I’m going to start this right off the bat by saying this is an opinion piece. I got the idea from this article on the Active Times. My subheadings in this article are going to follow the same structure as that article. And I’m going to give you my opinion why the Active Times points are unjustified.
Too Many People
Active Times claims that larger cruise ships have upwards of 3,000 people. As such, booking a room close to the elevators or stairwells means it will be very difficult to get enough sleep. They also assert that the number of people means obtaining food and getting on and off the ship “can definitely put a damper on things”.
Keepin’ It Real #1
First – and this is going to sound like I’m shooting myself in the foot, but I assure you, I’m not – modern large cruise ships have upwards of 6,000 passengers. I cruised on the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas. That ship carries 5,479 passengers.
That is a lot of people. The implication is that all 5,000+ are going to be hitting the buffet at the same time. On the Harmony of the Seas, there are 15 restaurants including the main dining rooms. The likelihood of everyone hitting all those restaurants at the same time is low. That includes breakfast and lunch.
Remember, these ships know how many people will be traveling with them. They’re prepared for the volume. The main dining rooms, in particular, are massive with abundant seating. The buffet will have a line. But let’s be real; how many buffets have you been to anywhere that didn’t have a line? Ever been to the big buffets in Las Vegas? Disneyworld or Disneyland? Universal Studios? The point is, if you go to the buffet, you won’t be standing in line for 30 minutes or even 5 minutes waiting for a station at the buffet.
As far as getting sleep, it is true that a stateroom near an elevator or stairs will hear more noise than one further away. The Active Times post wants you to think that all 5,000 people are going to be flooding past your room after a show lets out. The reality is that the elevators are not right next to your stateroom. You have to go down a short hallway and around the corner to get to them. Plus, the number of people heading to their stateroom after exiting the elevator at any given time you can count on one hand.
And think about this: If the Active Times’ argument about noise at elevators was really valid, you’d never travel anywhere, cruise or otherwise. How many times have you stayed in a hotel and heard people in the hallway? If your room was near the elevator, you heard the people getting off. We won’t even talk about getting stuck in a room next to the ice maker.
Does the fact that you’ll hear people getting off the elevator mean you don’t go to an all-inclusive resort at an island where people will be drinking heavily, getting off the elevator and going to their room? Or for that matter, do you not travel simply because you might not get sleep in the hotel room and hence not enjoy your activities the next day as a result?
So this first one is bogus and plays on fear of crowds to make their argument.
Let’s stay onboard the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas. There is a potential for seasickness on any cruise ship. This can happen if the ship encounters rough seas. Particularly during hurricane season does the potential for this exist. Is this a valid argument for not going on a cruise?
Keepin’ It Real #2
Large cruise ships like Harmony of the Seas have stabilizers that compensate for the ebb and flow of the ship. And these large cruise ships are so massive; you honestly won’t feel anything as they flow across the seas. It truly feels like you’re on land.
Now, when rough seas are encountered, you may feel some symptoms of seasickness. But there are ways to combat it. To assume that cruising is bad because you’re guaranteed to get sick is simply not true.
Another thing to keep in mind is that modern cruise ships have weather equipment and radar that makes your local weather person jealous. It’s not good for business for cruise lines to have their passengers getting sick because of rough seas. Captains use this sophisticated equipment to avoid bad weather. The cruise line wants people out by the pool, going back and forth getting drinks. Rough seas mean low revenue. That’s the last thing a cruise line wants to happen.
In view of this, the likelihood of getting sick on a modern cruise ship is not like it was back in the day. The sheer size of the ship coupled with stabilizers means the fear of getting seasick isn’t a reason to avoid cruising.
Too Much Sun
(Eyeroll) The only reason I’m even talking about this is because that article actually used this as a reason not to cruise. I’m not even going to bother paraphrasing what they said. I’ll let them speak for themselves:
“Too much sun can not only increase risk of cancer, but it also can cause heat stroke, cataracts, dizziness, fatigue and skin blisters or burns. Research has also found that those consuming alcohol while at the beach suffer more skin damage than those who don’t drink, and a cruise is exactly the kind of atmosphere in which you’d be enjoying a drink while under the sun.”
So, the argument is by taking a cruise, you’ll get “heatstroke, cataracts, dizziness, fatigue and skin blisters or burns”. And because the cruise line encourages the drinking of alcohol at the pool, you’ll “suffer more skin damage than those who don’t drink”.
Keepin’ It Real #3
Ok. So because a cruise creates the perfect environment for all those health concerns from being in the sun and drinking alcohol, the writer says that’s a reason you shouldn’t cruise.
So while you’re at it, don’t go to the beach in Miami, Myrtle Beach, Clearwater Beach, FL, anywhere in Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the French Riviera, any beach in California, Puerto Rico, Jamacia, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, Jamacia….
Did I miss any? I know I did. Because that is probably the absolute dumbest reason I have ever heard to avoiding cruising.
