I’m a fan of cruises and I’ll happily admit that. I know there are people out there who absolutely hate cruises and that’s fine, cruising isn’t for everyone. I’ve been lucky enough to have embarked upon 18 different cruises so far so it’s safe to say I know a lot about the subject of cruising.

One thing I repeatedly find when I tell people that I love cruising is a barrage of questions about what cruises are actually like. Many people view cruising as being like the movie Titanic and imagine nothing but little old couples shuffling awkwardly around a ballroom in the evenings and doing little during the day. Sure, some cruises are like this but only very few, and cruising has really changed for the better in the last few years. It’s become a popular option for young couples, young families and groups of friends.
WHAT ARE CRUISES REALLY LIKE
So if you’ve ever considered a cruise but decided against it because you’re just not sure what life on board a cruise ship is really like, read on to find out the truth about cruising as I answer some of the most common questions.

Will I be surrounded by old people?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the cruise line you choose, the time of year you cruise and where you’re cruising. The average ago of cruise passengers has dramatically dropped in the last few years thanks to modern cruise liners with nightclubs, surf simulators, ice rinks, casinos, zip-lines, golf simulators, swimming pools and many many more cool features. You’ll probably find you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of young couples and young families you’d find on board a cruise.

Is the food good?

YES! I’ve had some of my best meals ever whilst on cruises. Silversea Cruises have the only Relais & Châteaux restaurants at sea and I absolutely loved the dining experience there.

WHAT IS CRUISING REALLY LIKE, SILVERSEA RELAIS AND CHATEAUX

How incredible does this look? A chccolate delight on board Silversea

The meals that can be created in kitchens on board cruise ships are truly incredible and many cruise ships have more than one restaurant at sea so that you can enjoy different dining experiences over the course of your cruise holiday. The last cruise I was on with Holland America on board MS Nieuw Amsterdam had no less than 5 different dining options (6 if you want to include room service!) so there’s plenty of choice.

If you’re a fussy eater or have allergies or specific dietary requirements then these can all easily be catered to on a cruise. You’ll be asked if you have any specific requirements or allergies at the time of booking and when you get on board you can visit the Maître d just to ensure they know what your needs are and to put your mind at rest.

Is it safe?

Lots of people tell me they would never go on a cruise because they think it’s unsafe and have visions of ending up at the bottom of the ocean like the Titanic. This could not be further from the truth. You’re actually more likely to be run over crossing the street than you are to have anything happen to you on a cruise holiday.
WHAT ARE CRUISES REALLY LIKE?

When you get on board and before the ship leaves it’s first port of call you’ll attend a muster drill which is mandatory for everyone on board. At the muster drill you’ll be briefed on how to get to your muster station (where you should meet in case of an abandon ship call), how to use your life-jacket and what exactly you should do in the event of an emergency.

Will I get seasick?

One of the most common things I get asked is don’t I get seasick and the answer is no thanks to large ships, effective stabilisers and a strong stomach. The amount the ship will move in the water depends on the size of ship, and area you decide to cruise in. If you’re cruising on a large, modern cruise liner in the Mediterranean in the summer, then you probably won’t feel a thing and at times you’ll probably not even be sure if you’re moving or not without looking out a window. Modern cruise ships are equipped with advanced stabliser systems that constantly work to regulate the ship and can reduce movement by more than 70%. If however, you decide to cruise across the Atlantic in November, then yes you’re probably going to feel a bit of movement! Use your head when looking at different itineraries and areas and you shouldn’t go too badly wrong. 

If you’re still worried about seasickness then take some tablets with you to be on the safe side and consider getting some of the patches or wristbands designed to help tackle seasickness. Booking a midship stateroom can also help to reduce your chances of motion sickness as this is the area of the ship that feels the least movement.

Won’t I get bored?

Another of the most common worries people have when considering a cruise holiday is the idea that they might be bored ‘stuck’ on board a cruise ship. My answer to this is always a firm no. Today’s modern cruise liners are packed with fun, exciting features and loads of things to do. On some ships you can learn to surf, play golf on a simulator, enjoy a flutter in the casino, have a dip in the pool or jacuzzi, attend cooking classes, dance the night away in the club, watch Broadway style shows, listen to a range of live music and heaps of other things.

WHAT ARE CRUISES REALLY LIKE

Enjoying a Blues band on board MS Nieuw Amsterdam

You’ll also be visiting different ports of call almost every day (depending on your ship’s itinerary) and this will mean you’re busy exploring most days.

WHAT ARE CRUISES REALLY LIKE

A chilled out lawn club area with real grass on board Celebrity Silhouette

The trick is to do some research to ensure the ship you decide to sail upon has a wide range of activities on board, as not all ships and cruise lines are the same. Companies with modern cruise liners tend to have a much greater range of activities and forms of entertainment on board so if you pick one of them you’ll almost certainly not be bored. If you’re especially worried about feeling ‘stuck’ on the ship then be sure to pick a cruise with lots of different ports of call and few days at sea.

Do I have to dress up for dinner?

Well, that all depends on what cruise line you choose. Some cruise lines have a set dress code where some nights ladies are required to wear a ballgown, cocktail dress or smart trouser suit and gentlemen should be in suits or tuxedos for dinner. Other cruise lines have much more relaxed dress codes and going to dinner in jeans and a t-shirt is absolutely fine.

WHAT ARE CRUISES REALLY LIKE

Don’t we scrub up well?

If you’re dead against the idea of dressing up whilst on a cruise then check the cruise lines dress code policy before booking anything so you’re not in for a surprise when you get on board.

Personally I like getting dressed up for dinner as it’s not often I get the chance to put on a ballgown and swan around thinking I’m a princess!

If you want to learn more about cruising then check out my dedicated cruise blog Emma On Board.