“Cruises are for newlyweds and the nearly dead.” This was the public’s perception of the cruising industry until The Love Boat tv series aired in 1976. The industry has grown exponentially, yet some stereotypes persist. Many people who love cruising are evangelists, wanting to win all their friends over. Some people have negative opinions or objections that are not necessarily rooted in reality.
Cruising is not for everybody, but it is a vacation format with wide appeal. Let us look at 10 objections cruise adverse friends might voice and how you might reply.
I don’t like cruises because…
- We are not party people. The person who mentioned this to me said: “I hope there are plenty of ports.” Their perception of nonstop parties might come from watching reruns of The Love Boat on tv. There are parties if you want them, but quiet spaces too. You can easily find ships stopping at almost a port a day.
- I don’t like sea days. Here is an area where we differ. We love sea days. Many people do not. As mentioned above, there are plenty of cruises, especially in the Caribbean, where you are in a different port almost every day.
- I get seasick easily. That is an issue. It happens. Some ships that visit several ports tend to move the ship at night. The ship is stable when it is tied to the dock. River cruises and Alaskan cruises have calmer waters.
- I would feel trapped. You cannot go beyond the rail. Today’s ships can be the size of a small city. You will have plenty of entertainment and dining options. If you made a list of the number of restaurants and entertainment venues you normally visit on a weekend, a big ship likely has more.
- There will not be enough for our young children to do. This was a concern I heard voiced recently. They took a cruise and were thrilled with the number of entertainment options. Some lines strive to appeal to families with young children.
- There will be too many kids on board. Logically, people in category #6 should not choose the same ship as category #5! The industry has realized there is a large market fitting this description. These lines market “adult cruises.” I prefer the expression “Cruises for people whose children have grown.”
- Travel is so expensive this summer. You have seen the news stories. Airfares are up. Hotel rates are up. It is expensive to go away. Cruises are a bright spot when it comes to value. You can get some pretty good “sailing soon” fares. Ideally you have a homeport nearby, so you can drive, not fly, to the ship.
- Cruise ships nickel and dime you. They have a captive audience. Yes, this was once true. There are lots of cruise lines. Some offer all-inclusive fares. Others offer add on drinks packages. Cruises are pretty close to an all-inclusive vacation, although statistics show the average passenger spends about $100/day for incidentals. (1)
- I won’t have anything in common with the other passengers. This can be interpreted in many ways. Instead of analyzing the problem, here is the solution: There are plenty of themed cruises. Rock and Roll, culinary, educational, expedition and theater are a few examples. Choose the right theme and you will be surrounded by people with similar interests.
- I don’t like being told when and where to eat. Once upon a time, dining onboard was regimented. There was a first and second seating. Today, open seating dining is very popular. You might need to make a reservation, like you do back home, but you can eat when you choose. If you didn’t reserve, you can always visit the buffet restaurant or dine in your cabin.
Many of the reasons given by friends who don’t think they will like cruising are based on outdated information. You can enlighten them.
Cover photo ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews: Trio Carnival ships in Cozumel
Ed. Notes: CruiseCompete and its member travel advisors provide many curated cruise and land deals, offers and amenities on over 50 cruise lines with over 500 cruise ships sailing all around the world.