At first glance, this one might seem valid. With so much food being prepared for so many people, the possibility of getting sick from food on a ship does exist. That article referenced an incident on the Royal Caribbean ship Ovation of the Seas where 195 passengers suffered the effects of food poisoning. Five individuals needed to be hospitalized.
Keepin’ It Real #4
If being worried about food poising is a concern, then I have to assume that that person doesn’t eat at any restaurant, doesn’t order Chinese takeout, avoids McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and any other fast-food establishment.
Before I took my first flight on a plane, I was terrified about the plane falling out of the sky. Sensational news reports about high profile crashes made me afraid to fly. Then a friend reasoned with me like this:
“Do you drive every day?”
“Of course,” I answered.
“Aren’t you afraid of getting into a crash?”
“Why not? Every morning there’s a crash during the morning rush on the same interstate you drive every day.”
Then he hit me with this kidney punch:
“Thousands of planes fly every day all over the world. How many plane crashes do you hear about on a daily basis? There are more car crashes in one day in one city than plane crashes around the world in an entire year.”
That same line of reasoning applies to food poisoning on a cruise. Think about how many cruise lines there are around the world, the number of ships in each fleet and how many times a year you hear about food poisoning incidents. Just like the fear of flying, there’s no basis for excessive concern about getting sick on a cruise.
Oh, and one more thing. I don’t want to minimize the illness of those who got sick. But the 195 that did experience problems are being used as the argument as to why you shouldn’t cruise.
What they conveniently omitted was that the Ovation of the Seas holds 4,905 passengers. So 4% of the passengers on that ship got sick. How many restaurants are in your area? If food poisoning was reported at one, would you stop going to all of them? Of course not.
Fear is a powerful motivator. That’s because fear is always rooted in misinformation.
Whoever wrote the article in the Active Times obviously hasn’t been on a cruise. Once again, this is so ridiculous that I’m going to let them speak for themselves:
“Cruise ships often offer some of the unhealthiest foods to their guests. From burgers and fries to doughnuts, cakes and entire buffets, you’re very likely to overeat. With all kinds of drinks and cocktails on board, you’ll also be likely to imbibe plenty of harmful alcohol.”
Keepin’ It Real #5
The implication of that statement is that the only food options on a ship are burgers, fries, doughnuts, and cakes. And they include buffets as the place you’re guaranteed to overeat.
Let’s deal with the first issue. What you choose to put in your mouth is your business. Nobody fires up the grill on a holiday just to roast vegetables. How much of what you eat and drink is also your business. No one wants what is within their right to be legislated by someone with no authority in their decision making. So to vilify a cruise ship for offering burgers, fries and cakes is ludicrous.
Even more than that, someone unfamiliar with cruising will assume that there are no healthy options available on a cruise ship. Since we’ve been talking about Royal Caribbean ships, let’s stay with them.
Here are some recommendations from RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com to staying healthy on a Royal Caribbean Cruise:
- Eat at Tutti Salad Bar – Available in the main dining room for lunch on sea days, you can get salads loaded with healthy options. I’ve eaten here myself when sailing aboard Harmony of the Seas. And it is truly one of the best salad bars you’ll eat at on land or at sea.
- Windjammer Buffet – The very place that they warn will send you to the infirmary is the same place to find the most healthy options on the ship.
- Off-menu Items – When in the main dining room, you don’t have to only get what’s on the menu. Ask your server for a healthy option. If you have specific dietary needs, work with your cruise agent to notify the cruise line so they can accommodate you during your voyage.
Once again, the article warning how bad and dangerous it is to cruise strikes again.
This time they use famous cruise ship crashes in history to fan the fear. First on the list is the Titanic, of course. They mention that 16 cruise ships have sunk between 1980 and 2012.
Keepin’ It Real #6
Can you see how things are going here? The deeper they go into why cruising is a bad idea, the more they show just how ignorant they are of the industry.
First, their article was written in April 2019. They list 16 disasters in 32 years. And none of them occurred during the last 7 years. So using their own data, with the potential perils on the high seas, cruising is one of the safest ways to travel to vacation destinations.
And just like I reasoned about the frequency of plane crashes, cruise ship disasters are rarer than passenger vehicle crashes. But you probably drove a few places already this week, not worrying about what “could” happen.
Crime is listed as the 7th reason why “you should never take a cruise”.
Keepin’ It Real #7
It’s true; reporting of crime on cruise ships does need some work. There have been some high profile incidents about crimes that have happened just this year. Many of those cases involved being intoxicated and not following basic common sense. That isn’t to say that some crimes have happened even when precautions were taken.
Yet once again, the question has to be asked: If people should avoid cruising because all those passengers create the possibility of being a victim of crime, then those individuals should avoid concerts, festivals, amusement parks, public transportation, and sporting events. Because there are just as many people or more at those venues. And crime always happens at those places.
Tune In Next Time…
If you thought today’s list was crazy, check back tomorrow when I’ll finish the outrageous reasons given to avoid cruising.