New to Cruise

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New to cruising questions

Cruises are expensive, am I getting value for money?

When you compare a 2 week package holiday with a 2 week cruise initially the cruise will more than likely look more expensive. But when you break down what’s included you will see that cruising does offer good value for money. Most cruise fares include your accommodation, entertainment, all meals, sometimes drinks depending on the offer, flights for any fly cruises and the chance to see many destinations whilst only unpacking once. The price of the package holiday may look attractive at first but when you think about the cost of food for the 2 weeks, entertainment in the evening etc. it will soon work out to show you that cruising may be the better value for your hard earned money.

Do I have to tip? Will it cost me a fortune?

Depending on which cruise line you opt for tipping is generally not included in your cruise price.
There is sometimes the option to pre-pay for your gratuities and many of the cruise lines automatically add a daily charge to your on board account. Some river cruises such as Avalon actually have gratuities included in their fares so it is certainly worthwhile checking with us prior to booking your cruise holiday.

I’m travelling alone....Do ships cater for single passengers?

In recent years cruise lines have seen an increase in the number of single travellers and most cruise companies have acknowledged this with promotions such as reduced or no single supplements. On board most cruise lines also arrange special events for solo travellers, these are completely optional but can give you the opportunity to meet and get to know your fellow passengers.

What type of cabin should I choose?

Cabin grades tend to vary from ship to ship, but the choices are generally inside, outside, superior outside, balconies and suites. When choosing a cabin you should consider your budget, how long you would likely stay in the cabin, how many people are travelling and the size of the cabin. Other things to consider when booking a cabin is how likely you are to use the amenities for example a Balcony cabin going to the Arctic in the winter may not be used as much as a balcony cabin in the summer sailing to the Caribbean.
Will I get sea sick?

Will I be bored during days at sea?

There are so many activities taking place during days at sea you would find it hard to be bored!
Most cruise lines will give you a daily guide of activates taking place, so whether you want to spend your days at sea relaxing by the pool, reading in the library or getting involved in the endless list of daily activates the choice is yours. Many of the bigger ships also have fantastic facilities on board such as bowling alleys, cinemas, shopping centres and so much more!
Seasickness can be described as nothing short of horrible, a feeling that really can put a damper on your cruise fun. Not everyone will get sea sick but If you find that it’s effecting you there are plenty of handy tips available to help ease the symptoms. Most ships will have everything from patches, tablets and injections available to help you. Many people however swear by non-drug remedies such as sea bands, ginger tea and even eating green apples!

Excursions - are they worth the money or overpriced?

Some cruise lines include excursions in their overall cruise cost however for the vast majority of cruise lines excursions are added extra paid for by the customer. Depending on where you are travelling to excursions can be well worth the monies. For example if you are taking a Baltic cruise, booking an excursion in St Petersburg is a must! Otherwise you would be required to have an independent Visa or stay on board the ship. Generally speaking you are only in port for a short amount of time and a planned excursion can make the best use of the time available. My advice would be to take your time and have a good look through the excursions offered, do your research on the port of call and decide whether or not you feel it’s worth booking excursions. You don’t always have to book the ships excursions; companies such as Cruising Excursions offer up to a 60% saving on excursions and can be booked by clicking here or calling our travel team.

What will my fellow passengers be like?

As a travel agent I am asked this question all the time by people thinking about taking their first cruise. I’m sure it all stems back to the good old days where passengers were segregated depending on class -We all know the famous scene from Titanic were lower class Jack is invited to dine in the upper class restaurant and the commotion Rose caused by dancing the night away with the lower class passengers. However I am happy to say that like civilisation, cruise ships have moved on. From experience most people on a cruise are there to have a good time and enjoy their holiday. Cruise ships are very social; I would be very surprised if by the end of your cruise you hadn’t made some new found friends in your travel companions.

Dress code - Is it all Ball gowns and Black tie?

There are many different types of cruises available to the consumer these days and many different types of dress code. There are relaxed dress codes on cruises such as expedition and river cruises, I was recently on an expedition trip in Spitsbergen and the running joke was to dress for dinner you simply changed the colour of your fleece! Ocean cruises tend to have a smart evening dress code which would suggest trouser suits for men and cocktail dresses for ladies and a few formal nights throughout where Black tie should be adhered to. Most ships have a casual dining option should you wish to opt out of the formal dress.

Will I get sea sick?

Not everyone will get sea sick but If you find that its’ effecting you there are plenty of handy tips available to help ease the symptoms. Most ships will have everything from patches, tablets and injections available to help you. Many people however swear by non-drug remedies such as sea bands, ginger tea and even eating green apples or drinking ginger beer!