Cruise almost anywhere on the planet, from picturesque Alaska to the stunning South Pacific islands, the majestic rivers of Europe and everywhere in between. Unpack once and wake up in a new place every day! Onboard you’ll love the all-day dining, live entertainment and endless choice of activities all included in the cruise price. Here are a number of handy cruising tips so you’ll be in the know before you go.
Choosing the right ship
Choosing the ship that is right for you and your family is so important to ensure you get the holiday of your dreams so to ensure you get a keeper, here are four things to consider:
- Onboard activities
How busy do you want to be on a sea day? Do you like to splash in a water park, zoom down a waterslide or work out in the gym? Or perhaps high tea and spending the day in a secluded cabana with a good book is more you.
Some cruise lines specialise in cuisine, so if you’re a foodie then this will be a factor. Look for specialty restaurants where you can enjoy a different style of cuisine every night. Some have restaurants by celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Curtis Stone while others offer cooking master classes!
- Size matters
They say size isn’t everything, but when it comes to choosing the right ship, it’s very important! The bigger the ship the more there is to do and the more people there are to do it with. The smaller the ship the more intimate the experience with higher attention to detail and personal service.
How far do you and your budget want to go? The most popular cruises for Kiwis are around the Pacific Islands, followed by Europe (who can resist a Greek Island or two), Australia and Alaska (oh those glaciers). Asia though is not to be ruled out and is emerging as a very popular hot spot to visit by ship (think Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand). This is where our cruise specialist’s knowledge is gold as they can walk you through all the options for each destination and help you find the perfect match.
Most cruise lines offer multiple dining options onboard and while many are included there are often surcharges on specialty restaurants like Jamie’s (as in Jamie Oliver) amongst others. These specialty dining restaurants offer a unique dining experience and are well worth the small surcharge from US$5 (Celebrity’s The Porch) or US$10 (Holland America’s Canaletto) to $75 (Disney’s Remy). Most fall into the US$20 to $45 range per person.
Our tip: Pre-purchase dining packages across multiple restaurants before you leave home. This will save you money and your taste buds will thank you for it. Packages range in price but a good guide is from US$69 to $119 per person for three meals or US$149 to $159 per person for five meals. (Package prices vary by ship & cruise line)
Sightseeing ashore is part of the attraction of a cruise holiday…seeing multiple destinations in one holiday where you get a slice of life in every place you visit.
Our tip: Splash out on one or two extravagant excursions during the cruise and do something which will enhance your holiday and leave wonderful memories. A flightseeing tour over the Glaciers in Alaska, a private tour through the Hermitage in St Petersburg, feeding stingrays by hand in the Cayman Islands. The list is endless.
Extra tip: Book your shore excursions before you leave home as many sell out before you even board the ship.
Cruise lines have come a long way in the WiFi space and almost all of them now offer great WiFi packages. Some cruise lines even offer free WiFi part or all of the day.
Our tip: Consider your WiFi needs when investigating which cruise you want to do. Binoculars Make sure you pack a small pair as these are a great idea wherever you are cruising. Spot the whales breaching in Alaska, see the far off Acropolis, and watch the port disappear behind you as you set sail at the end of the day.
A day pack/bag
Your luggage is put outside your cabin the night before you arrive at your final destination so take a small bag or day pack that you can also use on shore excursions for your nightwear and toiletries to avoid leaving the ship in pyjamas.
Click here to visit helloworld’s listing on Eldernet