Are you on the fence about going on a cruise? Beneath the glossy brochures and sun-kissed decks lie some compelling reasons why cruising might not be the ideal choice for everyone. Here are reasons not to go on a cruise.
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Reasons Not to Go on a Cruise Vacation
1. Hurricane Season
One of the main reasons I’d avoid a cruise is if it falls during hurricane season. This season typically spans from June to November, with the peak hurricane season between August and early October.
Cruising the Atlantic during hurricane season can lead to choppy waters. Imagine waves crashing against the ship, creating a rollercoaster-like experience! The ship’s movement can become unnerving, with flooding, swaying furniture, and broken glass.
Hurricanes can also disrupt cruise itineraries. Ships may be forced to skip ports to seek calmer waters. Sometimes, cruise ports shut down entirely due to impending hurricanes. I’d avoid going on a cruise if it’s hurricane season.
Check out: 18 Worst Things that Can Ruin Your Cruise
2. Fear of Getting Sick
One of the riskiest things about cruising is there is always that inherent risk of getting sick. If someone comes down with a virus that is highly contagious, it can spread like wildfire. We saw that in action during the pandemic when entire cruise ships were quarantined due to outbreaks.
Although cruise lines have taken significant steps to enhance safety. They’ve installed hand-washing stations at buffet entrances and emphasized hygiene practices. Plus, many cruise lines have upgraded their ventilation systems to mitigate airborne illnesses. However, getting sick on a cruise ship is still a real threat.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal comfort. If you are going to keep worrying about getting sick, then it’s best not to go on a cruise.
3. Overworked and Underpaid Cruise Ship Workers
Cruise lines have gained notoriety for overworking and underpaying their workers. These companies predominantly hire staff from countries like India and the Philippines, where salaries are exceptionally low.
Cruise ship workers work physically demanding jobs 7 days a week, 12 hours per day and they only get paid around $800-$2000 a month! (That’s why gratuities are so important to them!)
The reason why cruise lines can get away with it is because their workers are from countries with limited economic opportunities. Cruise ship workers actually think they are earning a decent salary compared to what they would be earning at home!
If you think that’s unethical to be on a cruise ship where workers are being overworked and underpaid, then that is a good reason not to get on a cruise.
4. Wastewater Dumping
Cruise ships discharge wastewater into the ocean. This pollution includes toxic sewage from toilets, greywater from sinks, showers and laundries, and bilge water.
For example, cruise ships to Alaska discharge more than 8.5bn gallons of pollution a year, according to West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL). Sadly, it’s legal for cruise ship wastewater to be dumped, provided they adhere to filtration protocols and discharge these contaminants in designated areas.
The bad thing about it is that these cruise ship discharges are a threat to wildlife! If the idea of pollution and wastewater dumping associated with cruise ships troubles you, then that’s a valid reason for not going on a cruise.
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5. Prone to Seasickness
Another reason not to go on a cruise is if you are prone to seasickness. Seasickness can be controlled and avoided with medication and other tactics. But if nothing works to control your seasickness, then it’s best to stay away. Check out: Cruise without Seasickness: Genius Tricks You Need to Know
6. Limited Time at Each Port
If your idea of a vacation involves immersing yourself in a destination, then going on a cruise isn’t the best fit for you. While Bermuda cruises might be an exception, most cruise itineraries will take you to a new port every day. That means you’re left with just a few hours to explore each port.
If you like the idea of getting to know a place, then your best option is to fly in, stay for a week, and leisurely explore. That way, you’ll truly get to know the place!
7. Too Crowded
Another reason for not going on a cruise is if you can’t stand the crowd. Nowadays, cruise ships are mega ships where you sail with a few thousand fellow passengers. Long lines are common. Service is no longer personalized. If you just don’t like the crowd, stay away from cruise ships! Check out: 14 Simple Ways to Escape the Crowd on a Cruise Ship
8. Complicated Logistics at Each Port
These days, it’s become harder logistically to get to the cruise port. Many cruise ports now limit the number of ships that can dock directly at their terminals. As a result, cruise lines are forced to anchor nearby, and passengers must take tender boats to ferry them to and from the port. This shift introduces a logistical challenge: you can’t simply step off the ship and onto the dock. Instead, you need to take a tender, which adds complexity to the disembarkation process.
On top of that, some cities are taking a stand against overtourism by restricting cruise ship access altogether. Imagine arriving at a destination only to find that the cruise ship is forced to dock further away from the main attractions. Passengers then need to take additional transportation (like buses) to reach the heart of the city.
A prime example is Venice, which has banned large cruise ships from docking directly in its historic center. Instead, these ships now dock in Ravenna, a city approximately 2 hours away by car.
If you’d rather not deal with the hassle of navigating the logistics of getting to the port, then you should not go on a cruise. Instead, it’s probably best to just fly in directly to your destination and stay at a hotel!
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