The demand for cruises is high. More and more people choose this very popular and elegant way of travelling. With increasing passenger numbers, there are also sceptics who cannot imagine themselves spending their holiday with so many other people on one cruise ship. Especially those that go on a cruise for the first time, who have many open questions. This may lead to misunderstanding and wrong perceptions. In this article, we are going to look at the five most common cruise myths.
Cruises are too crowded – there is no room to relax
You can find more quiet places on a ship than you would think. That goes for both smaller and bigger vessels. While there is a more family-like atmosphere on smaller ships due to the size anyway, bigger ships offer lots of space on the inside and outside, where you can find your favourite place to relax.
Passengers wanting time to themselves, will most likely enjoy a balcony cabin the most. While sitting out on the balcony, enjoying the view on the ocean and passing shores, guests can listen to the sound of the sea and observe seabirds or maybe even dolphins. Most ships also offer in-room breakfast. Especially with a balcony cabin, there are not many more places where breakfast could be more enjoyable to start off the day, the view can be absolutely stunning.
Additionally, there are spa and pool areas aboard with lots of room to relax, which are not always accessible to everybody and that can be reserved on an hourly or daily basis – sometimes for a fee. Guests can even plan shore excursion in a way so that they do not disembark the vessel with all the other passengers – whether that is by choosing a later tour, a tour that has a certain participant limit or letting others disembark first when planning ones own tour. The same goes for visiting the restaurants or buffet restaurants. Passengers that are not set on rush hour, will always find a spot the will enjoy. In general, it is a good idea to explore the ship thoroughly at the beginning of the cruise. Whether you are on a bigger or smaller cruise – you will always find a nice spot. Libraries and spas with relaxation and outside areas are some of the spots aboard, where passengers can enjoy themselves and relax. Even during the day there are bars and lounges that are rather quiet – often they have panorama windows – and where guests can just sit down with a book or enjoy the view.
Cruises are not for solo travellers
There are many good reasons why solo travellers get their money’s worth on cruises. The picture that comes to most people’s minds has changed over the last years. However, the cruise myths of mass processing and scrambles are still there today – but that doesn’t have to be true. The opposite is actually the case. Those who want to flee from the masses may very well do so, as there are plenty of possibilities to do so – the same goes for those wanting to get in contact with fellow passengers.
Firstly, the harbours and regions that the cruise ship travels to are what make it so special. Those who generally like to travel on their own can also do the same on a cruise. For those guests who do not want to explore everything on their own, most cruise ships offer a variety of excursions. There is something for everybody. One of the upsides here is that the ship waits if you return a little later. In order to serve many different needs, cruise companies have a diverse portfolio with many different options, so guests can customise their cruises. In order to do so, they have adapted the passengers´ needs and plan their excursions and interior design accordingly. The diverse range of offers both of activities aboard and ashore are steadily increasing. Event cruises are a great example of that. They offer different attractions for all kinds of people. Furthermore, ships and their board attractions are very diverse. Thanks to guests with the same interests, mingling with others is especially easy on these cruises.
Cruises have a conservative dress code
For some they are a highlight of the cruise, while for others they are simply mandatory: the elegant nights and the famous captains dinner. Those who do not want to participate in the more elegant nights, don’t have to. With almost every cruise company, the so-called “formal night” with a nice course dinner, welcome by the crew and a picture with the captain can be avoided. In that case guests may go to the buffet restaurant. They are open throughout the evening and offer a great variety of food. Do not worry – you won’t be the only one. Some cruise companies, such as Norwegian Cruise Line, generally stand for rather relaxed fashion without a dress code.
For those who want to be prepared for nightly activities nevertheless, they will be informed about any potential dress code with the travel documents that are sent to them, although often evening wear is standard. On longer trips there are often several festive nights, so it would be beneficial to bring some options, as well.
Guests have to eat dinner at set mealtimes
The topic of set mealtimes is also one of the most common cruise myths. Many times the image is still that of the old times: The nightly dinner with set times and seating and the same company. Many cruise enthusiasts appreciate having the same company every night and talking to them about one another’s days. Those get togethers for dinner are especially the case on older cruises – mostly divided in 2 sessions, an early and a later one. Nowadays, most cruises are not sticking to specific times anymore, but rather make eating times very flexible. Passengers have different needs that are also shifting, which is why cruise companies adapt themselves to suit the needs. Norwegian Cruise Line is one of the first to have adapted to the wants of passengers regarding food.
Everything aboard is all-inclusive
Cruises have many features, which include far more than the cruise itself and the room aboard. The extent of what is included varies from one ship to another, but generally the main meals, tea, coffee and water with the meals, as well as usage of the public areas and facilities, and entertainment in the lounges and theatres are included. Then there are also cruise companies that include more – ranging from one or two extra features to all inclusive. Those completely carefree packages fascinate more and more passengers. But not all all inclusive cruises are the same. They do not always include everything. Differences show especially with beverages, culinary offers, internet access, and gratuities. Most all-inclusive cruises include restaurants in the price, but they may charge extra for specialty restaurants. The same goes for very exclusive beverages. However, there are some cruise companies that really do include everything, especially those in the luxury sector. As a rule of thumb remember this: only what is stated in the offer description is really included.