I took my first Caribbean cruise and soon realized that cruising was a lifestyle that wasn’t for me

Author of the world's largest cruise ship

Insider reporters took part in their first cruise on the Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Sea, the largest ship of its kind.Joey Hadden / Insider

  • I took the first cruise Royal Caribbean sea wondersThe largest ship of its kind.

  • My first cruise showed me how attractive a lifestyle is to many, but not to me.

  • Cruising includes thrilling activities, advance planning, crowd management … and constant movement.

I went to Caribbean Cruise for the first time in April. I thought it was a unique type of vacation.

Author of Deck 16 of the World's Largest Cruise Ship

The author of the world’s largest cruise ship.Joey Hadden / Insider

Cruise beginners here! Before embarking on my first Caribbean cruise in April, I had never actually seen this type of ship. I took a cruise for a reporting trip with multiple stops in the Caribbean.

I embarked on a seven-night voyage on the largest cruise ship of its kind. Royal Caribbean sea wonders.. We sailed to Roatan, Honduras. Mexican Cozumel and Costa Maya. Royal Caribbean private island in the Bahamas.

It was surreal to be on such a big ship in the middle of the sea. And a week of sun and cool breeze was what I needed after spending the winter at my home in New York City.

Many people love cruising and you can see its charm. Before January 2020 Pandemic has confused the cruise industry, Forbes reported Each year, 30 million people take part in the cruise, up from 17.8 million in 2009.

However, there are pros and cons to cruising, and in the end I realized that it wasn’t my ideal vacation. This is the reason.

read more: Board the world’s largest cruise ship. This ship is very large and has eight 18-story “neighborhoods”.

The passengers I met love cruising. No other first person was found.

People on the top decks of Wonder of the Sea are enjoying a drink at the bar

Passengers on board the Wonder of the Sea.Joey Hadden / Insider

After talking to some passengers, I quickly realized that cruising was a lifestyle. Most of the people I met were experienced cruise travelers. They told me that they would take a cruise every vacation, board the cruise ship for hundreds of nights, and earn points in the loyalty program.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. Even after two years of pandemics, cruising remains a popular vacation option. There were more than 5,000 passengers on my ship.

Despite my search, I never met another first cruiser on board.

read more: Eight things a veteran cruiser needs to know before embarking on their first cruise

Many cruisers say that the movement of the ship invites them to sleep, but I personally got seasick.

The author reacts to the movements of her cabin (L) and Dramamine (R)

The author uses motion sickness medicine to react to constant movements in his private room.Joey Hadden / Insider

As a person prone to motion sickness, you would have predicted that you would have a hard time cruising. I feel nauseous in the rocking chair in the living room. The days at sea were especially difficult for me to eat and participate in activities.

An additional challenge was the location of my room, something Veteran cruiser Please be careful when making a reservation.

It was in front of Deck 8, so the room was constantly moving. According to some of my passengers, the front of the ship is one of the worst places if you are often seasick. They said the higher deck in the middle of the ship was calmer and more stable.

One night there were more rocks than the other. On the toughest nights, I heard and felt a thunderous sensation under me every few minutes. The loud noises and violent vibrations in my room sounded like big furniture was falling. The first night this happened, I was afraid of the worst — Titanic comes to mind. By the end of the trip, I realized that this was a normal aspect of cruising. It is caused by the waves hitting the bow of the ship.

I don’t think I’m used to this.

The harbor stops were often beautiful, but we weren’t docked enough time to understand the true meaning of each place.

Honduras (upper left) Cosmel (upper right) Costa Maya (lower left) and Cocokei (lower right)

The harbor stops from top left to bottom right: Roatan, Honduras. Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Maya, Mexico; Coco Cay, a private island of the Royal Caribbean in the Bahamas.Joey Hadden / Insider

It could take days to get to each port, so I wanted to spend more time at each port.

I booked a short trip to the harbor because I thought I had time to explore my destination.I especially enjoyed the excursions I went to Hiking in Honduras When Explore the ancient ruins of Mexico.. However, some of my excursions took all day and ended just in time to board the boat for departure.

I also wanted to see it stop at night, but we always left before sunset. The ship usually docked around 8am, but unfortunately it departed around 4pm.

I describe the harbor as the “flavor” of the Caribbean, but it’s certainly not a real adventure at each destination. However, this experience was useful as I realized that I prefer to take a vacation in one place with more time to explore it.

Part of what you pay for on a cruise is access to all-inclusive activities on board, such as water sports and mini golf.

People are waiting in line to ride the Wonder of the Sea and get off a large slide in the shape of a fish with sharp teeth.

