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1. Is cruising good value?
Cruising is the best holiday value! There are cruise holidays to suit every budget. Your cruise fare includes your accommodation, on board activities and entertainment, most meals, plus transportation from port to port. You’ll know what your holiday will cost you before you go. Typically, your only extra expenses will be drinks, specialty restaurants, optional shore excursions and personal services such as massages or hairstyling.
2. How long is a cruise?
As long or short as you want. Cruise Lines offer itineraries from just one day to over three months. Our Cruise Finder displays the full range of cruise options, including duration, to help identify the right cruise for you.
3. Where can I cruise to?
Wherever you want! Cruises visit over 500 ports worldwide and practically every destination accessible by water. You can embark on your cruise holiday from a wide variety of ports close to home or exciting and exotic locations around the globe. View our Cruise Finder to view all options.
4. Are all cruise ships fairly similar?
Far from it, Cruise lines range from intimate luxury cruising and yacht-like to vessels stretching longer than three football fields which are great for family cruising. You can sail with fewer than 100 fellow guests or with more than 5,000. Check out our Cruise Line information pages.
Enjoy atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, contemporary to classic. Enjoy the endless activities offered on a contemporary resort-style cruise, or immerse yourself in the culture of a destination on a special interest cruise.
5. Are there different types of cruise ships?
There are cruises designed to suit virtually every interest and personal preference.
The choices include: boutique, luxury cruises with globetrotting itineraries; large, contemporary ships with a fantastic array of recreational facilities; classic vessels evoking the time-honoured traditions of cruising; special interest or exploration cruises specializing in unique destinations with an accent on cultural enrichment; river voyages into the heart of a destination.
There are cruise lines that feature soft adventure expeditions to such unique frontiers as Antarctica, Alaska or the Amazon Rain Forest, just to name a few.
For experienced travellers, destination-focused cruises specialise in culturally-rich ports of call with itineraries dedicated to illuminating such historic, world-class treasures as the antiquities of classical Greece, the Polynesian paradise of Hawaii, the fabled splendour of Norwegian fjords or the castles and museums of Europe’s rivers.
For many, the perfect vacation includes the non-stop fun and sun of a tropical resort-style cruise to the South Pacific where you can sample a variety of island cultures and cuisines while relaxing your cares away. Plus, many cruise lines create special “themes” on board, with entertainment ranging from jazz festivals and classical music concerts to golf clinics and murder mysteries at sea!
6. Can my family and friends come onboard the cruise ship?
They are welcome to wish you bon voyage from the cruise terminal. Due to security reasons, they will be unable to come on board with you unless they are also sailing.
7. Are there any special educational programs on-board?
To complement the spirit of discovery that travel evokes, many cruise lines feature an extensive program of on board enrichment programs hosted by distinguished guest experts, Cunard offer a great Enrichment program. In addition to lectures highlighting the history and sights of the ports you will be visiting, there may also be special in-depth presentations ranging from Renaissance art to strategic financial planning to epicurean secrets of classic French cuisine. We would love to hear about what you have to say — join our Facebook Page.
8. Do I need a passport to cruise?
Cruise Guru recommends you take a passport on all cruises; however you may not be required to carry a Passport for sea travel on certain “closed loop cruises” originating in Australia (cruises to nowhere).
Be sure to ask our Cruise Guru staff what passport requirements apply to your cruise vacation. Government regulations are continually being modified and it is best to be prepared. Besides, a passport grants you unlimited cruise holiday options around the world!
9. Are there different classes of service on ships?
The vast majority of today’s cruise ships are “one-class.” Everyone can use all of the ship’s facilities. The price of your cabin is based primarily on its size and location. Regardless of the category you book, you’ll enjoy the same courteous service, menus, activities, and entertainment as everyone else on board.
10. Will I get bored? Feel confined on a cruise holiday?
Hardly! Being at sea gives you a feeling of total freedom that no land-based resort can offer. There’s plenty of room and it will probably take you two or three days just to discover everything that’s on board. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring many exciting ports of call, often a new one every day of the trip!
Cruise ships are floating resorts with all the choices fine resorts have to offer. You can lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read good books, or watch the ever-changing seascape. Smaller ships focus on the treasures and delights of myriad destinations.
If you’re more active, join in exercise or dance classes, or sports contests. Practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or take in some fresh air on the jogging deck. Or you can swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can also watch a feature film, attend an enrichment lecture by experts, or play backgammon and bridge. And that’s just when you’re on board!
11. What to do while in port?
So much that you’ll have a hard time choosing! You can explore on your own or take a guided tour (referred to as shore excursions). Search ancient ruins in Egypt or hunt for shopping bargains in Mexico. Ride a raft over river rapids in the lush South Pacific Islands or a horse across miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall in New Zealand. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there’s still time, play golf or tennis in Hawaii. Learn how to windsurf in the Greek Islands. Sun and swim at some of the world’s best beaches. Sail, snorkel or Scuba dive in and around Australia. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs.
