Don’t Believe These Common Myths About Cruises

It seems like there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who are obsessed with cruises and those who absolutely despise them. And for those of you who tried a cruise or two and found that they weren’t for you, that’s just fine. However, if you hate cruises just because you believe the — often false — rumors, then you could be missing out on a spectacular vacation experience for no good reason.

From Hollywood to pop culture in general, the most egregious lies about cruises we’ve ever heard are up next.

1. Only old people go on cruises

Friends enjoying sunset on cruise

Anyone can go on a cruise. | Michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

The saying goes that cruises are only for “the newly wed or nearly dead.” But it’s simply not true! People of all ages embark on cruises every day. Families with children, college kids on spring break, empty nesters, retirees … there’s a cruise that’s right for absolutely any age range.

If you’re worried that the cruise you choose won’t have anyone your own age to hang out with, try scoping out reviews or asking a travel agent for advice. Also, use a little common sense. A month-long Alaskan cruise probably won’t have too many younger folks, while a Disney cruise is sure to be crawling with kids. Choose the type that suits your specific requirements.

Next: You probably won’t end up like Jack Dawson.

2. You’ll sink like the Titanic

Cruise Port in St. Maarten

The ships are very safe. | Fallbrook/iStock/Getty Images

The media makes it sound like cruise disasters happen every minute, but in reality, they’re much safer than you think. The Coastguard conducts rigorous safety checks, and there are regulations for everything from life jackets to fire extinguishers.

Even though you may hear about certain disasters, the chances of getting seriously hurt on a cruise are very slim.

Next: Don’t miss out just because you fear germs.

3. You’ll get sick

MS Europa 2, a cruise ship operated by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Pack your hand sanitizer and you’ll probably be fine. | Birute Vijeikiene/iStock/Getty Images

Anytime a bunch of people are together in one space, there’s chance that germs can spread. The law requires cruise lines to report norovirus once it’s onboard the ship, which is why the media makes such a big deal about it every time. In 2014, there were only 8 major norovirus breakouts, affecting only 1,454 passengers of the 11 million people who cruised that year (while 20 million people contracted it on dry land). Statistically, you’re not likely to get sick.

If you’re really worried, pack plenty of hand sanitizer and practice good hygiene habits while you’re in public areas.

Next: There’s so much fun stuff to do.

4. Cruises are boring

Couple taking photo of themselves on cruise

Check out the on-board activities. | michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Have you even been on a cruise? There are so many things to do that it’s pretty much impossible to get bored. Cruise ships nowadays have onboard amenities such as pools, water slides, zip lines, rock climbing, sky diving and surfing stimulators, planetariums, and way more. Plus, every time you dock there’s even more fun stuff to explore.

Next: The cuisine may surprise you.

5. The food is gross

Cuisine Culinary Buffet Dinner Catering Dining Food Celebration

You’ll have plenty of options. | Jure/Getty Images

That rumor is just a matter of opinion, of course. The nice thing about cruises is that there’s a ton of options, so if you don’t like one particular restaurant or buffet item, you can just skip it and move along to the next thing. Again, check out reviews from previous passengers and pay close attention to what they say about the onboard meals.

Next: Don’t let pint-sized passengers dissuade your cruise dreams.

6. There are too many kids running around

Disney Magic Cruise ship

If you take a Disney cruise, there will probably be plenty of kids. | Landbysea/iStock/Getty Images

Pick the cruise that suits your lifestyle in order to avoid this issue. Some cruises are catered specifically to adults, so they’ll naturally have fewer families with kids. Even family-friendly cruise ships often have adults-only decks, lounge spaces, and bars.

Next: Adventurers can find tons of stuff to do on cruises.

7. Cruising is for lazy people

cruise passenger by pool

Spend as much or as little time on the lounge chair as you like. | Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images

You could spend your entire cruise sitting in a lounge chair — but that would be a real shame! Cruises can be full of adventure if you take advantage of all the things there are to do onboard and off. It’s a vacation, so however you choose to spend your leisure time is your prerogative.

Next: Go ahead and have a cocktail with dinner.

