Cruises? Maybe. Maybe not.

cruiseShipI have a friend who just escaped a severe Minnesota winter for a Caribbean cruise.  She and her husband love taking cruises.  I’ve thought about them, and am all ready to call the travel agent, when the thought of a cruise ship gives me pause.  Those things are HUGE.  Floating cities with thousands of people.  Big dining rooms.  Crowded pool decks.  Wow….  And they call that a vacation?

Not for an introvert.  I’d have to shell out for a room with a big private balcony and have all my meals delivered by room service.  Not all ships are that big, of course.  But if I ever want to get to Hawaii and see the volcanoes, that’s how I would do it.  I’m not a fan of modern airplanes, those flying sardine cans packed full of people, and airports with all of their security.  Flying just isn’t fun like it used to be.  So if there is an ocean between me and my destination, I would have to take a ship.cruiseConcert

Let me get some feedback from all of you who have taken a cruise.

Can we write An Introvert’s Guide to Cruise Ships?

Can we do it and have fun, staying energized?

What size of a ship were you on and how long were you at sea?

What is it like in the dining rooms, eating with strangers?

Hit the comments below, and let us benefit from your experience.

Photographers, please take a minute and vote in our poll.

Chris also contributes to the new food blog Three’s Cooking, learning to cook from the heart, for the soul.

27 thoughts on “Cruises? Maybe. Maybe not.

  1. I would cruise tomorrow with a balcony ant perseverance ! Cruising is not for the those without excessive energy ! HAVE A blast you two!

  2. A cruise ship is like being in the city – you don’t have to mix. Nor do you have to join in any activities which don’t appeal. On our most recent we had a stroll round the ship in a crowd with a bird expert, swam, attended some good shows, ate very well, and enjoyed the sensation of rocking and rolling (there was a ROUGH sea!). Only downside was that a couple of friends we did make vanished to go and feel unhappy in their bunks.

  3. I went on a 12 day cruise around the South Pacific islands that left on New Years from Sydney. It was breath taking! We had our own balcony, and trust me as a fellow introvert, that balcony is somewhere you will be a lot. Words cannot express how freeing it was to stand alone out there at night knowing miles and miles stretch out ahead. Also the islands were beautiful, I would highly recommend it!

  4. I loved it. I could dissapear in the masses and not speak a word to anyone unless I had to. No need to attend the big captain’s dinner events as the rest of the ship is then peaceful and at your disposal! Go for it!

  5. We took a Mediterranean cruise – that and Alaska are only cruises that interest me. I prefer being 24/7 in the places I visit because I love early morning & evening strolls. BUT i was pleasantly surprised at how uncrowded the ship usually felt – we never waited in long lines. We usually ate in the casual restaurant at night rather than formal so, again, by ourselves and low key. Of course, we were fortunate not to have any of those awful illnesses or snafus that do occur!

  6. No problem with flying… just can’t afford it. As for cruise ships, nah, not for me – too many rules, too many people. I did cruise the Yangtze once, and the Nile too, but they were on small boats, so much much quieter and private.

    Great Aunt Spike (aka Mom) is currently ‘cruising’ in the South Pacific; but she’s alone and 80, so why not.

    I always fancied a cargo ship. Many companies have 1-4 luxury suites aboard these huge container ships. It helps the company coffers, and you get treated like royalty (from what I have read). Not cheap, but I bet not much more than a traditional cruise.

    Time and no money. Hey ho.

  7. My coworker came back from a cruise and I mentioned not wanting to be forced to socialize. She said on her ship there were lots of areas considered “quiet” where group activities weren’t held and you could chill out. So, IDK. I guess it can be done, just not sure if I would want to find out.

  8. We went on a cruise a couple of years back, my hubby had always wanted to go on one. Personally I felt like a trapped animal knowing that the only space I had to move around were the confines of the ship, especially if cruising for a few days!!!! There is only so many times you can walk around the ship!!!!! Still I got some knitting done!! Wouldn’t rush into another one. Food was amazing though.

  9. As soon as I started reading the blog every bit of me was crying out”no not me, never, not even one”
    So perhaps a virtual cruise … But a real one no. Just couldn’t be done.

  10. I would love to go on a cruise but they do seem to be full on, crowded resorts these days catering for the ‘entertain me’ market. Maybe if there were a cruise more like the ones decades ago, then maybe I just might – or cruising on a really small boat just for one 🙂

  11. Ahhh – we went on a Caribbean cruise in 2012/2013 & it really isn’t our thing at all. We had heard all good things about it prior but we didn’t enjoy it very much. We enjoyed being on land much more. It really comes down to your travel style! We wrote a post about our thoughts on cruising here:

  12. Icant think of anything worse than a cruise ship! Ive seen them sail into Mediterranean harbours and spew their thousands of ants out for the day. But hey everyone is different!

