When it comes to taking a vacation, there is a lot to like about cruising. It’s simple, affordable, and you don’t have to deal with the hassles of flying. Just buy a ticket and nearly everything you could want is included in your vacation.
Maybe that’s why so many people get “addicted” to cruising and take trip after trip after trip.
But we’re not blind enough to a love of cruising to think it’s perfect. There is plenty to love, but there are also some things that can be major reasons to dislike taking a cruise. In our experience, these things also seem to resonate with those who have never even taken a cruise before — becoming reasons why they refuse to get on a ship, even if you begged them to take a trip.
What follows are big complaints either we’ve personally had or heard others complain about. Fix these issues and cruising will go a long way toward being the perfect vacation.
If you’ve never been on a cruise, then you may be worried about seasickness. The honest truth is that yes, you can feel the waves, but it’s likely less than you think. If a storm passes through or the waves are pretty big, you’ll feel the ship rock. But on most days, the ship is absolutely smooth. Still, for those that suffer with seasickness, even a little bit of motion can ruin their trip and make a fun holiday a nightmare.
Busy Port Days
If you’ve been on the ship for a couple of days sailing to your next port of call, then getting off and going to explore is a welcome change. However, with cruising more popular than ever, that means ports are busier than ever. It’s not uncommon for multiple ships to be in port at the same time, leading to literally tens of thousands of visitors in port all at once. That many people can lead to crowded, hectic ports that turn off many people.
If cruise passengers see busy ports as a nuisance, those who rely on the tourism industry see it as an opportunity. To put in bluntly, vendors — who sell everything from alcohol to small trinkets — depend on the cruise passengers to feed their families. And while it’s rare to experience aggressive behavior, there’s no doubt that you might have to say “No” multiple times before some vendors decide to move on to someone else. If you’re looking for a relaxing time, this can be exhausting.
Too Little Time in Port
One of the reasons that some vendors can be pushy? They know there is only a limited time that the ship is in port. Most ships arrive around 8 or 9 in the morning and stick around until 4 or 5 in the afternoon. So you might get eight hours to explore a port. That’s not much time to really get to experience a port before you have to get back on the ship. To be fair, many cruise lines are featuring longer stays in some ports, especially those that travel to Cuba. It’s a trend that will make many passengers happier.
Constant Bad News
Maybe it’s a norovirus outbreak, a ship getting caught in a storm, a broken pipe flooding a ship, or a mechanical breakdown. No matter what it is, news outlets seem to love reporting on cruise line mishaps. And with so many ships running constantly, there are bound to be accidents that occur somewhere. The result is a seemingly steady stream of bad news that turns many potential cruisers off of taking a trip.
Lack of Included Food Options
What’s your favorite restaurant? Could you eat there for every meal — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — for a week straight? Of course not. Even the best food gets old when you eat it all the time.
That’s why having a number of different options on a cruise, instead of just the dining room and the buffet, is important to enjoying your dining. Instead, however, it seems like many cruise lines are moving toward charging extra for other restaurants. This leaves many passengers with a choice of eating the same food again and again or having to pony up extra in order to eat somewhere different.
Getting a Drink of Water
Ok, maybe this isn’t huge complaint, but it can be an annoyance. Say it’s the middle of the day and you just want a drink of water. You don’t have many options. You can get it out of the tap in the bathroom, but that’s a little weird. Instead, you have to go find an open restaurant to get a free glass of water (which can be a 15-minute round trip depending on where you are) or pay for a bottle of water at the bar. It would be much easier if there was simply some water fountains on the ship that let you get a drink and/or fill up a water bottle.
Put 4,000 people on a ship together and there are bound to be some touchy moments. Whether it is something small like being a “chair hog” (a person who puts a towel down to reserve a prime seating spot but then leaves the chair empty) or something bigger like being rude to another passenger, there’s no doubt that disagreements can happen between passengers. They are usually minor quibbles, but if you’re trying to have a perfect vacation, a rude or inconsiderate passenger can make your time less fun.
What’s your biggest complaint about cruising? Let us know in the comments below.