Lately, the news has been filled with "Cruise Ship Breaks Down," "Fire on Cruise Ship" and "Guests Stranded After Cruise Ship Has Mechanical Troubles" types of headlines.
While all those headlines are true, they are all quite unlikely situations that have just occurred within a month or so of each other.
Cruise ships are a great way to travel; it's like a floating all-inclusive resort where you can visit three or four different places in just one trip! The good aspects of cruising definitely outweigh the fluke fear of the mechanics malfunctioning or the ship sinking in the middle of the Caribbean.
I've only sailed with Carnival Cruise Lines, but with so many cruise lines to choose from, you are sure to find one that makes you feel comfortable to sail with. Most cruise companies have similar amenities -- pools, hot tubs, a gym, restaurants, buffets -- and other get more elaborate with their entertainment by including ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls and even parks on board.
It is easier than easy to have fun as a teenager on a cruise. On Carnival, the teen club is called Club O2. Teenagers 15 to 17 years old can go into the club and it's a great place to meet people; they also have dances, competitions and cool, adult-looking lounge spaces. You definitely don't feel like you're being treated like a child there.
Also for a teenager, there's a candy store (which I bought from multiple times), an arcade, basketball/volleyball courts and 24-hour -- YES, 24-HOUR -- ice cream and pizza. Of course, when you get off the ship, there is also so much to do. I went jet skiing with my dad, kayaking and snorkeling, and obviously, shopping.
Our cruise on the infamous Carnival Dream -- which was in the news earlier this year for generator problems -- stopped in Nassau (The Bahamas), St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and St. Maarten. My favorite stop was St. Thomas as that is where we went kayaking. The water was picture perfect and it was relaxing to paddle through mangroves under the Caribbean sun. There was also a gondola ride that took us to the top of a mountain there, and the view was beyond incredible.
Nassau was mainly a touristy shopping port, and in St. Maarten we rented a Jeep, drove around the island to go to the beach and ate at an authentic French restaurant (one side of the island is French, the other is Dutch).
Seasickness is the thing people fear most about cruising. Nowadays, there is so much that you can do for seasickness that it's not a problem to worry about. I saw lots of people wearing patches behind their ears that help with seasickness; there is also a variety of medicines you can take for when you get seasick, and even before just to prevent it.
Before associating cruising with the Titanic, remember that every day there are hundreds of cruise ships sailing all over the world, and only a few have problems. So fear not the cruise ship and happy sailing to all who choose to do so!
Savannah Rice is a sophomore at Weber High School. Contact her at email@example.com.