Travel

4 Myths About Cruises

Don’t believe everything you hear about cruises.

We help debunk some common misconceptions:

1. Cruising is all-inclusive. Sure, you’re buying a packaged vacation, but you’ll have plenty of occasions to open your wallet. On nonluxury liners, expect to fork over gratuities, fees for excursions, and extra dollars for entertainment and treats, such as gourmet coffees and meals in specialty restaurants. Luxury-liner fares usually include more, such as tips, cocktails, shore excursions and sometimes airfare.

2. It’s all big ships and beach ports. You might picture city-size tankers docking at teeming, overpriced Caribbean islands, but that’s only one aspect of cruising. You can choose more intimate experiences. For example, you may cruise alongside Alaskan glaciers on a 50-person vessel. Or explore Dakar, Senegal, on a Princess Cruises ship.

3. It’s for Grandma and Grandpa . . . or partiers. There are cruises for all ages, travel styles and interests, from the intellectual to the adventurous. You’ll find hip music lovers on Coachella cruises, and the Disney Cruise Line focuses on kid-oriented activities.

4. You’ll have to sign off the Internet and toss your cell phone overboard. You might want to log off on your cruise, but you don’t have to. These days, ships have Wi-Fi hotspots and Internet cafés. Some cruise lines, including Ama Waterways, Avalon Waterways and Viking Cruises, offer free Wi-Fi, depending on the location. For other ships, prices and accessibility vary by destination. You’ll pay about 75 cents per minute for Wi-Fi, or $70 for a two-hour package. And you’ll likely pay international roaming rates to use your cell.

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