Home Prepare For Your Next Voyage Disappointing photos show what cruise ships actually look like

Disappointing photos show what cruise ships look like in real life

Cruise ship islands
Cruises aren’t always as perfect as they might seem.
Shutterstock
  • Promotional photos of cruise ships don’t show the crowds.
  • The accommodations might be smaller and more cramped than you thought you were getting.
  • The ports aren’t always glamorous, either.

Cruises can be a blissful escape for travelers of all ages. From glamorous cruises of a bygone era to ship itineraries that include volunteer opportunities, aspiring seafarers have no shortage of options.

Cruises can also be the worst for a whole host of reasons.

Here are disappointing photos that show how cruise ship expectations don’t always match the reality.

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Boarding a cruise ship is where the fun begins.

Boarding a cruise ship is where the fun begins.
Boarding a cruise ship.
 Katarina Hostovecka/Shutterstock

There are many ways to decide what kind of cruise to take, including based on yourzodiac sign.

But sometimes you end up waiting in a crowded line in the hot sun for hours.

But sometimes you end up waiting in a crowded line in the hot sun for hours.
A long line to board a cruise ship.
 Alvin Baez/Reuters

The last thing you want to deal with on a cruise is lots of annoying passengers.

The pool deck of a cruise ship can be the perfect place to relax and work on your tan.

The pool deck of a cruise ship can be the perfect place to relax and work on your tan.
A bright, sunny pool deck.
 Solarisys/Shutterstock

Some people use masking tape to get the perfect tan lines.

But you might have trouble finding an open chair.

But you might have trouble finding an open chair.
A crowded pool deck.
 Andrew F. Kazmierski/Shutterstock

These “floating cities,” can be packed.

Sometimes, dolphins play in the wake of cruise ships, making for some spectacular sightseeing.

Sometimes, dolphins play in the wake of cruise ships, making for some spectacular sightseeing.
Dolphins following a cruise ship.
 Gary Cameron/File Photo/Reuters

There are also more adventurous cruise ship activities for thrill-seekers.

But mostly you’ll be seeing a whole lot of this.

But mostly you'll be seeing a whole lot of this.
Endless horizon.
 VGB.Studios/flickr

Time lapse videos of a ship’s travels can be awesome, though.

Your cruise ship accommodations might be spacious, with a sitting area washed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows.

Your cruise ship accommodations might be spacious, with a sitting area washed in natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows.
A room on a luxury ship.
 PhotoStock10/Shutterstock

Some people even buy second homes on cruise ships.

Or they could be dim and cramped.

Or they could be dim and cramped.
Cruise ship quarters.
 Christian Córdova/Flickr

Cramming too many people in a room is a common mistake that people make on cruise ships.

Some cruise ships have bathrooms that are on par with those of a luxury hotel.

Some cruise ships have bathrooms that are on par with those of a luxury hotel.
A luxurious cruise ship bathroom.
 Gorm Kallestad/Scanpix/Reuters

There are some pretty luxurious cruise ships out there with bathrooms like this one on The World.

And then there are bathrooms that feel more like they belong on a dorm or locker room.

And then there are bathrooms that feel more like they belong on a dorm or locker room.
A cramped cruise ship bathroom.
 Shearings Holidays/flickr

The crew’s bathrooms are even less glamorous. Just ask someone who worked on a cruise ship.

When it’s time to disembark, the ship might pull up next to a bright, tropical island.

When it's time to disembark, the ship might pull up next to a bright, tropical island.
A cruise ship in some exotic locale.
 Mia2you/Shutterstock

Not every port is super scenic, though.

Not every port is super scenic, though.
A cruise ship docking.
 Peter Nicholls/Reuters

You also might not have as much time in every port as you’d like.

Docking at the beach is pretty epic.

Docking at the beach is pretty epic.
A cruise ship parked on a secluded beach.
 NAPA/Shutterstock

Taking a cruise is a great way to visit some of the best beaches in the world.

Until you have to share it.

Until you have to share it.
Belly flops and beaches aren’t the best mix.
 Gary Hershorn/Reuters

Even famous beaches don’t always live up to the hype.

Your cruise ship dining experience might rival that of a fancy restaurant under the stars.

Your cruise ship dining experience might rival that of a fancy restaurant under the stars.
A cruise ship at dinnertime.
 multiz12/Shutterstock

Does it get better than outdoor seating in the middle of the ocean?

But usually it will feel more like a cafeteria.

But usually it will feel more like a cafeteria.
A cruise at Christmastime.
 Wilfredo Lee/AP

Not all buffets are created equal.

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