Cruise Myths


“I’ll get bored and claustrophobic”

There’s more to sailing than playing shuffleboard.  Today’s mega-liners are like a city at sea;  there’s something going on almost 24 hours each day.  In fact, it could take you days just to finish your tour of the ship!  Activities range from exercise classes at the spa to poolside sports competitions, from basketball and golf practice to dance classes.  You can go to the movies, enrich your mind at a lecture, try you  hand at Bingo or brush up on you bridge game.  Or perhaps just strike up a conversation with the person lounging next to you on deck as you sip a cool island specialty drink.  Of course, you can just relax in the sun and read a book - it’s all up to you!

For those who really worry about feeling claustrophobic onboard, the best choice is a ship that stops in a different port every day, as each port offers an entirely new range of activities.  You can take a guided tour or take off on your own.  You can head for the water and swim, snorkel, scuba dive, windsurf, water-ski, river raft, fish or sail.  Perhaps golf, tennis or horseback riding at a local resort is more your style.  Or you can venture into town, mingle with the locals, visit the local museums and other cultural highlights, and even hunt down some shopping bargains.

Many cruise lines sponsor “theme cruises” evolving around different interests and featuring celebrities that compliment that theme.  You’ll find sports cruises showcasing baseball or basketball players, film festivals at sea accompanied by actors and directors of major feature films, and even health and fitness cruises where you’ll learn new exercises and eating habits.

After the sun goes down, you’ll find Broadway-style productions in the theater, disco and ballroom dancing or quiet piano music in the lounges (most ships have several lounges, each featuring a different style of entertainment), or fast and furious action in the casino.   There is also passenger-participation entertainment, like a passenger talent show or a masquerade parade.  And when you’re partied out, you can always retreat outside to enjoy a romantic moonlight stroll on deck. 


“I’ve already seen the Caribbean - why take a cruise”

While the Eastern or Western Caribbean are popular cruise destinations, ships’ itineraries today are far more diverse.  You can cruise the Mississippi River on a riverboat, tale a barge through the English or French countryside, explore the inside passage of Alaska, admire the fjords of Norway or cruise the exotic Hawaiian Islands or the Seychelles.  Where there’s water, chances are there’s a cruise ship nearby! 


“Cruising is only for old people”

Cruising is for everyone.  In fact, according to the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), 32% of all cruise passengers are families with children.  On board, you’ll discover people of all ages, origins and persuasions, eager to make new friends and explore all a cruise vacation has to offer.  There are youngsters participating in the elaborate children’s programs run by most lines (giving their parents a chance to relax as well), teenagers, young adults, business persons (attending meetings held on board) and retirees.

You’ll fins singles enjoying events sponsored especially for them, honeymooners taking in the romantic ambiance of a vacation at sea, and even wheelchair travelers who can take advantage of shipboard life, thanks to new and accessible cruise ship design. 


Fat chance…so to speak. “All you do is eat - I’ll gain 10 pounds!”

While it’s true that you can enjoy delicious multi-course gourmet meals around the clock onboard, and that you can sample much as you want of all the delicacies, you don’t have to.  Most ships also offer healthy, low-calorie and low-fat selections for those watching their weight.  And several major vessels offer incredible spa facilities and treatments, including day-long exercise programs and state-of-the-art aerobic and weight equipment for those who don’t want to interrupt their normal fitness routine or who want to become ship-shape before they return home. 


“I’ll get seasick”

Doubtful.   Most popular cruise itineraries navigate the calmest of waters.  Sophisticated weather reporting systems allow the crew to bypass storms and rough seas.  Plus, effective preventive medicines (like the  motion sickness patch and motion sickness pills, which can be prescribed by your local doctor or dispensed onboard the ship) ensure that cruise passengers can avoid queasiness at sea. 


“It will cost too much”

Actually, cruises can prove more cost-effective than other types of vacations.  Aside from items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls, spa treatments, gambling, drinks and shore excursions), all of the daytime and nighttime activities are included in your basic cruise cost.  No need to ever pull out your wallet to pay for restaurant meals, sports activities or nightlife.  And, because of he variety of cruises available, there’s something to suit everyone’s budget.   Free or reduced airfare from you home city to the ship’s port of departure is often included.  Taking a shorter cruise or selecting a smaller or inside (no porthole) cabin can reduce prices even further.  So can booking in advance and taking advantage of “early bird booking specials”.  And the casual nature of cruising today means there’s no need to run out and buy special clothes, even on the most formal of evenings, men can usually get away with a dark suit and ladies with a cocktail dress.

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