Myths about cruises
Let's start by telling you that the vast majority of people who have ever been on a cruise holiday book again sometime. Many become regular cruise enthusiasts, planning their next holiday virtually as soon as they return home.
If we add that almost all of those first-time cruisers had some worries or concerns before they travelled, you'll understand what we mean when we say there are a lot of unfounded myths surrounding the wonderful world of cruise holidays.
Here we'll address just a few of the misconceptions and, we hope, reassure you that there's a host of excellent reasons why cruise holidays are continuing to increase in popularity year after year.
If we said no-one ever gets seasick on a cruise we wouldn't be telling the truth. But while people do sometimes feel queasy, today's cruise liners have addressed the stability issues that previously caused seasickness.
Also there are numerous very effective preventative remedies available from your onboard pharmacist.
Most cruise passengers enjoy their holidays without any seasickness at all.
Incidences of things like Norovirus outbreaks are pretty rare and don't just occur on ships – they can affect anywhere where lots of people are in close proximity to each other.
Cruise lines are aware of the potential and provide advice, as well as offering hand sanitising facilities, to keep the likelihood of an outbreak to an absolute minimum.
Cruises are too regimented
While some cruise lines pride themselves on continuing to provide a taste of traditional cruise dining experiences, with formal dining at set times for example, others are far more flexible these days.
They'll offer open seating at times to suit you and will feature a variety of different restaurants enabling you to choose a new dining experience each evening, perhaps selecting a speciality eatery for that anniversary or other special occasion.
Some like their passengers to dress for dinner, some are completely dress-code free, others have a mix, with designated 'formal' evenings.
Activities and entertainment are there for you to enjoy if you like to join in – but there's no pressure. It's your holiday and you can enjoy it however you please.
Cruises are popular and, at times on a main pool deck or in a show lounge, there may be a lively atmosphere with lots of people enjoying themselves.
But there isn't a cruise ship on the seas today that doesn't provide plenty of peaceful places to enjoy a bit of quiet solitude. The cruise lines understand that many people seek out these havens to relax and enjoy some 'me' time and they're keen to provide them.
Alternatively, you can always find ships and itineraries that cater specifically for those seeking a more tranquil and serene ambience, there are lots to choose from.
It'll be full of old/young people
While it's true that many retired people do enjoy the pleasures of a wonderful cruise holiday, long gone are the days when our senior citizens saw cruising as their exclusive domain.
Modern cruise ships boast an amazing array of family-friendly amenities and if you consider the ship, the itinerary and the time of year you travel, it should give you a hint about the profile of your fellow passengers.
There will be a nice mix on most cruises but some holidays will obviously appeal more to a younger age-group and others to the more senior travellers.
I'll feel cooped up
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Space on board today's stunning ships is something the cruise lines take extremely seriously and they are designed to incorporate as much natural light as possible throughout the public spaces. You'll always be able to find comfortable, roomy bars and lounges as well as lovely open decks with amazing panoramic views of the wide oceans.
Itineraries are also carefully planned so you'll never be more than a few days' peaceful sailing away from your next wonderful destination and the opportunity to relax or take some spectacular sightseeing trips ashore.
If there's still anything you're unsure about, speak to one of our Imagine cruising advisers, or better still ask a family member or friend who's sampled the delights of a cruise holiday – we're sure they'll put your mind at ease.