If you are a first time cruiser you might find the process of planning a cruise all a bit overwhelming. The cruise specialists at Cruiseabout New Zealand have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to answer those daunting questions.

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General Cruise Questions

Pre-Cruise Questions

Onboard Questions

 

General Cruise Questions

Q: Are there cruises for adults?
A: Yes. Many cruise lines have adults only areas such as an outside pool area on one of the top decks. A couple cruise lines even have adults only cruise ships such as P&O International's Adonia, Arcadia and Oriana..

Q: Are there cruises for couples?
A: Cruises cater for all types of groups including couples. Even on larger ships you have the space and opportunity to be as romantic as you want at the same time as being able to socialise with others. If you are looking for something a little smaller and more intimate, your cruising specialist will help you find that.

Q: Are there cruises for families?
A: Majority of cruise lines cater for families. They offer a full range of activities and facilities to participate in as a family. kids clubs are also offered in some ships, and are focused on keeping children entertained, allowing their parents to get away for a little personal time.

Q: Are there cruises for retirees?
A: Traditionally it was retires who made up large portions of cruisers, however this has dramatically changed in the last few years. Cruises now cater for all age groups. Number of cruise lines offer excellent enrichment programs and themes to suit the mature cruise. Whether you are after something academic, historic or geographic your cruise specialist will help you find the right cruise for you.

Q: Are there cruises for singles?
A: Yes. A cruise holiday is perfect for sole travellers. A cruise ship represents a fun and safe environment for people to meet & communicate with others. Some ships have dedicated cabins for singles and special add on rates for single occupancy of double cabins.

Q: Can I go cruising if pregnant?
A: Yes you can. Most cruise lines will not allow you to climb aboard if you are past the 28th week. Some cruise lines are stricter and cuts off at 24 weeks. Some cruise lines require a doctor’s certificate. If you are pregnant talk to your cruise specialist before you book your cruise holiday.

Q: How much does cruising cost?
A: The cruise cost will be dependent on length of cruise, destination, cruise line and cabin type however there really is a cruise to suit everyone's budget and compared to a regular holiday you simply can't beat cruising for value for money.

Q: What is the longest cruise I can go on?
A: The longest cruises are World Cruises or World Voyages. The can last any where up to 120 days. Cruise lines sometimes break these up into segments, where you the passengers can choose the area and the length of cruise.

Q: What is the worlds biggest ship?
A: Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines "Allure of the Seas" followed by the "Oasis of the Seas" are currently the world's largest ships at 225,282 gross tonnes and carry around 6300 passengers and crew.

Q: Will I get seasickness?
A: Most contemporary cruise ships have stabilizers in place to ensure passenger comfort. Plus, cruise ships are now informed of storms & weather patterns well in advance so they have the ability to make necessary route changes.

If you are prone to motion sickness, you may find yourself getting seasick on your cruise holiday. There are a number of methods to overcome seasickness, including natural remedies and over the counter prescribed medicines. For prescribed medicine you will have to consult your GP. Natural remedies can be found at your local health store and pharmacy. For more information read our blog on avoiding seasickness.

 

Pre-Cruise Questions

Q: Are gratuities or tips included?
A: This depends on the cruise. Some cruise holidays include gratuities in the price, whilst others require you to pay onboard. You can check this with your cruising specialist at time of booking.

Q: How much luggage can I bring on the cruise?
A: Cruise lines are not overly concerned about how much luggage you bring onboard, so there are no luggage restrictions on cruise ships. Though, some cabins have limited closet space.

You may be required to travel (by air, public transport etc) to the departure port, especially if your cruise ship doesn’t depart from your home town. Airline carriers do have weight restrictions. Please take note of restrictions if you are travelling by air, as airlines do charge for oversize or excess baggage. Be prepared, check the restrictions with your travel consultant or the airline carrier before you book your flights.

Q: Should I book shore excursions or do my own sightseeing?
A: This is solely up to you. A shore excursion arranged by the ship is a safe option, as the quality and service offered can be vouched for. If the tour is delayed the ship will wait for you before it set sail again. You can book your shore excursions in advance (can be helpful when budgeting) or onboard the craft. Doing your own local sightseeing can be exciting, however you’ll have to pay close attention to time as the ship will not wait for you if you are running late. For more information Read our blog for more information on doing a shore excursion.

