To Cruise, or Not To Cruise…

January 31, 2018

In full disclosure, we’ve never been on a cruise. We’ve been on many a boat and ferry ride, but no cruises. It’s not for lack of opportunity, but entirely for lack of interest. There are several reasons we haven’t been interested in cruises, whether our perceptions are fair or not.

  • The cruise ship scene: The biggest reason we haven’t cruised is that we are not really the type of travelers that get excited about spending our vacations in fancy lodging with pools and restaurants and night clubs. We don’t go dancing and partying…not out of moral opposition, it’s just not our jam. We like to be out and about exploring at our destinations, grabbing something quick and edible to eat when we’re hungry, but we don’t generally make an experience of our meals. We stay in clean, middle-of-the-road vacation rentals and hotels. With cruises, it seems to us like the land destinations are very much secondary to one’s experience on the ship. Our priorities just don’t line up with that reality.
  • The humanity: The next biggest reason we haven’t gone on a cruise is that we do not like crowds. In fact, we try to avoid them at all costs. We knew that going to Yosemite in June was going to stretch the limits of our tolerance for our fellow humans, but unfortunately it was the only time that year we could make it work. And the crowds almost ruined the experience for us. Cruises do not seem like the best travel option for people looking to avoid the masses.
  • Motion sickness: I’m very prone to it. Yes, I know there are Sea Bands and other miracle cures, and that the movement on large ships is minimal. Still, I hesitate to shell out my limited travel resources (time and money) for the possibility of being sick for my whole vacation.
  • Contagious viruses: I know that the actual number of viral outbreaks on cruise ships is a pretty small percentage of the number of cruises taken. And generally I’m not a germ-o-phobe. Maybe it’s the public health professional in me, but I’ll pass on the norovirus.


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Many people I love and respect swear that cruises are a fantastic way to travel. And given the number of cruise opportunities out there, it is clear that they are appealing to a pretty large segment of travelers. They just don’t call to us.

I’ll never say never, but so far we’ve only come up with a few scenarios where we might someday relent on our cruise moratorium, none of which we are actively exploring at the moment.

  • As a means to an end: For example, we really want to get to all seven continents. My husband and I have three left to visit, one of which is Antarctica. It seems that a cruise might be the best way to get there.
  • As part of a larger exploration of a place: For example, we’ve heard that Alaskan cruises are pretty spectacular. My husband wants to drive to Alaska someday and then explore the state in his Jeep. But we might consider taking a cruise as part of our larger visit, to see the area from another perspective.
  • Caving to family peer pressure: An actual example…we’ve had family members strongly suggest that we should take a family cruise together. So far we’ve held them off, but someday we may cave.

Until then, this landlubber family will stick to road trips, train trips, occasional flights and boat excursions, and exploring the world on foot. If we change our minds, I’ll certainly let you know. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Why we choose not to cruise

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  • Reply
    October 1, 2018 at 7:19 am

    For large family vacations, it’s ideal. You can meet for dinner and then do your own thing ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s easy to separate and meet up with everyone later.

    It’s also an easy way to see a little bit of a lot of different places; determine if you want to go back there for a longer visit. I thought I would love Norway, and it was beautiful, but I know that I don’t need to go back to Oslo, instead I’d invest time in Copenhagen.

    We have been on the Oasis- a mega ship and it really never felt very crowded (we did cruise off season, so there wasn’t a ton of kids) in fact you see the same people over and over ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      October 1, 2018 at 9:00 am

      Ha! I can definitely see that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Steve Teget
    March 1, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Full disclosure: We LOVE cruising for many reasons I can discuss at great length. That said, you seem to know what you like, and that’s wonderful.

    You mentioned you’d consider an Alaskan cruise someday. Many places (like Juneau) in Alaska are not accessible by road, so your options to get there include by sea or by air. An Alaskan cruise is great, because much of the cruise is spent in the inside passage–meaning there just aren’t any waves big enough to make the ship rock.

    Great blog! Keep it up!

    • Reply
      March 1, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      Thanks for the comments, Steve. I totally get why people would love cruises. And you’re right, for whatever reason cruising just doesn’t feel right for us in many circumstances. But if/when we do end up on one, I’ll be sure to check in with your and Ann’s sage advice! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Alexandra Wrigley
    March 31, 2019 at 4:39 am

    I can relate to this post. I myself, have never been on a cruise and undecided if I will ever attend one. Mainly because I like to see a country in full authenticity. I don’t want to be eating at fine restaurants on a ship. I like to travel off the beaten path and not be confound to certain parameters…

    • Reply
      March 31, 2019 at 8:07 am

      Agreed. This is a lot of the reason we don’t cruise. We’re less about the meals and accommodations and more about exploring the places. On cruises the exploration seems like kind of an afterthought.

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