In short, cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of new destinations and try all the things you’ve ever dreamed of doing, while never having to pack and unpack!
12. What activities are there to do on a cruise ship?
On a cruise, you do what you want, when you want. You can do everything or do absolutely nothing. It’s your holiday!
13. Is cruising good for families?
More and more cruise holidays are booked by families with children. Twenty-five percent of cruisers sail with children and a majority of cruise lines provide plenty of supervised activities for kids, especially during school holidays. If your children enjoy swimming, sports, games, movies and the adventure of new places, they’ll love a family cruise. You’ll find that children adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won’t have to wonder what they’re up to every minute. Trained youth counsellors will help keep them safe, busy and entertained. Ships even offer different types of age-appropriate activities, suitable for toddlers to teens. Some of the best cruise lines for Australian families to experience include P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, MSC Cruises.
14. What’s there to do at night onboard a cruise ship?
When the stars come out, a cruise ship turns on. There’s dancing, live entertainment, nightclubs and lounges, feature films, and parties with all your new friends. Most ships also have casinos, night clubs, bars and other entertainment facilities What’s more, there are many special events like the Captain’s Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, Broadway-style shows and Las Vegas-type revues.
15. Do I need to pay for entertainment on a cruise ship?
On a cruise holiday, the entertainment is on the house. There’s no cover charge for admission. The shows are live, films first-rate and all included in your cruise fare.
16. What type of people will I meet on a cruise ship?
There’s no such thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take cruises now with all ages from all walks of life – singles, couples and families.
17. What should I pack for a cruise holiday?
Pack like you would for any resort; however be mindful of the destination you are cruising to. Generally cruise holidays are casual by day, whether you’re on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. At the Captain’s Gala, for example, you’ll probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or cocktail dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown, some cruise lines have restrictions so check with our Cruise Guru reservations team.
18. Will I need a tuxedo on a cruise holiday?
Reflecting today’s lifestyle trends, many cruise lines now feature a more relaxed and casual approach to dress throughout the cruise — while on others, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don’t buy a tuxedo just for the trip. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions. Plus, many ships offer tuxedo rental services.
19. Can single travellers have fun on a cruise?
Cruising is ideal for people travelling alone because it’s so easy to meet other people. In fact, most ships have parties for singles early in the cruise, so you can get to know other guests right away. Some ships even offer gentlemen hosts to be dance partners, dinner companions or a fourth at cards. To know which ships offer hosts please contact our Cruise Guru reservations team.
20. Can I use my hair dryer or shaver on a cruise ship?
Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms but do check with our Cruise Guru staff to be sure. Most ships feature hair-dryers in your stateroom.
21. What are the dining times on a cruise ship?
Choices, choices and more choices. During the day, there are many different dining options — in the formal dining room, on deck, in a pizzeria and at an espresso bar, to name just a few. At night, most ships offer several venues. Some ships’ dining rooms can accommodate all guests at one time, called a “seating.” Many ships offer you a choice of several seating times, and others offer multiple restaurants for “anytime” dining. More traditional ships have two seatings in their formal dining rooms, which differ only by time: typically 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Make your selection when you book online.
To choose, just decide whether you prefer to dine early or late. Frequently, you can choose to enjoy dinner someplace other than the formal dining room, such as in an intimate restaurant that features Italian or Asian cuisine. More and more cruise lines are opening up their informal lido areas to evening dining, where the dress and dishes always are casual, and sometimes, you can even eat out under the stars. And a large number of ships offer romantic in-cabin dining. The choice is yours! If you want to ask or change your dining time — ask our Cruise Guru specialists.
22. Is the food on a cruise ship good?
Everything you’ve heard about cruise ship dining is true. At each meal, you’ll find a varied selection of entrees (appetizers, salads, soups, vegetables, and desserts, too), and each day the selection will be different. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with a cuisine or try a dish, you can feel free to order more than one entrée or appetizer (or dessert!). But, just because your cruise ship offers plenty of delicious food, doesn’t mean you’ll come home out of shape. You can choose low-cal, spa, vegetarian or fitness menu selections that are just as tempting as the regular menu. Best of all, the one thing you’ll never see on a cruise ship menu is a price. Because the majority of your meals are included!
23. Can I get a special diet meal on my cruise?
Most ships can accommodate salt-free, low-carbohydrate, low cholesterol, diabetic, or other diet preferences. Look for the dietary options listed when you book your cruise online. If your choice is not available, please advise the Cruise Guru reservations team once you have booked your cruise.
24. What about dining companions – can I sit with my spouse and friends only, or will I have tablemates?
Experienced cruisers say they prefer sitting at a table with several other diners; some lifelong friendships have been made this way. But the cruise lines are geared to accommodate each guest’s wishes, and it is possible to request a table for two or four or even up to ten. Most cruise lines allow you to request your preferred dining table size when you book online. In the unlikely event that you do wish to change tablemates, speak with the maitre d’, who will make every effort to seat you with more compatible dining companions…discretely and politely.
