When should you tell people you are going on a cruise?

Cruise Advice

To save you scrolling to the end to learn the answer, we'll put it right upfront: "never" is, in our view, the correct response. The reason for this is the extraordinary inadequacy of the word "cruise" as a descriptive noun. In short, we are suggesting that the word at the very heart of our industry is fairly useless.

Let's explain: if someone asks what you are doing for your holidays and you answer "I'm going on a cruise", then actually you will have told them nothing about your holiday whatsoever, except for the fact that you will be travelling on a ship, (which, pleasant as it can be, will often be the most incidental part of your experience). And since there are simply SO many different types of holidays that one can enjoy on ships, one to fit every type of person and every holiday need, to simply describe any of them as being just a 'cruise' is vastly unhelpful.

So what should you say? Well, the answer to that lies in the nature of the cruise that you have chosen, and we therefore offer a few examples of excellent alternative answers below (which will also, we hope, act as a useful guide to those who are less familiar with the many different types of cruise experiences which one can enjoy nowadays):

"I'm going sight-seeing in…[insert destination]"

There really is no better way to see a multiplicity of sites and sights than a cruise which can take you to a new destination every day, and all without the need to unpack. A cruise holiday can be an excellent way to gain an introduction to the countries in the Mediterranean for example, but it's also a great way to see the inhospitable in hospitable style. For example "I'm going sight-seeing in the Antarctic" is simply so much more helpful and accurate than "I'm going on a cruise".

"I'm going to be Action Man/Wonder Woman in…[insert destination]"

Imagine you are going on an Alaskan cruise. And that you are not going to spend the time whale-watching (excellent as it is), but rather you're planning a real activity holiday, featuring mountain biking, and kayaking and white-water rafting. See how lacking in accuracy the response "I'm going on a cruise" would be?

There are many cruises where the whole notion of the cruise-goer as a passive passenger is challenged; where either the ship is equipped with all the bits and pieces that the active person needs, or where the itinerary provides it. Give us a call and we can of course tell you more.

"I'm going on a bit of an educational trip to…[insert destination]"

Well of course all holidays can be educational, but some cruise holidays in particular excel at it, providing not just lecturers who are expert on a destination, but also guides and sometimes entire itineraries devoted to just one subject. They can take you to places to which otherwise you wouldn't gain easy access (or indeed, access at all) and they can help you understand and bring to light the peoples of the world and their history.

So if you enjoy learning, then why hide that light under a bushel by just saying "I'm going on a cruise?"

"I'm going on a spa break to…[insert destination]"

A bit of balance is maybe required. All of the examples to date have really been quite active, but if your ideal holiday is more laid-back than these (or if relaxing after you have done all this activity is imperative), then of course it's important to remember that all of the wellness and health and fitness options on most luxury cruise ships make them a superb place in which to wind down; arguably a superb holiday destination in their own right.

And the beauty of this is that you can find yourself having a spa break in somewhere different every day!

"I'm going on a culinary escapade to…[insert destination]"

One of the great things about travelling on one holiday to many different places is the full range of cuisine that you can enjoy. (So important is it, that there are quite a few cruises where food is one of the major themes, and the ships will accordingly take celebrity and/or local chefs on board). Nothing can be more pleasant than arriving somewhere new and searching out a great place locally to have lunch or dinner.

And of course if you choose to stay on board the ship you will often find yourself amazed and delighted at the sheer calibre of the restaurants you can enjoy. Some of the very best food we have ever enjoyed on holiday has been at sea!

"I'm going on a cruise" simply doesn't begin to describe the experience.

"I'm going on a driving holiday to…[insert destination]"

Yes, seriously. Many of our more independent-minded clients make arrangements for hire cars in the ports that they visit, thus giving them the freedom to explore their chosen destinations by themselves, in their own way and time. So why do they book a cruise? Simply because the ship can become a wonderful home to return to each evening: and a home that will take them somewhere new to explore the next day.

