Cruising is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry. This is hardly surprising when you consider all that it has to offer.
Outstanding itineraries with thrilling destinations, excursions and activities, coupled with the superb facilities onboard cruise ships puts cruising at the forefront of top travel experiences.
A cruise holiday has traditionally been viewed as the ultimate in luxury travel. It was often seen as the recreation of the rich and well to-do. Unfortunately, it has clung on to some of those old-fashioned ideas about who a cruise is actually for. A lot people are surprised to find that cruising is in fact for them.
Here we try to break down some of those timeworn ideas about cruising to present to you; 7 reasons why cruising is NOT what you think it is.
Cruising is for ‘old people’
No, it’s not. The idea of hundreds of pensioners shuffling around a dance floor to the strains of Benny Goodman playing through an old gramophone are a long way from the truth, or rather, a long time from the truth.
Modern cruise ships are just that – modern – and that includes all the facilities and entertainment available onboard. Anyone that tells you cruising is only for old people is just repeating outdated ideas about an industry that has very much moved with the times. So let’s leave this cruise myth firmly in the past where it belongs.
Cruise holidays are a great choice for families and couples alike. Some ships are specifically geared toward the family market while others offer ‘adult only’ cruising. But that doesn’t mean you have to be 100 years old to enjoy them. An ‘adult’ is anyone over the age of 18, although if you are a centenarian that’s fine too. And well done for reaching that remarkable milestone!
More and more couples and groups of friends of all ages have discovered that cruising is a fantastic way to experience new destinations, especially with the chance to visit several Instagrammable places in one amazing holiday.
There’s even an increasing number of themed cruises catering for different generations, such as this 90s themed 3-night Electric Sunsets cruise, featuring pop acts including B*Witched, 5ive, S Club Party and 911.
It’s too expensive
Let’s nip this one in the bud right away. It’s more than possible to book a cruise holiday at a price comparable to that of a beach holiday with a similar standard of hotel accommodation.
Marella Cruises have some incredible deals and you can always rely on Holiday Hypermarket to pop up with EXTRA deals and discounts whenever we can.
Cruise holidays are all about the superb value. Not only do you get to experience more than one destination on your holiday, the level of service on cruise ships is very high.
Attentive, friendly staff onboard are there to ensure customers enjoys every single element of their cruise, from the breakfast in the morning to the top notch entertainment in the evening.
The entire Marella Cruises fleet is all inclusive and all tips are included in the cost of the cruise, so there are no hidden extras or surprise charges, although you can tip if you want to reward exceptional service.
A cruise and stay holiday gives you the option to enjoy up to a week at a beach resort in addition to a cruise holiday. You basically combine a traditional beach break with a cruise. They’re amazing value too!
You have to dress up every night on cruise ships
Another one of those classic cruise myths. You’ve probably been watching too many period dramas! Modern cruise ships are not floating around the world’s oceans like a bunch of weird relics of a bygone era, full of men dressed in formal black tie and top hats and women in ball gowns and pearls.
A cruise holiday, like any holiday, should be relaxed and fun. You’re not expected to dress up in your finery every time you want to eat a burger for lunch. Shorts and t-shirts are the norm.
As with most hotels, guests are expected to dress appropriately for the restaurants in the evenings. Swimwear should be avoided, but there’s no need to ‘go overboard’ on fancy clobber, pardon the pun.
On the other hand, there are opportunities to ‘dress to impress’ on special evenings and in speciality restaurants if that’s what you want to do.
It will feel claustrophobic
Have you SEEN a cruise ship? If you have never been on an ocean cruise then it’s fairly likely that you have never actually seen a cruise ship up close, let alone set foot on one.
Cruise ships are massive. Some cruise ships can accommodate more than 5,000 passengers, which of course may further instil the idea that they will feel busy and claustrophobic. But they don’t, because they’re massive.
Unless everyone onboard a ship were to suddenly and very randomly decide to gather in exactly the same spot on deck at exactly the same time, most ships just feel about as busy as a typical holiday hotel.
