Should I take a Cruise?
Should I take a cruise?
It seems like such a simple question, and yet people are often filled with apprehension when deciding whether or not to take their first cruise. In this article, I want to try to dispel some of the myths about cruising and give you a realistic idea of what to expect.
Before I do, let me give you some information about my background. I didn’t really grow up traveling. My family usually went to Florida once a year, but that was the extent of my travels. By the time that I was an adult I had never flown commercially and I had only seen nine states. My wife Taz had been on one road trip to Florida and had probably seen about five states.
My point is that neither of us grew up traveling. It just wasn’t something that our families did. As you can imagine, there are a lot of people in our families who just don’t understand why we enjoy cruising or foreign travel.
In some ways, I can understand some of the apprehension. There are a lot of negative stereotypes about travel, and even more negative stereotypes about cruising. Even before I left for my first cruise, I had people telling me that I wouldn’t enjoy the experience because cruises were only for the newly wed, nearly dead, and over fed. In other words, the perception was that cruising was only for newlyweds, the elderly, and the morbidly obese. Every time that I heard this old cliché I couldn’t help but wonder why cruising supposedly appealed to newlyweds if the experience was really as bad as everyone made it out to be.
As I was planning for my first cruise, I had other people telling me that cruisers aren’t real travelers, but rather tacky tourists. At that point in my life I didn’t even understand what people meant by that. Like I said, I hadn’t traveled enough to even consider what it meant to be a “real traveler”, and I certainly hadn’t pondered the difference between a traveler and a tourist.
Thankfully, I didn’t allow any of the negativity to get me down. I went ahead and took my first cruise in spite of so many people advising me not to. Never mind the fact that none of the naysayers had ever been on a cruise themselves.
Since that time, I have been on too many cruises to count. One thing that I have learned is that the old clichés simply aren’t true. Sure, they might apply to some of the people on a ship, but they certainly aren’t an indictment of all cruisers. Most of the cruisers that I have met (especially on the more exotic itineraries) are well educated and well-traveled.
Clichés aside, most of the people in my family do not seem to understand the appeal of a cruise. They just can’t seem to imagine why I would want to be “stuck on a boat” as opposed to taking a “nice vacation”. Being that so many people have asked me why any sane person would take a cruise, I thought that I would start out by explaining what the advantages are to cruising and why my wife Taz and I prefer cruising to other types of travel.
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