Cruising has long been associated with luxury and glamour, with images of elegant dinners, extravagant entertainment, and pampering service often coming to mind. However, while many cruises do offer these indulgent experiences, there is another side to cruising that is often overlooked and never advertised. From overcrowding and long lines to hidden fees and subpar accommodations, there are plenty of things that can make a cruise less than luxurious. We’ll take a closer look at 40 things that can show that cruises aren’t always as glamorous as they may seem, revealing the hidden realities of life at sea that many cruise companies don’t advertise.
The Rooms Aren’t That Spacious As They Show In Their Advertisement
Cruise lines often use photography and other marketing tactics to make their cabins look larger and more luxurious in advertisements. It’s always a good idea to do your research and read reviews from other travelers to get a more accurate idea of what to expect from your cabin.
The size and layout of a cruise ship cabin can vary depending on the ship and the category of cabin you choose. For example, inside cabins that don’t have any windows are often smaller than ocean view or balcony cabins. Suites and higher-end cabins will generally offer more space and amenities.
The Deck Is Going To Be Full Of Umbrellas With Different People Relaxing
The pool deck can become crowded, especially on sea days or during peak times such as midday or afternoon. On these busy days, you may find that the deck is full of umbrellas and people relaxing and socializing. Sometimes it can get so crowded that you might not even find space for your umbrella.
If you are looking for a quieter experience, then it would be better to visit the deck in the evening. To address this issue of over-crowdedness, many cruise ships have started to use things like cabanas, daybeds, and other types of shaded areas. These can provide privacy for passengers and can reduce the amount of congestion on the main deck.
The Hot Tub On The Deck Can Be Used By Everyone
One of the most alluring features of a cruise ship can be the hot tub located on the deck. Many people may assume that this amenity is a private and exclusive perk reserved for those who pay top dollar for their cruise.
However, the truth is that the hot tub on a cruise ship is open to all passengers, regardless of their cabin class or level of spending. This means that the hot tub can quickly become crowded and noisy, with long waits to get in and limited space to relax.
The Bathrooms In Cruise Ship Cabins Are Really Small
The bathrooms in normal cruise ship cabins are usually very small. This is due to the limited amount of space on the ship and the need to maximize every inch of available space. In some cases, the bathrooms may be designed with a shower, sink, and toilet all in one small space.
The size and layout of the bathroom can vary depending on the category of cabin you choose. Suites and higher-end cabins will generally offer more space and amenities, including larger bathrooms with separate shower and bathtub areas. Some ships have added additional shelving to help keep toiletries organized.
Boarding The Cruise Can Be Very Hectic
When it comes to boarding a cruise ship, many people imagine a red carpet welcome with friendly staff greeting them at the gangway. However, the reality can be quite different. Depending on the size of the ship and the number of passengers, boarding can be a chaotic and time-consuming process.
Passengers may have to wait in long lines, undergo security checks, and fill out various forms before they can even step on board. Once on the ship, they may have to navigate crowds and confusion to find their cabins and settle in.
It is mainly seen on the internet how various sea creatures such as seals, fish, or dolphins follow the boat at high speed. Boarding a cruise ship may give some people an idea that such a view might be waiting for them when they get out in the open ocean.
However, sea creatures tend to stay away from large cruise ships, thinking of them as some giant threat. Therefore, forget about any such view when boarding a cruise. But that’s not the only fun part about the sea. There is so much more to enjoy on a great cruise ship.
The Food Choices Aren’t Too Healthy
The food on the cruise lines isn’t necessarily bad. The quality is good, but the choices themselves aren’t too healthy. Some cruise lines run a 24/7 buffet, and you can find things like fries, cakes, and burgers on the menu. These fast food items are more sustainable for a buffet that runs throughout the day and night.
These days there are cruise ships that offer a variety of options for passengers with dietary restrictions, such as vegetarian, gluten-free, and low-fat choices. So if you are concerned about your diet, then it’s best to do your research on the cruise lines menu before you book it.
The Pool On The Main Deck Is Always Crowded, And It Is Impossible To Find A Chair
The pool on a cruise ship’s main deck can be crowded, particularly during peak hours and on days when the weather is nice. This can make it difficult to find a chair, as many passengers want to spend time by the pool.
