Are you missing the joy of cruising because you’ve heard a lot of negative comments? Kay O’Sullivan reveals the truth of what it’s like to holiday at sea.
It’s for really, really old people
Not so. Truly. This has been one of the biggest changes in cruising in the last decade. Last year, more than one million Aussies embarked on a cruise holiday and no single age group dominates the cruise market. That said, there are some ships with more young ones on board than mature travellers, which is where expert advice will help find the right fit for you.
I’ll be forced to do things
What, and how much, you do is entirely your decision. If you want to laze by the pool all day, then that’s what you do.
I’ll be bored stuck on a ship
You won’t run out of things to do, that’s a promise. You can learn to cook under the tutelage of chefs; go sky diving; be entertained by Las Vegas comedians; pump iron in cutting-edge gyms; do yoga or Zumba with the ocean as a backdrop; discover how to make the most of your Mac with resident computer geeks … And, of course, it’s not just about the journey – you will be visiting some of the world’s great destinations. Expertly trained excursion staff will offer guidance on what to see and do, be it Mykonos, Venice, or outer Mongolia.
The food is dreadful
That was once true but not now. The buzzwords on board are quality and variety. Top chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Nobu Matsuhisa, Jamie Oliver, as well as local lads, Luke Mangan, Curtis Stone and Luke Nguyen, have all been employed by cruise lines at some stage. You will never go hungry on a ship.
I’ll feel claustrophobic in the cramped cabins
Today’s cabins are cleverly designed to maximise space. If you are still concerned about having enough room, it might be worth paying for an outside cabin i.e. one that has a window to the world or, even better, a balcony. The Royal Caribbean Quantum-class ships are bringing the outside world to inside cabins, with the advent of virtual windows that feature cameras beaming the scenery into your room 24/7. But with all the entertainment options – fabulous lounges, bars, restaurants, theatres, pools and gyms – and the number of shore excursions available, you may not spend all that much time in your cabin.