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It’s the fastest growing trend in the travel industry, but what is it about cruising that has so many people excited? Our award-winning cruise guru Lorraine Van Veen answers all your questions.
1 | Are cruises good value for money?
Definitely! Prices include accommodation in your choice of cabin, buffet dining, main restaurants and entertainment. Surcharges are added for speciality restaurants (many endorsed by celebrity chefs) and certain shows. All-inclusive beverages are common on super luxury cruises, while others offer promotions and drinks’ packages. Onboard credit might be available (effectively onboard spending money) and you should always ask if gratuities are included.
1 | What happens when the ship gets to port?
It’s a slick operation with people on hand to guide you on and off the ship, and there are organised shore excursions if you want to do them. Sometimes they are included in your fare, others you can opt to do depending on what takes your fancy. During the cruise there are destination briefings with local tips to highlight what gems you’ll discover in the upcoming ports. You can choose to do your own thing at each stop, or join one of the pre-arranged tours.
3 | Would my kids enjoy it?
Competition amongst the cruise lines to enthral younger guests is huge, with anything from scavenger hunts and pizza parties, to ice-skating and go-karting. Some cruise ships even have water parks and rock climbing walls to keep young minds active. Even if your tot is as young as six months, there are family cruises with nursery care. Tell your consultant what your kids like to do, what you need as parents, and what you enjoy doing altogether. Then they’ll find the right ship for everyone.
4 | Are cabins claustrophobic?
Outside cabins ensure you always have sea views, and balcony cabins provide fresh air. Many internal cabins now have authentic virtual windows, but always address concerns with your consultant.
5 | What is the onboard food like?
You’ll love the food. It seems like almost every diet and taste is catered for. From casual to fine dining, flavours are often matched to the different destinations that you are travelling through.
6 | Why is the cruise industry booming right now?
Financially, they’re accessible for everyone. There are cruises for the budget-conscious or those wanting a grand journey over a longer timeframe. There are more inclusions than ever before, and the facilities and itineraries are extensive. The entertainment options, such as Broadway shows with New York quality showmanship, are really exciting!
7 | Am I going to get seasick?
The modern cruise ships of today carry the most up to date stabiliser technology to ensure you get a smooth ride. To minimise the motion on-board choose a cabin on a lower level and aim for a more midship location — booking as early as possible. Ask us about cruising in calmer waters, such as cruises in Asia. You could also try a river cruise, where the motion is even less noticeable.
8 | I think I'm a bit young for cruising.
Not at all. From zip lining to cooking classes, electric bikes, thermal spas and Champagne brunches, cruising really does suit every age.
9 | When is the best time to book?
Now! Book in advance to ensure you don’t miss out. You can make booking early all part of the fun. Lock in your cruise 12 months in advance, then spend the following 10 months fine tuning the details, such as land add-ons and enriching cultural experiences, or reservations for that speciality restaurant you are dying to try.
10 | What kind of people cruise?
Cruising is perfect for those who like to see multiple destinations all in one go. Others may prefer a more leisurely pace, but you’ll still only unpack once — everybody loves that. For those who don’t want to fly (or are less mobile and need ease), there are more ships coming into Auckland than ever before. There’s also an increase in families cruising, and multi-generations seeking a holiday altogether. With so many kinds of cruises on offer, there is no single "cruising" type — it's just a matter of finding the right ship and holiday for you!
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