Ahoy, Maties! Sinking Seven Common Cruise Myths, Part I

So, you think ocean cruises are a waste of money, do you? Check out the truth behind these cruise myths, and think again.

Ocean cruises are among the world’s most popular vacations — and so, as you might expect, cruise myths are legion. People will tell you in all seriousness that cruise ships are too crowded and dangerous, often without ever having been on one. Oh, and let’s not forget the pirates that plague the cruise lines.

While things can and do go wrong on cruises, most of the stories you hear about them are as about as genuine as Santa Claus (um, sorry if no one’s let you in on that one yet). Come aboard as we guide you through seven oft-repeated myths about ocean cruises, and reveal the gratifying truth.

Myth 1: Boooooring.

As if! Don’t believe this cruise myth, folks. Your humble reporter has been on a cruise before, and it was anything but boring. Our cruise ship had casino gambling, a swimming pool, interesting people, nightly shows, jazz, bingo, a library, and plenty more — just like in all those happy cruise commercials.

And that was on a relatively small cruise ship that held only 600 people (half of whom were Norwegian, oddly enough). That doesn’t even begin to touch on the opportunities for extracurricular activities, once the ship starts hitting its ports.

Myth 2: I’ll get seasick for sure.

As is often the case, this cruise myth has some basis in reality. However, these days seasickness is a rarity in all but the roughest seas (which your captain will try to avoid). Modern cruise ships tend to have the most advanced, up-to-the-minute anti-rolling technology installed. If you’re prone to motion sickness, avoid looking at the waves and stay on the lower decks, which are the most stable.

Myth 3: Cruises are hideously expensive.

Don’t be so cynical. Sure, you can go on the modern equivalent of the Titanic and spend tens of thousands on the poshest possible experience, but it’s possible to overspend on any vacation. The truth is, you can get some surprisingly inexpensive cruise vacations, with or without frills.

Here’s a reality that completely reveals this cruise myth for what it is: some cruise lines will happily offer you seven days for less than $500 a person. You’ll have to search for those deals, but they’re easily possible, and hey — for that price, you get accommodations, lots of fun, and all you can eat!

Myth 4: My cruise fare will include everything!

Okay, so this is going too far in the other direction. What your fare gets you, generally, is food, accommodations, and the use of the basic facilities. If you gamble or drink, it’ll be on your dime, and you’ll pay for your own excursions. You’ll also be expected to tip your service staff (the line will provide guidelines).

Okay, that’s four myths down and out. Don’t forget to join us for Part II of this article, when we’ll take on three more insidious cruise myths.