I’ve been on 110 cruises. Here are 7 myths I want to debunk for hesitant first-time cruisers

Robert L Willett poses for a photo on the deck of a cruise ship against a blue sky

I’ve been on over 100 cruises and I love this style of travel.Robert L Willett

  • I’ve spent decades going on 100+ cruises and I’ve heard a lot of misconceptions about it.

  • Cruises don’t always have to be super expensive and seasickness is not a guarantee.

  • I don’t find cruises boring – and they’re not just for older people either.

I waited 20 years before boarding a cruise ship and now I’ve gone to 110.

In my decades of cruising, I’ve learned that there are many reasons people are nervous about their first cruise. I can identify with some of them, but I now believe that this way of traveling is worth trying at least once – you, like me, might even get hooked.

Here’s my breakdown of some common cruise myths that might be keeping people from giving this type of travel a try.

MYTH: Only wealthy people can afford cruises

I always thought cruises cost a lot of money, so it took me years to look at the actual cost. After all, as my wife did some research, the actual price was far lower than the figures in the brochures.

Keep an eye out for deals and specials—many cruises offer discount packages and fares that can make them more affordable. You can also look at shorter cruises, which last only three or four days and tend to be cheaper than those longer than a week.

Just make sure to keep an eye on your spending on board – temptations can be everywhere, but a little willpower and regular checking of your bar tab can help you stay on track.

Cruise ship

I thought cruises were too expensive for me but you can do great dealsVintagepix/Shutterstock

MYTH: Everyone gets seasick on cruises

Having sailed both the Atlantic and the Pacific on Army troop ships, seasickness was one of the worst experiences imaginable. Plus, on a cruise, you’re tied to a fairly tight schedule, which means limited stops ashore and therefore little hope of relief.

But many large cruise ships today have modern stabilizers, so you might not even feel the swaying of the waves. Sometimes the movement feels more like vibration and passengers can forget they are at sea.

Seasickness doesn’t happen to everyone either – and if you’re feeling down, you can try to manage it with special tapes and medication.

MYTH: Cruising is only for the elderly

Some younger people may not want to cruise, believing that only older people do. Maybe that was common years ago, but today there are so many different lines and ships that cater to adults, families and all kinds of groups.

For example, a young family might think twice about taking Holland American Cruises, popular with older adults, but be drawn to Carnival, which is known for accommodating families.

If you’re not sure if a cruise is right for you and your group, check out the ports, activities, and itineraries.

Deck of a cruise ship

Some cruise ships are specifically for families or adults only.Jean Paul Pelissier/Reuters

MYTH: Being locked on a ship for a week gets really boring

A common concern I’ve heard but find hard to understand is that being locked on a ship for seven or ten days gets really boring.

In reality, you’re more likely to feel drained from all the entertainment features, activities, and ports. I’ve bowled on ships, played bumper cars, zip-lined across upper decks, and nearly entered a simulated parachute tunnel before collapsing.

Don’t worry about getting bored—instead, make sure you set your own pace.

MYTH: The cabins are way too small to have a positive experience

Cruise cabins are often really tiny — but if you don’t love your room, you can just spend more time elsewhere on the ship. There are plenty of lounges and activities on board anyway.

You can also consider whether paying for more space is worth it for you. Inside cabins are usually the cheapest and smallest. For more money there is a window or a balcony – or an upgrade to a suite.

For some, it may be better to take fewer cruises with nice suites than many cruises with OK cabins.

A view of the main dining room on a ship with a blue floor, red chairs and white tablecloths

My Myths Debunked may not assuage your concerns about cruising, but it’s worth a try.EWY Media/Shutterstock

MYTH: Cruise ships are too formal

One of my early concerns was that some ships are very formal in the evenings when it comes to dress codes and activities.

But although many ships have formal nights (one or two is standard for a seven-day cruise), you have options if you don’t want to participate. You also don’t have to rent a tuxedo or buy a floor-length dress—dress codes can be pretty flexible. Be sure to look them up before sailing.

Plus, you can always eat at a buffet or other dining area on the ship if you really want to skip the formal nights.

MYTH: Restricted mealtimes make it hard to get food when you’re hungry

Years ago, cruising was relatively formal, and your dining room and table mates were preordained. Today, most cruises have flexible meal schedules, or at least serve at least one type of food throughout the day.

Some lines, like Norwegian Cruise Line, offer freestyle dining where you eat, when and where you want, with no set times or pre-assigned seats.

However, be open to pre-determined meals – you may find it nicer than you think. I loved hanging out with the same group and having the same server every night who could remember my likes and quirks.

Read the original article on Insider


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