The beautiful pictures of the pool in the advertisement may compel you to book the cruise; however, once you are on the cruise and see the crowded pool area, it can make you rethink your decision. It may not be what you expected, but the poolside can still be a great place for you to socialize.
Find Your Bag!
The cruise ship may be fun and memorable for every passenger. However, there is something else waiting for them that they won’t forget during their lifetime. If a passenger loses their luggage, finding it is one challenging task. The entire unclaimed luggage is placed, and the passenger has to find it by themselves.
Many people lose their luggage after every ride, as similar bags can be mistakenly exchanged. Therefore, it should be advised for every passenger to mark their bags to easily identify them after their trip ends. Around hundreds of passengers lose their luggage after a fun cruise trip.
Cruise ships Have Buffets. However, You Might Get A Waiter If You Are A VIP Passenger
Cruise ships often have buffets as a dining option for passengers. For most passengers, the buffet is a self-serve dining option where you can choose from a variety of dishes and serve yourself. While there may be staff members available to clear tables and restock food, you typically won’t have a dedicated waiter.
Some cruise lines offer VIP packages that include access to private dining areas, personal waitstaff, and other exclusive benefits. If you are a VIP member, you may have a dedicated waiter who can assist you at the buffet, bring you drinks or other items, and help you find a seat in the dining area.
Hats Off To The Staff!
Be it the navy, fishermen, cruise ship staff, or anyone working in the ocean; they are the strongest people in the world. Choosing such a tough job is not an easy task. Undoubtedly, the pay might be good, but it requires a strong will to go through such conditions and environment.
Small rooms, wild seas, and continuous work are not something everyone can survive. So whenever staying on a cruise ship, be kind to the staff and appreciate them as much as possible. That is something that motivates them the most during their work and might make them smile.
Don’t Take A Trip During Winters!
A cruise ship trip during winter is not advisable for passengers who cannot survive harsh, cold weather in the ocean. Yes, there are indoor, heated spaces on a cruise, but all the activities that can be done on the outdoor deck are not possible. So what else can be done indoors?
The worst part of a cruise trip during winter is spending time in your cabin. No passenger buys their ticket to spend time in the cabin. It is merely a resting space for passengers as all activities are outside. Getting cabin fever is the last thing that you would want.
Shuffleboard: The Worst Game Ever
Get out of your cabin and onto the shuffleboard courts! On cruise ships, this classic game offers a great way to inject some physical activity into those long days at sea while having fun with family members or making new connections. It often serves as a go-to option when there are limited options for entertainment.
Waiting for turns can seem like an eternity, but passionate players will reap the rewards, not only improving their skills but also enjoying quality bonding time with fellow travelers. So don’t let its reputation fool you: Get ready to try something different on board and enjoy yourself in the process.
Don’t Let a Substandard View Ruin the Fun: Make Your Cruise Unforgettable
When you pay for an ocean view, you expect to wake up to a stunning view only to be faced with a lifeboat blocking your view. That extra money you paid for a better view suddenly feels like it was wasted. But don’t let this setback ruin your cruise experience!
There’s more to a cruise than just looking out of your room window. Have fun with friends and family by taking part in exciting activities happening on the cruise ship. Make every moment count and create unforgettable memories that’ll last far longer than any stunning view.
The Food Isn’t Too Lavish
Cruise ships are often associated with lavish meals and extravagant dining experiences; the reality is that not all cruise ships offer the same level of culinary options. Some ships may have a more limited selection of food, while others may focus on quantity over quality. Food on a cruise ship is prepared in large quantities to accommodate a large number of passengers.
I am not saying that the quality of food is going to be bad, but let’s just say you wouldn’t be dining in high-quality and expensive fine china. In most cases, the food will be served in food boxes like the one seen in the picture above.
The Hidden Side Of Ports
The ports are one of the favorite spots for some people for photo or video shoots due to the colorful containers and many other features. Such features excite many other people as well whenever they pass by a busy port. No doubt, ports look like the most organized place.
However, not everything is as it seems. Hosting thousands of ships every year, it may be a bit difficult for every port to maintain everything. Therefore, there are many places at ports that you may not see easily, but they do exist, and you wouldn’t want to see them as well.
