When you’re booking a different type of holiday for the first time, it’s natural that a thousand and one questions are going to be whirling around your head. Will you like it? Will it be money well spent? Will the food be good? What will the other guests be like? (You get the point!) But it’s worth taking the plunge, because it could end up being the trip of a lifetime! And if you don’t try it, you’ll never know.
Those that haven’t been on a cruise tend to have even more questions and that’s because they often don’t understand its appeal. A lot of people have misconceptions about what to expect from a cruise holiday and the most common myths about cruising are that it’s only for old people and that it’s too expensive. Well, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried! There’s more than 40 cruise line’s out there and the sheer wealth of choice and variety means that there is something to suit all holidaymakers. If you love partying, then Carnival Cruise Lines is the one for you; if you love food, then opt for Oceania Cruises or Celebrity Cruises. If spa and relaxation is more your thing, then Princess Cruises is likely to tick the boxes; or if you’re a bit of a daredevil or an adrenaline junkie, book a Royal Caribbean International cruise.
- It’s for old people
If you think cruising is just for the elderly, it’s time to think again! This is the most common myth people have about cruise holidays, but it’s far from the truth. Yes, there are some cruise lines which target and attract an older clientele, such as Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, Saga, or Cruise & Maritime Voyages. But in the summer months, ships throughout Europe are crammed full of families enjoying their escape to the sun.
There’s something for everyone when it comes to cruise, and it’s a perfect holiday option for families. For example, Royal Caribbean International has lots of innovative experiences on board which would attract all sorts of holidaymakers, such as its ice rinks, surf simulators, dodgems and carousels. MSC Cruises has a kids sail for free incentive so families can get a great deal across all sailings. And it doesn’t stop there because it’s often party central on Carnival Cruise Lines’ ships, particularly during the Spring Break season in the US.
- It’s too expensive
In days gone by, cruise may have been a prestigious holiday with a ridiculously large price tag. But those days are long gone. Of course there are luxury lines where you can spend a fortune on a completely all-inclusive five star cruise, and world cruises are always going to cost thousands of pounds. But not all cruises are pricey and at certain times of the year you can grab a bargain. All cruise lines are keen to get customers booking early, so they often run extra booking incentives when they release new itineraries for future years. At Cruise Nation, it’s important to us that we offer the best holiday recommendations and value for money. The latter is vital because we know everyone has a budget to stick to.
If you’re not on an all-inclusive cruise then you will have to spend money on board. The majority of restaurants tend to be complimentary, so you only have to pay for your wine. If you’re a big drinker, it’s worth investing in a drinks package because you can end up saving a fortune in the long run.
Cruise is only expensive if you want it to be!
- I’m going to feel trapped
Cruise ships come in three sizes – small, mid-sized and mega – so stick to what you feel most comfortable with. If you don’t like the thought of being with 4,500 people then opt for a smaller vessel where there’s only a few hundred other guests on board. The bigger ships, which can be just as long as the Empire State Building is tall, have so much space and you’re unlikely to see the same person twice, which is perfect for anyone concerned about feeling claustrophobic.
Regardless of what ship you’re on, your itinerary is likely to include a different destination every day and you can come and go as you like (as long as your back on by the time the ship leaves port!). If you’re worried, select a cruise with a port of call every day, these are common in the Caribbean and in the Mediterranean.
- I’m going to be bored
It’s almost impossible to get bored on a cruise ship. Aside from the fact that you’re on and off the ship almost every day, exploring the most amazing destinations, there ships have a variety of things to do and see to keep you occupied. If you’re a sports fan you can head to the basketball court, take part in water sports, enjoy a run around the top deck or go rock climbing. If being entertained is more your scene, why not take part in culinary classes, watch a 4D movie or enjoy one of the Broadway style shows!
There’s also the opportunity to try things you’d never get the chance to at home, or might prefer not to pay for, such as sky diving or learning to surf!
However, if you prefer to chill out and do nothing, you can! The choice is yours; at least you have the option of doing crazy things during your holiday.
- I’ll get seasick
A lot of first time cruisers fear that they might not have their sea legs and will end up poorly during their cruise. Most cruise ships are now fitted with new technology which stabilises them while out at sea and helps ensure a smooth sailing. On a larger ship you’re less likely to feel any movement and sometimes the journey can be so smooth that you won’t even realise you’re out at sea.
If you’re unsure about seasickness, avoid sailing across the Atlantic during the winter seasons because the winds and storms can make for a rough journey. You’ll also feel more movement on a smaller ship.
Take some seasickness tablets with you, follow the advice and you should be fine. And to help prevent it even further, ask for a cabin in the middle of the deck on a lower level.
- I’ll get fat on a cruise ship
Yes, there is a lot of food on cruise ships. But there has to be a lot of variety to meet the needs of the thousands of people travelling on them. What you eat is completely up to you, so you can avoid piling on pounds by heading to healthy dining venues. Numerous lines offer healthy restaurants, such as Celebrity Cruises’ Blu, which is all about nutrition and a balanced menu, and Costa Cruises’ Samsara Restaurant. Plus, pretty much every cruise ship has a gym, and they tend to be just as good, if not better, than anything on land! This myth is only true if you allow it to be.
So there you have it. There are lots of myths associated with cruise holidays, but you will never truly know what a cruise is like until you’ve taken the plunge and booked one yourself! Find yourself a reputable cruise agent like Cruise Nation and book your first cruise today!