Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Cons to a Cruise Vacation

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float. 
To roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live. 
– Hans Christian Anderson

My previous post enumerated advantages to cruising. But there are drawbacks the wary traveler should consider. Amenities, charges, destinations, etc. vary with cruise companies and individual ships. Do your homework before booking! Here are a few cons to think about when contemplating a cruise:

·      Calm waters and sunny weather are NOT guaranteed. If prone to motion sickness throw Dramamine or another motion sickness remedy in your bag.

·      Stateroom size and type vary dramatically. The cheapest rooms are interiors, no room and no view. Will that suffice? Is a porthole window adequate, or do you want floor to ceiling windows with a balcony? Check out options. A tiny room with barely enough space to turn around and no view may hinder your vacation satisfaction.

·      Meals can be a challenge for the diet-conscious. There are plenty of selections, and buffets offer fresh fruit and salads, but hidden ingredients abound. The result can be too much salt, sugar, and other food no-no’s consumed. Another drawback - although menu offerings vary, the food can get monotonous. On the other hand the dining room responds to special requests, and the menu notes gluten free, non-dairy, and vegetarian options. 

·      The largest ships today accommodate around 6000 passengers, and a lot of walking may be necessary getting from stateroom to the dining room, the pool, to shops and showrooms and other venues. Wheelchairs and scooters are available for rent for the duration of a cruise, otherwise you’ll get your exercise! Check out ship details, especially if a cozier atmosphere and experience is preferred to a vacation shared with thousands of strangers. 

·      And speaking of strangers, shipmates, and strange shipmates...investigate the demographics of cruise lines and the specific voyage you are considering. Do you want to cruise with lots of kids? Young adults? A mixed age group? Do you prefer an older crowd? The population varies depending on the cruise line, length of the cruise, destinations, time of year, and cost.
·      Large ships can result in crowds and lines, especially when sailing with maximum passenger numbers during holidays – a wait for a dining room table, a seat in the showroom, delays for an elevator.

·      Hold your wallet close. There are cruise lines that truly are all-inclusive, but most are not. Hidden fees, such as mandatory room tips, crowd your bill. Employees encourage the purchase of drinks, specialty restaurant dining, souvenirs, jewelry, shore excursions and more. Internet access can be exorbitant ($25 a day on our Holland America ship – we resisted the temptation). If you can wait for port stops, wifi is usually accessible in restaurants and coffee shops.

·      Know what type of vacation you want. Some people love the leisurely pace of cruise ship life; others get bored. 

·      Limited port time, usually only a few hours. If you like to explore new places, a cruise may not satisfy.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, 
but in having new eyes.     
-Marcel Proust
On the plus side of cruising...
As the 2020 elections approach, a cruise
is a delightful way to temporarily avoid the
political hype.


  1. When we worked, we took a couple of cruises per was an easy and affordable way to get away for a week,scuba, be waited on,see lots of islands, and refresh ourselves.Now, in retirement , I am done with cruising. I have more time and can shop around for good deals on land,and can even spend more time away , like 10 days!!(We don’t really like being gone for long periods..)

    I almost always caught a cold on our cruises or right after: Those ships are freezing cold, then onto humid hot islands, wet bathing suits,etc..walking on deck was fun, but the cold wind and all those other factors i noted invariably cause me to catch a cold.

    I don’t enjoy buffets that much. The last two cruises wwe took,dining room service was ABONIMABLY SLOW and you did not have the same waiter, and lots of stuff was forgotten or served lukewarm.. even on the g”good” cruise lines.. I also am grossed out watching other people leave the buffet with plates piled with pastries and junk food. (Sorry, not being judgey,It just grosses me out..)

    I enjoy more time ON the beach, not on a ship or in cold ship night clubs, now that I’m a bit older.

    The cruise ships have gotten HUGE and impersonal, have lost a lot of the class that used to come with formal nights,etc. We LIKED getting dressed up and seeing others all dressed up too!!

    The quality and service on cruises seems to have declined in the past decade.

    So, we now go to our favorite islands, beaches, and other kinds of trips where we can relax,eat seafood, get cheap massages, on land, and we’re enjoying these trips more.

    THIS WEEK, I see passengers sequestered on that ship in Japan, for quarantine!! We often got inside rooms..i can ONLY IMAGINE being stuck in one of those small closet like rooms for WEEKS ON END with no natural light.YIKES!!

  2. We've only taken cruises on ships with less than 100 passengers. One of those big ships is an epidemic waiting to happen. No thanks.