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After 62 Cruises, I’d Say No to a World Cruise – Here’s Why

In an average year, 20 million people take a cruise and tens of thousands of them book a trip that is over 90 days long.

These world cruises range up to almost a year in length, and even though I have been cruising since I was a child, I work onboard ships and I cruise multiple times a year, I don’t want to take a world cruise, for a few reasons.

Emma and Symphony of the Seas
Symphony of the Seas Cruise Ship

Price isn’t one of the reasons either, if you gave me a world cruise budget I have another idea of what I’d do with it. 

The cruise that has been attracting the world’s attention lately is Royal Caribbean’s 274-night “Ultimate World Cruise.”

It starts in Miami, heading around the Americas before crossing over to the Pacific, passing through the Middle East and Europe before ending again in the US.

That means the passengers pack up and leave their homes and families in December and don’t get home again until the following September.

Given the prices of some of these cruises, some people won’t just be packing up their homes, but they’ll be selling them completely, or cashing in their pensions to fund the trip. 

I say cashing in their pensions because although the average age of somebody taking a cruise in the Caribbean is 43 and there are plenty of cruise lines aimed at families the average world cruiser is 20 years older coming in at an average age of 63. 

There are lots of cruise lines that do world cruises every year, they vary a lot in the ship’s decor, the formality, and the passengers – but the one thing that they have in common is that they always seem to use their oldest and smallest ships for these itineraries.

I say small, they still usually hold multiple thousands of people but for me, I think I’d miss the excitement of the newer ships. 

I have cruised on plenty of small ships, the smallest ship I’ve sailed on had just 19 passengers but there is something so fun for me personally about going on a cruise ship and going Go-Karting or skydiving or surfing. I love watching the big Broadway shows, going to the aqua theatre or the ice skating rink. The ships doing world cruises don’t have those things.

I suppose nobody really needs to try the surfing simulator every day for 9 months – but just think how good you’d be by the end of the cruise! 

World cruises of course are more about the itinerary than the ship, and the itineraries of these cruises do look fantastic.

One reason they use smaller ships is that they can get into more ports and a big benefit would be that you’d slowly sail through time zones instead of having to adjust to the jet lag if you flew. 

If you sail from the UK to America you usually end up having multiple 25-hour days which would be so much fun. 

I’d love to cruise to each of these places but because world cruises go around the world quite literally that means they have some big expanses of ocean to cross.

On some of these world cruises, you’ll have 5 or 6 days at sea in a row, multiple times over. I love a good sea day but usually one or two, it’s a great chance to relax and to spend time on the ship doing lots of fun things, eating or swimming, but the more time you spend at sea the higher the chance of bad weather and seasickness. 

Believe it or not I do get seasick on occasion, even though I work from cruise ships, I only get seasick if we get stuck in a storm or if I’m cruising somewhere like the Arctic Circle – but still, it isn’t pleasant and I wouldn’t want to be at sea for a long time if the seas were rough.

If you are worried about seasickness, check out my top seasickness tips here:

13 Actionable Tips to Prevent and Treat Seasickness on a Cruise

There’s really no way to predict the weather and although the cruise lines will adjust the itinerary as much as they can, you would get some bad weather on a world cruise, just statistically speaking. 

Stormy skies above Singapore
Stormy skies, sailing out of Singapore on Spectrum of the Seas

I did find a world cruise with a budget British cruise line that had 79 days at sea out of a total of 120 days. That means that over half the cruise is spent at sea – and that’s over two months. Some people absolutely love that though, they wouldn’t want it any other way.

A lot of people do retire to ships because it can be half the price of a care home and you have somebody else cleaning your room, and cooking your food – there’s certainly worse ways to live. World cruises are definitely a more advanced type of cruise though.

There is no way I’d suggest a long cruise for a first cruise. 7 nights is about perfect – maybe 14 if you’re feeling adventurous.

With the itineraries the same goes the other way too, sometimes on world cruises you’d have a new port every single day for 18 19 or 20 days and for me personally, I’d be exhausted.

Some itineraries do have overnight stays but even still I’d wear myself out trying to see and do everything every single day. I can’t imagine being on the ship and you’ve got to Sydney for example – that day you don’t feel well and then that’s it, you’ve missed it.

If I was doing a regular cruise I’d probably spend a few days there, then take the cruise or do the same at the end. I recently did that on a cruise to Tokyo and I’m so glad we added the time on land. 

With all the sea days it might be tempting to try to work while onboard. I do work when I cruise but thankfully I have a very understanding boss – which is me. If I still worked my traditional 9-5 and had meetings to attend I would have been fired a long time ago.

Sometimes the internet on cruise ships can be fantastic but other times it’ll be really slow or doesn’t work at all. It’s getting much better, sometimes I can sit and watch “Bake Off” no problem – but other times I can’t even send a simple text or email.

I explain more about staying connected when you cruise in the article below:

Stay Connected When You Cruise – Mobile Hotspots Do Work on Cruises (Where When and How) Roaming, and Ship’s Wi-Fi Explained

It does usually cost money for the internet on cruises too, so even though the price of a world cruise at the beginning might not look that expensive, things like internet and laundry can rack up fast. 

You’d definitely need to do some laundry on a cruise that long, I don’t think I own enough clothes for multiple months and even if I did they definitely wouldn’t fit in a cruise ship cabin.

Speaking of cabins I’m usually on team inside cabin, I don’t spend much time there and I’d prefer to save the money and spend it on cruising more often.

I do cruise in balcony cabins sometimes if there’s something controversial I want to test for this channel but I’m happy with anything. I’d probably sleep in a lifeboat if it was an option! That said, I wouldn’t really want to be in an inside cabin for more than a week or two.

There’s no windows or daylight, and on most cruise ships around a third of people are in cabins like this.

