Don’t be put off by these 8 cruising myths

Cruise ship

As the number of British holiday makers choosing to cruise continues to rise year by year, there still remains a majority who refuse to be tempted. Why? There’s certainly no reason they should be discouraged by these popular myths.

I’ll get seasick

Even the largest ships are prone to some pitching and rolling in heavy weather, but in most cases the movement is minimal and might only be detected by the water sloshing about in the swimming pools (or the ice in the drinks). All cruise  ships are fitted with stabilisers which reduce rolling, and there are remedies in the form of pills, acu-pressure and in severe cases, injections.

It will be crowded

Even on the busiest vessels there are quiet corners and secluded hideaways both out on deck and tucked away inside. There may be bottlenecks as the theatre empties after a show, or at peak times in the buffet, but there’s unlikely to be  anything as congested as the beach at Blackpool or Brighton on a bank holiday Monday.

It will be like a floating old people’s home

Cruising just can’t win – if the sceptics are to be believed. Yes, many passengers are enjoying retirement, but they tend to be more active than average, even the ones reliant on mobility scooters (and they are few and far between). Yes,  there are those who will hog the library chairs or snore through a guest presentation, but that need not affect the holiday for everyone else.

It’s dangerous

One tragic accident caused by a rogue captain (and another as an unscheduled rendezvous with an iceberg more than 100 years ago) do not make cruising dangerous. The fact is, the chances of having an accident on the drive to the cruise  terminal are far higher than the possibility of anything happening on board. And ships – unlike hotels and resorts – have their own fully-equipped medical centres.

I’ll be laid low by a stomach upset

The N-word that many passengers fear is the cause of more stomach upsets on land than it is at sea, with variants of norovirus affecting hospitals and schools. Its effects are never pleasant, but it can be avoided if care is taken with personal hygiene. Frequent use of the hand gel dispensers at buffets and dining rooms is a start; the newest ships provide hand-washing facilities which are an even more effective preventative.

Fixed-seating at meals

Traditional restaurant seating arrangements are a concern for some, who fear they will have to spend their holiday sharing a dining table with others whose company becomes burdensome. It can happen, but on the other hand,many forge lasting friendships over convivial dinners. Most cruise lines now offer more relaxed seating arrangements, at flexible times, and with more tables for two than there ever used to be.

It will be one long rowdy party

Only if you follow the misguided advice to sample your first cruise on a two-day jaunt in the Channel; in that case you may admittedly be surrounded by stags and – more likely – hen parties. Otherwise you’ll find the majority of your fellow-passengers are good-mannered and well-behaved. Rather like yourself.

It will be like a floating old people’s home

Cruising just can’t win – if the sceptics are to be believed. Yes, many passengers are enjoying retirement, but they tend to be more active than average, even the ones reliant on mobility scooters (and they are few and far between). Yes, there are  those who will hog the library chairs or snore through a guest presentation, but that need not affect the holiday for everyone else.

I’ll be bored

Only if you choose to be…It’s far more likely you’ll have difficulty choosing between all the activities available on sea days, or the excursions on offer in port. If none of those appeal, there’ll be opportunities to learn to cook like an expert or edit pictures on your tablet. And that’s just during the day. When night falls there’s the small matter of dinner, followed by a theatre show, a night in the casino, or just a boring, relaxing drink.