In yesterday’s article, I tackled the first 7 “reasons” The Active Times gave as justification as to why cruising is a bad choice. If you haven’t read that, here’s the link. Today, I take on the remaining 8 “reasons” using the same format as the previous article.
So let’s get back to it.
- 1 Bed Bugs
- 2 Getting Stuck
- 3 Mechanical Issues
- 4 The Ship Won’t Wait For You
- 5 Expensive Excursions
- 6 No Communication
- 7 Dangerous Passengers
- 8 Flu Outbreaks
- 9 There Is Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself
Once again, the Active Times uses the number of passengers aboard cruise ships to substantiate their argument.
When I make my arguments challenging the Active Times’ viewpoints, I use the subtitle “Keepin’ It Real”. While J’s Dream Travel is a cruise-centric site, we try really hard to stay out of fanboy territory. So when there’s something that we have to acknowledge, we’ll do it.
This one has some merit. Bed bugs have been in the news over the last couple of years. So with close to 6,000 people converging on one ship, the possibility that bed bugs will find their way onto the ship is real. Not to mention, after debarkation of one set of passengers, within a few hours a new batch is making their way onto the ship.
Keepin’ It Real #8
As I said, bed bug presence is a possibility. But just like I said yesterday for a number of their arguments, if this was such a red flag, then no one should spend time in a hotel anywhere. The same people that have bed bugs who board the ship very likely spent the night in a hotel the day before.
So if cruise ships are to be avoided, then don’t stay at a hotel in Disney. Someone with bed bugs who got off a Disney cruise might have stayed in your hotel room. Because, you know, you avoided the cruise because of all those bed bugs.
Once again, I have to keep it real. There have been a number of cruise ships that have had engine problems leaving passengers in tough spots. When the engines fail, so does the electricity and air conditioning. And since most cruises go to warm climates, lack of AC can be a big problem.
Keepin’ It Real #9
It’s easy to find documentation about cruise ships that have experienced engine trouble. But once again, the question has to be asked, Should an entire industry be avoided because a very small percentage of ships have experienced engine problems? Should you stop flying because you heard reports of one airline having engine issues? Which, by the way, is a much, much bigger problem to have than floating on the ocean without power.
This is starting to sound like a James Brown song that’s been sampled by a bunch of people and the only thing they’ve done is change the lyrics. It sounds familiar even though it has a different name. And this is one of them.
Active Times fans the flames of fear by warning that “fires, power outages and other mishaps” are just waiting for you to arrive to ruin your vacation.
Keepin’ It Real #10
There’s not much to say here. I could cut and paste #9 and still make the point. But since I value your time and appreciate that you chose to read this article, I’ll give a thought out answer.
I want you to do a little experiment. Think of a company that got a bad reputation that eventually went out of business. Now ask yourself, If an entire industry had systematic mechanical problems, would the industry still exist?
Fires were also listed among the mechanical issues that the Active Times says should steer you far away from a cruise. Using this as an argument shows that the authors of the piece (who I should point out believe in their piece so much that the author is listed as “The Active Times Staff”) don’t know how seriously cruise lines take fire.
A fire aboard a cruise ship is no laughing matter. It’s so serious that anyone caught flicking cigarette butts overboard will be kicked off the ship with very little arbitration. Even if you try to smoke in your stateroom, you can get kicked off the ship. And not just you, everyone in your stateroom will be disembarked. And it will be up to the person or persons kicked off to find their way back home.
Fire is probably the last thing that could happen on a cruise. If you want to see a fire on a cruise, head to the teppanyaki restaurant on a cruise ship. At least you’ll fill your belly while you watch the flames.
The Ship Won’t Wait For You
In the interest of keeping it real, I’m going to co-sign this one. But only to the extent that I admit it happens. If your flight is delayed getting you to the cruise city, the ship will not wait for you. Once on the ship, if you aren’t back by the all aboard time, you will be left. And it will be up to you to get yourself to the next port or back home.
Keepin’ It Real #11
I love this one because, in every single instance, the fault lies with the person that missed the ship. In fact, I wrote an article about this very subject. It’s a good read, but I’ll give you the highlights here.
Let’s start with not getting to the ship before departure. This happens because the traveler doesn’t believe in Murphy’s Law. And that they’re usually cheap. You see, they don’t want to do what’s recommended if you are coming from longer than a 2-hour drive from the ship.
If you have to catch a plane, there are at least two things that can happen that can cause you to miss your cruise. Either the flight is nonstop and was delayed or there is at least one layover and one of the flights is delayed. Or even worse, canceled.
At J’s Dream Travel, we recommend you arrive to the cruise city at least one day before your ship is scheduled to leave. That demands that you pay for a hotel room. Cheap people don’t want to spend any more than absolutely necessary. And that’s the thing; it’s not *absolutely* necessary to book a room one day before. Assuming everything goes according to plan, it’s a beautiful thing to travel to the ship the same day it leaves. If it doesn’t, you’re watching hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars float away.
If driving from more than 2 hours away, there’s the possibility of traffic problems causing you to miss your cruise. A jackknifed tractor-trailer could cost you hours of travel time. Road closures and unexpected detours can potentially add hours to your ride. If this happens, you might be kissing your cruise goodbye.
Getting Left At the Dock
The other potential reason you might miss your cruise ship is coming back late to the ship. Once again, the root of the problem is trying to spend as little money as possible. In this case, we’re talking about excursions.
There are basically two ways to book excursions. You can go through the cruise line. Or you can book it yourself either before your sailing or when you get off the ship. We recommend booking your excursions through the cruise lines. And it’s not just because we’re cruise agents.