I bring a daylight alarm clock so I know when it’s time to wake up or I could just sleep forever. There’s no way to know if it’s 3 am or 3 pm. Find out more about them here:

Sunrise Alarm Clocks – The BEST Inside Cabin Hack

There are of course lots of cabins with windows, or balconies, some suites are multiple decks with huge slides but my goodness you’d have to be absolutely minted (Very rich) to stay in a cabin like that for long. 

It might be hard to share a cabin with somebody else for months too, for a week or two you can put up with somebody waking you up when they make tea in the morning, or leaving their clothes on the floor but after months of that, I think I’d go bananas.

You’d have to pick a good cabin mate of course, but even still there isn’t a huge amount of storage in cruise ship cabins. 

The cabins are actually made fully formed in the factory, including things like the drawers and the lights, they are then just slid into the side of the cruise ship, it’s amazing. Watch this happen below:

Cruise lines did used to do things where you could be randomly assigned a cabin mate as cruising solo is expensive, but they don’t do that anymore. (For obvious reasons!)

Imagine sharing a cabin with a stranger for 9 months. It would either be the best or worst 9 months of your life. 

On most big cruise ships you rarely see the same person twice, if you don’t want to make friends you don’t have to but if you do want to strike up a conversation you can at a dance class or trivia or something like that.

I’m still in touch with lots of friends that I’ve made on cruise ships in the past but I’ve also met some really odd people who I was happy to say goodbye to when I left. Well, I never said bye I just left because normally you can do that without seeing them. 

Don’t get me wrong, most people who cruise are lovely but if you are sharing a space with 2000 other people some of them aren’t going to be that nice and you have a lot more chance to find out about it.

I took a cruise a little while ago where a man took off his socks and used them, one on each chair to reserve two chairs in the ice skating rink. He was of course known to me for the rest of the week as sock man but if I was onboard for months I might have met sock man again. 

Nothing annoys me more than when I see passengers being rude to the crew, to an extent I can ignore it and bite my lip for a while but for nine months, I think I’d get very annoyed and I might end up in some of the world cruise drama which always seems to happen. People love drama! 

I heard a story recently about somebody on a world cruise ship that put pineapple stickers upside down on random cabin doors. That symbol usually means that you are up for … spending some adult time with other passengers, so they did not like that appearing on their doors

Normally your cruise would be over before you had any time for any drama to happen and I like that, I don’t want drama. 

Find out all about that upside-down pineapple symbol here:

Pineapples on Cruise Ships: (I Interviewed a Swinger Who Uses This SECRET Code)

World cruises are mostly full of adults, of course, I did once meet a family who were home-schooling their children from a cruise ship doing a world cruise, but that definitely isn’t the norm.

I’m very envious of those children but I can’t help but think the rest of their life might be a disappointment though. Where do you go when you started world cruising as a kid? 

I’ve still not mentioned the most important reason why I wouldn’t want to take a world cruise though, his name is Hudson, and he’s my cat and the inspiration behind our mascot “Captain Hudson.”

Captain Hudson raised a whopping $81K last year for charity with your help and I’m hoping that this year we can do even more.

I’d also really miss my bath and proper toast, I’ve never found good toast on any cruise even when I cruised on a yacht. Home toast is the best toast. 

The price of world cruises varies a lot, there are plenty where the price isn’t even public unless you call them, in a kind of, “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it” way.

Some are over £500 per person per night which is roughly $630 – and that may seem bonkers, but they sell out every single time, some people do have that much money. It’s hard to get your head around but it’s true. I’d love to go on one like that just to meet everybody, I wonder who they are.

It is worth pointing out that you can usually book sections of a World Cruise, some people do half, some do a quarter, not everybody will do the full journey. The crew usually will, but most crew contracts are 6-9 months long anyway. 

For those on the budget end, it is possible to book a very budget world cruise for under £100 per person, per night which is $130.

Of course, ones like that include less than the more expensive cruise but it is hard to argue with that price when all cruises include at least your cabin, your food and the entertainment.

Generally speaking, the cheaper world cruises have more sea days, I assume it’s because it costs the cruise line a lot to dock the ships and also if everybody is onboard they’re probably spending money in the casino or shops. 

Arvia Balcony / sea views
Plenty of “Sea Days” to enjoy on a World Cruise

If I was given the budget though, and somebody said to me here you go, go around the world, I’d plan my own trip. I’d include lots of time on cruise ships of course, but I’d fly somewhere, cruise for a couple of weeks, fly somewhere else – maybe stay on land for a weekend. I could even go on a train or something and then cruise again. 

For me the most exciting day of a cruise is embarkation day, it’s finding out all about the different restaurants onboard and where I’ll eat, it’s exploring my cabin and it’s meeting new people on the ship.

I’d prefer to have that experience in smaller chunks lots of times, rather than one big cruise. When I reach the average world cruiser age of 63 though, a world cruise might sound more tempting. I think I’ll start saving…

Watch my video on this subject here:

One of the places I’d be most interested in visiting on a world cruise would be Asia, I recently took a cruise from Singapore to Tokyo and it was phenomenal.

That’s a strong word I know, but it deserves it. To find out what we saw along the way, including incredible drones and magical toilets. This video shows why I really love to cruise, I’m so glad I did this trip by sea. 

Check out this video next:

Before You Go

Find out when you should book to get the best price on your cruise here:

When Are Cruise Prices At Their Cheapest? Hints and Tips To Help You Book At The Right Time

Should you book directly with the cruise line or through a travel agent? Find out in the article below:

Is It Best To Use a Travel Agent or Book Directly With The Cruise Line? (Money-Saving Hints and Tips For Booking, and Much More…)

Taking a Cruise: Recommendations and Resources

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