Cruise Ship Entertainment Isn’t What You Would Expect
If you’re looking for a night of unforgettable entertainment while sailing the ocean, you shouldn’t expect to be wowed by A-list musicians. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you won’t have a good time on your cruise! You will still have a lot of entertainment on board.
In addition to having a professional singer or magician on board, the passengers can also perform karaoke and add to the entertainment. If you are not happy with the quality of entertainment, you are getting; maybe you can get on the microphone and perform karaoke with your friends. These are the things that will make your cruise unforgettable.
Cruising for All Generations
Cruises offer an unparalleled opportunity for travelers of all ages to experience the beauty and adventure of the open seas. Whether you opt for a cruise line catering to seniors or young adults or one that is open to guests of all ages, there’s sure to be something to enjoy when you are onboard.
It’s important to note that booking a cruise designed for a specific age group, like senior citizens, may result in a more mature crowd without any loud entertainment, which can be a great experience. However, young adults looking for a quieter experience cannot book such cruises as you have to be a certain age to book them.
Recreating The Iconic Scene From Titanic
It’s not uncommon for passengers on a cruise ship to reenact scenes from the movie “Titanic,” which has become a cultural touchstone in the years since its release. One of the most famous scenes from the movie features the characters Jack and Rose standing at the front of the ship with their arms outstretched.
While recreating this scene can be a fun and playful activity for some, it’s important to do so safely and with respect for other passengers and crew members. You should also understand that recreating the scene is not going to be as glamorous as the movie.
There Is A Lot Of Alcohol Onboard
There is usually a lot of alcohol available on cruise ships. Many cruise ships have bars, lounges, and restaurants that serve different types of alcohol. Some cruise lines also offer all-inclusive drink packages, where passengers can enjoy unlimited alcoholic beverages for a set price. If you are not careful with your drinking, it can become uncontrollable.
It’s important to note that cruise lines have policies and procedures in place to promote responsible alcohol consumption and prevent overconsumption. These policies include monitoring passengers’ alcohol consumption, providing training to onboard staff to recognize and manage overconsumption, and limiting the sale and service of alcohol to passengers who appear intoxicated.
Older Cruise Ships Have Quite A Good Amount Of Wear And Tear
Older cruise ships may have more wear and tear than newer ones. This is because cruise ships operate in a harsh marine environment with exposure to saltwater, wind, and weather, which can take a toll on the ship’s exterior and machinery over time.
However, cruise lines are required to follow strict safety regulations and maintain their ships to ensure they remain seaworthy and safe for passengers. The International Maritime Organization sets international safety standards for cruise ships, and cruise lines must comply with these regulations to operate. Cruise ships also undergo regular inspections by independent organizations.
Cruise Ships Are Great For A Romantic Getaway
A cruise can be a great choice for a romantic getaway. Many cruise lines offer packages and amenities that are specifically designed for couples, such as couples’ massages, private dining options, and romantic excursions. Couples can also take advantage of the scenic views and quiet spots on board to relax and enjoy each other’s company.
Additionally, the opportunity to visit multiple destinations in a single trip can make a cruise a romantic and adventurous choice. Couples can explore new cities and cultures together and can also opt for more secluded excursions or private tours to create a more intimate and personalized experience.
The Casino On The Cruise Ship Isn’t Exactly The Level Of Las Vegas
The casinos on cruise ships aren’t as lavish as the ones you might see in Las Vegas, but they can still be a lot of fun. Cruise ship casinos still offer a range of popular casino games, such as slot machines, blackjack, poker, and roulette.
They are designed to offer passengers a fun and entertaining gaming experience while at sea. Many cruise ship casinos feature state-of-the-art gaming technology and offer themed nights or special promotions to add to the excitement. If you are traveling with someone who is a gambling addict, then it’s best to keep them out of the Cruise Ship’s casino room.
People Drag Their Mattresses Out Of Their Rooms When There Are No More Deck Chairs Available
The main deck can get crowded, and it is almost impossible to find a seat there. People who still want to enjoy the sun tend to drag their mattresses out of their rooms and onto the deck. It surely makes for a more comfortable experience than the deck chairs.
