Tuesday, December 23, 2014

FAQs if you're uncertain about cruising

Today's ships are beautiful, comfortable, and safe.
Q: I’m not a “water” person, so why would I want to sail to different islands?

A: Sure, ships sail on water, but they go to many different places, not just islands. Think about Alaska, Europe, Africa, or New Zealand—none of which is visited primarily for beaches and water activities. You can explore famous cities of the world, delve into ancient history, marvel at mountains and glaciers, see fall foliage, or search for wildlife on cruises. If you like sand between your toes, there are plenty of opportunities to sunbathe, kayak, or snorkel at the beach.

Mountains and a glacial lake where we kayaked on
an excursion from our Alaska cruise

Q: Isn’t a cruise expensive?
Explore the Colosseum and wonders of ancient Rome.
A: Doesn’t have to be. Start with the base price, which can be very reasonable these days (we’re entering the “shoulder” season which has even more bargains). If you like to go all-out, dining in specialty restaurants and drinking fruity cocktails by the pool, your final tab will reflect that. But you can have a great time without going overboard. The cost of a cruise is generally less than a holiday at a resort—with entertainment, activities, and meals included. As for any vacation package, do some research to find a cruise that suits your preferred type of getaway.

Try rock wall climbing, miniature golf, ping
pong, golf, and many other activities on
the ship. Trivia and music are popular
indoor offerings..
Q: Will I get bored, especially when the ship is at sea?
A: A cruise ship is a massive floating resort with a wide range of places to explore and activities to participate in on board. You can decide last-minute to attend a nature talk or take salsa lessons. Play cards, jog on the promenade deck, work-out in the gym, get a massage, or just relax at indoor solariums. Quiet time in your cabin or on your balcony is a welcome option, too.

Q: Isn't a cruise all about the food?

 A: It’s really about choices. You can eat whatever and whenever you like. Cruise lines cater to guests who require special diets, so just ask for what you need, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the options available. Quality of the food has also improved considerably, with many ships offering flexible dining times and specialty restaurants in addition to standard dining. You decide whether to spruce up the wardrobe for a four-course dinner or find a quick buffet and dine in your sports clothes, Either way, enjoy the fact that someone else is cooking and cleaning up.
The food is delicious and well-presented.
Q: Don’t people get sick more on cruise ships?
Although a ship is a confined space where it’s easy for a virus to spread, most cruise lines take extra precautions to eliminate germs in public places. Hand sanitizer is available in dining venues as are constant reminders about cleanliness and washing your hands.

Relax by the pool, even if you don't put a toe in the water.
 Someships show movies by the pool at night.
As for motion sickness, today’s ships are very stable, so you probably won’t even realize you’re on a moving vessel in the middle of the ocean. If you do feel queasy, there are simple remedies that you can use prior to boarding and while on the cruise. And the ship’s doctors will help you through anything more significant. Over all, you’re no more likely to get sick on a ship than on shore.
Photos by Larry and Beverly Burmeier

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