25. Are there non-smoking areas on the ship?
Virtually all dining rooms are smoke free as are designated areas in other public rooms onboard the ship. Check with your Cruise Guru regarding the individual cruise line’s policies.
26. Can I celebrate a special occasion onboard?
Absolutely! Most cruise lines will even treat you to a complimentary cake and a chorus of “Happy Whatever” to honour the occasion. Your birthday or anniversary can be more festive with champagne, flowers or canapés. You can even arrange for a special private party. Let our friendly Cruise Guru specialists know if you are celebrating an occasion and we can see what we are able to do for you!
27. Is cruising for honeymooners?
Without a doubt. Cruising offers an atmosphere that’s just right for romance…cozy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night away (even under the stars). Most lines provide special services —to champagne and breakfast in bed.
Also, some ships offer special packages for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing marriage vows. Make sure you don’t forget to let us know if you are a honeymoon couple — let the Cruise Guru team know now!
28. Can I make phone calls and use the Internet onboard a cruise ship?
Easily! Most staterooms are equipped with satellite or cellular telephones. You can even use your own cell phone on some ships, where cellular service is available. Many cruise ships are now Wi- Fi enabled, so you can check your e-mail on your laptop in your stateroom or go to the on board computer café for Internet access. You can also call someone on shore through the ship’s radio officer while at sea. In addition, most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports scores.
29. How does tipping (gratuities) work on a cruise?
Tipping (gratuities) is a matter of individual preference. A general rule of thumb is $11 per person per day. Other shipboard personnel can be tipped for special services or at your discretion. Some lines include an automatic gratuity in the price of your cruise and will advise you of that as well as the amount while other lines maintain a no tipping policy. Check with your Cruise Guru regarding the individual cruise line’s policies.
30. Is there a doctor on a cruise ship?
While cruise ships are not comprehensive medical facilities, cruise lines understand that some people may have health needs during a cruise. Thus they are committed to providing first response and emergency care to guests until they can be transferred to a shore side medical facility. Most cruise lines have 24-hour medical services and staff operating under guidelines developed in conjunction with the American College of Emergency Physicians (AECP). Cruise lines and travel agents encourage holiday makers to obtain medical insurance, travel with adequate supplies of medical prescriptions and devices and to disclose pre-existing medical conditions before sailing.
31. Are there laundry services aboard ships?
Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Many ships also have self-service launderettes onboard.
32. Do cruise lines accept group bookings?
Most cruise lines welcome groups — often at special rates, depending on how large the group. Policies vary from company to company and sometimes seasonally. Email Cruise Guru for details.
33. Are there meeting rooms onboard a cruise ship?
Nearly every full-size ship has public rooms or a conference centre to offer as meeting space for private or corporate groups. Many feature dedicated meeting facilities. If you’d like to make meeting or incentive travel arrangements, ask your Cruise Guru to contact the cruise line’s group sales department to coordinate schedules and arrange for any special requirements. Your ship may also be able to offer audio-visual equipment, communications, meeting coordinators, secretarial and printing services and more.
34. Can I extend my cruise Holiday?
Cruise lines feature special pre-or post-hotel packages that allow you to extend your holiday in either your port of embarkation or disembarkation.
35. Sea Sickness on cruise ships?
Popular cruise itineraries ply some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilisers on modern ships, availability of advance weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.
36. How can I stay healthy onboard?
Follow your parent’s advice and wash your hands! Cruise ships work very closely with public health agencies such as the CDC to make sure they provide the healthiest shipboard environment for guests. The last thing you want is to be ill while you’re on holidays, so take the simple precaution of washing your hands often with soap and warm water thoroughly. Wash your hands after using the restroom, before eating and avoid touching your face.
37. Cruising sounds too good to be true! Is it?
The one complaint we hear time and again is that cruises end far too soon! Beyond that, it’s hard to find any negatives. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your vacation. Most importantly, every crew and staff member on board is dedicated to making your cruise the best vacation of your life (until you top it with your next cruise!)
38. Is my cruise deposit refundable?
Yes, Cruise Guru provides our clients with refundable deposits (less $150 admin fee per person) provided that the cruise line allows for a refundable deposit. Some cruise lines and also promotions prohibit refundable deposits. To confirm that your deposit is refundable please speak with one of our friendly Cruise Guru staff on 13 13 03.
39. When do I need to pay for my cruise?
You will need to pay for your cruise by the date displayed during the booking process and on your subsequent confirmation documentation. Please be sure to review and print the terms and conditions during the booking process.
40. Who should I see if I have questions that haven’t been answered?
Our reservations team will also be happy to assist, with over 30 years of cruising experience there is no question that we will not know or not be able to find the answer to, and believe us we have had some weird and wonderful questions over the years.