Never Been on a Cruise Ship Before? What is Stopping You? Is it the Price? People? Wifi? Cabins?

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Almost every week I see a post scroll across my feeds by someone who has never been on a cruise before and they are almost universally the same, that is, the person went in expecting to not like cruising and walk off pleasantly surprised by how nice the experience was and they will cruise again.

Before my first cruise ever I had reservations but it seemed like such a great way to visit a bunch of locations in the Caribbean I had never been to and the food looked great (from all the web site promotions). I then had my personal NCL rep call me to offer an upgrade to a suite for almost nothing vs. the balcony cabin we had booked and my did that, not only spoil us, but cement in our hearts the joy of being onboard.

two ships in the water

So if you have never cruised before just what is stopping you? I thought I would go over a list of the ones I hear most often and maybe convince those who have never been on a ship to give it a try and see if you don’t fall in love as well.

  • Ships are too crowded. While thousands of people confined on a floating ship sounds like a recipe for frustration you really don’t notice it that much for most sailings (holiday sailings excluded). The ships plan for this and with so many dining venues and times the flow of people just works and again you likely will not notice the large number onboard.
  • Ships are a petri dish of disease. While it is true that things can spread quickly on a ship – lines are keenly aware of this and work very hard to constantly sanitize the ship and every surface. Yes, norovirus outbreaks do happen now and then and make headlines but it is rare compared to the thousands of sailings when everything is just fine.
  • It costs too much to cruise. Yes, the cost per day is often higher than say some discount hotels but keep in mind what you are getting for the money. All meals all day long. Amazing cabin service and daily cleaning. Entertainment that would cost you a ton out of pocket to go see say off Broadway. When you add up all you get for the price cruising really is an amazing value.
  • Lack of connectivity. This was a big problem in the past but ships wifi is constantly improving. While not cheap if you splurge for the top tier speed you will be impressed and be able to get work done (if you really have to that is). I have talked to any number of folks who live months at a time at sea as they can get everything they need done digitally over the ships wifi.
  • Tiny cabins. Personally I am not a fan of the absolute cheapest interior cabins so you have me there but you don’t have to book those and the cost to upgrade to a larger cabin is not that much per day. Then again you would be amazed how effectively lines make use of the space they give you. As an example storing your luggage under the bed so they go away. There are drawers and closets for everything you have brought onboard so at least the space you do have is open for you.
  • I hate buffets. I hear you so don’t visit them. Every line has sit down dining options for you for breakfast, lunch and dinner so just go there. Some ships like the new Prima class from NCL have a food court option that makes the buffets basically a thing of the past.
  • I hate waiting in lines. There are ways around this. I always get to the ship as soon as possible embarkation day to be one of the first onboard. Some lines let you pay a fee to be expedited onboard. The only time you are really going to have an issue with possibly bad lines is when you have to get off the ship but the solution here is just don’t get in the lines, that is, book your flights home later and stay in some quiet place on the ship till final call to depart the ship (they will call you by name btw and that is your cue to go with no lines)!
  • I get motion sick. You know what so do I but after so many years at sea that is gone for me. There are also ways around this, that is, try to book a cabin in the middle of the ship (high floor) where the motion is felt the least. Also try to book during a time where the seas are likely to be calm (example never book a Caribbean cruise in the middle of hurricane season). Also splurge for a balcony as it can do much to lessen the risk of becoming sea sick!

So there you are. Bottom line there really are few reasons not to at least try a cruise once and see how you like it. Are there maybe other reasons you would not take a cruise or are worried about – tell me in the comments below and myself and the Frequent Floaters crew will try to answer any questions and concerns you have! – René

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert
René de Lamberthttp://www.FrequentFloaters.com
René de Lambert has been a travel blogger for over 10 years covering the travel industry - including cruising.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Rene and team, love the blog.
    I’ll add one more to the list: travel to & from departure port city. Especially the travel TO the departure port city.
    The concept of “travel a day early, stay somewhere for a night, then start the vacation” is as close to a non-starter for me as there can be. Yeah, I can think of worse places to be stuck for a night than Miami, Lauderdale, Canaveral and I know it’s not the cruise line’s fault. But it still lops a day off of the actual vacation so it’s meaningful for those of us with limited work time off, and is an extra layer of logistics and reservations, and an extra layer of worry.
    We’re booked on my first cruise in early summer 2024, our younger kids’ first cruise (not first for my wife or her family). We live in NY and are departing from NJ, so it’s gonna be easy taxi or drive and park. I know many folks don’t live near a port, but there was zero chance I’d have booked a cruise that involved *flying with family* to then get to a hotel overnight and then get out and to a departure port. I won’t miss going to, through, and out of planes and airports with two little kids one bit, and the cost and time savings of not having to fly make the cruise a much better value.

  2. Going to try a 3 day cruise out of Miami for my first cruise. My concerns: I’m a bit of a loner and want to just be left alone (to read, rest stare at the ocean, relax & chill) on a cruise. I wonder is that possible or are singles forced to dine & interact with strangers??

    • @jon – Great question. That depends on the cruise line. NCL for example 100% would seat you at a table for two and allow you to be alone. Others have large tables and it is much harder for a solo traveler to be on their own. Also, you can almost always grab food and find a private spot to sit somewhere on the ship.

  3. What would you say to someone who doesn’t understand the appeal of a cruise and would rather fly to get to a destination as quickly as possible?

    • @Mary – Another great question. In your situation you are going to one spot and enjoy that spot. With the ship your hotel moves with you and you can visit and number of locations without the work to pack and unpack over and over. Plus you have a luxury home to return to after you have had your adventure wherever you have just visited.

  4. There’s a perception that cruises are taken by people who are poorer as it’s a relatively cheaper form of traveling and just based on my own experience knowing the type of people who go on cruises, I wouldn’t want to spend time with those folks. Not a fan of the Spirit Airlines type crowd which is why I’d never fly with them even if the hard product itself is fine. It’s the same flying to places like MCO with any airline — the leisure crowd does mindboggling things traveling that ruin the experience and that’s what I envision with these cruises w/thousands of people on board. I’ve only been on adventure cruises on smaller ships (i.e. 200 passengers or so) which were great. That said I’ve been contemplating a cruise to knock out a bunch of countries in the Caribbean I haven’t been to and otherwise wouldn’t visit, so haven’t completely written off cruising.

  5. We booked on a 600 passenger ship next month .Only concern for a 10 day cruise can only access the premier restaurants twice..and one of those is with the80 people in our wineclub group! No options for more tables for 2 or 4 people..

  6. I would also try “Cruise ships are gigantic polluters and the least eco conscience way to travel”.

    I am no tree hugger, but cruise ships are absolutely terrible for the environment – both land and marine. Several times worse than land and air travel. They may have made progress but I doubt much? I think it is a serious question to address.

    • @albert – That is a separate topic (not saying not a valid one but not really the point of this post). Cruise lines are working on this and as an example one cruise line has switched all their ships to shore power making a huge impact on the air quality while at port. Beyond that if you drive to a location that is harmful unless you have an electric car and so on.

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