July 12, 2013

7 common cruise questions

Thinking about taking your first cruise but have an armful of questions? Here are some answers…

Ponant cruise ship

This is a bit of me. Taken on the forward deck of the Ponant ship sailing around Italy.

Is cruising expensive?

Actually cruising is probably the most economical way to see many destinations in one trip. Don’t forget the price includes your accommodation, all meals (at least three per day and any time snacking), onboard entertainment including kids programmes and shows, plus transport from city to city, port to port.

Snorkelling

I paid extra to go snorkelling in Cozumel (actually this looker is my sister!)

What is not included on my cruise?

Each cruise line varies slightly so check with them, but typically you need to add your airfare, any alcohol (although most ships include wine and beer with meals at no charge), a daily tip for the cabin crew (some cruise lines already have this included in the total price, so double check) and any excursions, spa treatments, hair appointments, etc.

Is cruising just for old people?

Ahh the old adage that cruising is only for the newlyweds and nearly-deads is no longer true. I have been on seven cruises now and each have been full of all ages from families with young kids to college students and 20-somethings travelling in groups, to couples and friends and retirees – who, by the way, have usually seen more of the world than I have and are incredibly sprightly!

Margerie Glacier

The breathtaking Margerie Glacier, Alaska

Will I get bored on a cruise?

You certainly won’t get bored if you have booked a cruise that sails at night and arrives at a new port each day. Whether you book an official excursion or not, exploring new towns is what it’s all about. On sea days you’ll find the crew putting on all sorts of activities from cooking classes to competitions, game shows and of course the spa and gym are always open – book in advance if you want a treatment though. To be honest, the reason I like to cruise is the me-time. So on sea days I really love to hang out in my cabin, preferably with a balcony, door open spending the afternoon soaking up the sun with a good book.

Are all ships alike?

Absolutely not. And this is one of the first things to consider when booking a cruise. What sort of holiday are you after? Do you want a ship with all the bells and whistles, theatre shows, a theme park, cinema, casino and kids programs that are so great you’ll never see the your offspring? Or do you want something smaller, more boutique where your only onboard activity is finding a nook and a good book?

Carnival Sunshine ship

The new “theme park” onboard Carnival Sunshine

Will I get seasick?

Not usually. I sailed around the Caribbean and it was as still as a millpond, the same when I cruised from Seattle to Alaska, it was a gentle lull that I actually really enjoyed. I slept for the first day I think! But I have been known to be a bit queasy when the wind opposes the tide (to coin weatherman speak). If this happens, the best thing to do is rest in your cabin until you get your sealegs. But if it’s really rocky or you think you’ll probably need some help to forge the high seas, pack some anti-nausea pills or wrist bands. There is also a ship doctor on board if you need a quick script.

Cruise wifi

Find a little taverna for a cheeky beer and free WiFi if you need to be connected

Can I be connected to the world?

It depends where you are, but typically your cell phone will be out of range while you are cruising and then roaming rates will work once near land. Most ships have internet access but this is usually pretty costly as they use a satellite. The best thing you can do is find a pub or café at one of your port stops which offers wifi in exchange for a beer and get Facebooking.

 

This post is sponsored by Francis Travel Marketing, but all these tips are mine, all mine!

Click on this link for their latest cruise specials.

About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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