If you are a first time cruiser you might find the process of planning a cruise all a bit overwhelming. The cruise specialists at Flight Centre New Zealand have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to answer those daunting questions.
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General Cruise 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 of cruise lines even have adults only cruise ships.

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 retirees 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 solo travellers. A cruise ship represents a fun and safe environment for people to meet & communicate with others. Some ships have dedicated staterooms for singles and special add on rates for single occupancy of double staterooms.

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 cut 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 stateroom 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. They can last anywhere 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 world's biggest ship?
A: Royal Caribbean's "Symphony of the Seas" is currently the world's largest ship at 228,081 gross tonnes, and she can carry up to 6,680 passengers and 2,200 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 staterooms 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 hometown. 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 sets sail again. You can book your shore excursions in advance (can be helpful when budgeting) or onboard the ship. 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 depending on cruise line and destination however the currency on the majority of cruise lines will not be in NZD. Ships based in Australia will usually have AUD onboard. Ships that cruise in a variety of destinations will have a currency to reflect their company's ownership, which could be currencies such as USD or Euro. Your cruise specialist can advise at time of booking.

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 stateroom should I book?
A: A lot of first time cruisers choose an inside stateroom (internal without a window) solely due to budget however it is normally only a very small difference per day to upgrade to an oceanview stateroom (with a view). For a whole different experience think about upgrading to a balcony/verandah stateroom which offers floor to ceiling windows that open to allow fresh air in.

Q. What is category guarantee?
A: A category guarantee means that you have purchased and will receive a specific grade of accommodation, ie: Balcony stateroom, Oceanview stateroom or Inside Stateroom. Your actual stateroom doesn’t get assigned at the time of booking, it’ll be assigned to you before departure as you embark upon the ship. Specials on guarantee often provide good value prices and can sometimes result in an upgrade.

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 stateroom 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 stateroom category less than preferred. Don’t risk losing out, book early!

Q. Do I need travel insurance?
A. We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time you book your cruise. If you are booking on our website, tick the Insurance box on the confirmation page and send this to one of our Cruise Specialists, who will return a quote to you.
Travel insurance will help you if you need to see the Doctor onboard the ship or onshore, and you will be covered should something unforeseen happen and you need to cancel your trip. It is a great peace of mind to know you are fully covered for your trip.

Q. How can I add a hotel, car hire or air travel to my cruise booking?
A. Let our Cruise Specialists know which travel extras you are interested in or require, such as flights, accommodation, insurance and so on. They will be able to provide you with a quick and easy quote for any extras while you make your booking.

Q. How can I cancel my cruise booking?
A. To cancel your booking, please call our Cruise Specialists on 0800 22 11 00 and quote your booking reference number. Please note that cancellation fees may apply.

Q. How can I make a change to my cruise booking?
A. To make a change to your booking, please call our Cruise Specialists on 0800 22 11 00 and quote your booking reference number. Please note that amendment fees may apply.

Q. What payment options do you offer?
A. At Flight Centre you can choose to pay for your cruise a number of different ways. You can pay by Debit Card, which has no surcharge fees attached to payment. Or you can pay by Credit Card, however, surcharge fees do apply so please check the final amount at time of payment. You also have the option of paying via BPay, and your Invoice will have all the necessary details for this option.

Q. Can I hold a cruise booking?
A. Pricing for cruises is highly dynamic and is subject to change at any time. One of our Cruise Specialists will be able to hold a booking for you in store, and they will advise you of how long they can hold it for.

Q. How do I make a cruise booking?
A. Cruise bookings can be made through our Cruise Specialists 9am to 5pm weekdays. Please call one of our Cruise Specialists on  0800 22 11 00 or enquire online for the latest pricing and availability.

Q. How many people can I book in a stateroom?
A. The maximum number of people allowed in a stateroom is 4 (quad share), but you can also book a triple share(3 people); a twin share (2 people) or a single (1 person). This can be a mix of adults and children, or all adults. However, children must be accompanied by an adult (over the age of 21) in a cabin.

Q. How do I book a cruise for more than 4 people, or book multiple staterooms?
A. If you are cruising with 5 people or more, or require more than 1 stateroom, please call our Cruise Specialists on 0800 22 11 00 so they can make sure all of your requirements are booked for you.

Q. What if I am cruising with children?
A. Due to cruise line age restrictions, if you are travelling with a child under the age of 12 months, please call one of our Cruise Specialists for more information.
Please note that children may not be booked in a stateroom on their own. Children must be accompanied by an adult (over the age of 21) in a stateroom.

Q. Can I place a deposit for a cruise booking?
A. At time of booking you can choose to pay for the cruise in full or pay the minimum per person deposit amount.

Q. When do I need to pay for my cruise in full?
A. If you have chosen to pay a deposit only, your full payment deadline will be determined by the cruise you book, so please check your Invoice for the final payment due date.

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: Babysitting is available at extra cost on some ships. Many cruise lines will offer popular kids club facilities onboard. What is included in the kids club varies 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 may be 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 for duty security and insurance reasons. However, some cruise lines may offer “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 can 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 machines, dryers, ironing boards, irons and detergent. Self service washing machines & dryers generally tend to be coin operated.

Q. Can I bring alcohol onboard the ship?
A. You will not be allowed to bring alcohol onboard the ships. Duty free and personal alcohol purchased onshore will be collected upon your check in, and can be collected on the last day of your cruise. All Duty
and Tax Free alcohol purchased on the ship will be held for safekeeping and can be collected on the last day of the cruise. Some cruise lines offer drink packages you can purchase for alcoholic drinks onboard, otherwise all drinks purchased will be charged to your cruise card.

Q. Are there any restrictions for guests sleeping on the upper bunk beds?
A. If you have booked a quad share stateroom (which means you have 4 people in your room), then you will probably have 2 sets of bunks. According to Australian Standards it is strongly recommended that children under the age of 9 do not occupy or play in an upper bunk. The weight restriction of an upper bunk is usually 100kg’s but this can be confirmed with your Cruise Specialist, depending which cruise line you have booked with.

Q. I am cruising with my kids. What facilities can I expect?
A. Each cruise line offers different kids amenities, and some are more “kid-friendly” than others. Generally, you will find kids split into specific age-appropriate kids clubs that offer a daily schedule of fun activities for children. The opening hours are cruise line specific, but your Cruise Specialist can answer cruise line specific questions for you.

Q. What is included in my stateroom?
A. Apart from your preferred bed set up, all staterooms will have an ensuite bathroom with shower, air conditioning, TV, telephone, hairdryer, wardrobe, drawer space and a safety deposit box. Other amenities will depend on the stateroom category you have booked.

Our Cruise Specialists are ready to help

Our Cruise Specialists are ready to help.

Our Travel Experts:

  • Are Cruise Specialists
  • Are based in New Zealand
  • Have the widest range of cruises
  • Can answer your questions about cruise types and inclusions
  • Can find exclusive packages to save you money

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