If you’re planning your next holiday, a cruise might not be the first option that comes to mind, however, according to research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2012, 3% of Australia’s population has cruised with that number increasing every year. With the ability to explore a number of destinations in one trip, an abundance of on-board facilities and the option to do as little or as much as you like, it’s easy to see why this type of holiday is so appealing.
If you’re not convinced that cruise holidays are for you, here are ten myths busted that might just change your mind…
1. I’ll get bored
If you’re worried you’ll be stuck for things to do on-board, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Cruise ships are floating playgrounds crammed with activities, amenities and entertainment to keep you busy while at sea. With action packed daily schedules on offer accounting for every hour of the day; you can play sport, try rock climbing, take a quiz, hit the gym, have a massage, learn a new skill, attend a lecture or art auction, go to a dance class or play bingo – and that’s just before lunch!
At night the ship is abuzz with multiple dining options, comedy acts, karaoke, Broadway style shows and live DJ’s spinning tunes in the nightclub. Try your luck in the casino or just enjoy a quiet cocktail with friends in the piano bar.
Your biggest problem will be fitting everything in!
2. I don’t want to be on a big ship with all those people
With the cruise industry booming, there are now more cruising options than ever before with something to suit everyone. From small boutique yachts catering for 100 to 3000+ passenger resort style ships that are destinations in themselves and plenty in between. If you’re unsure whether an ocean cruise is your style, you can opt for a river cruise sailing down the Rhine, Nile or Mississippi. Enjoy a coastal trip through the Norwegian fjords or New Zealand’s Milford Sound where the scenery will have you mesmerised. Take an expedition ship through the Arctic Circle or visit less-travelled ports on a tall-ship.
3. Cruising is only for retirees and old people
A common misconception is that cruises are only for the elderly, when in fact, cruising caters for all ages. While there are certain cruises enjoyed mainly by retirees, particularly the longer voyages, there are plenty on offer for more youthful clientele.
Honeymooners or singles could opt for a South Pacific cruise where they can relax by the pool, snorkel in postcard perfect beaches and be pampered at the spa by day. In the evening they can enjoy glamorous dining, a few drinks and a show before hitting the nightclub.
Cruise lines such as Disney and Royal Caribbean are perfect for families where the kids will be entertained while parents can enjoy their holiday relaxing by the pool, cocktail in hand.
4. Cruising is expensive
Not just for the cashed up, cruising is in fact great value. Where else would you find a holiday that includes meals, transportation, accommodation, entertainment and state of the art facilities? All you need to budget for is alcohol, shore excursions, gambling and beauty treatments. Starting at around $100 per person a night, there’s a cruise for every budget. With many luxury cruise lines now including alcohol and shore excursions, the only money you’ll need to spend is on souvenirs.
5. The cabins are small and claustrophobic
Depending on your budget, there are spacious and light-filled cabin options available on most cruise ships.
An inside cabin won’t have a window, so if you see your room as simply somewhere to sleep, this is generally the most economical option. If you prefer having some natural light and a window to gaze out of, an outside (ocean view) cabin is for you. For that fresh sea breeze and your own private outdoor space to relax in, a balcony or verandah is the best bet. The difference between each of these options can be as little as $10-$20 per person per night so it’s a matter of deciding where your priorities lie.
If you’re looking to indulge, a suite is often the most expensive and luxurious option. This will offer spacious and lavish accommodation and often come with added perks of a butler and extra amenities.
For families there is the choice of a family cabin or two next to each other with an interconnecting door, while handicapped cruisers are catered for in specially designed wheelchair access cabins.
6. I’ll get seasick
One of the biggest myths when it comes to cruising that often puts many off even considering the idea. While you can’t control the weather, the sheer size of cruise liners, along with improved technology and powerful stabilisers to help counter the motion mean the chances of seasickness are low. Choosing a bigger ship and steering clear of cabins at the front or back of the ship will also decrease the risk. If all else fails, have some Kwells or acupressure wrist bands with you just in case. If you’re unfortunate enough to hit rough waters that test even the strongest of sea legs, doctors are available onboard to bring you relief.
7. Cruises are too long
Don’t let this one fool you! With so many cruise options available now, the choice of how long to cruise is entirely up to you. Gone are the days when you had to spend weeks on a ship to get anywhere – for a weekend sampler, try a quick one or two night cruise. The most popular length of time on a cruise is between five and eight nights where you will still experience multiple land destinations, abolishing the myth that you’ll be stuck out at sea for days.
9. I only get a few hours in port
If you love the idea of a cruise but would also like to spend a few days really getting to know a destination, you could opt for a ‘cruise and stay’ holiday. This gives you the option to combine the luxury of cruising with a few days on land either side of the cruise. With amazing fly, cruise and stay packages now available, they offer great value for money and allow you to experience the ultimate holiday.
Cruise-touring is another popular option where you can enjoy the experience of open seas while combining it with a number of nights on land, touring destinations not reachable by ship.
Many itineraries now also include 1 or 2 night stays in port, allowing you to experience as much as possible of a particular destination.
10. The kids will get bored
With amazing facilities and entertainment onboard and kids clubs that they’ll never want to leave, you might actually find you start missing your kids! How can you not love a trip that keeps your kids entertained, giving you the chance to relax and unwind? There’s still plenty of opportunity for family time at meals, in the pool or on shore excursions. With state-of-the-art facilities and activities that blend education with fun, there’ll be no time for boredom if you choose the right cruise.