Five cruis­ing myths de­bunked

What you thought you knew about cruis­ing over­turned

Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Contents -

WHEN WE TRAVEL, we ex­pe­ri­ence the un­fa­mil­iar, dust away ‘the or­di­nary’ from our lives and shake off pre­con­cep­tions we’ve gath­ered along the way. Yet, when it comes to cruises, many of us cling to pre­con­cep­tions. How­ever, to­day’s cruise ships are filled with un­usual quirks, ready for ev­ery kind of mod­ern ad­ven­turer. So we’re here to take you on a jour­ney across the seven seas.

1. CRUISES ARE FOR ‘OLDIES’ AND ARE JUST PLAIN OLD-FASH­IONED If you still be­lieve this, chances are you’re not as with the times as you might like to think. Many cruise lin­ers are trad­ing in feather-flap­ping cabarets and din­ners at the cap­tain’s ta­ble for rock­climb­ing, as­sault cour­ses and sim­u­la­tion surf­ing. In fact, cruises are swiftly be­com­ing hubs of cut­tingedge dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion. Ro­bot bar­tenders shake and stir guests’ cock­tails aboard se­lect ships; free smart­phone apps on­board have be­come de rigueur; and one liner re­cently launched a tech-bracelet with more than 130 smart fea­tures, in­clud­ing an app en­abling you to tai­lor your cruise ev­ery step of the way for a truly 21st-cen­tury ex­pe­ri­ence.

2. THEY’RE CROWDED AND ‘TOURISTY’ As the world shrinks, new and unique travel ex­pe­ri­ences are in­creas­ingly harder to come by. Cruise ships are adapt­ing to these de­mands, cre­at­ing never-be­fore-seen itin­er­ar­ies that leave the crowds far be­hind.

Trace the for­got­ten Spice Route, through an­cient jun­gles and along white beaches, past crum­bling monas­ter­ies and de­serted cave tem­ples, back­wa­ter fish­ing vil­lages and lo­cal bazaars. Dis­cover Namibia’s Ger­man her­itage, Benin’s voodoo tra­di­tions and Ghana’s dark slav­ery sites. Visit no­madic com­mu­ni­ties in Mada­gas­car and ven­ture out to tiny Pa­cific is­lands, where some of the world’s most fas­ci­nat­ing indige­nous cul­tures can still be found.

3. IT’S BOR­ING BE­ING STUCK AT SEA Be­cause you can align your cruise to your in­ter­ests so per­fectly these days, if you’re bored on a cruise it’s be­cause you’ve picked the wrong one. Choose the right cruise and you can fi­nally do all those things you’ve al­ways wanted to as you drift be­tween desti­na­tions. Think scuba div­ing or wine tast­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy or yoga. Some ships have theme parks, wa­ter slides and zip lines, and you can sky­dive with­out even go­ing ashore.

4. ISN’T THE FOOD A LITTLE DULL? Bland buf­fets are a thing of the past. To­day’s cruises serve up a treat for all the senses. Em­bark on ex­cur­sions to lo­cal markets, ranches and farms to source fresh in­gre­di­ents for cook­ing classes back on board. Or hop aboard a Princess Cruise and en­joy world­class menus from fa­mous chefs such as Cur­tis Stone, gas­tropub guru Ernesto Uchimura and many more.

5. I’LL HAVE TO GET USED TO SEASICKNESS … Un­like that little old sail­boat in the ma­rina, cruise ships, large or small, are equipped with spe­cialised sta­bilis­ers that take al­most all of the mo­tion out of the ocean. Once set­tled on board, you’re likely to for­get you’re even afloat. Book­ing a cabin in the mid­dle of a deck and lower in the ship, at its nat­u­ral bal­ance point, can help set­tle any pre-cruise fears fur­ther, de­spite it be­ing ex­tremely un­likely you will be­come sea­sick aboard in the first place.

Blow away the cob­webs with a fresh take on cruis­ing

The ul­ti­mate in mod­ern ad­ven­ture travel

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