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“Did you have to pay for all that food?”
It was a question I recently received about a cruise I took — and I was flummoxed.
For as long as cruise travel has been around, it amazes me how little is understood about the segment. Misconceptions still abound, and it’s up to travel advisors to educate their clients — especially if they’ve never taken a cruise but might otherwise be inclined. Let’s look at some of the common questions travelers often ask about cruising.
Do I have to pay for all that food?One of the greatest things about a cruise is just how much is included in the fare. And most meals are bundled in the cruise price. But I can see where some people might be confused. There are certainly degrees to the inclusion and, indeed, some specialty restaurants do cost extra. Cruise vacations range from truly all-inclusive to approaching all-exclusive. However, clients can rest assured knowing that they will always have a delicious selection of complimentary breakfasts, lunches and dinners. It’s a matter of whether they would like to pay more for additional culinary experiences.
Aren't cruises expensive?In the same vein as the question above, plenty of people continue to perceive cruising as a cost-prohibitive affair. The reality is quite the opposite, as the market is one of the best values among all travel types. In fact, most meals, the bulk of activities and entertainment, and all booked lodging are free once a client is onboard the ship. A singular bottom line price might at first seem overwhelming, but per-diems prove extremely competitive to shoreside equivalents.Won’t I be bored on the ship?I get asked this question a lot. Sure, some clients may be concerned about feeling “sea locked.” However, cruises predominantly emphasize destinations and onshore excursions. With the rare exception — mainly transoceanic and repositioning cruises — most sailings stop at several ports, which keeps things more interesting than those that travel to a singular destination. Even when a ship is navigating in between ports, there is more to do onboard than ever before. Activities extend to everything from elaborate waterslides to skydiving simulators. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that some entertainment is Broadway-caliber; cruises are like Las Vegas at sea — and then some.
Will I get seasick?Speaking of the sea, landlubbers are often afraid of the motion of the ocean. This probably goes down as the only valid concern on this list because, for some passengers, the effects are unavoidable. However, the bigger the cruise ship, the easier it is for a client to mitigate motion sickness. Larger ships will move if caught in rough weather, of course, but newer behemoths do so less than, say, dinghies. And medical remedies such as meclizine do help alleviate motion sickness. Nonetheless, to avoid any potential unpleasantness, encourage concerned clients to try a shorter sailing or one that takes place in more sheltered waters. Alternatively, maybe ever-calm river cruising is more their speed.
But what about the Titanic?Yes, the Titanic disaster did happen, and it was a devastating loss of life. But fear of accidents, no matter how dreadful, should not keep people from traveling by cruise or any other method. Contemporary accidents occur on land, on sea and in the air, but that hasn’t stopped passengers from driving cars or flying. Cruising is statistically more secure than even air travel.
The list could go on and on, but in short, customers should take comfort in knowing a cruise is — without question — a fantastic vacation choice.