Q: What currency is on board?
A: This will vary dependent on cruise line and destination however the currency on the majority of cruise lines will either be US dollars, British Pounds or Euro's.

Q: What if I require a special diet?
A: If you have special dietary requirements you should advise your cruise specialist at the time of booking. Whether you are lactose intolerant, gluten free, vegetarian or a diabetic the cruise ship will cater to your needs. Arrange your meals in advance, just to avoid any last minute issues that may arise. However, if you do forget, you can arrange it onboard.

Q: What cabin should I book?
A: A lot of first time cruisers choose an inside cabin (an internal cabin without a window) solely due to budget however it is normally only a very small difference per day to upgrade to an oceanview cabin (cabin with a view). For a whole different experience think about upgrading to a balcony/verandah cabin.

Q: What is category guarantee?
A: A category guarantee means that you have purchased and will receive a specific grade of accommodation, ie: Outside cabin with balcony, inside cabin. Your actual cabin doesn’t get assigned at the time of booking, it’ll be assigned to your before departure as you embark upon the ship.

Q: Will I save money if I book at the last minute?
A: Not necessarily. If you are after a great deal book your cruise early. Some cruise lines offer great incentives to the earlybirds. Take advantage of complimentary cabin category upgrades, bonuses and discounted prices. These deals do not last, so you’ll need to act fast.

Cruising pricing reflects supply and demand. The more demand there is for a particular cruise the higher the price will be. Demand is determined by factors such as the destination, seasons & duration of the cruise holiday. Read our blog about Cruising seasons to learn about high/low & shoulder seasons for different destinations.
 
There are also risks of waiting for a last minute cruise deal. You might find that your cruise holiday has sold out before you were able to book it. Then there is the possibility of getting the cruise but in a cabin category less than preferred. Don’t risk losing out, book early!

 

Onboard Questions

Q: Can I take visitors on board?
A: No you can’t. Due to immigration and security reasons only registered guests are permitted onboard at all times.

Q: Is there babysitting on board?
A: No. However, cruise lines do offer kids club facilities onboard. What is included in the kids club do vary from ship to ship. It is best to talk to a cruise specialist about your requirements as well as what service can be expected onboard your cruise ship.

Q: Can I use my laptop on board?
A: Yes you can. Some ships offer Wi-Fi throughout the ship, whilst some only offer in designated areas. Most cruise ships have internet cafes on board. Charges do apply for the use of broadband & because it is based on satellite transmission the speed maybe affected.

Q: Can I use my mobile phone on the ship?
A: Reception is generally only available in ports. Some cruise lines have agreements with land based phone service companies. If you chose to use this service you should know that you will be paying international roaming rates for these calls. You will be able to use your cell phone on open decks, cabins & restaurants in these cruise ships. If you would like more details, please talk to your cruise specialist at the time of booking.

Q: Can I visit the bridge?
A: Visit to the bridge is usually not permitted duty security and insurance reasons. However, some cruise lines such as NCL and Princess cruises do run “Behind the scenes” tours, at an extra cost.

Q: How do I pay for on board expenses?
A: An onboard account will be set up for all passengers prior to departure. For your convenience all onboard purchases cab be charged to this account. Transaction balance can be checked anytime during the cruise & payments can be made at the end of the cruise.

Q: What is included in the price of a cruise?
A: Cruise holidays are one of the most value for money holidays you could go on. Your transportation, accommodation and main meals are included whilst onboard. Selected activities and entertainment are also included in the price. Some cruise lines have special restaurants & shows; however these are at an extra cost. For a comprehensive list of what is included talk to a cruising specialist when you book your next cruise holiday.

Q: What if I need to wash some of my clothes on the ship?
A: Laundry and cleaning services are always available onboard your cruise ship. Some cruise ships have self-service laundry facilities for passengers to use, whilst others provide a professional laundry service. All cruise ships are equipped with washing machine, dryers, ironing boards, irons and detergent. Self service washing machines & dryers generally tends to be coin operated.

 

 

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