If visiting the midnight buffet with `Gopher` and the gang from the TV show “Love Boat” represents the quintessential cruise, then Travelocity.com Inc. (Nasdaq: TVLY), the most popular travel Web site, has news for travelers.
In a January 2002 survey, more than 1,900 Travelocity.com members responded to a variety of questions about cruising. Travelers may be surprised to find the following misconceptions debunked by facts:
The No. 1 reason respondents would not take a cruise is concern about the cruise not matching personal interests. On another matchmaking front, only 3 percent think meeting a social partner is a top reason for cruising.
FACT: Match Made In Heaven
While finding the perfect partner is up to the traveler, Travelocity.com can narrow the search for a perfect vacation with Cruise Expert—technology that tailors cruise vacations based on members` preferences.
MISCONCEPTION: Do The Shuffle
Many non-cruisers don`t realize the variety of activities aboard a cruise ship. 76 percent of respondents cited shuffleboard as a popular cruise activity, while only 14 percent realized ice-skating was an option.
FACT: Shake Your Bootie
Belly dancing, as well as golf, rock climbing, cooking lessons, art auctions, wine tasting, gambling, basketball and volleyball are just some of the activities available on today`s cruise ship.
MISCONCEPTION: Costly Cruising
Of those who have never cruised, almost half (49 percent) think the average cost of a seven-night cruise is between $799-$1,499 per person.
FACT: Valuable Ventures
On Travelocity.com, the average price for a seven-night cruise is $599 to $799 per person.
47 percent say one of the top reasons they would not take a cruise is confined and cramped accommodations. Almost half of respondents believe the maximum occupancy in a stateroom is two people.
FACT: Slumber Party
Most staterooms can easily accommodate four people and some rooms house up to eight travelers. In fact, staterooms range from standard to spacious—some family-friendly suites measure 5,000 square feet. That`s bigger than most five-bedroom homes!
MISCONCEPTION: Destination Unknown
Majority of both cruisers and potential cruisers could only name four to five cruise destinations. When cruising comes to mind, most people think of the Caribbean, Mexico and Alaska.
FACT: Sail Around The World
Cruise lines today travel to hundreds of worldly ports of call, including a host of cities in exotic regions such as South America, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific.
MISCONCEPTION: Food Folklore
A good portion of respondents (27 percent) said dining with strangers was a top reason not to cruise. Also, a majority of respondents (85 percent) believe the number of dining venues offered aboard a ship is between three and five.
FACT: Food Facts
Although some cruisers find dining with strangers fun, it`s certainly not a requirement. Tables for just two—or more—are available at a myriad of dining venues. In fact, cruise lines are now offering everything from French to Spanish tapas and Italian to Asian fusion in as many as 10 different restaurants per ship.
MISCONCEPTION: Buffet Binges
59 percent of non-cruisers expect to eat more on a cruise than at home.
FACT: Culinary Control
While most cruisers admit they eat more on a cruise, a whopping 69 percent only visit the midnight buffet once or twice during a cruise. In addition, most every major cruise line offers light and healthy menus and spectacular spas and workout facilities for health-minded passengers.
“At Travelocity.com, we are obviously surrounded by all things travel all the time, so we`ve inherently achieved expert status in many travel categories,” said Terrell B. Jones, president and chief executive officer of Travelocity.com. “One of the areas we`ve found exceptionally intriguing is cruising, which is associated with a great deal of mystique. Our cruise poll has finally laid to rest a lot of the misconceptions about cruise vacations, as well as identified some interesting behaviors and experiences of cruise travelers.”