Cruises: people seem to love them or hate them. But don't let any cruising misconceptions deter you from a holiday at sea, especially from those who have never set foot on a ship. I recently embarked on my first sojourn with Princess Cruises and discovered the rumours aren't true. Consider these five common cruise myths officially debunked.
Myth 1: It's not okay to cruise alone
With over 2,000 potential new friends onboard, cruising was practically made for solo travellers.
Choose a set dining time to bond with the same folks each meal, or 'anytime dining' where you'll have a rotating roster of fellow cruisers to discuss each element of the entrees with.
Then there's that jam-packed cruise schedule. The Princess Patter (delivered to your room each evening) is overflowing with a line-up of group activities. From yoga classes to trivia games and singles (even veteran and LGBT) meet-ups, you'll disembark with more than a few new Facebook pals.
Myth 2: It's quantity over quality when it comes to food
Princess Cruises pride themselves on a 'designed for fresh' food philosophy. Bread is baked daily, sauces are made from scratch (as is ice cream), steaks are aged onboard and pizzas are hand-tossed. Horizon Grill (the buffet) is a steady assortment of changing dishes, and menus across the main dining rooms are of standout quality, especially given the volume of dishes plated up each meal time.
Celebrated chef and restaurateur Curtis Stone has also come onboard. Main dining rooms on Princess cruises feature three signature Curtis Stone dishes, while some ships offer guests a chance to dine at his speciality restaurant, SHARE, or at his exclusive chef's table experience.
Speciality restaurants serving cooked to order food incur a small surcharge, but when you're paying $25 for a full menu of steak and all the trimmings, it's well worth the 'splurge'.
Hitting the seas on the Golden Princess: Anyone who says cruising is boring is doing it wrong
Come back new with Princess: The Princess Experience
Chef Curtis Stone sizzles at sea
Myth 3: I'll be bored
Again, refer to the Princess Patter. There's something happening from sun up to sun down and beyond.
Also, you may find sometimes it's nice to simply relax if nothing takes your fancy on the day's agenda. Linger on a sunlounger by the pool to read that book that's been sitting on your nightstand for months, catch up on podcasts or put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and start that story or blog you've been meaning to write.
Myth 4: Cruises are just for old folk or party people
While Princess Cruises' main market is an older demographic, there's still plenty on offer for families and anyone looking for a relaxed getaway. These cruise ships feature excellent kids' clubs facilities, with tailored experiences for each age group, as well as plenty of late-night action – though without the heavy party vibe found on other cruise lines. Golden Princess' Skywalkers Nightclub, for example, features a travelator which transports merrymakers to a lit-up dance floor!
Myth 5: I won't experience any culture
If you speak to any 'traveller' about cruising, their first reaction is generally an eye roll and groan about how true cultural immersions are forsaken for drinking competitions, theatre lounges and at-sea nightclubs. Princess Cruises dock at some of the most spectacular destinations across the globe, meaning unforgettable, cultural experiences are just beyond the gangplank. Princess Cruises have even teamed up with two of the most trusted names in adventure – Discovery and Animal Planet – to bring fascinating and immersive experiences for young and old alike, from whale watching in Alaska to shark encounters in Hawaii.