Cruising is so hot right now.

According to Cruise Lines International Association, 25 million passengers are expected to take a cruise this year.

Travel sections are full of first-hand accounts of journeys to exotic locations aboard luxury liners. There are positive stories about the food, the service and the fellow passengers.

Every time I read one I think: "That sounds lovely. I really must book a cruise."


Then I remember that I have an inbuilt bias against cruises. In fact, I would sooner sit at home and chew tinfoil than go on a cruise.

Revealed here are 6 perceptions that ensure I am a confirmed landlubber. (Biases, assumptions and prejudices are all my own.)

1: The food

Cruise ships are famous for all-inclusive packages that mean passengers can eat whatever they like, whenever they like, without incurring extra costs. It sounds like a recipe for gluttony and an expanding waistline to me.

As it says on Royal Caribbean's blog: "While on your cruise ship, there will ample food provided throughout the day. In short, there's hardly ever a time where you can't find food that is complimentary."

That might be irresistible to some but the "unlimited free food" philosophy is incompatible with my nutrition programme.

It's been announced that next month Weight Watchers International is hosting a "wellness-themed Caribbean cruise".

Such an approach is in stark contrast to the "abundance of food, drink, and sloth that mass-market cruise lines" usually offer.

Unfortunately, a Weight Watchers cruise appeals to me about as much as a standard pig-out cruise. There is no pleasing some people.


2: The themes

Whoever first said cruises are for "the newly wed or nearly dead" (we've already discussed the "over-fed") is behind the times.

These days there are cruises that cater for all sorts of people with all sorts of interests.

There are gay cruises, chocoholic cruises, fashion-and-style cruises, nude cruises, Star Trek cruises and psychic medium cruises. Yet none of those themes take my fancy.

If there was a champagne-and-equestrian cruise I might be a starter. I won't hold my breath.


3: The seasickness

I don't have the stomach for boats. I am almost certain I would be an A-grade vomiter if I was unwise enough to venture on an ocean liner.

Since seasickness ranks high on my personal unpleasantness scale, I'm not prepared to test that hypothesis.


4: The privilege gap

Some cruise passengers sleep in cramped interior cabins on a lower deck while others enjoy well-appointed, elevated staterooms complete with balconies and ocean views.

On land a similar comparison might be backpacker accommodation versus five-star luxury lodges. But on land the backpackers and those who holiday in luxury lodges are unlikely to encounter each other.

On board a cruise liner the privilege gap between passengers who necessarily share communal spaces has the potential to create a seething hot mess of guilt and envy.


5: The pretence

Regardless of how many gilt chandeliers, sweeping staircases, glass elevators, "on board butlers" and "speciality restaurants" a cruise liner has, there's no escaping the fact that a ship is just another form of transportation.

Like buses, trains and commercial aircraft, cruise ships are public transport. Unlike buses, trains and commercial aircraft, cruise ships have delusions of grandeur.


6: The hand-sanitising units

In February the Sun Princess was forced to dock at Brisbane when 140 passengers came down with norovirus. Just two weeks earlier 100 passengers on the same ship contracted the same gastro bug.

Last year 158 passengers on the Diamond Princess were similarly affected when it docked at Sydney.

In 2014 there was a "pukefest" when 200 passengers fell ill on the Dawn Princess which was on a trip around New Zealand. (My favourite new word? Pukefest. Love it.)

Cruise ships make fertile breeding ground for germs. When large numbers of people live in close quarters, it's easy for highly contagious vomiting and diarrhoea bugs to spread.

In an attempt to prevent such outbreaks, hand sanitisers are peppered throughout the ships, and passengers and crew are encouraged to use them. It's a sensible measure but the only place I've seen a proliferation of hand-sanitising units are in the corridors of public hospitals.

It sure removes some of the romance and sophistication associated with ocean cruising. Mind you, so does norovirus so it's a no-win situation.