Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get sea sick?

It is unlikely that you will get sick as most modern ships have retractable stabilisers, which resemble large underwater fins, that act to counteract the rolling motion that can make some people feel nauseous.  

How can I avoid getting sea sick?

The first step to reducing the possibility of getting sick is cabin choice.  You should pick a cabin that will provide minimal movement.  On the majority of ships, this means staying away from any cabins located right at the front and back of the ship.  Ideally, select a cabin lower down on the ship and in a mid-ship location.  You can also try to prevent sea sickness by purchasing sea sick bands if you are prone to motion sickness in the air or car.

Can I book children in their own room?

Every cruise lines’ rules vary with respect to their policy and how they handle minors booked into a separate room from the parents or guardians.  Carnival will allow minor guests 12 and younger to occupy a non-balcony room either directly across the hall or next door to the guardians.  Guests 13 to 17 may be booked up to 3 staterooms away.  Guardians must be at least 25 years of age.  Royal Caribbean and Norwegian require that minors only be booked into the same or connecting staterooms with their guardians.  Guardians must be at least 21 years of age.  Disney always requires that at least one adult parent or guardian occupy each stateroom. Guardians must be at least 21 years of age.  Many families that cruise have been able to manage the restrictions by booking one parent and one child into a stateroom.  Once onboard you can swap and change as necessary.

Are there kids clubs on all ships?

Just about every cruise line and ship has a dedicated space for children.  What will vary greatly is the size and activities provided.  The cruise lines that focus a lot of attention on families with children are Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival. With these cruise lines, almost every ship in their fleet has a kids club.

Will I get bored?

In a word, no.  There are plenty of things to do onboard.  You can race in an F1 Simulator on Norwegian Cruise Line, walk the plank on Carnival or sky dive, zip line or go ice-skating on Royal Caribbean.

Can the cruise line change my itinerary?

While cruise lines open itineraries for booking a year or two before the actual sailing date, many unforeseen circumstances can arise that force them to alter the itinerary.  If something like stormy weather on the scheduled route or a ship requires unscheduled maintenance, a sailing can be altered or cancelled.  When you book a cruise you are agreeing to the terms and conditions set out by that cruise line wherein which it will state that the cruise line has the right to alter your itinerary, or even miss a port of call and unless the cruise is cancelled, no compensation will be paid.  

What is a tender?

A tender is a small boat deployed to take passengers to shore when a ship is unable to dock because of either a lack of docking facilities or because the harbour is too shallow to take the ship.  When the ship is properly docked guests are able to walk down a gangway and straight onto the pier. Cruise lines will often mark on their itineraries which ports are tendered and which are docked to allow the passenger to decide if the cruise is right for them.

Can the ship leave without me?

Yes it can although many attempts will be made to try and locate the you first.  If you can’t be located, the ship’s security will likely collect belongings from your stateroom including items from your safe and they will be left with the port’s agent.  If you are on an excursion provided by the cruise line and it is late, then it is more likely that the ship will wait but not always.  The cruise line however, will be responsible for getting you to the next port of call, at no expense to yourself, if it is late in returning you to the ship.

What is included in the cruise fare?

Most of your food and snacks served in the main dining room or from the buffet will be included in the cruise fare.  Some beverages are also included such as water, (but not bottled), iced tea, still lemonade and tea and coffee.  Also included are the production shows, live music, comedians and use of the gym.

What is not included in the cruise fare?

Gratuities are not normally included in the cruise fare although you can pay for these at the time of booking.  Also not included in the fare are things like use of the spa and hairdressers, laundry and dry-cleaning, the internet and wi-fi, souvenir photographs, alcohol and soft drinks, speciality dining.  This list is not exhaustive so it is wise to check with the cruise line before sailing.

When is the best time to book a cruise?

Contrary to popular belief, you have the best chance of getting a better price if you book earlier not last minute as with some holidays.  Additionally booking early gives you the pick of the best stateroom categories, which is especially important if you are travelling in a group and need staterooms next to each other.  Early booking means at least 6 months in advance.

Can I bring my own alcohol onboard?

Cruise lines have started forbidding guests from bringing drinks like soft drinks and bottled water onboard.  Norwegian, Costa and Carnival strictly forbid and enforce this policy.  Royal Caribbean, Princess and Holland America are a bit more flexible as long as you bring them onboard in your carry-on luggage when you embark. If you are caught bringing alcohol you purchased whilst in port, security will confiscate and return it when you disembark the ship.

Can I smoke onboard?

Smoking restrictions onboard cruise ships have become tougher over the last several years as just about every cruise line has followed in the same direction.  With one or two exceptions, smoking is no longer allowed in your stateroom or on your balcony.  All other indoor public spaces are also deemed to be smoke free with the exception of the casino and the cigar lounge if your ship has one on most ships.  Whilst it varies from cruise line to cruise and ship, smoking is typically permitted in designated outdoor areas.  These areas are located on a specific side of the ship or location.  

Can I bring an iron?

No, due to the risk of fire.  If you want to press your clothes you will either need to use the self-service laundry room if the ship has one or pay to have it done for you

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