When we travel, it's to experience the unfamiliar, to dust away “the ordinary” from our lives, and shake off the preconceptions we’ve gathered along the way. 

When it comes to cruises, we bet you’re still clinging on to your preconceptions. Today’s cruise ships are filled with unusual quirks, ready for every kind of 21st-century adventurer. So, in true traveller spirit, we’re here to dispel the cobwebs and 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, then 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 rock climbing, assault courses and on board, and simulation surfing.

In fact, cruises are swiftly becoming hubs of the latest, cutting-edge digital innovation. Robot bartenders are shaking and stirring guests' cocktails aboard select Royal Caribbean ships. And MSC Cruises recently launched the “MSC for Me” tech-bracelet. With over 130 smart features, including a nifty app enabling you to tailor your cruise every step of the way, it’s a truly 21st-century experience. Turns out, the only Old Fashioned on cruises these days is the cocktail, served on the rocks with a twist.

2. They’re too crowded & “touristy”  

As the world shrinks and more destinations are scratched off our bucket lists with a swift Facebook check in, new and unique travel experiences seem 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 Old World’s 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. But 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. Pick the right cruise, and you can finally do all those things you’ve always wanted to as you drift dreamily between destinations.

Think scuba diving or wine tasting, photography or yoga. You can even take acting lessons with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2! There are ships with theme parks and zip liners, and the chance to skydive without even leaving the ship. And if you fancy a little down time, your days at sea offer an opportunity to relax and recharge, from indulgent spas to cocktails by the pool or green smoothies at the gym overlooking the blue horizon.

4. Isn’t the food bad…. and the entertainment cheesy?

The days of bland buffets and Simon Cowell’s go-to-insult singers are a thing of the past. Today’s cruises serve up a treat for all the senses. Embark on excursions to local market, ranches and farms, to source fresh ingredients for cooking classes back on board with world-famous chefs such as Marco Pierre White, James Martin and Eric Lanlard. Go wine tasting in a Burgundy vineyard and follow the Tapas Trail in Barcelona. Sample every type of sushi in Tokyo and learn the secrets of making an authentic mojito in San Juan. And at night, wave goodbye to the cringeworthy, musical lampoons of yesteryear! Today, we welcome to the stage acclaimed Broadway shows, celebrity singers and world-class comedians. 

5. But I can’t afford a cruise

Once upon a time, only the rich and fabulous could be seen setting sail on the high seas. But today’s cruises cater to every kind of fabulous, with something for every sort of budget.

But a modest price tag is often turned into something much larger by extras bought directly from cruise liners, such as expensive shore excursions, premium insurance and costly travel additions. To make the most of your budget, use an independent travel agent such as Fusion Cruises rather than booking directly. They have access to exclusive rates that aren’t advertised to the general public, and can find you the best and most exclusive on-board credits, bonus freebies, cruise extras and more.

6. 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 are 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!

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