There is no denying it: cruise ships are great big things we have to see with our own eyes to appreciate. The even the size of the smallest of cruise ships amaze travelers the first time they see one up close.
Any traveler with at least one sailing in their cruise history knows this. Also a common surprise for first time cruisers: that there are so many different places inside the ship other than a dining room, cabins and a showroom. Surprises like that are not what we are talking about here. These are five less obvious elements of cruise travel that can add or detract from our experience, depending on what we do with them.
The Ship Does Not Park Next To All The Good Stuff
Yes, ships of all sizes take us to amazing places all over the planet and often dock within view of something amazing. We still have to get there. Still, commonly overheard as we arrive in port, just after marveling at the big thing we can see from the ship “How do we get up there?”, usually from someone who booked a tour to it.
The Dress Code Is Really Not That Big Of A Deal
While strict ‘formal’ nights in the dining room are fading away (“We wear suits to work all the time, not on vacation please”) traveler questions about it continue unabated. The most common result of this thought is preoccupation with what you will look like… in front of a boatload of people you will probably never see again.
After God Made Tours He Made A Bus
The two go hand in hand. That big thing on the hill noted above, the reason we booked this itinerary will take a bus ride to get to. Still, travelers are surprised by the amount of time spent on a bus (aka motorcoach) and often complain about it.
Horrible Things Happening In The World Do Not Spell Doom Your Trip
The Turkish port of Istanbul is historically a prime turnaround place for cruise ships for a variety of reasons. There is a lot to see and do, largely because of Istanbul (and Turkey’s) strategic location. By that same token, there has always been trouble there from time to time and probably always will be. History tells us It’s not a matter of if trouble will happen but when. Ultra cautious cruise lines go there when it is safe. If it’s on the itinerary, it is safe to get off the ship.
It Is Really Hard To Do Everything On The Ship
Cruise lines provide a variety of onboard programming; something to do while on the ship. Appealing to a wide variety of interests, the number of activities available can be staggering.
The cruise line does not tell us this but they really don’t have to. We don’t have to look far for a list of what we can do onboard.
Your first-timer best bet on all of the above? First, know the obscure elements that often surprise first timers (like those above) Next, go through your itinerary, plans, dreams and possibilities with that thought in mind. That process reveals a possible surprise ahead…which might not be a bad thing at all.
Chris Owen shares frank, inside information about cruise vacations on ChrisCruises.com