Some cruise lines have policies in place that prohibit passengers from reserving deck chairs for extended periods of time. While it may be tempting to “save” a deck chair for later use, it’s important to be considerate of other passengers. By doing so, all passengers can enjoy the outdoor areas of the ship without any conflicts.
People Often Find Cruise Flings
Some people do find romantic connections or “cruise flings” while on a cruise ship. The relaxed and social atmosphere on a cruise ship, as well as the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world, can make it a fun and exciting place to connect with others.
Cruise lines often offer a variety of onboard activities and events, such as dance parties and game nights, that are designed to help passengers socialize and make new connections. Additionally, the close quarters and shared experiences of a cruise can help foster relationships between passengers. It’s important to keep in mind that cruise flings may not last beyond the duration of the cruise.
The Weather Can Sometimes Get Very Scary
The weather can sometimes be a concern for cruise ships, especially during hurricane season or in areas prone to rough seas or storms. Cruise lines take weather very seriously and have procedures in place to monitor and respond to changing weather conditions. The ship’s captain and crew continuously monitor the weather forecast.
If you are someone who is not ready for such weather, then this might be a scary experience for you. It is better to stay in your cabin if the weather has gotten really tough, but you don’t have to feel scared as the cruise ships are designed to be stable and can withstand rough seas.
The Weather Isn’t Always Perfect
The weather on a cruise ship isn’t always perfect. While cruise ships often sail in areas with pleasant weather conditions, such as the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, they can also encounter rough weather, especially during certain times of the year. These weather conditions can impact the ship’s itinerary, causing delays or changes in port stops.
It is important for passengers to be prepared for a range of weather conditions by bringing appropriate clothing and gear, such as rain jackets, umbrellas, and warm layers. By doing so, passengers can still enjoy their time on board and onshore, regardless of the weather.
The Beaches The Cruise Ship Stops At Are Crowded And Not Very Relaxing
The beaches that cruise ships stop at can be crowded, especially during peak travel seasons. However, it’s also true that many passengers choose to disembark and spend their time on the beach, which can leave the ship less crowded and a good opportunity to enjoy the onboard activities.
By staying onboard during a port stop, passengers can take advantage of the ship’s amenities and avoid the crowds at the beach. This can be a great opportunity to relax or participate in onboard activities that may not be available when the ship is at sea.
Seasickness Happens To A lot Of Passengers
Seasickness is a common issue that many passengers experience on cruise ships. Seasickness is caused by the motion of the ship, which can cause a sense of imbalance in the inner ear, leading to symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and vomiting.
It’s important to note that not everyone experiences seasickness, and there are measures that can be taken to prevent or alleviate the symptoms. For example, many modern cruise ships are equipped with stabilizers that reduce the amount of motion felt by passengers. Additionally, there are medications available to prevent or alleviate seasickness.
The Captain Is A Busy Person, And You Might Not Be Able To Meet Him
The captain of a cruise ship is a busy person with many responsibilities, and it may not be possible for all passengers to meet him. The captain is responsible for the overall operation and safety of the ship, and as such, he is often busy with navigation and communication with the crew and other ships.
Some cruise lines may offer opportunities for passengers to meet the captain or attend a captain’s reception or event during the cruise. This can be a great opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the ship and its operations. The passengers can be assured that the captain is working to ensure the safety of all passengers throughout the cruise.
The Lower Decks Can Sometimes Get Flooded With Water, But There Is Nothing To Worry About
The lower decks of the cruise ship can sometimes get flooded with water. This usually happens when the cruise is going through rough waters. However, there is nothing to worry about, as this is a common occurrence. Once the boat has passed rough waters, the water can be drained out of the cabins.
Cruise ships are designed with a number of safety features, including watertight compartments and advanced flood detection systems, which can quickly detect and isolate any flooding that may occur. The crew is also trained to respond to any flooding emergency, and there are procedures in place to evacuate passengers to designated safe areas if necessary.
The First Day Is Spent Doing Emergency Drills
The first day of a cruise is typically spent doing mandatory emergency drills, which are designed to familiarize passengers with safety procedures and equipment in the unlikely event of an emergency. The exact timing and format of the drills may vary depending on the cruise line and ship, but typically all passengers are required to participate.
