What you thought you knew about cruising overturned.When we travel, we experience the unfamiliar, dust away ‘the ordinary’ from our lives and shake off preconceptions we’ve gathered along the way. Yet, when it comes to cruises, many of us cling to preconceptions. However, today’s cruise ships are filled with unusual quirks, ready for every kind of modern adventurer. So we’re here to take you on a journey across the seven seas.
Cruises are for ‘oldies’ and are just plain old-fashioned
If you still believe this, chances are you’re not as with the times as you might like to think. Many cruise liners are trading in feather-flapping cabarets and dinners at the captain’s table for rock climbing, assault courses and simulation surfing. In fact, cruises are swiftly becoming hubs of cutting-edge digital innovation. Robot bartenders shake and stir guests’ cocktails aboard select ships; free smartphone apps onboard have become de rigueur; and one liner recently launched a tech-bracelet with more than 130 smart features, including an app enabling you to tailor your cruise every step of the way for a truly 21st-century experience.
Cruises are crowded and ‘touristy’
As the world shrinks, new and unique travel experiences are increasingly harder to come by. Cruise ships are adapting to these demands, creating never-before-seen itineraries that leave the crowds far behind. Trace the forgotten Spice Route, through ancient jungles and along white beaches, past crumbling monasteries and deserted cave temples, backwater fishing villages and local bazaars. Discover Namibia’s German heritage, Benin’s voodoo traditions and Ghana’s dark slavery sites. Visit nomadic communities in Madagascar and venture out to tiny Pacific islands, where some of the world’s most fascinating indigenous cultures can still be found.
It’s boring being stuck at sea
You can align your cruise with your interests perfectly these days. If you’re bored on a cruise it’s because you’ve picked the wrong one. Choose the right cruise and you can finally do all those things you’ve always wanted to as you drift between destinations. Think scuba diving or wine tasting, photography or yoga. Some ships have theme parks, water slides and zip lines, and you can skydive without even going ashore.
Isn’t the food a little dull?
Bland buffets are a thing of the past. Today’s cruises serve up a treat for all the senses. Embark on excursions to local markets, ranches and farms to source fresh ingredients for cooking classes back on board. You can hop aboard a cruise and enjoy world-class menus from famous chefs such as Curtis Stone, gastropub guru Ernesto Uchimura and many more.
I’ll have to get used to seasickness
Unlike that little old sailboat in the marina, cruise ships, large or small, are equipped with specialised stabilisers that take almost all of the motion out of the ocean. Once settled on board, you’re likely to forget you’re even afloat. Booking a cabin in the middle of a deck and lower in the ship, at its natural balance point, can help settle any pre-cruise fears further, despite it being extremely unlikely you will become seasick aboard in the first place. This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.