Let’s Bust Some Myths About Cruise Planning

Melinda Crow
Nov 22, 2019 · 5 min read

Frequent cruisers and travel agents mean well when they give you advice about when, where, and how to cruise, but they aren’t always right

It seems that everybody has an opinion about cabin choices, itineraries, and ship choice. They love cruising and want you to have the best possible experience too. How bad it can really be if you ignore all of those well-intentioned opinions? My crazy travel life has caused me to ignore the most trusted cruise wisdom. I often cruise in the wrong cabin, during the wrong season. Here’s how that’s worked out for me in terms of the cruise myths you are likely to hear.

Myth #1: Always get a cabin in the center of the ship

Busted:

Personally, I find the worst place on a ship in rough seas is on the upper decks near the bow (the front). Everywhere else is usually comfortable.

Myth # 2: Don’t cruise the Caribbean during hurricane season

Busted:

The experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would say that it’s a bad month because it is the peak hurricane month, with an average of 2.4 hurricanes occurring each September over the last 162 years.

The key to remember is that ships have plenty of advance warning and are almost always capable of moving out of the way. They change itineraries frequently for bad weather of all kinds.

The real advice isn’t to avoid cruising during hurricane season but to have a relaxed attitude about the possible port or schedule changes, including delayed departure or arrival times.

Myth #3: Cruise on the biggest ship you can find

Busted:

Luxury lines know that to give people the pampering they crave and a travel experience that is more about the destinations than the onboard activities, you’ve got to go small. My family’s favorite cruise of all time was on board a tiny Celebrity ship named Zenith. The ship is long gone now, replaced by bigger and grander choices, but fond memories of sailing on her are still a frequent topic of conversation in my family.

Myth #4: Book your cruise a year in advance

Busted:

I turned to cruise specialists at Vacations To Go for some rate comparisons. On average, starting prices for Alaskan cruises are about equal between last minute and one year in advance.

Myth #5: Always arrive in port the night before you sail

Busted:

I must say that I prefer arriving the night before. The downside is needing to check out of the hotel by 11 am and often not being allowed on the ship until early afternoon. But where the myth really gets busted is in the cost. Add up the cost of a night in a hotel, possibly a rental car if no hotel shuttle is available, and possibly an additional night’s parking if you are driving to the port. If those extras break your cruise budget, then do what you can to arrive early on the day of departure and say bon voyage to the naysayers.

Myth #6: Stick to one cruise line to earn loyalty points

Busted:

The best advice I have is to try a few different cruise lines before you settle into one and to never rule out a good deal going where you want to go, just because it’s not on ‘your’ cruise line.

Melinda Crow has been writing about travel for 30+ years, long before there were “digital nomads” and “influencers.” And while at any given moment, she would rather be on a cruise ship anywhere in the world, she lives in Central Texas (yes, near Waco, and no, she does not know Chip and Joanna Gaines) with her award-winning photographer husband, Gary, 12 peacocks, two horses and one lazy cat. She is the author of Camping Colorado and Camping New Mexico by FalconGuides and blogs at FirstRead.Me and here on Medium.

#TravelTruth

Encouraging you to get the heck off of social media and go…

Melinda Crow

Written by

8x NATJA prize winner; #TBINchat host; pericarditis patient. Found on: Newsweek, Cruise Critic, MSN Travel. Writer’s Toolkit https://melindacrow.substack.com/

#TravelTruth

Encouraging you to get the heck off of social media and go experience the world.

Melinda Crow

Written by

8x NATJA prize winner; #TBINchat host; pericarditis patient. Found on: Newsweek, Cruise Critic, MSN Travel. Writer’s Toolkit https://melindacrow.substack.com/

#TravelTruth

Encouraging you to get the heck off of social media and go experience the world.

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