Well of course it is!! Cruises offer something for just about everyone. Some people cruise just for the sheer joy of being at sea. It’s a magical feeling of relaxation, elation and freedom from the stress of everyday life. Or some cruise to experience the convenience of visiting up to six different ports of call in one week, all without having to worry about packing and unpacking, making hotel reservations or catching flights. The ship is your floating hotel and magically transports you from one exotic destination to the next.
Cruises offer excellent value as they include your accommodations for the length of the cruise, meals and entertainment. On board the latest generation of cruise ships you’ll find multiple dining options ranging from formal sit-down restaurants, to pizza, a grill serving hot dogs and hamburgers, casual buffets and informal bistros. You’ll also find a myriad of entertainment options with lavish Broadway and Las Vegas style revues, live rock and country-western bands, cabaret, jazz, piano bars, discos and casinos. You’ll also be able to keep up your workout regimen with the state of the art fitness facilities and spas, not to mention jogging tracks and swimming pools. On some ships you will even find ice-skating rinks and rock climbing walls! Today’s modern ships also follow and feature many of the popular trends found in world-class resorts and major cities such as Martini, Champagne and Caviar Bars, Cigar Clubs, cozy bistros, Coffee Bars and Internet Cafes.
So, as you can see, life on board ship is not so different than vacationing at a large resort or in a large city. You can have and do it all or do nothing at all.
Top Questions Regarding A Cruise
Here are some answers to some common questions regarding cruising. When people are considering a cruise, these are the top questions they ask:
- What should be my first cruise?
Most first-time cruisers choose a short cruise with lots of port calls; they do this because they’re afraid they’ll go crazy if they’re stuck aboard ship. While this is a good strategy if you just want to get your feet wet, I recommend looking for a longer itinerary with some “sea days.” That way you can relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities. It’s really the only way to find out what “cruising” is all about. So, look for a cruise with some balance between sea days and port days. My preferred cruise is for at least 8 days with only 3 ports. I enjoy the days at sea relaxing.
- What about seasickness?
It may have all the amenities of a shore-side resort, but a cruise ship does travel on open water. Your body will register that motion no matter how big the ship is or how well stabilized it is . So, if you experience severe motion sickness on land or on airplanes then cruising may not be for you. However, ordinary motion sickness can be relieved by remedies like Dramamine and acupressure bands, which you can bring on board, or purchase at the ship’s store. If you’re susceptible to motion sickness, book a cabin on a lower deck in the middle of the ship where motion is minimized. Even better is a balcony cabin in the middle of the ship, as fresh air really does help with motion sickness. If the going gets rough, you can get a motion sickness shot in the ship’s medical center.
- Do I have to get dressed up every night?
If you love dressing up, then by all means do so. But cruising has become less formal in recent years, so fancy dress is optional. In fact, many new ships offer several informal dining venues where you don’t need to dress up at all. Still, most ships continue to offer two formal nights in the main dining rooms: the Captain’s Welcome and the Farewell Dinner. Formal-night attire ranges from tuxedos to dark suits for men, and for women, the formal dress ranges from long gowns to dressy pantsuits. More casual dress is appropriate in the dining rooms on other occasions, but most ships do not allow jeans, shorts or sleeveless men’s tops in any dining venue.
- Do I have to sit with strangers at dinner?
One of the best parts of cruising is getting to meet people from all walks of life. But if you are uncomfortable sitting with people you don’t know, you can arrange a table change, but you must do so as soon as you get on board. If you wait too long, the staff may not be able to accommodate you. Understand that tables for two are scarce aboard ship except on some luxury cruise lines.
- What about tipping?
Except on a few luxury cruise ships that have “no tipping required” policies, passengers are expected to tip their cabin steward, dining room waiter and assistant waiter. Many lines recommend that each passenger tip about $10 per day. Some cruise lines offer to add the suggested gratuities to your shipboard account; the accounting office then distributes the tips at the end of the cruise. On other ships, you leave cash in an envelope on the last evening of your cruise. Understand that ships’ crews work very hard to make your cruise top-notch. Unless the service has actually been poor, tip the recommended amount. For outstanding service, add a little more.
- Will I gain weight?
Cruising is the ultimate “see food” diet — you see food, you eat it. Yes, most passengers end up with more to love after a cruise. But you don’t have to become a sloth in a deck chair; there are plenty of active pursuits to enjoy aboard ship. Most ships have exercise rooms, pools, jogging tracks and fitness classes covering everything from aerobics to yoga. Newer cruise ships like Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas offer boxing, rock climbing and surfing classes, while traditional ships like the Queen Mary 2 offer walk-a-mile deck-lapping sessions and aerobics.
- Can I do my laundry on board?
Most ships have self-service laundry rooms with ironing boards. On most mainstream and premium cruise lines, you’ll have to pay to use the washers and dryers. On luxury lines like Crystal, Regent, Seabourn, Silversea and Regent, the self-serve laundry is complimentary. Don’t want to waste valuable vacation time doing laundry? Then send your clothes to the ship’s laundry or dry cleaner; there will be a per-item charge. During the cruise, many ships offer a “laundry bag special”: For a set fee (usually $10-$20), laundry crew will wash everything you can cram into the laundry bag.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions regarding a cruise. Please feel free to ask me any additional questions in the comment box.