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Cruise myths busted!

Cruising is one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry and for those who have never been on a cruise before; there can be a lot of misconceptions that may put you off having a holiday on the waves.

Certain destinations, such as Alaska, lend themselves to a seafaring experience, others such as Antarctica can really only be explored by ship. And it’s hard to beat a cruise if you want a taste of the islands of the Caribbean or just to see the Med from a different angle.

The Flexicover Team looks to dispel a number of popular myths about taking to the high seas.

They’re really expensive...

This is one of the most prevalent myths surrounding cruises, and yes there is a luxury cruise sector that can cost tens of thousands of pounds. In reality cruises can be really good value for money and can cost the same as a ‘landlocked’ holiday. While you may need to pay extra for excursions or some ‘premium’ restaurants on board, the basic cruise fare still includes your accommodation and most meals too as well as the traditional cruise ship amenities such as a swimming pool and entertainment. If you like a tipple; book an all-inclusive cruise package.

I’ll be told when to eat and what to wear...

These days, cruising is all about choice and variety, and dining arrangements are no exception. Most ships have, at the very least, two or three restaurants. Some may be traditional dining where you receive either the early or late seating and are assigned to a particular table, while others are what many term freestyle dining where you can eat when, where, and with whom you like. Typically there can be some dress requirements in the main dining rooms for example no shorts, flip-flops or football shirts, but that’s true of many restaurants ashore too. However, it might be nice to sometimes dress up for dinner and who knows you may get an invite to the captain’s table, so pack that little black dress or some smart trousers and jacket - just in case.

I’ll get bored...

Mention the word ‘cruise’ and the phrase ‘cabin fever’ could spring to mind, and if you lock yourself away in your cabin, this will probably be true. However, most modern cruise ships are really just huge floating resorts, some the size of a small town! Most ships have a diverse range of activities - gone are the days of only shuffleboard or bridge. Activities that may be available include golf simulators, miniature golf courses, basketball, volleyball, tennis courts, ice-skating rinks, bowling alleys, rock climbing walls, swimming pools or water slides. Then there are the bars, cinemas, discos, casinos and shows; many featuring world class entertainers straight from Broadway, Vegas or West End runs, not even taking in to account actually leaving the ship for excursions. In fact, you'll more than likely run out of time than run out of things to do.

I’ll get seasick...

Many people fear seasickness but even if you suffer from motion sickness during car rides or on airplanes, it is still unlikely you will become seasick on a cruise ship. The immense size of the vessels, coupled with state-of the-art stabilisers that most ships are kitted out with, help to steady the ride so you will probably not notice any motion at all. But since there is always a chance of rough seas the best advice is to have some seasickness pills to hand just in case.

I am not old enough for cruising...

Another stubborn untruth that persists about cruises is that they’re only for older people, but this is not the case at all. In general it could be argued that the longer and more expensive cruises tend to attract older passengers, but then it's easy to do a little research and find the cruise that's right for you. Different cruise liners, ships and even routes can attract varied groups of travellers. Some will be more popular with families while others may attract a younger and singles crowd. As with all types of holiday a little pre-trip planning can ensure the right fit for you.

If you are a first-timer and know little about ships, there are a few basics that you may want to note:

  • Bow: the front or "pointy end" of the ship
  • Stern: the back of the ship
  • Port: the left side of the ship
  • Starboard: the right side of the ship
  • Galley: a ship's kitchen - VERY important!
  • Bridge: Where the ship’s officers control and navigate the ship from - usually high up and forward.

If you're setting off for the horizon, remember at Flexicover we are committed to providing you the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away. And most of our policies include cruises as standard, with no additional premiums to pay!