In your imagination, boarding a cruise ship should mean enjoying endless waters, a blue sky and the soft breeze off the sea. You might picture yourself giggling with a few close friends while boarding a luxurious white ship, just like in the movies. However, that scenario is unfortunately not all that common on a cruise.
Since cruise ships make money by accommodating as many passengers as possible, the usual scenario when you board is often that you find yourself shoulder to shoulder with people from all walks of life and with all the noises and smells that come with them.
After a long day of struggling through the boarding lines and settling into your cabin, what could be more relaxing than a nice hot tub? The heated water will wash away all your stress. The white clouds will soothe your heart. But it might not be quite like that during your cruise trip.
You are not the only one who wants a hot tub, so more often than not, you will find yourself in the same tub with complete strangers. There will be no room to stretch your legs, or lay back, or even start to think about relaxing.
Everyone has dreamed about a perfect afternoon on a ship: bathing under the gentle sunlight and sipping your favorite beverage or taking a swim in the warm water. But things change when all your fellow cruise-goers have the same dream.
Surprise! You are not the only one who wants to hang out by the pool. Good luck finding a chair!
You may expect to find yourself in a spacious cabin with floor-to-ceiling windows, and wake up to the ocean each morning. But those luxurious rooms costs a lot of money and most people cannot afford them.
Cruise ships are enormous but they have to accommodate many passengers as well as their crew and staff members. So, for most people, what they can get is a small cabin, which sometimes doesn’t even have a window.
In the cruise brochures, bathrooms are usually on par with those of luxury hotels with a rainfall showerhead and possibly a private hot tub. Well, the reality is nothing like the pictures.
Most cruise bathrooms are community bathrooms, like those in dorms and lockers. So, make sure you don’t brush your teeth at the same time as someone else is having a shower!
Delicious seafood, fruits cut into tiny flowers, and smiling waiters or waitresses might be what you are imagining.
Again, there are so many people on the ship, that individual service and delicate food are likely out of the window. The real dining scenario might be more like a cafeteria buffet.
It is always exciting to think about the aquatic sightseeing during a cruise. Aside from the beauty of the endless ocean, you might be fortunate enough to see whales or dolphins swimming through the choppy waves. However, most people are not that lucky.
You can enjoy the beauty of the vast ocean for sure, but nothing else. Chances are you won't encounter any kind of wild animal and the vast blue can be pretty boring if it is the same every day.
You might have heard the news that Rascal Flatts once performed onboard a cruise trip. As a result, you may be wondering which A-list star is going to be performing for you. Well, I hate to break it to you, but you expectations might be a little high.
Few cruises can offer performances by big-name bands or famous singers (if they do, most people cannot afford their tickets). The more common performers are the ones you see at your local bar or worst case, you might just have a karaoke machine.
It would have been nice to stop at islands, port communities, or other fun places where you can get a glimpse at exotic cultures or see the landscapes you have never seen. However, not every port the cruise ship docks at is beautiful and interesting.
Some of the ports are pretty boring and lackluster. So before booking a ship, find out what the ports are really like and don't let the brochure mislead you.
You may be dreaming about scenes from the 1980’s TV series, the Love Boat, thinking a job on a ship is all about traveling around the world and having romantic moonlit nights. However, that is nothing like real life.
If you think the passengers' bedrooms are crappy, take a look at the crew's cabins. These poor people don't even have their own room. They are the staff members not the paying customers, after all.