The drills can include a safety briefing that explains important safety procedures and emergency protocols, as well as a demonstration of how to properly use life jackets and other safety equipment. Passengers will also be instructed on where to assemble in the event of an emergency and may be given additional information on how to evacuate the ship in case of an emergency.
Cruise Ships Charge For Wi-Fi, But It’s Better To Enjoy The Cruise Without Your Cellphone
Most cruise ships charge for Wi-Fi usage, and the cost can vary depending on the cruise line and the package selected. However, whether or not to use Wi-Fi on a cruise ship is a personal decision that depends on individual preferences. Disconnecting from technology and enjoying a break from constant connectivity can be a great way to relax and unwind during a cruise.
Some passengers may choose to disconnect completely and enjoy the cruise without their cell phone or internet access, while others may want to stay connected to their friends, family, or work while on vacation. For those who do choose to use Wi-Fi on the ship, it’s important to be aware of the costs and limitations of the service.
Flu and Other Viruses Can Spread Out Quickly On A Cruise
The close quarters and the high number of people on a cruise ship can make it easier for illnesses like the flu and other viruses to spread quickly. Cruise ships are like small floating communities, with thousands of passengers and crew members living and interacting in a confined space for an extended period of time.
This close proximity can facilitate the spread of germs, especially in common areas like dining rooms, swimming pools, and fitness centers. To prevent the spread of illness, cruise ships typically have strict sanitation procedures in place. Passengers are also encouraged to practice good hygiene, such as washing their hands regularly and avoiding close contact with others who may be sick.
Like Boarding, The Disembarking Can Be A Big Hassle As Well
Disembarking from a cruise ship can be a hassle, particularly on large ships with thousands of passengers. It’s important to follow the disembarkation instructions provided by the cruise line and to be patient and understanding of any delays or inconveniences. Many cruise lines also offer luggage-handling services to ease the disembarking process.
Disembarkation typically takes place early in the morning on the last day of the cruise, and passengers are usually given a specific time and location to disembark. The process can involve long lines, luggage handling, and customs procedures, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.
Be Punctual, Or The Boat Will Leave You
It is definitely important to be punctual when boarding a cruise ship because they operate on strict schedules and are not likely to wait for passengers who are late. Even if you disembarked on a stop during the cruise, you have to get back on time; otherwise, the cruise will move forward without you.
It’s recommended that passengers arrive at the port at least two hours before the ship is scheduled to depart. This allows enough time for check-in procedures, security screening, and boarding the ship. If a passenger arrives late and the ship has already left the port, it can be very difficult to catch up with the ship at the next port.
Keep Your Valuables In The Safe, And Don’t Trust Other Passengers Or Even The Crew
It is generally recommended to keep your valuables in the safe provided in your cabin when you are not using them. This is a common safety measure on cruise ships, as it can help prevent theft or loss of valuable items. It’s always a good idea to use common sense and exercise caution when traveling.
While it’s important to take precautions to protect your belongings, it’s also important to note that incidents of theft on cruise ships are relatively rare. Cruise lines take security very seriously and have a number of measures in place to ensure the safety of their passengers and crew.
Off Boat Excursions Can Be Very Expensive
The off-boat excursions can be quite expensive when taking a cruise. They can cost hundreds of dollars per person. Excursions typically include activities such as sightseeing, water sports, cultural experiences, snorkeling, and more. These activities can be a lot of fun, but it’s best to check your wallet before you move ahead with booking any of these excursions.
The cost of these excursions can vary widely, depending on the destination, the activity, and the level of exclusivity. Excursions to popular tourist destinations may be more expensive, while those that are less well-known may be more affordable. You can save money by only booking a limited number of excursions rather than trying to go on all excursions arranged by the cruise lines.
The Places You Visit During Your Cruise Don’t Have Good Souvenirs
Many cruise destinations offer unique and authentic souvenirs that can be hard to find elsewhere, but in general, some of the items you find on the cruise stops are simple and so generic that they can be found anywhere in the world.
If you are looking to bring back souvenirs for your friends or family, then it is best to let them know firsthand that you might not be able to get them anything unique. Otherwise, they might not be too happy with the generic T-Shirt you get from one of your cruise stops.