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Cruises Frequently Asked Questions

To make life a little easier for you, we have compiled a list of questions and answers that may help to put your mind at rest when booking your cruise holiday.


On Board

Ports of Call

Pre Departure

What to take

What is the food like for children?

Children can dine with parents for breakfast, lunch and dinner on all family-friendly cruises, but we understand some parents may enjoy a little time alone too, so many ships will lay on children's meals at an earlier dining time in the evenings. Babies are catered for too on most ships, with a selection of baby foods. Let us know what you will need and we can inform the ship in advance to ensure they stock up for you.

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Are the children's club staff qualified?

Young cruisers can enjoy a boatload of exciting onboard activities. You will find dedicated children's clubs, which are staffed by fully trained personnel who are ready to ensure our young sailors stay happy all day long. Each of the youth personnel has extensive experience of looking after children, and hold relevant qualifications. See individual cruise lines for details.

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How do I find my way around the ship?

It is easy to find your way around, as you will see large ship maps conveniently located all around the ship, and often you may also find a pocket-sized map in your cabin to keep. Some ships will provide guided ship tours for first-time cruisers to help you find your feet.

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Can I smoke on board?

For the safety and comfort of all passengers, most ships do still allow smoking on board, but you will find this is restricted to designated areas around the ship. You will need to check with the individual cruise line for further details.

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What if I have mobility problems?

Passengers who are not fully mobile are welcome aboard most vessels, usually providing you are traveling with an able-bodied companion. We will need to know at the time of booking if you will be using a scooter or wheelchair during your holiday as the number of these on board are limited for health and safety reasons. There are also a small number of cabins on each ship adapted for disabled passengers, but again these are limited and require early booking.

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What if I have a special diet?

Diabetic, fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals can be provided very easily. You will need to advise us of any special diets or allergies at the time of booking, so we can inform the ship in advance to cater for your needs wherever possible. We also recommend you meet with the Maitre D' on arrival to further discuss your dietary requirements.

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Can I be contacted on the ship?

Yes you can. You will be provided with contact details to pass to your family/friends with your travel documents. When telephoning they will be asked for their credit card number and expiry date, plus your name and cabin number so that their call can be directed to your cabin. Call costs vary from cruise line to cruise line.

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What if I become Seasick or Ill?

For your peace of mind most ships have a medical centre on board staffed by fully qualified doctors and nurses. There is a charge for medical services, so it is recommended you have sufficient travel insurance for such purposes.

You will find the majority of ships are fully stabilised, and should rough weather conditions occur, while most people will be unaffected, those who are can be treated by the ship's Doctor with either tablets or an injection. Alternatively, take your own supply of tablets with you.

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What type of currency is it on board?

The type of currency depends on the cruise line, but you will find nearly all ships operate a "cash-free" system on board, meaning you will sign for all purchases made and these will be charged to an account opened by you on embarkation. You will be provided with a swipe card to use for this purpose. At the end of your stay you will be given a statement detailing purchases made and the total amount due. You may be asked to provide a credit card when opening your account, or alternatively you can often pay with travelers cheques.

For going ashore, money can usually be exchanged for foreign currency at the Reception Desk (although please note that not all currencies are held on board). Further details can usually be found in your cabin, or by visiting the Reception Desk. Enquire for details.

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What is the tipping Policy?

Again, this varies on each ship. As a way of saying "thank you" for the service you have received on holiday, tipping is recommended on the majority of cruises. Some ships will leave tips to your discretion, or provide guidelines as to how much and to whom you should tip (varying from approximately $4- $7 per person per day), while others will automatically add a daily amount to your shipboard account so you don't have to worry about it. Some cruise lines, already include gratuities in the fare, you will find details of this within your cruise documentation.

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What do I do on the last night?

