What to Expect on a Cruise
Cruising has never been so popular or affordable, but this doesn’t mean that you know what to expect. If you are considering booking a cruise for the first time, or have just booked your first cruise, you may have a ton of questions and may not really know what is in store for you. Hopefully the answers to these frequently asked questions will help, but if you have any other questions feel free to ask your Flight Centre Cruise Specialist.
1. Is cruising expensive?
The best way to answer this question is to compare a one week cruise and a week at a resort. On a cruise, your meals, accommodation, entertainment and most activities are included in the fare, making it extremely good value for money. This also makes it easy to stick to your budget, as anything extra you spend is up to you.
2. Who is cruising for?
Cruising is for everyone, providing you do the right research. There are cruises that cater to singles, couples, retirees and families with kids. Multi-generational cruising is booming, with ships providing activities and shore excursions to suit all ages. There are cruises for fancy folk and laid-back types, hyperactive party-goers and quiet, cultured travellers. There are even cruises catering to special interests such as wine, food, golf and music.
3. Won’t I get bored?
Only if you want to be. How would you like to ice skating, rock climbing, practice your golf swing, shoot a few hoops, got to the casino, see a Broadway-style show, do some shopping, relax at the spa, take a dip in the pool, workout at the gym? On a cruise, you can do all of this, and more, without even leaving the ship! In fact, there are so many things to do while cruising that you’ll probably want to go on a longer cruise next time.
4. Will I feel claustrophobic on the ship?
Cruise ships jam hundreds, if not thousands, of people on board, the thought of which can immediately make on feel uneasy and claustrophobic. There are times when a ship is going to feel crowded, but you can always find nooks and crannies to get away from the crowds, like hidden away bars and quiet reading spots. You may also be worried about the size of your cabin, but you will find that most people are so busy exploring the ship and different ports of call, that they spend very little time in their rooms. If you think you will need more space, choose a cabin with a balcony, or upgrade to a mini-suite or suite. You might always want to consider choosing an itinerary with many ports of call, as this will give you lots of opportunities to get off the ship.
5. Will I get seasick?
Today’s cruise ships are engineered with state-of-the-art stabilisers that greatly reduce ship motion. But if seasickness is a concern for you, choose a cabin toward the centre of the ship where movement is less noticeable. You can also consult your pharmacist or doctor about medications to take in case of motion sickness. Learn more about choosing the best cabin location for you!
6. What is there to do in port?
There is so much to do on shore – the question is more like what is there NOT to do! You can go off on your own or take a guided tour. You can search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride the rapids in a raft, bicycle down the side of a volcano, or ride a horse across sandy beaches. Climb a waterfall of a pyramid. Follow the footsteps of history, listen to steel drum bands or go water-skiing. Play golf or tennis. Eat local foods. Sun yourself on some of the world’s best beaches and then cool off with a snorkel. Go to a nightclub or local restaurant. There is so much you can do, you’ll have a hard time choosing! A cruise is the perfect way to see new places and do all of the things you dream about doing. What you do is all up to you!
7. What about the nightlife?
At night, life onboard a cruise ship really heats up! There’s live entertainment, dancing, discos and lounges, feature films and parties. Most ships even have onboard casinos. There are special events and Broadway-style theatre shows. Comedy shows, magicians and karaoke. The night can go on as long as you want it to! Read more
8. Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?
Definitely! Some are just more family-friendly than others (Read: Top 10 Cruise Ships for Families). Most cruise lines offer special programs, facilities and activities for children and teenagers, based on age groups. Children and teens get to meet kids their own age, take part in age-appropriate activities and often get to cruise at substantially-reduced rates! Besides the extensive programs and special activities for every age group, the many traditional pleasures of a cruise (such as shore excursions, onboard activities and dinners) can be shared by the whole family together. What more could you want from your holiday?
9. What should I pack?
Cruises are usually casual by day, whether you’re on the ship or on shore. In the evening, dress codes vary in different ships, and attire is often dictated by the occasion. On formal nights, for example, you will need to wear something a little fancier than normal – a suit for men, and a cocktail dress or gown for women. See our packing tips for more information.
10. What about tipping?
Tipping is both a matter of individual preference and cruise line policy. Most cruise lines include a tipping guideline in your cabin, and you can often pre-pay your gratuities when you book your cruise. You should check the cruise line requirements, if there are any, with your Flight Centre Cruise Specialist.