Overcrowded and confined. Nowhere to go or get away. Are these worries you have about taking a cruise? You may have images of being stuck out in the middle of the ocean with no way to escape, but this is actually far from reality.
Cruises these days are spacious and full of places to wander. Spend hours relaxing at serene spas, go for a run on the jogging track or dive into a book in the ship's library. Take in gorgeous ocean views or enter virtual reality. Anything is possible aboard a cruise ship.
And don't forget about the incredible shore excursions - there are plenty of chances to stretch your legs on land.
Finding quiet time
If you want lots of personal or private space, you may opt for a spacious cabin or suite with a verandah and a spectacular view of the ocean. Even inside staterooms can provide this serene feeling; Royal Caribbean's latest feature, a virtual balcony for inside cabins contains an 80-inch HD screen depicting the actual view from a camera mounted on the ship and includes a railing and natural ocean sounds.
Borrow a book and cuddle up in a comfy chair at the library on all Carnival ships. Rent a private cabana, or lounge around in adults-only areas. Spend the day relaxing at the spa and treat yourself to a massage or pedicure. Celebrity's Persian Garden aromatherapy steam and relaxation room are favourites among cruisers.
Unlimited activities to choose from
Each year a new cruise ship offers bigger and better ways to keep guests entertained. Pools come with waterslides and swim-up bars so fantastic you might just forget you're on a ship. Surf on FlowRider with Royal Caribbean or catch a film while floating in the pool at Movies Under the Stars on Princess cruise ships.
Get your blood flowing with a skydiving simulator, rock-climb and ice skate on Royal Caribbean's Quantum-class ships. Play mini-golf and basketball in the open air or dive into virtual reality with Goofy on Disney's Dream and Fantasy ships. Listen to live music or visit the theatre for a Broadway-level production.
From sunrise until late into the night, there is always something to do. Getting bored on a cruise ship is the real challenge!
Let off some steam
Do you think you might get uncomfortable surrounded by all that water? Cruise ships provide gym facilities and often offer fitness classes like yoga, pilates, and spin. Find your center on Celebrity with well-being classes in meditation and breathing. Or work out alone in state-of-the-art gyms with personal LED screens and views overlooking the ocean. Take in the fresh sea air on a walk or run around the jogging track. Oasis of the Seas offers the largest one at sea.
You can even take dance lessons and tango with professionals aboard Cunard cruises. Join a Dancing with the Stars competition on Holland America and compete for a spot as a finalist for a championship-themed cruise.
There is no shortage of space or method to keep your feet moving on board a cruise ship.
Choose your own adventure
If you have a feeling you will get antsy, book a trial cruise with a short itinerary that stops often. When docking at a new port, wander away from the crowds. Talk to your concierge about the best local spots off the beaten path at your designated ports. Find secluded beaches or local markets and immerse yourself in a new culture. Book a private tour or opt for long nature hikes.
Or, when everyone heads to shore, you can stay on and enjoy a very quiet ship!
There are many ways to take a cruise. The most important thing to remember is that the experience is yours to make and it can suit your preferences no matter what they are! But not if you don't try it, so give it a go.
Were you ever a cruising sceptic? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page.