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Almost 80% of travelers express the desire to cruise, so what is holding them back? When asked why they have not cruised, here are some of the most common misconceptions about cruising:
Cruising is too expensive. Cruising is actually one of the best vacation values. Many cruises are around $100-$150 per person per day for a cabin with a private balcony. Outside view and inside cabins are even less. Even with extra onboard charges (See Hidden Costs of Cruising), compare the price of $1500 - $2000 for a couple on a seven day cruise with a private balcony cabin, unlimited meals around the clock, Las Vegas style entertainment and non-stop activities to a seven day stay at a luxury resort where room rates average over $300 per day. Meals and entertainment conservatively add another $300-$500 per day, making a week at a resort top for two cost $4,000 or more. Use the Cruise Value Calculator at CLIA's Website (www.cruising.org) to compare cruise and land vacations.
Cruises are for old people. According to CLIA, the average cruise enthusiast is 49 years old. However, there are really three major cruise age groups: cruisers 25-40 years old, cruisers ages 40-60 and 60+ year old cruisers. Different cruise lines cater to different age markets. Families have also discovered the fun of cruising and most cruise lines offer daily programs for kids of all ages. (Cruise-ism: The longer the cruise; the older the cruisers.)
Fear of boredom and crowds. Some travelers express fears of “being cooped up and bored on a crowded cruise ship.” Boredom is rarely an issue. Cruises are action packed with activities. Choose your favorites. Do everything or nothing. The average seven day cruise includes three or four diverse ports of call. It's fun to go exploring and fun to return to the ship after a busy day sightseeing with no worries about packing, unpacking and where to book dinner reservations. And, even on mega-ships with over 3,000 people, there are always uncrowded spots (including your own private balcony) to enjoy breakfasts or romantic dinners and hours at sea.
Cruises are too structured. On the contrary, the cruise days of structured activities and structured dining are a thing of the past. Choose a cruise that offers “free-style” everything allowing you to eat where, when and with whom you please and featuring dozens of entertainment options and activities. Create your own schedule and do as much or as little as you please.
Fear of seasickness. Modern ships are equipped with high-tech stabilizers for smooth sailing. For travelers who are prone to motion sickness, there are medications to alleviate potential queasiness and nausea. (See Cruise Health and Safety for tips on avoiding seasickness and other travel health problems.)
You don't get to see enough on cruises. True, you can't see all of most destinations in a day. But, cruises are a wonderful way to sample destinations that you might never see otherwise. You can always return to a favorite port for a longer stay.