Deep discounts, attractive ports, new bigger (Oases of the Seas), better, spiffier ships (Seabourn Odyssey, Silver Spirit) add to the cruise experience for 2010.
If you’re planning a cruise in the new year you may want to learn a little about what’s in store for you on the high seas: Myths and Truths About Cruising
If you’ve never taken a cruise you’re truly missing the boat. It’s simply the best, hassle free way to see the world. You only pack and unpack once. If you don’t live in the port of embarkation, usually only one roundtrip flight is necessary. And you get to live on floating hotel that transports you seamlessly to exotic, tropical and interesting parts of the world. So what’s stopping you? Perhaps it’s a fear of the unknown.
To help jump start your nautical spirit here are a few myths and truths of cruising that may assuage any apprehensions:
Myth: They feed you non-stop until you turn into the Goodyear blimp.
Truth: Although food is plentiful, nobody force-feeds you; you do the fork lifting all by yourself. And today all ships offer spa cuisine, diet-controlled portions and lots of exercise options from jogging tracks to onboard gyms and beyond.
Myth: It’s Boring. Truth: Only if you think non-stop diversions aren’t stimulating. Most ships provide head-spinning activities from cultural lectures to disco dancing, casinos to computer classes, evening shows and performances, shore excursions, aforementioned spa options and world-class gyms, basketball and volleyball courts, golf cages, video game arcades, duty free shopping in an array of onboard boutiques (although you don’t always find great bargains) in which to max out the credit card, casinos in which to lose your shirt (or win a T-shirt if you hit a slot machine jackpot), late run movies in a theater or your stateroom and more. More cerebral pursuits include well-stocked libraries, computer centers with Internet hookups, reading, writing and daydreaming.
Myth: You’ll get fat.
Truth: This again. No you won’t if you follow prudent eating and exercising. I’m getting fed up with this fable, so stop it right now.
Myth: I’ll feel claustrophobic.
Truth: Most ships now sport bigger staterooms and suites many with outside verandahs in which you can leave the doors open day and night or go out for a fresh breath of air on a whim (just stay off the balcony railing). The new, bigger vessels have acres of deck space. Some are actually large or larger than a football field.
Myth: I have to be dressed up all the time.
Truth: Sporty attire is acceptable on all ships during the day. Many ships have adopted a more casual dress code for evenings or offer casual dining venues. Some cruise lines no longer require tuxedos on formal nights and others ask only that the man wear a jacket and tie and women an appropriate outfit. By casual we don’t mean warm-ups or cut offs in the restaurant. We’re talking casual chic.
Myth: I’ll get fat.
Truth: I thought I told you to cut that out. Sure the menu is stuffed with tempting choices but if you use some willpower you can have a bite of this and a taste of that without stuffing yourself. If you’re low on self-discipline avoid buffets and stick to restaurants where menus are offered and then order sensibly.
Myth: I’ll be too unconnected with the world.
Truth: Hey we said there are Internet Cafes. And even ship to shore phone service albeit very pricey, or your cell phone. Just about every port, even the most remote has Internet service these days as well as inexpensive phone cards for sale. I once paid $20 for a phone card in Australia that had so many minutes on it I gave it to a crewmember to use on the day we disembarked. So what’s your worry?