Cruise Travel Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions


I have never been on a cruise. Which is the best cruise line for me?

This is a common question, and the answer is - it depends. It's like asking what is the best car? The best cruise line for you might not be the best line for someone else because everyone has different priorities, interests, etc.

Some of the things you need to consider are:

Fortunately there is a lot of information available. One of our agents will be glad to help you. There are also cruising guides; magazines; recommendations from friends; and cruise brochures.

Once you decide on your priorities and what you would like to get out of your cruise, one of our agents can help you pick the best ship for you.

Are there different classes of service?

Today's cruise ships are one-class, but on some cruise lines and ships you will find designated areas offering a premium experience when booking a higher category cabin such as a suite.  This can include access to an exclusive restaurant, additional cabin amenities, priority seating in the theatre, butler service and much more.

Will I get bored? Feel confined?

Being at sea gives you a feeling of freedom few places can offer. There's plenty of room. And it'll probably take you two or three days just to discover what's onboard. Plus, you get the added adventure of exploring new and exciting ports of call. Cruise ships are like floating resorts with all the things fine resorts have to offer. You can be by yourself and lie back in a lounge chair, breathe in the sea air, soak up the sun, read a book, or watch the ever-changing view. Or, you can join in exercise classes, dance classes, sports contests and other organized deck activities. Perhaps you can practice your tennis stroke or golf swing, or shoot some baskets. You can go for a swim, stretch out in the sauna or work out in the gym. You can see a feature movie, attend a lecture by renowned experts, play backgammon or bridge. And that's just when you're onboard!

Is motion-discomfort a problem?

The most popular cruise areas boast some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, advance availability of accurate weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have, for the most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.

What's there to do in port?

A cruise is the easiest way to see new places and do all the things you’ve dreamed of.

You can take advantage of a ship-organised shore excursion, or opt to explore a destination on your own.  Several cruise lines include shore excursions in your cruise fare so every day can be a new experience.

Cruising is the perfect way to sample a number of destinations that you may want to return to for another holiday, and you never have to pack and unpack as the destinations come to you!

But what if I don't want to take a tour?

You can do what you want in port. You will either tender (small boat to shore) or dock. It depends on the port and how many ships are there. But if you tender it will usually be done efficiently.

You can take tours arranged by the ship, take your own tours (rent a car, taxi, etc.), just walk into town, or stay on the ship. You can have lunch on the ship - you can always come back, even with tender, as they run all the time. If it's an all-day tour, they will usually include lunch. The half-day tours are timed to get you back for lunch (or leave after lunch).

They will review all the tours for you on the ship and you should go if you're interested. Even if you want to do it on your own, you may pick up some ideas.

Ship tours are usually well organized and usually well worth the money. We know sometimes you can do it cheaper on your own, but remember that you are also paying for a guide, admissions, etc. Not to mention peace of mind - the ship won't leave until all the tours are back. If you go on your own you may have to build in extra time to be sure you won't miss the ship.

Do I have to participate in the activities?

On a cruise, you do what you want to. You can do everything. Or lie back and do absolutely nothing. It's your holiday.

Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?

32% of cruise holidays are booked by families with children. Most cruise lines make a special point of providing supervised activities for youngsters, 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 the kids adapt to shipboard life with ease, and you won't have to wonder what they're up to every minute. The cruise staff will help keep them busy and entertained. Best of all, children generally travel at a substantially reduced rate.

What's there to do at night?

At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There's dancing; live entertainment in nightclubs, discos and lounges; feature films; and parties with all your new friends. Most ships even have casinos. There are also many special events like the Captain's Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, the Masquerade Parade, the Late Night Buffet (just for one last bite to tide you over until breakfast). And the night can go on as long as you want. Even until the spectacle of sunrise at sea.

Is there a charge for entertainment?

On a cruise, the entertainment is on the house. No charge for an admission ticket. The shows are live. The movies are first-rate. The variety is limitless.

Is it easy to meet people?

A cruise ship is a great place to make new friends, because everyone's so friendly. The atmosphere is cordial and relaxed. Plus, you'll have all kinds of things in common to talk about. At dinner. At cocktails. Around the pool. Or on a shore excursion.

Will there be people like me?

No matter what you've heard to the contrary, there's no such thing as a typical cruise passenger! All kinds of people take cruises...of all ages...from all walks of, couples and families. Passengers can vary from ship to ship and cruise to cruise. Just ask your consultant for advice on the best ship for you, based on your tastes and lifestyle.

Can singles have fun on a cruise?

Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone, because it's so easy to meet other people.  Many ships have parties just for singles early on, so you can start to be involved right away. Most ships have single cabins as well as single rates for double staterooms.

When is the most affordable time to take a cruise?

If you are looking for the least expensive time to take a cruise, then consider sailing outside school holidays.

It can also depend on your destination, i.e. outside the Northern Hemisphere summer months such as March/April and September/October are more affordable than the peak of summer in Europe and Alaska.

Repositioning cruises also offer excellent value.  These are usually longer cruises, which offer more sea days, but can also provide a saving on your airfare, e.g. when a ship repositions from Sydney to Singapore, you will only need a one-way airfare home.

Is cruising right for honeymooners?

Cruising offers an atmosphere that's just right for romance...cosy dinners for two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night away (even under the stars) and so much more to remember forever.  Some ships offer special programs for performing a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows in port.

Where can I go?

Where do you want to go? Cruises visit practically any destination accessible by water -- Alaska, Europe, Hawaii, the Greek Isles, Asia, the South Pacific, the Galapagos Islands, South America, India, Panama Canal, Suez Canal, the Caribbean, Bahamas and more. With the growth in cruising year over year, cruise lines are always expanding their choice of destinations and ports to visit.

Are all ships and cruises fairly similar?

Far from it. Ships range from 7,000 tonne, to over 160,000 tonne. You can sail from fewer than 100 fellow passengers to over 4,000. Experience atmospheres ranging from casual to formal, classically simple to ultra-deluxe. You can even choose between traditional propeller-driven craft, sail-assisted cruise ships, or a paddle-wheel river boat.

Is cruising affordable and a good value holiday?

Yes. There are cruises to suit every budget, from the cost-conscious to the most luxurious. Even more important, a cruise offers the best travel value for your money. Your fare includes all meals, your cabin, onboard daytime activities, night time parties and entertainment. So for once, you'll know what your holiday will end up costing you before you go. (Your only extra expenses will be drinks, optional shore excursions, and personal services such as massage or hairstyling.)

How long are cruises?

As long or short as you want. There are cruise lines that offer 2 night sampler cruises so you can experience cruising and see if you like it, to cruise lines that offer world voyages of 100+ nights and circle the globe.

What's the best time to take a cruise?

Anytime is the best time to take a cruise, but it also depends on where you'd like to go and when you can get away. The South Pacific or Hawaii are fantastic year round; however, some destinations are seasonal. For example, you can only cruise to Alaska between May and September; Europe is best between April and November; the Panama Canal, between September and April; or Antarctica between November and February.