8. The drinks are too expensive

Smiling young women on cruise

Cocktails are pretty much always the same price. | Michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Think about the last time you went out drinking at a bar. Chances are, the cocktails cost anywhere from $7-$10, and the beer wasn’t much cheaper.

No matter where you choose to go on vacation, the drinks are going to cost more than usual — that’s just the way it is. And actually, cruises are pretty reasonable when it comes to drink prices in comparison to other resort areas. The average cost of a beer onboard a cruise is about $5, while cocktails are right around $7.

If you’re concerned about your alcohol budget, look into adding a prepaid drink package so you don’t have to think about how many Mai Tais you’re throwing back.

Next: Cruise lines are starting to incorporate open floor plans.

9. The areas are too cramped

Cruise vacation

Everything depends on the particular ship. | Levkr/iStock/Getty Images

If you think your cruise ship will make you claustrophobic, then you’ve probably been influenced by the Hollywood version of a cruise.

Newer cruise ships are designed with modern tastes in mind, and that includes open spaces and a focus on connecting with the ocean. If you’re concerned, take close look at photos of the specific cruise ship you’ll be sailing on and read reviews from people who actually experienced that cruise. Many offer ship-within-a-ship lounge areas where you can spread out without bumping elbows.

Next: You can leave your evening gown at home.

10. They’re too formal

Dress as formal or as informal as you wish. | iStock/Getty Images

Many cruise lines have formal nights for those guests who wish to participate, but it’s certainly not mandatory. If you want to spend your entire cruise vacation in flip flops and cutoff shorts, go for it.

Next: They’re one of the cheaper vacations you can take.

11. Cruises are too expensive

Cruise Ship Vacation Holiday Summer Illustration

Everything is included, so keep that in mind. | Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/Getty Images

Compared to most other vacations, cruising is one of the cheapest ways to travel and still get to see amazing destinations such as tropical islands. If you live within driving distance of a port city, then you won’t even need to pay for airfare, which cuts down the cost significantly. And since all the activities on a cruise ship are included, you’ll save a bunch on entertaining and dining, too.

Next: Leave the elastic waist pants at home.

12. You’ll get fat

Man on cruise ship

It happens on vacation. | iStock/Getty Images

Well … maybe a little.

Vacation is usually a time for indulging, and if you only eat that way for a week or two of the year, it won’t affect your overall health too much.

If you’re really concerned about weight gain during your cruise, try to stay active for most of the day and make sure every meal includes plenty of fruits and veggies. Also, skip the high calorie frozen drinks (which are often watered down and loaded with sugar anyway) and opt for a glass of white wine or beer instead.

Or, go for a healthier cruise. Crystal Cruises’ “Mind, Body, Spirit” cruise includes daily yoga and Pilates, plus healthy food options.

Next: You can go online or disconnect for a while.

13. There’s no Wi-Fi

The world's largest ocean liner, the 'Liberty of the Seas' arrives at the Port of Southampton

You will have to pay for internet access. | Bruno Vincent/Getty Images

Thanks to customer demand, most cruise lines have been stepping up their Internet connections, so if you haven’t taken a cruise in the last five years, you may notice that this common problem no longer exists. But be warned that if you need the internet to function, you will have to pay a premium for it.

Instead, consider a digital detox during your vacation. Take your cruise vacation as an opportunity to enjoy your surroundings and the people you’re with, rather than be on the phone the whole time. Trust us, Facebook will still be there when you get back.

Next: Go for a few days or half the year.

14. Cruises are too long

The Carnival Freedom

You can take a cruise as short or as long as you like. | Karen Bleier/Getty Images

Some cruises are as short as three nights, which is way less than the average vacation. If you want to set sail for 180 days that’s certainly an option … but it’s not a requirement.

Next: Yes, there are classy cruises.

15. Cruises are cheesy

Disney Cruise Magic

There is every kind of cruise you could imagine. | Mizoula/iStock/Getty Images

Cruise vacations sometimes have a stigma associated with them — but frequent cruisers know better than to believe the negative press.

These days, cruises come in all varieties, including some with luxury furnishings and custom-designed interiors. The only thing cheesy about going on a cruise is the delicious plate of nachos you can have for lunch.

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