Marella Cruises’ largest ship, Marella Explorer, can host nearly 2,000 passengers. With 13 decks, 10 restaurants and bars, a huge theatre hosting thrilling West End-style shows, a Champneys Spa, a swimming pool area, mini golf course, areas specifically designed for kids and teenagers and even an ice cream parlour – there’s more than enough room and plenty of facilities for everyone.
Also, have we mentioned that cruise ships are massive?
There’s not enough to do – I would get bored on a ship
Cruise ships are designed to have thousands of people with a wide range of interests to enjoy an exciting and engaging week or more onboard. You’d have to try really hard to be bored!
During the day ships are typically in port, so you have the option to leave the ship and take a tour or excursion in your destination. If you’d prefer to stay onboard or if it’s a sea day, where the ship is travelling between destinations, you can indulge in some of the many facilities available onboard.
Just like at a hotel, you could spend time by the pool with a few cool drinks and a snack bar close by. Or you could take advantage of the relaxed ambiance of the sun deck to spend time with a good book. Need to hone your putting skills? Head to the mini golf course.
There’s no excuse for letting your exercise routine slip with an onboard gym, including fitness classes like yoga and spinning. If you’d rather focus your efforts more on blissful self-indulgence, Marella’s two Explorer ships both have an opulent Champneys spa.
Evening entertainment includes lavish West End-style shows and live music. You could try your luck in the casino or catch a movie at the cinema.
On the dining front, cruise ships are used to catering for a very wide variety of tastes. You can expect to see a fantastic array of food on offer in the restaurants and snack bars onboard.
Ships will generally have a buffet style restaurant, like you’d find in an All Inclusive hotel, where you can dine at pretty much any time you like. These will serve a range of hot and cold dishes, desserts and drinks.
In addition, there are more formal dining options where you can sit down in the atmosphere of upmarket eateries like an Italian restaurant, or enjoy Asian-fusion cuisine with an ocean view.
There is nothing for younger children to do on a cruise
It’s worth repeating our earlier point – cruise ships are not just for the grandparents. Although you can’t cruise with very young babies (under 6 months old), there are lots of activities for younger members of the family on a cruise holiday.
Exploring new places is highly inspirational and educational for young minds and cruising is prime opportunity to do just that. Cruise ships often visit some of the most culturally interesting and enriching cities in the world. This can provide some incredible memories for young explorers.
Onboard, younger cruisers will certainly enjoy the pool areas, which can often have slides or other fun additions. Kids should be suitably supervised at all times around the pool.
The kids club gives little ones the chance to mingle with other children and play games, learn new things and generally express themselves. This also gives parents a chance to try some activities of their own.
Games rooms and teen-focussed areas ensure that older kids are not stuck trailing around with their parents, providing safe environments to meet others their age.
I will feel seasick all the time
Modern cruise liners typically use a number of different stabilisation techniques to ensure that when the waves are a little higher or wind is stronger they are able to limit the effect of ‘roll’, where a ship bobs from side to side.
These passive and active stabilisers are very effective at reducing roll, which is usually what causes you to feel seasick. Often you won’t even notice the ship is moving at all unless you look out of a window.
The sheers scale of cruise ships also helps to minimise the amount of roll you will feel when you’re onboard. You certainly won’t see your glass of champagne sliding across the table with every passing wave.
Again, we don’t want to labour the point, but it’s worth stating once more – cruise ships are massive. You’re not out there rocking around the Med in a little row boat. A cross-channel ferry doesn’t do it justice either.
If you’re prone to seasickness, there is medication available that does a very effective job of reducing or eliminating the worst effects.
It’s also wise to choose a cabin on one of the lower decks, closer to the ship’s centre of gravity if you want to reduce the feeling of movement.
Cruise myths busted!
So there you have it. Hopefully we have laid to rest some of those old ghosts of ideas around what a cruise is and who cruising is really for. Search some of our itineraries today and you might find that a cruise is exactly the holiday you never knew you wanted!