Think about this. You had a great time swimming with the dolphins, playing with monkeys or whatever the excursion was. On the way back, the bus breaks down, gets a flat tire or runs into traffic. Will the cruise ship wait for you?
The answer depends on who you booked your cruise through. Assuming you went through the cruise line, the ship *must* wait for you to get back. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2 hours later; the ship must wait.
Should the same thing happen on an excursion you booked yourself, the ship has absolutely zero responsibility to wait for you. None. You might catch a break if your bus was stuck in the same traffic as the one the cruise line used. But is it worth saving $20 a person to get stranded on an island?
There is another reason you might get left at the dock and it would be totally an innocent mistake.
If you go on a cruise, you need to make sure you know what “ship time” is. Ship time can change depending on what port you arrive in. Basically, the ship syncs its time with the local time of the port. In the daily newsletter, the ship will tell you what time ship time is for that day.
Do not depend on your phone for the time! Most likely you placed your phone in airplane mode to avoid roaming charges. That means your phone is still in the time zone of the port the ship departed from. Same thing goes for your smartwatch.
So if the all-aboard time is 4 PM and your ship is docked in Bermuda, but you go by the time on your phone, you’ll be staring at a port without a ship. You see, Bermuda is in Atlantic time which is an hour ahead of Eastern time. So 4 PM Eastern time is really 3 PM local time. The bottom line is, you just missed your ship.
The way to avoid this is to get a manual watch that allows you to change the time to match ship time.
No matter how you cut it, if a passenger misses the ship, it’s always their fault, not the cruise ship.
Active Times claims that excursions cost anywhere from $100 to $300 per person if purchased through the cruise line. Their recommendation? Book one yourself that is not affiliated with the cruise line.
Keepin’ It Real #12
We literally just deconstructed this one. So let’s hit it from a different angle.
Some cruise lines, such as Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) offer free excursions as part of their freebies. Not to mention, not every excursion is $100 and up. If you want to swim with the dolphins, then yeah, you’re going to pay for that. But there are a lot of excursions that are below $100. Talk to your cruise travel agent to see which one fits your budget.
According to Active Times, they highlight the expensive cost of the wifi package on cruise ships. Along with that, the inability to communicate easily with the outside world.
Keepin’ It Real #13
I’m not going to spend much time on this for one simple reason. You’re on vacation. The whole idea is to disconnect from the outside world. So not having easy access to the outside world is kind of the point. When you get on land you might be able to make calls and texts depending on who your carrier is. If you sail on NCL, free wifi is another perk they offer.
Unless you are a YouTuber, having wifi on the ship probably isn’t a necessity. If you feel the need to have access to wifi, it’s because you need it. And if you need it, the cost won’t be an issue.
Active Times warns that “some passengers may try to sell drugs, while others may pickpocket or attempt to steal from you”.
Keepin’ It Real #14
These people must live in a bubble. And that bubble apparently doesn’t have cruise ships in them.
I have cruised Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Celebrity Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. I have never once had anyone try to sell me drugs. Being alert to pickpockets is a good idea whenever you are in a large crowd.
But here’s where their abject ignorance shines through (I was really trying not to use language like this. But this just proves nobody on the Active Times staff has ever been on a cruise.)
The chances of getting pickpocketed on a cruise ship is virtually zero. All transactions are handled through your room key. Paper money as a form of currency doesn’t exist on a cruise ship. There’s no need to carry a wallet. Most carry their room key around the neck on a lanyard. It relieves you of having to wear clothing with pockets to be picked.
When it comes to the issue of selling drugs, all your bags are screened before being placed on the ship. Each individual also goes through screening just like at the airport. So if someone is going to sell drugs on a cruise ship, they would have to hide them in some – let’s call them “uncomfortable” places.
And to show just how dumb and stupid this unfounded fear is, why would someone sell drugs on a vessel where there’s nowhere to run? And if caught, the supposed drug dealer will be kicked off the ship at the next port and have to get themselves home at their own expense. There’s nowhere to hide that they wouldn’t be found. Not to mention, there are cameras in all public areas. So exactly where would someone sell drugs?
What these charlatans are conflating is when someone offers to pay for a cruise and tells the unsuspecting passenger to pick up a bag and take it with them on the ship. These people almost always get caught. So get scenes from The Wire out of your head. Most people who get busted for drugs are either unsuspecting or is just a mule to get the drugs from A to B. Not sell them to you.
Of all the myths I’ve busted in these two articles, this one proves that all the other ones they offer are based on unfounded fears from cruises they’ve never taken.
We’ve finally gotten to the end of this circus of lies. But there’s one more that needs to be debunked.
There are some incidents where illness does happen on a cruise ship. If you are one of the people that gets sick, it won’t be fun. So, do we finally have a justifiable reason not to cruise?
Keepin’ It Real #15
You already know the answer. But there is a grain of reality here.
When going through check-in, the cruise line will ask if you are sick. You have to sign that you confirm being illness free. People who have spent hundreds of dollars on a vacation do not want to lose money because of an itchy throat. So this can create a situation where the flu could exist on a ship.
One way to avoid getting sick is to use the sanitation stations position at literally every exit and entry on the ship. They’re near elevators and at the doors of every dining establishment. Keep your hands clean and the possibility of getting caught up in a flu outbreak is very low.
There Is Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself
As you can see from these two articles, all the objections The Active Times use are rooted in fear. They clearly have never been on a cruise based on much of their reasoning. There are some valid things you should be aware of when cruising. You can check them out in our Tips By Topic on JsDreamTravel.com.
Don’t be scared off cruising because of people who have never stepped foot on a cruise ship. Schedule an appointment with us to talk about where you’d like to cruise and put your mind at ease for any concerns you have with cruising.
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