  13. I love cruising! I usually go with my family and have no real need to mingle with strangers. Crowds don’t bother me if I don’t have to mingle. To me, it’s more like being in your own little world on a ship with other people doing their own thing. It never really feels crowded. There’s plenty of room to spread out and meals were at a table with my family. Not strangers.

  14. If money were not limited I would go on a yearly cruise. Have gone on the Disney cruise twice, once as a family then on my honeymoon. Both times were fantastic. My son was 4 at the time, now 20 and he still talks about that trip! Heard the Alaska cruises were beautiful, hope to go on one someday.

  15. The wife and I have been on six different cruises and have enjoyed every one. We have sailed out of Galveston Texas, Vancouver Canada, Seattle WA, and New York City. We have never had a bad cruise, as far as eating with strangers, we had a blast visiting with them. I have talked about our cruises in my blog if you would like to read about them. Hope you go and have fun. Have a blessed day. Jim

  16. One of the best cruising experiences we have had was on a “River cruise” on the Danube River. The cruise originated in Budapest, Hungary, traveled through Austria (where we visited Vienna and a couple of small towns, enjoying a local winery and a beautiful Abbey), and ending in Germany. The (boat? ship?) was small, only 50 rooms or so. It had one dining room, but you could sit wherever you wished. The best part of the boat was the flat roof, where you could go and sit in lounge chairs while the boat cruised down the river and enjoy the beautiful scenery. We could even see some “bavarian” castles dotting the mountains here & there! This was a “Viking River Cruise” and ever since I’ve wanted to go on another one!

  17. When I read the title of this post, I thought you might be like me: afraid of big boats. My husband and I are probably the only two people in the world who never saw Titanic—I could not stand to sit in a theatre and watch that much footage of a ship. Now the river cruise Val describes above has always appealed to me. Smaller boat. I could see land. More context, you know.

  18. Maybe not? Definitely NOT! I’ve taken a few over the years, but never from choice. Over riding memories are – trying to hide from people you do not want to see (the library is the best bet). Endlessly hunting for people you do want to see (my mother, on one particular trip) and never ending hunger due to missing allocated feeding time, mostly because I could never find the dining room.

  19. I am an introvert & I LOVE cruises! I have only been on one cruise – the ship held approx. 3000 people. We had a port side room with a balcony & I loved spending time on our balcony watching the ship come into & go out of harbors. Definitely spend the extra money to get a balcony! The only meal we took in the large dining room was our evening meal. Because of the size of the ship, they have sittings (they can only handle a portion of the ship at any one time), so you really aren’t sitting with 3,000 people at every meal. The rest of the time we ate at the smaller restaurants scattered throughout the ship which are all like buffets, so you pick up your food & find a table for you & your spouse or join another table depending on how you feel. There were lots of opportunities to feel like you were part of a small group of people whether it was suntanning on the deck or in the casino. The worst part of the whole trips are the embarkation & debarkation where almost everyone boards & leaves the ship at the same times. There were long lines, but everything was well organized! You can choose to go on excursions if you like or you can stay on the ship. If you need alone time, you can take a nap in your room. I would highly recommend a cruise for people who aren’t so much into lots of adventure on their vacations because a cruise can be as quiet or as lively as you want it to be!

  20. I went on a seven day, Carnival cruise to the Bahamas. I gained seven pounds, but beyond the food, I found the ship to be way too crowded and I hated the dinner-mate assignments. We were paired with two rather dull lawyers and a newly wed couple who should have dined in their room (their PDA was too much!). It was just uncomfortable. I don’t think I’d cruise again, especially with all of the horror stories lately in the news about ship and illness troubles.

  21. I have always been horrified by just the idea of a cruise. However, I am 68 and my memory is not great. So, a cruise is much easier because you do not have to remember hotel names and streets, restaurant names and streets, museum names and streets. It is all done for you. My first cruise was last year to Alaska on a luxury ship. It only had 350 people. The line is called Silversea. I must say– no introvert worries here. We did not have to eat with other people at all. We had tons of inner time. Tons. It was all beautiful. I cannot imagine being on one of those cruises with thousands of people. Be that as it may, I am not in a hurry to go on another cruise.

  22. I have taken 3 cruises but I don’t do it for the cruising per se. I do it for the places the ship can take me – places I would not likely, or could not, venture otherwise. For instance one was around South America – experiencing Cape Horn and the Beagle Channel – couldn’t be done any other way. But i much prefer to see places by foot and by car, spending time in places that interest and taking roads less traveled. I really don’t like being in a herd of tourists.

  23. I’ve never taken a cruise – a floating hotel of rota virus does not appeal to me. The only way I might take one is to go somewhere special that would be difficult to do on my own – like a Mediterranean cruise.

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