Just because you are going on a cruise doesn't mean that you need to focus on going on a cruise, in other words.

"I'm going on a [insert your interests here] holiday to…[insert destination]"

Whether it's gardening or golf, classic cars or classical music, scuba or rumba, there are always a wide variety of 'themed' cruises available. These are cruises which have been created around a particular interest or hobby; the itinerary, the ships' special guests, and their passenger list of course will all reflect this interest.

It's so much more than a mere 'cruise' when you are sailing surrounded by people who share your particular interests in life.

"I'm going on an adventure to…[insert destination]"

Whether you're going to the Galapagos or the Northwest Passage; whether you are off to see the orang-utan of Borneo or the last cabin of Scott the Explorer, somehow the word 'cruise' on its own just doesn't quite describe the experience you will enjoy.

Maybe it's because popular usage has historically had the word as meaning something quite passive or peaceful. ('Cruising' in a car, for example, is very different in meaning to 'driving' a car). Which is all very well and good, except for the fact that some ship-borne holidays are packed with exciting exploits, thrilling ports of call and wondrous sites.

But what makes an adventure cruise such an absolutely perfect holiday is that no matter how much you see in any one day, no matter how tired you are after your exploits, you know that you have the wonderful comfort of coming back to a 'home' that is luxurious and welcoming.

"I'm going on the best ever family celebration to…[insert destination]"

If there's a big family occasion coming up, then a cruise can often be the perfect idea to get everyone together. Lots to see and do each day; and then a different lot of choices the very next day. Security for the young ones, and excellent service and care for the not so young. Great times all together, but also space enough so that you don't tread on each other's toes.

Imagine a party that changed its location every day: a party that allowed each guest to enjoy him or herself as he or she wishes, but that also managed to bring everyone together to celebrate in fine style. Big family occasions, as we all know only too well, can be fraught with pitfalls, but a cruise can ensure that they are all easily and joyfully avoided.

"I'm going on a beach extravaganza to…[insert destination]"

There's nothing wrong with beaches of course. But if you enjoy beach holidays then why only visit a few in the space of one holiday when you can visit many of them? Many cruises, especially in the Caribbean, specialise in visiting places where there are secluded beaches far away from the crowds, or even islands that have no-one at all on them but you and your fellow passengers.

If it's snorkelling or diving you like then there are some ships that will drop anchor at the perfect spot, and you can just enjoy your water sports of the marina at the ship's rear.

In many ways, therefore, you are more able to enjoy the ultimate beach holiday on a ship than you are on a beach. Which is why it's not really a cruise at all!

"I'm going on a timeless journey"

Throughout the above we have focussed on all the experiences that a cruise holiday can provide that are largely distinct from the fact that you are holidaying on water. But there is one type of cruise holiday you can take where the fact you are on a ship is absolutely essential ; a holiday that could not be taken any other way except by ship. And this is the big ocean crossing.

It's not for everyone, we confess. But there are many who say that it is a journey that everyone should take at least once in a lifetime. And why? Because so many of us seem to spend our lives nowadays looking at our watches and fretting about time; wanting to get places ever quicker and quicker.

And so to quite literally spend not just a few hours but actually a few days travelling from A to B can be a magical experience : it's almost a throwback in time to the days when people HAD to travel in this way, when days had to be given over to journeys, and the journey itself therefore became the adventure.

In Conclusion

You'll have gathered from our website that we are passionate about cruises. But hopefully this piece has made it clear that what drives this passion is the sheer breadth of experience that cruise holidays can offer anyone and everyone.

There is no such thing, in our opinion, as a typical cruise holiday. And because of this we believe at Mundy that it's not enough to sell you a cruise straight off the shelf : we like to converse with you to help understand your needs and wants, so that we can ensure that we sell you the cruise that is right for you.

Edwina Lonsdale
Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and, together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising.

More about Edwina

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