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Misconceptions about Cruising

The following are a number of misconceptions about cruising:

1. Cruises are too expensive. In most polls, this it the number one obstacle to purchasing a cruise. A cruise is inclusive, it will seem to have a high price tag but you are prepaying your hotel, touring between ports, meals, activities and entertainment. When these costs are itemized you will recognize that a cruise represents a remarkable value.

2. Cruises are boring. This comes from the days of transatlantic crossings, when the most some passengers did was sit on a deck chair bundled up in a blanket. Cruises are a different experience today. The problems isn't that there's too little to do, but that there's too much…

3. Cruises are only for older people. A few cruise experiences do indeed skew toward a more mature passenger profile, but brochure descriptions make this bias very clear. Others tend toward younger passengers. The majority of cruises, however, feature passengers from just about every age group, with the average age becoming lower and lower. (It's currently 43 years.)

4. Cruises are stuffy and too formal. A cruise is largely an informal and relaxed experience. On certain ships, a dress code does prevail in the main dining room, sometimes for lunch, often for dinner. Formality is somewhat more frequent on upscale cruises, much less likely or even non-existent on a budget cruise, a sailing ship, or an adventure/education cruise.

5. Cruises are too regimented. To achieve the efficient flow of hundreds to thousands of passengers, cruise lines do try to organize things as best they can. But organization on a ship is far from rigid-there's plenty of freedom. Routines are especially relaxed on upscale cruises, sailing ships, and adventure/education cruises.

6. There's not enough time in ports. It's true that cruise ships rarely stay in port for more than twelve hours. At minor ports, this (or less time) may be all that's needed.
For example, a traveler might wish to visit the major ports of the Western Mexican Coast, then return a few years later for a resort stay in the city that was most impressionable. Moreover, it is possible-through a pre- or post cruise package-to spend extended time at the departure and / or arrival port. And to satisfy those clients who want a more extended port experience, some cruise lines are now spending more than a day in certain intermediate ports or building faster ships that will get from place to place more quickly, thus permitting a longer port stay.

7. The ship environment is too confining. Cruise ship designers have become increasingly adept at creating a sense of spaciousness aboard ship. Vast windows in public spaces, pale colours, and other devices or the architectural profession "expand" the environment.

8. Aren't you forced to socialize with people?. Meeting interesting fellow passengers is perceived as a benefit by many cruisers.
The likelihood that you'll meet people you have plenty in common with is great. Some people, though, find socializing uncomfortable. To address this, cruise lines organize all sorts of optional events to make mixing comfortable and easy. In theory, though, someone who wants to be alone could very well do that aboard a ship. Reading while in a deck chair, dining in one's stateroom, watching the scenery go by from a private verandah-these and more can enable someone to enjoy a cruise without a whole lot of socializing.

9. I was in the Navy, and the last thing I want to do is take my vacation on a ship. A pleasure cruise is dramatically different from the Navy experience. Virtually everyone who cites this objection discovers quite rapidly that this is a silly misconception.

10. Are ships really safe?, The Titanic still looms large, but, a Titanic-like catastrophe is virtually impossible today. Modern safety regulation requirements and radar have seen to that. Fires aboard ships have occurred, but they're rare and easily contained.

11. I'll eat too much and put on weight. Cruise veterans jokingly refer to "five-pound cruises" and "ten-pound cruises." The reality today is this: Low-calorie, healthy dining choices are increasingly available on ships, plus exercise opportunities allow you to work off all those calories. Or at least some of them….

12. It's too far to fly to the port. This is a problem voiced by those who live far inland (e.g., North Dakota or Saskatchewan) and whose ship is leaving from, say, San Juan. It's still only a half-day to one of the greatest vacations of your life.

13. I'm worried about seasickness. Some people are especially vulnerable to motion discomfort. But ship stabilizers (underwater wing-like devices that reduce a ship's roll) and other design features have minimized this problem. Cruise vessels also tend to sail in protected waters, where motion is less likely to occur. Many cruisers use Sea Bands®, wrist bracelets that, through accupressure, apparently reduce the effect of ship motion. Physicians can also prescribe pills or skin patches that, for most people, relieve motion sickness. Alcohol and lack of sleep can worsen seasickness. People who are prone to motion discomfort should avoid drinking too much or sleeping too little.
A question allied to this: What happens if I get ill while onboard? Health professionals are right there aboard ship to deal with problems.

To Sum up, the reasons to take a cruise vacation are many. The reasons not to take a cruise are often bogus. The key to your cruise satisfaction: You must take the right cruise, on the right ship, and to the right destination. When your personality and the cruise match, then all the perceived objections will probably, and simply, melt away.
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