So of all the vacation ideas out there, what questions do you have about cruising? Well, here are some of the most common questions I see on sites and forums. Let’s have a little Q&A about this:
- Q: Is Cruising for Me? A: Cruising is for specific people. Don’t kid yourselves, cruise lines would LOVE for you to think that there is a cruise vacation for everyone on the planet – but in reality, cruising is designed best for people who like to see a little bit of everywhere in a limited amount of time. You are usually only at destinations for a day or so, so planning what you want to see or do while you are there is important. 7-day cruises are currently the sweet spot between ‘price’ and ‘feeling like you had a chance to relax.’ Some like shorter trips, some like longer and some like Land-Sea vacations. You have to make that choice for yourself.
- Q: Won’t I get bored being stuck on the ship? A: There are a few ways you can be bored on a cruise ship. The first is – you simply don’t try. Cruise ships are small towns, floating around with thousands of people on board. There is always someone new to meet, a show to see, a pool to swim in, food to eat, gyms to attend, free classes and educational seminars, gambling options (if you like), coffee shops to try, ice creme to eat and on top of all that: unbelievable views of the ocean and passing lands. The only requirement: You have to go do them. The other way you can be bored is if you travel with someone who hates all those things I just mentioned. You are on an adventure that you’ve paid a lot for. Go explore. There is lots to see, people to meet and events to experience. Use your room to sleep in, shower and recover. I love going on these trips with the mentality: “I will never see these people/clowns again. They don’t know if I’m an introvert or extrovet. I can be whoever I want to be.”
- Q: Isn’t cruising CRAZY expensive? A: Not when you factor in all the things that are included in your ticket. Like I mentioned above, everything from entertainment, room service, endless food (seriously) and much more is included. If you were doing this on land and traveling to each of your destinations at the same time plus finding accommodations, you’d spend more. With that being said (and like I mentioned before): Get out and do some things ! you pay for it whether you do or don’t. You choose. Folks who choose to be hermits on a cruise (and I know several), pay the money to be hermits – and are ok with it. They prefer it. I read a lot on cruises – in a week I kill 3 or 4 books – and that’s just while my wife takes a little nap (each afternoon) and at night time on our balcony. Otherwise, we are out exploring.
- Q: What if I get seasick? A: Are you prone to motion sickness? Does Dramamine work at all for you? Is it mild motion sickness or crazy-vomit sickness? This is one of the most mentioned side effects of cruising and rightly-so. Many people don’t like this feeling, while other thrill seekers enjoy it. Still others have no problem while on the ship, but can continue to feel it moving well after they have finished cruising. You’ll have to know your own body before figuring out if you can stomach this experience. One of my favorite feelings is eating in the evening dining room (at one end of the ship) and feeling the ship go up and down. Makes me smile every time.
- Q: Isn’t it dangerous to go to some of these destinations? A: Yep. It’s also dangerous to get in a car, or bike without a helmet or invest in a retirement fund. Life is full of dangers – how to manage them is more important. Cruise lines have secured excursions with companies and folks at the destinations – so picking excursions and not “going-alone” for your adventures is a way to minimize risk unless you know the destination very well. Plus, if your excursion is late, they will hold the ship till you arrive back, whereas, if you go-it-alone, they will leave you if you don’t return on time. Excursions cost a little (or a lot, depending what you choose), but it’s worth it in the end.
- Q: If I pay all this money, is everything included? A: Well, — no. A TON of stuff is included and there isn’t much need to pay anything extra, but all the things that would classify as premium items – like alcohol or specialty drink, will cost more. Drinking is cheaper at your home. You’re not going to drink, you’re going on a vacation. If you like to drink while on vacations, cruise ships are not the cheapest way. Also, excursions are going to cost per person as well and there is a charge per passenger to your room, per day as cover for tipping — but the good news is — you don’t have to carry around a bunch of $1’s like a stripper. The tipping is already covered and is charged at the end of your trip to your registered credit card on record with the cruise line. There is an exception for bartenders on some ships – so read the fine print and google your cruise line’s tipping policy. There are also special restaurants (beyond the ones included with your trip) that cost about $20 a person and a reservation for the meal – but they do offer more than just the traditional dining rooms. If you want the “extras,” then you pay extra. There are also gift shops on board and your room card acts as a direct line to your credit card – so if you buy a (item) from the shop, it gets charged to your room and invoiced at the end.
- Q: I am super attached to my wifi and iPhone – will I be able to connect? A: Why are you going on vacation? If you must, for a higher cost, there is internet services onboard in specific zones, but they are traditionally expensive or for reoccurring cruisers who have loyalty to one cruise line. My personal recommendation is – leave the rat race at home, get away and let the world turn without you for a change. There are destinations that are owned by your country or covered by your service provider – you could check in with the rest of the world at those locations (if you’re stopping by there. St. Thomas, for example, is a US Virgin Island and US Cell Service is available).
- Q: I heard that cruising is for newlyweds and nearly-deads. Is that true? A: In the past, cruising was not really economical for everyone to enjoy, but many cruise lines make great efforts to accommodate and include activities that all forms of families (fr-amilies too) can enjoy. This will depend greatly on which cruise line you choose. Every cruise line has something they do AMAZINGLY. Some are low on price, some are full of fun, some are family centered. You need to assess your traveling companions and look accordingly. Personally, my wife and I travel on Princess Cruises. A little older crowd, but lots to do and fun people to meet – plus there is always that one rich old lady that busts out every jewelry item she has — super fun people watching.
- Q: 3100 Passengers? Can you hear the people in the room next door? A: You are on board with 4500 (crew included) on most of these standard sized ships – not counting the mega or mini cruise ships. Yes – you will hear people around you. Personally, we only really heard people on our balcony (like the lady who spilt red wine on her white summer dress next door to us — I found out every detail about that accident….). At night time, I never noticed any noises – but I sleep heavier than most. Again, is the glass half full or half empty? Are you on a new adventure or focused on all the things you dislike? Be positive, be excited — it will make annoyances seem petty.
- Q: Won’t I get fat with all that food around me? A: That depends. Do you have any self restraint? The answer to that question will directly dictate the answer to the prior.
Those are the ones I come across the most. If you have more questions, please comment and let me know. Thanks for checking out my blog. Snif around and see if there is anything else that interests you.
Keep your stick on the ice, eh?