With an extensive variety of cruise ships and destinations to choose from, there’s never been a better time to try a cruise.
However, despite the industry’s fast-changing and dynamic pace, some of the old cruise myths still prevent people from trying a cruise holidays on the water.
Cruise Critic, the world’s largest cruise review site and online cruise community, dispels some of the top myths.
Worry 1: There isn’t enough time to explore the destination
Reality: Some of the larger ships may only stay in port for one day, however, many lines, and particularly smaller ships, often stay overnight.
Cruise lines such as Azamara Club Cruises, offer extended immersive port experiences, which enable guests to spend two or three days enjoying the local culture and landmarks, while Celebrity Cruises offers overnight stays on many Caribbean sailings.
Worry 2: Cruises are too expensive
Reality: More ships to choose from means more competition – and this can result in being reduced – with some equivalent to package holiday prices. Once you factor in all the inclusive extras, such as countless activities, world-class shows and entertainment, free kids’ clubs, multiple destinations and plenty of food options, it can deliver excellent value.
Celestyal Cruises was rated Best Value in the Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards, and offers all-inclusive fares, which include both drinks and selected shore excursions – all for less than £175/day. Some of the UK-based lines including P&O Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and Cruise & Maritime Voyages, even offer mini cruises of two- or three-nights for as little as £200.
Worry 3: I’ll get seasick
Reality: Cruise ship stabilisers help reduce the rocking motion, and selecting a large cruise ship, and a cabin close to the ship’s balancing point (low and centre) can reduce the risk of motion sickness. Royal Caribbean has some of the largest ships in the world, and Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Cunard can also be good options.
Pick a window or balcony cabin as this will give a consistent view of the horizon point, and can help to reduce sickness. You might also like to use patches, bands or pills for seasickness.
Worry 4: I can’t cruise solo
Reality: The single supplement charge typically meant that solo cruisers would pay a large excess. The good news is that with research this can be avoided.
Certain lines cater particularly well for solo travellers. For example, Fred. Olsen offers more than 200 single cabins fleet-wide, regular solo supplement promotions and solo hosts and events onboard. Saga has a large number of solo cabins (25%), and the majority of P&O Cruises’ ships include single cabins. Due to its competitive pricing for solo travellers, Voyages to Antiquity reports that more than 35% of its UK passengers travel solo.
Some smaller ships may offer solo cruisers a more sociable experience, however, larger ships may accommodate those travelling alone by offering specific events and areas for solos.
Worry 5: I’ll gain weight
Reality: With delicious array of food available, some people fear weight gain, but as with an inclusive land-based holiday, it’s about applying a balanced approach.
When you do overindulge, you can try and negate some calories with activity. It’s simple to clock up daily steps, especially for those who take the stairs. Cruise ships offer plenty of opportunities to be active, and that’s before considering the state of the art fitness centres and active excursions available. Gyms on some of Royal Caribbean’s ships feature Gravity machines and Activio ycling, while cruisers can attend dance events on lines such as Holland America.
For more information on how to plan a first cruise, visit: www.cruisecritic.co.uk.