We have members of our family (they shall remain nameless, in the interests of harmony) who would not go on a cruise unless it was free, and even then it would likely be kicking and screaming. They have probably been influenced as much by the "common perceptions" of cruising that can be heard anywhere, but most often on TV.
Recently, Bloomberg Businessweek identified seven such remarks from conversations involving non-cruisers. In some cases, these are "common misconceptions" — but we'll let you (and them) be the judges…
1. The ships are too crowded, with long lines everywhere.
This is not true, although judging something as being too anything is always going to be subjective. We've never been on a ship "too crowded" and while we have been in lines — primarily embarking or disembarking — these are the exceptions not the rules, and cruise lines go out of their way to try making it seamless.
2. Cruises are full of morbidly obese people.
While we are not "morbidly" or even mildly obese, we disagree. There are overweight people everywhere, and probably a higher percentage on cruise ships. But to say ships are full of such passengers is a morbidly gross over-reaction.
3. Do we really need more buffets in the world?
We agree 100 per cent…okay, at least 90. But supply and demand dictates this, and obviously there is a demand.
4. Cruise ships are floating cesspools and pollute the environment.
This is a belief borne of ignorance. But that belief, along with growing environmental responsibility, has resulted in cruise ships that are increasingly sensitive to being custodians of the oceans that are their homes. Go on a ship's tour and see for yourself all of the ways (too many to list here) that this industry has gotten into line. If ships were "floating cesspools" cruising would be dying, and it's not.
5. Cruises are for old people.
There is some validity in this, yet cruise lines are constantly being built to attract families. How many "old people" zip-line or shoot down water coasters or climb rock walls? Having said that, with an estimated 22 million people on cruise ships, it's a fair assumption that the majority of passengers with both the resources and the time are retirees.
6. Cruises are full of obnoxious teenagers.
Well, if cruises for for old people, who let the teenagers on the ship? It's true that teenagers can be obnoxious but that doesn't mean all of them are. Frankly, we've seen more obnoxious grandparents than teenagers on cruise ships.
7. Who wants to be stuck on a boat for a week?
This is highly subjective. We all have different tastes, different pleasures. Our answer would be: Who doesn't?