travel at a moderate speed; "Please keep your seat belt fastened while the plane is reaching cruising altitude"

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By Bruce Pickett
More and more people are discovering the fun and value of cruising, but many more still have not heard the good news. Now more than ever, a luxury is easily affordable and accessible to everyone. Don't believe it? Then read on for our list of seven important facts about cruising.

1. Cruising is a good value
Some people never consider taking a because they think it is too expensive, but this is simply not the case. When you compare the cost of a with the cost of comparable travel, accommodations, food and activities, you will quickly see that cruising offers great value for your vacation dollar.

2. Cruising is never boring
If you think you might be bored while on a cruise, think again. There are so many options and activities that you will never be able to participate in them all. And don't worry about being in the close quarters of a ship; there really is plenty of space to move about so you're not likely to feel confined or claustrophobic.

When it comes to nightlife, a ship offers many options. Common choices include Broadway-style entertainment, dance bars, quiet piano lounges, casinos, movie theaters and arcade game rooms. There truly is something on board to suit every entertainment taste.

3. A ship is not divided into different classes of service
Long gone are the days of first, second and third class passengers, or the wealthy receiving better treatment than others on a cruise. While there are differences in the sizes and locations of staterooms, this is no different from a hotel that offers different types of rooms at different price levels.

Regardless of the size or cost of your stateroom, you have full access to the ship's facilities and amenities, and the ship's crew will do everything in their power to make your experience exceptional.

In return, it is accepted practice to tip those people, such as stewards and waiters, who have served you personally throughout the cruise. Check with the line for information about suggested tip amounts.

4. Most passengers do not get seasick
The motion of a ship at sea is generally mild, so most people do not experience seasickness. If you are prone to motion sickness on other forms of transportation (cars, trains, airplanes, etc.), though, take the same precautions on a as you do for other types of travel. There are several over the counter motion sickness medications, or your doctor may prescribe something stronger if needed. And if you do get onboard and find yourself feel nauseous, don't worry - the ship's medical staff will happily provide you with medication to help.

5. A ship is a great family environment
Nearly every line offers special programs and accommodations to families, and some even specialize in entire cruises designed completely around the needs and wants of a family. On these family-focused lines, you will find special supervised areas of the ship where your children can go to do age-appropriate activities while you enjoy adult time.

6. Each port is a new adventure
Every port you visit is different, and each one will have excursions, activities and places to discover. Just as on board the ship, you will not be able to do everything there is to do at each port. You can choose a paid tour excursion or you can explore on your own. Many lines have cooperative arrangements with hotels and resorts in the ports they visit so that passengers can use hotel facilities like swimming pools, fitness rooms, spas and other amenities.

7. You don't have to buy a special wardrobe.
There is no need to buy fancy clothing or a tuxedo to go on a cruise, although some cruises do require formal dress in specific on board restaurants. Your general packing list does not need to be much different from any other vacation; simply include clothing that is appropriate for the climate and expected weather conditions. And don't worry about items like hair dryers, shavers, and other personal appliances - they all work just fine on board a luxury ship!
Bruce Pickett is enthusiastic in helping people to plan cruise vacations. Learn 7 essential facts about why cruising is such a great bargain. Receive free cruise newsletters & free contest at Five Star Cruising


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