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Are you fit for a freighter?: A Quiz

Are you fussy about food and service?

On 12-passenger freighter cruises, your meals will be the same served to the officers, which means on a foreign-flag vessel, say, Greek or German, you should be prepared to enjoy the cuisine of that country, because that's what the galley usually cooks for the crew. You'll also usually be sharing the officers' cabin steward, so don't expect breakfast in bed or lots of pampering.

Very, add 5. Sort of, add 4. Occasionally, add 3. Rarely, add 2. Never, add 1.

How flexible are you?

If the itinerary lists a port you've always wanted to visit, but the ship cancels that call at the last minute; if you're expecting to spend three days in Rio but end up getting only eight hours; if you plan to be home on the 58th day but actually don't get back until the 67th day-can you handle it?

Very, add 1. Sort of, add 2. Occasionally, add 3. Rarely, add 4. Never, add 5.

Are you self-reliant and can easily amuse yourself?

On a freighter, you won't have a cruise director to cajole you into fun and games, nor a shore excursions manager selling guided bus tours to Yokohama, nor an orchestra playing for after-dinner dancing. You may have to take your own reading materials and games (although most freighters have small libraries and a few cards and games on hand), or even, in the case of Lykes Lines, your own dinner wine and liquor.

Very, add 1. Sort of, add 2. Occasionally, add 3. Rarely, add 4. Never, add 5.

Do you get along easily in close quarters with strangers?

Remember that you'll be sharing a dinner table with the same 6 or so other passengers for a lot of days, and what seems only vaguely irritating at the beginning can be infuriating after a week or two. We remember a woman on the Americana named Janet who constantly made pronouncements at the dinner table, like "This is not a real freighter; I know, because I've taken 35 freighter cruises," or "I'm the poor relation on board, because I'm the only one in an inside cabin."

Always, add 1. Sort of, add 2. Occasionally, add 3. Rarely, add 4. Never, add 5.

Are you worried about getting bored aboard a ship?

Amiable loners and couples whose world is complete within themselves make good freighter passengers, as do creative people with portable projects they need to work on free of interference or telephone calls. It's a laid-back atmosphere where you make your own entertainment.

Very, add 5. Sort of, add 4. Occasionally, add 3. Rarely, add 2. Never, add 1.

SCORES:

If you scored 20 or higher, book a cruise ship, not a freighter.

If you scored 10-19, you might enjoy a freighter cruise, but then again you may not!

If you scored 9 or under, you should be able to manage a freighter cruise.

This "Test" has been adapted from the Fielding Travel web site.

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