WAVE SALE has seen many first time cruisers set sail on their own maiden voyage. The excitement of looking forward to a break away from it all, yet also that trepidation of the unknown. What do we pack? Will we get seasick? Is the cabin big enough and where is it located? Are there extra costs? Do we need a Passport? Will we get bored? All this and more will be answered just below.
Tip 1: If you haven’t booked already, WAVE SALE is on, and now is the best time to get a great deal on a cruise holiday. Click through and choose your destination, cruise line and ship, and your choice of cabin. Make sure to sign up to the newsletter for weekly specials straight to your inbox. If you are unsure simply give us a call on1300 657 948. One of our many cruise experts can walk you through all of the options and tailor a cruise holiday to you.
Our next suggestion for those who are a little nervous about the whole cruise experience is to start small.
Tip 2: A short cruise is a quick taste-tester that lets you explore the ship, and decide if a sailing life is for you. Think about a 2-4 night getaway that touches base at one or maybe two destinations, or a “cruise to nowhere” that sails out to sea and back again. If you are one of the few who don’t take to the sea, then you only have a day or two more to go. For those who get hooked go longer next time. Easy!
Tip 3: Think about what you want in a cabin. After all it will be your home for the next few days. Inside cabins are relatively inexpensive and great for those who just want a room to sleep in. Some first timers are concerned about the size of the room and may need a window. That’s where an oceanview cabin comes in handy. Although you cannot open the window, you can see the seaviews outside. Of course, if you prefer to have an ocean breeze and a little more personal space, then a balcony cabin is the way to go.
Once you are onboard you will notice the corridors all look the same. Locate your deck and cabin on the deck plans available next to the elevators. (You could always download a copy of the online ship deck plans before you board). Notice that one side of the ship has all the even numbered cabins, the other side all odd numbered – handy! Do a walk through on the first day to get yourself oriented and you’ll be good to go.
Tip 4: For those of us who get seasick or those who think they just might, you are not alone, it’s a major fear of many cruise passengers. Chat to a cruise expert about it and about the location of your cabin. The centre of the ship is usually the most stable, with a lower floor to avoid the motion of the ocean. If you are in rough seas there will be some movement, although in calmer seas you will be surprised at how little wave action you feel. There is an onboard doctor if needed, however we suggest you keep an open mind, though read up on remedies just in case. (See our previous blog on Seasickness)
Tip 5: Have you checked your passport? Do you have a passport!? If you are cruising in international waters and touching base in foreign lands (and that includes New Zealand, the South Pacific Islands, Norfolk Island, New Guinea… Tassie is OK though J) then you need a passport. It must be valid for at least 6 months (some countries require longer). And this, along with any visas that are required are YOUR responsibility. No passport, no visa, no cruise.
It has to be noted that some Australia only cruises eg 2-4 night getaways or cruises to nowhere. Depending on the cruiseline, you may only require relevant ID like a drivers licence to board. This is because the ship is only sailing within Australian waters or docking in an Australian port.
Tip 6: Cash. It’s the all important. Most ships will run on a cashless card system while onboard. Everything from drinks, onboard purchases, shore excursions and gratuities will be billed for payment at the end of your cruise. Keep an eye on your spending by asking for a printout at the purser’s desk or some cruiselines have an online check area. Let’s look at some ways to save.
Tip 7: Beverage Packages could save you money, and pre-booking them before you board could too. Most beverage packages will include beers, wines, cocktails, soft drinks and bottled water. There are also separate packages for Speciality Coffees, Only Soft Drinks and more, depending on the cruiselines. Make sure to check the terms and conditions to know what is and is not included. Additional packages and shore excursions are also available for pre-purchase – always a good idea for the more popular options eg spa time or a MUST SEE experience.
Tip 8: Lucky for you there is contact with the world outside your ship. These days state-of-the-art WiFi is available on most cruiselines, and Internet Packages can be pre-purchased or are available while onboard (you may even have it thrown in as a perk – check out the WAVE SALE). WiFI means you have easy access to your families and friends to upload your holiday snaps and make them green with envy. Note to self: Use your phone at free WiFi areas while in port, otherwise leave it in Flight mode – that way you’ll save on some of those hefty roaming charges!
Tip 9: Dress codes onboard are usually quite flexible. Comfortable and casual is the way to go for daily activities. Good walking shoes for exploring exotic destinations and a sarong over your swimmers for when you are walking to/from the pool or spa. Add a little more polish for dinnertime, maybe go a little dressier in the main dining room or speciality restaurants. For the designated formal nights (usually at least one on most cruises) it is a chance to glam up – this can be as simple as a jacket and tie or little black dress through to full tux and floor length gown – depending on your chosen ship and how far you want to go.
Tip 10: Most people will NOT get bored when onboard. Depending on your ship choice, activities could range for gyms, pools and spas, waterparks and giant slides through to adventure parks, rock climbing, ice skating, surf simulators, flying simulators, ball sports, roller rinks, dodgem cars and carousels. There are gyms, wine, gin and whisky tasting, martini making, cooking classes, movies, broadway-style shows, comedians, the circus and parades, to name a few. Then you have the new and interesting destinations to visit, with a whole host of shore excursions ready and waiting.
Tip 11: Life couldn’t get much better… or could it…
Tip 12: Gourmet dining from BBQ’s under the stars to all-you-can-eat buffets, white gloved fine dining to celebrity chef restaurants. Think Jamie Oliver, Curtis Stone, Guy Fieri, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (Nobu), Jacques Pepin, Atul Kochhar, Marco Pierre White and more. Cruising is your chance to live the high life at a fraction of the cost. Check out a few of the onboard chefs here.
For those of us who are already “salts of the sea”, we know how fabulous a cruise can be. Why not add your own tips and tricks for our first time cruisers?
Ready to cruise? Visit the WAVE SALE now or call one of our Cruise Solution Specialists to organise your first cruise (or next cruise) on 1300 657 948