Thinking of taking your first cruise? You’re not alone!
Here are some
“hot tips” for “cold feet”
Less than 10% of the U.S. population has never cruised before. However, industry surveyors show that nearly half of all adult Americans are planning to try it within the next few years. So, that means there are almost 100 million “Cruise Virgins” out there getting ready to experience the vacation of a lifetime.
Will I Get Bored On-Board?
Everyone’s idea of a “good time” is different. That’s why cruises offer such a wide variety of destinations, activities, facilities, food and entertainment. To imagine what it’s like on a cruise think of staying at a huge, first rate resort hotel… one that actually floats you to your destination while you enjoy fine dining, shows, music, dancing, movies, cultural events, sports, games, an exciting Vegas-style casino, and enough time to let yourself just peacefully “drift away” not total relaxation while you breathe in the fresh sea air, soak up the sunshine or feel like the “center of the universe” as you lay back and quietly gaze at the stars. But wait! You still haven’t arrived at your destination… beautiful Bermuda, the Caribbean islands, Mexico, unspoiled Alaska, the incredible Panama Canal, Greece, Italy, France, the Orient… Sound boring? We doubt it. And, even if you visit several ports on your cruise, you only have to pack once.
What about Feeling Too Confined?
Although you probably won’t be spending very much time in your cabin it’s nice to know that standard-size staterooms on most modern Cruise ships are nearly as big as many typical hotel rooms (10’ x 15’ or larger). The ships themselves are considerably larger than most hotels; often as tall as a four or five Story buildings and extending the length of more than 2 football fields (over 600 feet). So, rather than feeling confined, being on a ship will give you a sense of spaciousness and freedom you’ve probably never experienced before. And in most ports, you can walk off and on the ship as you please.
Won’t I Be ‘Cut-Off’ From The Rest of the World?
Hardly just turn on the TV in your stateroom if you want to keep up with the news, the stock market, or watch a premium movie channel. Staterooms are also equipped with Telephones and many newer ships have e-mail terminals. So, you can certainly stay in touch with the outside world (but you may not want to).
Is Cruising Very Stuffy?
Back in the early 1900s, there were two distinct classes of people on cruise ships: wealthy socialites who vacationed in first-class luxury and poor European immigrants who made the trans-Atlantic crossing to the “new world” in the “steerage” section at the bottom of the ship. Not so surprisingly, some “Cruise Virgins”” still believe it’s like that. But nothing can be further form the truth! No matter what impression you may have, all kinds of people take cruises… all ages and all backgrounds…singles, couples and families. Like a resort, it’s a cross-section of Americans getting away from their regular routine and enjoying the good life. And, today’s cruise ships are “one-class”. All passengers can use any of the ship’s facilities and all enjoy the same service, menus, activities and entertainment. Sure, there’s so much happening on a cruise all the time. But you only do what you want to do. Let yourself be completely pampered or go non-stop from morning till night. It’s your vacation!
Will I Have To Eat At The Same Time Everyday?
You can if you want to. On most cruises, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at certain times each day (depending upon your preference for “early” or “late” seating). However, an abundant variety of food (from special diets to low-calorie entrees free 24 hour room service. So you never have to worry about missing a meal. Just ask anyone whose cruise before.
Is Cruising Really As Romantic As People Say?
In a 1996 survey titled “Sex at Sea” (conducted by Cosmopolitan magazine), 95% of the polled vacationers rated cruises as “extremely or very romantic” compared to land-based vacations. Over 80% said they felt more amorous at sea, with most passengers (58%) unable to wait more than 10 hours after getting on-board before “dropping anchor in a sea of love.” But don’t take their word for it…
Don’t’ Some People Get Sea-Sick?
Today’s modern cruise ships are huge vessels with sophisticated on-board weather stations (to help them avoid storms) and elaborate stabilization systems. So, under normal conditions, you may hardly realize that you’re moving. However some people are hyper-sensitive to any movement and may experience temporary motion discomfort on a cruise ship (or on an airplane or in a car). Fortunately, there are several effective over-the-counter preventative medication that you can take if you There are also “Sea-Bands” which you wear on your wrist. They’re sold at pharmacies and most people who try them “swear by them”. Of course, if you want something even more potent, modern cruise ships have medical facilities with a licensed physician.
Is Cruising Safe?
Try answering this question for yourself. Name on major cruise ship disaster within the last 25 years. Sorry the Titanic doesn’t count (it hit that infamous iceberg nearly 94 years ago in 1912). And, the SS Poseidon (from the movie “Poseidon Adventure”) was pure Hollywood make-believe. Give up? OK, then you probably should worry more about crossing the street or getting into a car. Ever hear of a Carnival “fun ship” hitting an iceberg?
Can I afford a cruise?
If you can afford to take a hotel-based vacation, you can afford to take a cruise vacation. There are cruises available at all price ranges - from budget to luxury - and all represent perhaps the best value for your vacation dollar. Your cruise price includes your cabin, all meals (including the midnight buffet!), entertainment, parties and, of course, all transportation between all the ports on your itinerary. On most ships, alcoholic beverages and optional shore excursions are not included in the basic price.
What can I do on a ship?
That depends on the ship, but generally the larger ships will have the most activities. You may wish to lounge on deck by the pool with a good book, sign up for exercise or cooking classes, swim, play bingo or bridge, gamble in the casino, take in a Broadway-style floor show or a magician's act, enter a talent show or a putting contest, take a dance class, get a massage or attend a lecture.
Is airfare included in my cruise price?
Cruise lines usually offer both a cruise-only price and an AIR/SEA price that includes connecting airfare, transfers between the airport and ship and baggage handling. In some instances, only the cruise-only fare is available. The prices shown on our site are for cruise and air always..
What's a shore excursion?
That's a term that refers to anything you do off the ship, in port. At every stop, you'll have the option of exploring the area on your own or as part of a group with a planned itinerary. You might hike a tropical rain forest in the Caribbean, fish for king salmon in Alaska, tour Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, or take a sightseeing tour.
Are all cruise ships the same?
Absolutely not. They range from yacht-like vessels with 100 passengers to towering megaships with huge atriums and a maximum capacity of over 3,000 people.
Will I need a passport?
All cruises now require proof of citizenship. On some itineraries, a certified copy of your birth certificate and a driver's license or government-issued photo I.D. are sufficient, on others a passport is required. Visas may also be required on the more exotic itineraries. Your cruise counselor will advise you on documents you will need depending on your itinerary.
Do Most “Cruise Virgins” Enjoy It Their First Time?
Cruising boast the highest satisfaction level of any vacation experience. And 90% of all people who try cruising for the first time do it again and again.