Having previously taken two journeys aboard the cruise ship, the Disney Wonder (Nassau, Bahamas and Mexico) , I had an opportunity to see firsthand the phenomenon guest writer, Lauren Sutton has written about. (https://traveldreamscapes.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/disney-cruise-lines/)
Her article appears below for your reading pleasure:
There has probably been a spike in the number of people taking out cruise travel insurance in recent times, after a whole spate of cruise-related holidays from hell. With on-board power failures, catastrophic crashes and norovirus outbreaks occurring in recent years, it’s almost surprising that cruises are still such a popular holiday choice. Yet bookings continue to soar, so is cruising the new Disneyland in terms of being the ultimate choice for fun, luxury and pleasing people of all ages?
The number of people booking cruises has been rising consistently in recent times. Figures show 20.6 million people booked one in 2011, a significant rise from the previous year. Despite the tragedy of the Costa Concordia disaster, people seem determined to hop on board a ship for their dream holiday. Even the outbreaks of stomach illnesses on several ships over the winter period hasn’t put holidaymakers off.
Cruises were once thought of as a luxury; similar to flying by Concorde, they were reserved for the filthy rich. However, a reduction in costs, as well as relaxed rules on dress code, have made cruises a viable option for a much broader range of people. British holidaymakers are now thought to make up the biggest cruise market in Europe so it seems the only way is up for the cruise liners.
What’s the fuss about?
The sheer amount of things to do on board a cruise ship is likely to be a key reason why they have exploded in popularity. Like Disneyland, there are things to do for people of every age. Whether you want to sunbathe, rock climb, swim or eat, you’ll find all of these options on your ship. On top of that, the appeal of visiting several destinations in one holiday is also luring people in. Like visiting the different zones at Disney, a cruise will give you access to different countries.
With everything in one place, there isn’t the added panic of having to try and save lots of spending money for activities and food. The price tends to include access to most of the places on the ship so you will only need minimal spending money for any extras. When you go on a traditional holiday, there are often lots of ad hoc spends that you have to try and budget for. You are also limited to only visiting one destination unless you spend time travelling. On board the ship, the travelling time is spent doing fun things.
Although there have been a few cruises from hell recently, this could just be a spate of bad luck. With so many people complaining about holidays on land, chances are, the bad cruises really aren’t that frequent in comparison. Similarly, there’s a risk of getting food poisoning on any holiday, proving customers don’t see this as a valid reason to avoid a cruise. The pros seem to outweigh the cons by a large margin and it seems booking a cruise is set to continue to be very much en vogue.