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What is a Cruise Ship?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 23, 2024
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A cruise ship is a passenger ship used for vacations and pleasure trips, which is usually very large, and able to accommodate hundreds to thousands of people, depending on the size of the ship. Cruise ships generally make round trips, returning to their first port of departure after a certain number of days at sea. While on the trip, most cruise ships stop at various ports where passengers are allowed to leave the ship and spend the day exploring an area, but new passengers do not get on at these stops. Sometimes the cruise line will own a private island, and the ship will stop there, with the island geared exclusively to serving and entertaining passengers.

Cruising is a very popular aspect of the tourism industry, and most cruise ships have come to resemble floating cities. Though different cruise lines offer different amenities, cruising is often all-inclusive, and includes not just round-the-clock meals, but daily and nightly entertainment, various pools, fitness facilities, games and other fun activities, shopping, and even some adventure-type activities such as a rock wall or surfing simulator right on the cruise ship. Not included in most cruise packages are gambling areas and alcoholic beverages. Many people expect buffet-style group dining on a cruise ship, but this is often not the case, and many ships offer various restaurants for guests to choose from where they can enjoy a private, romantic dinner.

These are just a few of the amenities to be found on a cruise ship. Generally, it does not matter whether you are staying in a more expensive room on the outside of the cruise ship, which will likely feature a balcony, or in a less expensive room in the interior of the ship — all of the amenities are still included. Most rooms on cruise ships are very small, so it is unlikely that you will be spending much time there anyway, so unless an ocean view is very important to you, purchasing a room on the interior can cut costs.

Some cruises are more geared towards families and children, while others are designed more for couples taking a vacation or celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon. Cruises are often all-inclusive, so they can be a less expensive option for a vacation than other choices, and they depart from various ocean side cities around the country — meaning you might not have to take a long airplane trip to get there, which will save even more money. Cruise lines also offer different types of cruises all around the world. Caribbean cruises are probably the most well known and among the most popular, but Alaskan, Mediterranean, and European cruises are also quite popular.

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Discussion Comments
By Viranty — On Jul 23, 2014

With the Titanic that happened years ago, it's good to know that there are those who are still cautious about emergency situations. Besides, even if there's little to no chance of the cruise ship having an accident, it's not worth the risk. Learning from past mistakes is a great thing, and really shows how far we've come. Though the Titanic disaster was ages ago, we will never forget.

By Chmander — On Jul 23, 2014

This article really has me intrigued about the concepts of cruise ships. Not only is it a nice break from your busy life, but it's also a nice break from the average vacation. For example, if you have the money, it would be a better idea to take a cruise vacation than stay at a raggedy hotel with cheap food. Of course you always have to take extra costs into consideration, but if you can afford the more expensive ones, then I say go for it.

By Krunchyman — On Jul 22, 2014

I've never been on a cruise ship before, but it's always a good idea to check the reviews before attempting to make a reservation. After all, just about anyone can pass themselves off as a cruise representative. However, in reality, it may be nothing but a huge scam. Adding onto that, even if they are a legit company, it's all about quality as well. From food, to costs, and even the bedrooms, these are all important factors to take into consideration.

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