On your last night you will be asked to pack your case and leave your luggage outside of your cabin door, usually by midnight, so that the staff can take your luggage ashore ready for disembarkation. Your cabin steward will have left coloured luggage labels in your cabin for you to attach to your luggage. You will need to keep an overnight bag in your cabin including suitable clothing and personal effects for the actual day of disembarkation.

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What can you do in Port?

Of course depending on location, absolutely anything. Just check before leaving how long you will have on land and when you are expected back on board.

Favorite pastimes in port may include: Shopping, walking, climbing, golfing, scuba diving or snorkelling, visiting a museum, taking a tour, bike or horse riding. The list is endless.

It is undoubtedly a great way to visit and sample a new destination. Many people having sampled a port once, will put it on a list of places to return again and experience for a longer stay.

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Should I take a tour when in port?

This will depend on the port itself. Some need a tender (small boat) to get you to shore, and you can take either the ships own tour or book your own excursion. Some trips might only be a for a few hours, some for half a day, some for a full day.

Ships tours are generally well organised, but you might find you can do it yourself cheaper. Bear in mind though that organised tours may well include extras like guides, admissions, and meals. They also add to your peace of mind as the ship won't leave until all the tours are back. If you go it alone, you might need to build in more time to enable you to make it back on board in time.

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When can I expect my tickets?

Your final holiday documentation, including luggage labels, can be expected approximately one to two weeks before departure. You will need to produce your tickets, together with your valid passport, plus any required visas, for embarkation.

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When can I book my shore excursions?

Each cruise line offers a wide range of shore excursions to help you make the most of your time ashore. You will be sent details of available shore excursions approximately eight to ten weeks before departure. It is recommended that you reserve your preferred excursions in advance of sailing directly with your cruise operator, either by post or online by visiting their website.

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Can I pre-book or upgrade my flight seats?

The majority of airlines offer an upgraded service at a premium. Depending upon where you're flying to and with which airline, you can enjoy benefits such as extra legroom seats, enhanced meal menus, additional luggage allowance, even flat beds to make your flight more comfortable, all subject to availability. Enquire for details.

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What clothing should I pack?

All cruise lines provide their own dress code, and will include details of these with your travel documents for guidance. Clothing during the day is usually casual, with shorts, skirts, casual shirts and beachwear recommended for warmer climates. For going ashore make sure you bring flat, comfortable footwear, and don't forget your sunscreen, sun hat and sunglasses too. Back onboard the restaurants often adopt a dress code during the day. The following definitions will help with your packing:

Informal - For ladies, tailored trousers, a skirt or a dress is suitable, and gentlemen can wear trousers and a smart shirt, or a jacket and tie.

Formal - A great opportunity to dress up! Ladies can wear anything from formal evening wear, such as a long dress/gown, a tailored suit, or cocktail dresses, while gentleman are expected to wear a dinner jacket, tuxedo, or often a dark suit and tie.

Smart Casual - For a more relaxed evening it is recommended that you wear stylish leisurewear, such as separates or a dress for the ladies, and open-neck shirts and trousers for men. (No shorts or sportswear are to be worn in the evenings).

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How much luggage am I allowed?

Your luggage will vary depending on what type of cruise you have booked. On cruises sailing to and from Australia, you will generally find there is no restriction as to how many bags you take, but you may be asked to limit the weight to a maximum on 30kgs per item for handling purposes. Also bear in mind space may be limited in your cabin.

For fly/cruises your luggage allowance is imposed by the airline. You will find this information printed on your flight tickets. Airlines impose their own baggage allowance rules which vary per Airline. Some charge per piece, some by weight. You need to be very careful these days to check with the airline concerned, as you may incur hefty charges on checking in if you are over the allowance set by the Airline. You do need to check these baggage allowances very carefully and try not to go over the allowances as you will be charged by the Airlines for the additional weight (pieces).

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This information is for guidance only. For specific information relating to your cruise, contact our experienced Cruise Consultants on 1300 65 1002 or refer to the individual cruise operators Terms and Conditions.