I’ve been on 110 cruises. Here are 7 myths I want to debunk for indecisive first-time travelers.

  • I’ve spent decades going through more than 100 cruises and I have heard many misconceptions about them.
  • Cruises don’t always have to be very expensive and seasickness is not a guarantee.
  • I don’t think cruises are boring, and they’re not just for seniors either.

Wait 20 years before boarding a cruise and now I have gone to 110.

In my decades of cruising, I’ve learned that there are many reasons people are nervous about going on their first cruise. I can easily relate to some of them, but now I think this type of trip is worth trying at least once; you, like me, may even get hooked.

Here’s my breakdown of some common myths about cruising that may keep people from giving this type of travel a try.

MYTH: Rich people are the only ones who can afford cruises

I always thought cruising involved a lot of money, so it took me years to figure out the true cost. Finally, as my wife pointed out after doing some research, the actual price was much lower than the figures in the brochures.

Keep an eye out for promotions and special offers: Many cruise ships offer discount packages and fares that can make them more affordable. You can also look for shorter cruises that only last three or four days, which tend to be cheaper than those that last more than a week.

Just be careful too watch your expenses on board Temptation can be everywhere, but a little willpower and a regular bar count review can help keep you in line.


I thought cruises would be too expensive for me, but you can get great deals


MYTH: Everyone gets seasick on cruise ships.

Having traveled across the Atlantic and Pacific on Army troop ships, I have found that being seasick is one of the worst experiences imaginable. Plus, you’re committed to a pretty tight schedule on a cruise ship, which means limited shore stops and therefore little hope of relief.

But many large cruise ships these days have modern stabilizers, so you may not even feel the sway of the waves. Sometimes the movement feels more like vibrations and passengers may forget they are at sea.

Dizziness doesn’t happen to everyone either, and if you start to feel unwell, you can try to control it with bands and special medications.

MYTH: Cruises are only for seniors

Some younger people may not want to go on cruise ships because they think only older people do it. Maybe this was common years ago, but today there are so many different lines and boats that cater to adults, families, and all kinds of groups.

For example, a young family might think twice about taking Holland American cruises, which are popular with older adults, but will be drawn to Carnival, which is known for accommodating families.

if you’re not sure if a cruise seems right for you and your groupcheck its ports, activities and itineraries.

cruise deck

Some cruises are specifically for families or for adults only.

Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters

MYTH: Being cooped up on a ship for a week will get really boring

A common concern that I’ve heard, but find it hard to understand, is that being cooped up on a ship for seven or ten days will get really boring.

In reality, all the entertainment features, activities and ports are more likely to leave you exhausted. I’ve gone bowling on boats, played bumper cars, zip-lined the upper decks, and nearly stepped into a simulated skydiving tunnel before I chickened out.

Don’t worry about getting bored; instead, Worry about your own pace.

MYTH: The cabins are too small for you to have a positive experience

Cabins on cruise ships are usually very small, but if you don’t like your room, you can spend more time elsewhere on the ship. There are plenty of lounges and activities on board anyway.

You can also consider whether it is worth paying for more space. Inside cabins are usually the cheapest and smallest.. For more money, you can get a window or balcony, or you can upgrade to a suite.

For some, it might be better to cruise fewer with nice suites instead of lots cruises with cabins OK.

A view of the main dining room on a ship with blue floors, red chairs, and white tablecloths

My myths debunked may not relieve you of your cruise worries, but it’s worth a try.

EWY Media/Shutterstock

MYTH: Cruises are too formal

One of my first concerns was that some ships are very formal in the evenings when it comes to dress codes and activities.

But even though many ships have formal nights (one or two for a seven-day cruise is standard), you have options if you don’t want to participate. There’s no need to rent a tuxedo or buy a floor-length dress, either: dress codes can be quite flexible. Just be sure to look them up before browsing.

Also, you can always eat at a buffet or other dining room on the ship if you really want to skip the formal nights.

MYTH: Restricted eating times make it hard to get food when hungry

Years ago, cruises were relatively formal, and your dining room and tablemates were pre-assigned. Today, most cruise ships have flexible dining hours or, at the very least, serve some type of food throughout the day.

Some lines, like norwegian cruise lineoffers free-style dining where you eat when and where you want, without fixed hours or pre-assigned seats.

That said, keep an open mind about pre-assigned dinners; you may find that it is better than you think. I loved meeting with the same group and having the same server each night who could remember my preferences and quirks.

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