Many people are deterred from taking a holiday afloat due to misguided pre-conceptions of what it will involve. The Marmite of the travel world, cruising is loved by some and loathed by those who have yet to dive in. It is, however, one of the fastest growing sectors of the travel market and accounts for one in eight of all foreign package holidays. Hopping aboard a cruise-ship today is a quite different experience to that of bygone years.
Today’s cruise holidays are quite often accessible to families; indeed, many cruise-liners welcome children and offer high-spec games rooms, crèche facilities, engaging kids clubs and dedicated child friendly deck areas. An ever increasing number of cruise companies now offer ‘kids sail free’ deals to encourage adults to bring the little ones along.
The idea of becoming seasick on a ship is another deterrent to embarking on a cruise holiday. Modern technology does its part in allaying these fears with stabilisers that flank the hull and other measures to prevent the rolling motion that is responsible for ‘mal de mer’. While it is not possible to completely rule out the chances of losing a couple of days to seasickness, there are various precautions the modern traveller can take; wrist bands that work on your pressure points are effective for many people who are predisposed to motion sickness and anti-sickness tablets are also available. Nowadays it is often possible to pin-point the areas of the ocean that will be most treacherous and provisions can be made to deal with it.
It is not uncommon, on a contemporary cruise-liner, to be ashore every day. If you have never been on a cruise you may worry that you will not get a real sense of the places you visit and will be rushed from port to port. While time is of the essence, there is usually plenty of opportunity to spend time ashore; it just takes a little advance planning and feeling a part of the action is a definite on many of today’s liners. Ships decant passengers in locations hosting world-renowned shows or once in a lifetime events.
Whatever your fears about cruising holidays you should have a wonderful experience and will never be bored.
Picture: Thomas Fitzgerald