Cruise Wisdom: Crowds or Solitude?

Crowd Surfing

Embrace the pack or search for solitude?

By Cindy O’Neil

Q: My wife and I want to take a Caribbean cruise in February or March. Is there anything we should consider about sailing during these months?
— Greg A., San Diego, California

A: You bet your bottom dollar! At this time of year Europeans and snowbirds alike will be eager to escape the icy grip of winter weather. Spring break is the perfect excuse to sail away in search of sun, sand, and surf, so ships will most likely be sailing at full capacity.
If throngs of passengers send your serotonin level into overdrive, a 7-day cruise on a large ship is just the ticket. One week cruises will attract many multigenerational families with boisterous young children eager to enjoy their vacation at sea. College students may also be boarding to indulge in a hedonistic hiatus of their own. You can expect the shipboard atmosphere to be electric. This kind of high energy beckons to people who love to mix and mingle with their fellow passengers. Jump on the dance floor and join the conga line, enter the funny pool games, and just enjoy the excitement that happy crowds exude.
Lines at the buffet may be longer, prime seats at the shows will disappear quickly, and finding a deck chair by the pool might become the impossible dream. Dealing with more people demands some patience, but as the saying goes, “the more the merrier.”
Perhaps you’re the type who welcomes the chance to celebrate shoulder-to-shoulder with crowds of cruisers exchanging stories of past experiences. But even the most people-person cruiser needs to occasionally take a break from all of the activity. Luckily, today’s ships offer lots of quiet spaces to …


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