According to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the number of passengers booking reservations should top 21 million people during 2014. The figure represents a three-fold increase in cruise line passengers since 2000. Cruise vacations remain a popular vacation option for a wide range of demographic segments. From retirees enjoying their golden years to honeymooners basking in a romantic ambiance, cruise lines have become a wildly popular way to get away from it all.
For passengers who embark on their first cruises, you have a list of important questions to ask before you make reservations. Even cruise veterans should review the most frequently asked cruise questions.
Are Cruise Vacations Expensive?
Many first time cruisers get sticker chock when they see how much a cruise package costs. However, remember that cruise reservations typically include all meals in the main dining area, onboard activities, evening entertainment, and most important, accommodations. If you priced each of the features of a cruise separately, you would have a cruise fare that far exceeds what cruise lines charge in bundled packages. Some cruise lines create all-inclusive cruise packages that include drinks, gratuities, and even air fare to reach the cruise destination.
How Do I Choose a Cruise Ship?
Most of the primary players in the cruise line industry offer guests a wide variety of ship options. Major cruise lines, such as Carnival and Princess, offer large ships that accommodate families and large groups. You can expect to find intimate settings aboard luxury and premium cruise lines. Moreover, cruise lines operate ships that provide different amenities. Premium cruise ships provide more upscale amenities than the amenities provided by luxury and major cruise line ships. How do I choose a cruise ship is one of the most important frequently asked cruise questions.
How Do I Prevent Sea Sickness?
Even the stoutest passengers experience sea sickness during trips across roiling stretches of water. Sea sickness can turn a pleasant cruise into a multiple day nightmare. Although most cruise lines construct stabilized ships, churning water can move cruise ships back and forth enough to produce that unwelcome queasy feeling in the stomach. Over the counter medicine such as Bonine and Dramamine mitigate sea sickness symptoms, as well as the Transderm patch that doctors prescribe for passengers who suffer acute sea sickness symptoms.
How Safe are Cruises?
Cruise lines must strictly adhere to myriad government rules and regulations that ensure passenger safety. From closely monitored food safety regulations to frequent mechanical inspections, most passengers never have to worry about personal safety. Cruise ships operate under the international jurisdiction of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The international rules encompass a wide range of ship operations that include maritime security and fire prevention measures. One of the common safety measures implemented under SOLA involves mandatory safety drills performed within the first 24 hours of every cruise.
What Happens Onshore?
Cruise lines do an excellent job of highlighting scheduled onboard events. From dining room hours to the nightly entertainment lineup, passengers plan their onboard cruise events. However, onshore activities take on more of a free flowing form. Some cruise lines treat onshore schedules in the same manner that they organize onboard activities. Other cruise lines leave port destination schedules completely up to the passengers. First time cruisers should consider reserving a cruise with a line that organizes onshore activities.
The answers to frequently asked cruise questions provide you with peace of mind before you embark on your next cruise. Every major, luxury, and premium cruises line has a FAQ section on their websites that answer the most frequently asked cruise questions.