To cruise or not to cruise? The pros and cons of cruise holidays.

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

One month ago I uttered: “To cruise or not to cruise? That is the question.”
At that time, I had never been on a cruise and no intention of going, as my visions of cruise holidays were in conflict with my ideas of fitness and wellness.

However, then a cruise company ad with a low-low-budget-offer lured me into buying a one week cruise in the Mediterranean.

Cruise ship departure travel

Departure night. Setting sails motors. Excitement building.

I gave it a shot, as I thought, it would be a chance to discover, what cruises are actually like. Here are my initial reservations and some research-based conclusions:

1. Cruises are extremely expensive.
No, not all cruises are extremely expensive. Sometimes cruises are offered at an absolute bargain price. Especially if you have the possibility of travelling off-season.

2. Cruises are for seniors only (people with time and money to spare).
According to observations – at this Mediterranean cruise – and to the program of the day with very diverse activities and a ‘Mini & Juniors Club’, ‘Young Club’ and ‘Teens Club’, it is obvious that cruises are for travellers of all ages and singles, couples and families.

3. Cruises are unhealthy; eating all day long and lazing away in deck chairs.
Yes, cruises can be very unhealthy, if you do eat all day and stay in the deck chairs.
However, there are healthy selections at the buffet and if your limit your intake (I didn’t), then you will be fine. Also there are plenty of opportunities for going to shore and move about or onboard fitness workouts, sports activities and lots of dancing.
So it is possible to stay healthy and maintain your weight (I did, against all odds!).

cruise covent garden theatre 2The size of this ship! Inside the theatre, 600 seats, shortly before one of the shows.

Cruise Holiday PRO 

  • Some cruises, e.g. off-season, are bargains (almost all-inclusive travelling).
  • Cruise ships activities are for travellers of all ages and interests.
  • Cruise ships offers special shows and games, a break from everyday life.
  • You get a chance to see several new places in a short span of time.
  • If you like being at sea, you will have a super time.
  • A cruise, relatively slow travelling, can be very relaxing.
  • If you need more PRO’s, go to the cruise ship websites …

Cruise Holiday CON 

  • Some onboard extras are very expensive! Be careful with your ‘cruise card’*.
  • Small extras add up very rapidly! Be very careful with your ‘cruise card’**.
  • If you cannot resist the five course meals at the restaurants, breakfast, lunch and dinner, cruises can prove unhealthy and will ‘unflatten’ your abs!
  • To see fellow passengers of all ages overloading their plates at the free buffet, then leaving the same food untouched; wasting food is very, very bad …
  • If you are a serious fitness buff, you will find the fitness center wanting, especially with regard to free weight equipment.
  • A cruise can be somewhat stressful, if you try to keep up and attend all activities.
  • If you need more CON’s go to the cruise disaster websites …

Cruise travel sea and sky view

You like the endless view of sky and sea? Cruising could be for you.

* You cannot pay with cash, cheques or your own creditcard on board. Before embarking you present your credit card, set up an account and get a cruise card; your onboard credit card. Be very observant, because suddenly the cruise is very expensive.

** Internet time costs a fortune (be attentive to avoid being charged for extra time).

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