By Vicky on 11 September 2015

OK, OK - we’ll level with you. When you hear the word ‘cruise’, you’re not inspired, are you?

You might think of hours at sea punctuated by infrequent trips to cities you can’t spend enough time in, or stodgy buffet food, day after day, in stuffy dining rooms. However, you couldn't be more wrong - they’re a great way to see the world and take in many more places than you’d otherwise see.

Cruises are rapidly gaining popularity and if you miss the opportunity to take a cruise, you’re definitely missing out. We’ve taken the opportunity to take a few widely-held beliefs about cruises and bust them wide open. You’re welcome.

They’re for old people. I’ll have nobody my own age to talk to!

This isn’t true. Although a lot of senior travellers do enjoy a cruise, you’ll soon discover after boarding that your fellow passengers include people from all generations.

And more importantly: Who says that the 50+ passengers won’t make fantastic holiday companions? Face it - everyone on board is here to explore interesting places, make friends and have a good time. You will almost definitely find people who share your interests.

I’m worried that I’ll get seasick

The smaller the boat, the more likely you are to feel the motion of the sea. You’ll be travelling in a huge vessel, so it’s unlikely that you’ll feel the ship moving. However, if you do, there are lots of ways to ease the discomfort you may feel. Get out on deck for some fresh air, pop on some Sea Bands and keep your eyes on the horizon. Ginger in any of its forms is renowned to work, as are green apples.

Either way, unless you come across some rough weather (which is highly unlikely in itself; captains, like pilots, plot their journeys to avoid stormy seas), it’s not very likely that you’ll feel poorly.

I won’t get to make the most of my destination

OK - you've got us here. Cruises won’t let you properly get to grips with entire countries, but they’ll dock in the most popular, exciting places, and you’ll be given enough time to explore at your leisure.

You may even be given a couple of nights at your destination to make the most of it; that allows plenty of time for exploration, even if you’re a little limited how far you can travel outwards; you don’t want to miss the boat’s departure!

I won’t get any time on my own

Fair enough - the idea of being trapped alongside hundreds of other travellers is making you a bit anxious. Luckily, cruise lines have anticipated your fears. A few now offer ship-within-a-ship club areas, so you can get some much-needed space.

There’s no glamour in cruising any more...

Let’s just stop you there; cruises have still got it, and standards are still high. Tuxedos are still very much part of the dress code, and many cruises boast a roulette and blackjack table where you can flash your pearls and admire the other passengers’ outfits before hitting the midnight chocolate buffet.

Oh, and did we forget the captain’s cocktail parties? Sorry, was any of this available on your last holiday? Thought not.

My health regime will suffer due to no exercise and stodgy food

Cruise food used to have a reputation for being overwhelmingly bad - but these days, things have changed, and menus available cater to vegans, vegetarians, and those looking to guard their svelte waistlines. Kitchen staff keep things fresh, and pick up food from each port that you dock at, so you’ll find that the menu reflects what’s popular locally.

Some cruise lines offer daily yoga and Pilates, and if you’re still feeling tense, you can listen to lectures on stress management and sleep techniques. Still feeling a bit sluggish? Nobody’s stopping you taking a long walk around the boat; that’ll give you some much-needed exercise.

Ready to get cruising? There's a few things you should know about travel insurance for cruise trips.

Image credit: Shutterstock

← Ten hard truths you’ll discover when you move overseas

Find the perfect book for your holiday →