passengers enjoy their holidays without any seasickness at all but if you do suffer from seasickness, there are numerous very effective preventative remedies available from your on board pharmacist.
It'll be full of old/young people
The list of 'types' of people booking cruises is as long as the list of types of people there are generally. While it's true that many retired people do enjoy the pleasures of a wonderful cruise holiday, long gone are the days when our senior citizens saw cruising as their exclusive domain.
From single travellers seeking the adventure of exploring remote new horizons to large family groups celebrating an anniversary, all types of people are enjoying ‘their' kind of cruise at any given time of year.
Modern cruise ships boast an amazing array of family-friendly amenities and if you consider the ship, the itinerary and the time of year you travel, it should give you a hint about the profile of your fellow passengers.
There will be a nice mix on most cruises but some holidays will obviously appeal more to a younger age-group and others to the more senior travellers.
I’ve heard there can be virus outbreaks
Incidences of things like Norovirus outbreaks are pretty rare and don't just occur on ships – they can affect anywhere where lots of people are in close proximity to each other.
Cruise lines are aware of the potential for outbreaks and provide advice, as well as offering hand sanitising facilities, to keep the likelihood of an outbreak to an absolute minimum.
I'll feel cooped up
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Space on board today's stunning ships is something the cruise lines take extremely seriously and they are designed to incorporate as much natural light as possible throughout the public spaces. You'll always be able to find comfortable, roomy bars and lounges as well as lovely open decks with amazing panoramic views of the wide oceans.
Itineraries are also carefully planned so you'll never be more than a few days' peaceful sailing away from your next wonderful destination and the opportunity to relax or take some spectacular sightseeing trips ashore.
Cruises aren’t suitable for families with children
Families with youngsters can find ships with the most amazing facilities, where their little ones can have fun making friends in a safe environment supervised by friendly, experienced and qualified staff and mums and dads can also utilise the babysitting services when they want to enjoy some time to themselves.
For many cruise holiday passengers, family fun is the requirement and today's mega-liners certainly push the boat out, if you'll pardon the pun, when it comes to entertainment, sport and leisure activities and child-friendly facilities supervised by friendly and experienced staff.
Cruises are expensive
On the contrary, cruise holidays are actually excellent value for money. Any idea that cruising was merely for the very wealthy or retired drifted away many years ago, with all-inclusive packages bringing excellent value to such a rich variety of ships, itineraries and year-round sailings.
Plus, most, if not all, meals will be included in the price of your cruise fare as well as all the fabulous entertainment on offer.