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Top Questions to Ask Before a Cruise

Cruising can be a pleasurable experience. Here are the top questions asked for the ones interested.

Are cruises all-inclusive?

Your cruise fare includes a lot but you’ll pay extra for a whole host of amenities. Alternative restaurants, some coffee and ice cream bars, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, shore excursions, spa treatments and gratuities. The luxury lines include more, but even they are never completely all-inclusive.

Will I get sick or seasick?

Norovirus is a stomach bug that spreads easily in contained environments, you can stay healthy by washing your hands often and using the hand sanitizer lotion found in dining areas and by the ship’s gangway.
As for seasickness, most ships are so big and well-stabilized that you can hardly tell you’re moving, especially in the calm waters of the Caribbean and Alaska’s Inside Passage.

Is cruising safe?

Ships must follow an extraordinary number of rules and regulations in place to protect passengers’ (and crewmembers’) safety while onboard. The Coast Guard conducts rigorous, quarterly inspections of all ships that operate from U.S. ports, looking to make sure they comply with emergency-response requirements. Ships also operate under international rules, known as Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Don’t open your cabin door without verifying who’s there, and give children strict rules about when they can and cannot roam the ship without adult supervision.

Will I be bored? 

You can listen to guest speakers, participate in Bridge tournaments or attend wine lectures. To get your heart pumping, play some hoops, or visit the ship’s gym. There are pools for soaking and swimming, boutiques for shopping and spas for pampering. You can participate in contests, do crafts, watch movies, or simply grab a book and get a tan.

Even on small ships, there’s plenty to do during times when the vessels are at sea; most notably, these cruises tend to offer strong enrichment-oriented activities. Plus, remember you’re not on the ship all the time — most itineraries include a variety of different ports of call.

Won’t I get fat?

For those watching calories, be assured there will be low-fat (and often low-carb) options on the menus and some healthy choices at the buffets. Certain ships actually have onboard spa cafes. You can also work out in the ship’s gym, speed-walking or jogging around the various decks (or ditching elevators in favor of stairs), and mountain-biking, hiking and kayaking in port. Some ships have basketball courts, rock-climbing walls and rollerblading rinks for more onboard athletics.

Can I stay in touch?

On most ships, you’ll get CNN or some other cable news network on your in-room TV. A daily news sheet may also be available, combining wire reports with stories from major newspapers. You can make phone calls from the phone in your cabin and from your cell phone, as well. Most ships have Internet centers and shipboard WiFi, so you can read e-mail and surf the Web.

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