Passengers wait in line to get off the highest slide in the sea.Joey Hadden / Insider

Wonder of the Sea was full of activities. Guests were able to play games in the arcade and ride the waves in the surf simulator. In addition to sports such as ping pong, basketball and rock climbing, there were also amazing products such as carousels, laser tags, escape games and even ice skating.

Water slides were a big hit on ships, including the tallest slides in the ocean. It has 10 floors.

The ship also had a variety of entertainment such as dancing, drums, ice skating and acrobatics. There were also live bands playing all day and comedy shows at night.

I’m not a swimmer, an athlete, or a thrill-seeker. I have no children, so I admit that most of the activities on board did not appeal to me. I didn’t participate in the water slides and sports, which are the main attractions of the ship. I enjoyed laser tags and mini golf, but overall, the activity helped a different audience.

I found myself seeking loneliness in my pocket, like an adult-only area, but I had to deal with a busy crowd every day.

Crowded pool area on the Wonder of the Sea

Some cruisers are enjoying the pool deck.Joey Hadden / Insider

You are guaranteed to be busy when you board the world’s largest cruise ship. Certain areas of the ship, such as the outdoor deck and the main buffet, were full of passengers all day long. The elevator was often full of guests, so I felt it was faster to climb the stairs. Unfortunately, finding a chair in the pool was an ongoing challenge.

I wanted to be more relaxed, but I was worried. On top of that, my dislike of the crowd, and this aspect of cruising, stressed me throughout the trip. Despite a thorough search, I couldn’t find a quiet, uncrowded corner of the ship other than my private room.

Cruising alone is more expensive and rewarding than vacationing alone.

The author sits on the bed of the world's largest cruise ship

The author is sitting on the bed in his private room.Joey Hadden / Insider

Speaking of state rooms, mine was cozy, but as a solo traveler, it was a catch. Apparently, cruising can be more challenging and expensive when you go alone, so I recommend taking a vacation companion.

Most cruise ship private rooms are intended to accommodate at least two people, so booking a room yourself often means paying a higher price for two people. According to cruise critics, Some cruise ships have solo cabins priced for one passenger, but that’s not common. For example, Royal Caribbean has some ships with single rooms, but my ship didn’t offer them.

The rates listed for my ship were per person, not per room like most hotels. Switching between one and two guests in the search doubled the cost per person if only one was selected. This is known as a “single supplement”. This is because the cruise line helps to supplement the revenue from the second passenger. According to the LA Times..

My total cost was $ 2,000 for a private room with ocean views. If I brought someone, it would have been about half the price per person.

That would have been more fun. Lots of social activities and friendly cruisers were chatting with me, but I felt lonely on board. I wanted to talk to someone who knew me and share my experience in a new place with someone I loved. I usually like traveling alone, but I wish I could be surrounded by a lot of family and groups of friends and be together.

When I’m traveling, I like the freedom to explore for myself, plan my day, and throw away those plans if I like it.

7 Wonder of the Sea Daily Cruise Planners on Orange and Brown Carpets

Seven daily planners from the author’s cruise.Joey Hadden / Insider

Cruises keep you busy. Every day is full of plans. In the morning I received a daily planner listing the timed events and activities of the day.

I like to ride the vacation stream, which means I don’t book all the time of my day. However, it turned out to be difficult to make a voluntary decision.

Specialty restaurants and all shows on board required reservations through the Royal Caribbean app.

The circus-style acrobatic water show at AquaTheater was the most popular show and the most difficult to book. I failed on the first day and didn’t finally see the show until I got a ticket two nights later.

Other passengers seemed to like the system, which was clearly an expectation from the cruise line. But I find the constant planning stressful.

I left the ship with the ideal cruiser in mind. Someone who likes to plan vacation itineraries, doesn’t mind the crowds of fellow passengers, and commits to the thrill of waterslides.

Author of the world's largest cruise ship

The author of Deck 16 of Wonder of the Seas.Joey Hadden / Insider

Apart from reports, I spent my cruises in the sun, exploring the harbor during excursions and sometimes participating in activities such as laser tags and rock climbing.

After seven nights on one of the world’s largest cruise ships, there’s also an excursion to a new destination, and you’ll see why it appeals to travelers who enjoy all kinds of entertainment in one place. For me, cruising is not my favorite form of travel. I want to spend more time on each island than wandering around the ship. The next time I want to go to the Caribbean, I will take a plane.

read more: I went to the Royal Caribbean Private Island in the Bahamas. It wasn’t for me, but I can see why cruisers love it.

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