In this day and age, we're constantly jetting from New York to Hong Kong, Timbuktu to Narnia, all in the blink of an eye. With so much on our plates, we often forget to take the time to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of the world around us.
Thankfully, there's still at least one way to do just that - onboard a stress-free cruise ship. With first-class service, stellar views of the ocean and near-endless hours of sunshine beaming down from above, it's hard to find something not to love.
Hold that thought - there's actually plenty not to love. With overhyped activities, dangerous buffets, and 'free' drinks and knickknacks that you still have to pay for, once you look at the bigger picture, a trip on the water isn't all it's made out to be.
21 The Usually-Crowded Glass-bottomed 'SeaWalk' on Princess Cruises
If you've found yourself on one of the three Princess ships that show off their SeaWalk (Regal Princess, Royal Princess, and Majestic Princess), then we suggest perhaps taking a detour and staying on the firm ground. Not only does it have the potential to be highly disorientating, but it's prone to large crowds.
20 Get Ready For Rope Burn On Norwegian Cruise Lines
Oh look, another overrated activity that the cruise ships boast so loudly about. As a point of difference to most companies, Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a 40-element ropes course. Sure, it seems like a good idea at first, but rope burn and sunburn can be a deadly combination out at sea.
19 A Brutal Rock Climbing Wall on Royal Caribbean
On face value, a 30-foot rock-climbing wall on a boat may seem like a great idea. If we take a step back, however, it's easy to realise that this heart-pumping adventure is the complete opposite of the reason that brought us onto a cruise ship in the first place - good ol' fashion rest and relaxation.
18 A dizzying 4D theatre on MSC Cruises
The majority of advertising photos promote cruise ships as sunny adventures under crystal-clear skies. In reality, sometimes the seas can get rough and we have to stay inside. If that's the case, stick to the regular cinema - the 4D experience is nothing but fake wind, dizzying strobe light, and pathetic rain that you were trying to avoid in the first place.
17 Overhyped Shore Excursions
Whether it's swimming with dolphins, scuba diving amidst colourful coral reefs, or sandboarding down hot inland dunes, nearly every single cruise offers a cluster of affiliated on-shore excursions. Even though it might seem free because it's only draining your 'cruise credit', at the end of the day, that's still cold, hard cash out of your pocket.
16 A Frostbite-inducing Ice Bar on Norwegian Epic
More often than not, we'll hop on board a cruise ship because we want to escape the dead of winter and sail around the warm, tropical seas. With that in mind, why on earth would we sign up to freeze our bits off in an ice bar? On the Norwegian Epic, the room's temperature does not rise above 17 degrees, and we want nothing to do with that.
15 The 'Free' Drinks Which Aren't Free
Did someone say free drink? On face value, it's hard to say no to something like that. But once we dig a little deeper, it turns out that the drinks aren't even free at all. They're either A) part of a prepaid all-you-can-drink plan that's wildly more expensive than you think, or B) free, with the requirement for a hefty service tip.
14 The Bizarre Teeth Whitening
I can't wait to go on my $5,000 cruise to Mexico so that I can take some of that tartar off of my teeth. Seriously, who the heck has thoughts like that running through their minds? Not only is teeth whitening a questionable thing to do in the first place but there are literally hundreds of more enjoyable things to be doing on a cruise.
13 The Frightening High-rise Bike track on Carnival
If you're lucky enough to hop aboard one of the two newest Carnival Cruise Line ships, then congratulations, you'll be able to take a tacky, rather intimidating 'bike ride' above a loud, crowded kids playground. While the idea behind this amenity is rather good, it simply doesn't look like a great deal of fun.
12 The Underwhelming Dive Capsules on Crystal Cruises
Onboard the Ponant ships, they're now offering “A see-through, 360-degree acrylic capsule for optimal observation” (according to CNN). What they don't tell you, however, is that there's generally not much to see and that it's a rather claustrophobic experience.
11 The Rigid Robot bartenders on Royal Caribbean
Without putting too much thought into the matter, it's easy to assume that having a robotic bartender is actually pretty darn cool. Quickly, however, the glaring issues start to arise: you can't alter your drink in any way, shape or form from the provided set-menu options and you can't strike up a good conversation.
10 The 'Free' bottled water
Granted, on some ships, it is entirely possible to receive free bottled water. On others, however, if they're stocked in the minibar, then odds are that you'll find a few surprise charges on your credit card if you get a little thirsty. Either way - there's no need to harm the environment with unnecessary plastic when there's free tap water all over the ship.
9 The Dangerous All-you-can-eat buffets
All you can eat buffets. They suck you in with their vast selection and lingering smells, and then just when you're at your most vulnerable and most hungry, they strike. It's a case of the Cheerleader Effect - together, all the foods look glorious, but as we focus in on one them one by one, we start to see the greasy, salty, under or overcooked meals that they really are.
8 The Tacky Planetarium on Cunard Line
Did you really fork out thousands of dollars to look at a fake sky? You're literally sailing through the middle of the ocean where light pollution is non-existent. If you want to stargaze and point at constellations, just go to one of the balconies and do so with the actual sky, not some artificial impersonation.
7 The Painfully Slow Wifi
There's no denying that we're part of a constantly-connected generation in which our phones are basically physical extensions of our bodies. With that in mind, it's both refreshing and intimidating to lose internet. Regardless of which side you fall on, the connection is going to be horrendous.
6 The Chilly Snow Grotto on Viking Cruises
Cruises are one of the best ways to free yourself from the harsh winters back home and soak up some sizzling, summer sun. So, in what world would you want to land yourself right back in the middle of a freezing snow room? It seems that Viking Cruises needed to put a little extra thought into this idea.
5 The Annoying Art Auctions
Are you really paying $6,000 (up to as much as $20,000 if you're heading to Antarctica) to hop on board a ship and stare at a tiny canvas of paint blotches? Absolutely not! Plus, even if you did purchase an overpriced grey-market Piccasso copy, you'd have to lug it around with you for the rest of your trip.
4 The Confusing Underwater Lounge on Pontant
There's plenty of activities to do when cruising around on a mega-ship that make sense, and all of those revolve firmly around being above the water. If you're underwater on a boat, you're either starring alongside Kate Winslet in Titanic, or you're bringing on unnecessary amounts of anxiety.
3 The 2-hour Wait For The Skydiving simulator on Royal Carribean
Unless you have a crippling fear of heights, then it's fair to say that this attraction might have a touch of appeal - especially for the adrenaline junkies out there. However, IF, and that's a big if, the amenity is free, you'll have to deal with the long lines, an uncomfortable suit, and a bunch of annoying tourists taking photos of you.
2 The 'Free' Spa Treatments That Aren't
If you managed to fall for the free drinks, then odds are you might be falling for the so-called 'free' spa services as well. Unless you've already paid for the entire package and forgot about it, you'll be required to leave gratuities to the staff after your mediocre massage or uncomfortable pedicure is done.