CRUISE GUIDE YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT CRUISE
WELCOME With an amazing 70 ocean-going cruise ship operators, carrying over 21 million passengers a year, there are plenty of options available so that you can choose a cruise to suit your needs. Cruiseguide has all the information you need to make a decision about choosing the right cruise for you.
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........................................................Welcome 2. .........................................................Contents 3. ....................................................Why Cruise? 4. ...................................Different Types of Cruising 12. ...............................................Cabin Selection 14. ..................................Top 7 Cruise Destinations 16. .....................................................Cruise Quiz 20. .................................................Cruising FAQâ€™s 1.
cruise. You can also find excellent family packages, complete with childcare and a wide variety of fun activities for young and old alike.
Ease of travel is a bonus of cruise holidays. Forget about transferring from planes to buses to boats to taxis, your fully stocked cruise vessel will take you everywhere in style.
Get more for your money and time. Though you can look forward to spending a significant amount of time relaxing and enjoying yourself on board your ship, each moment can still be packed with excitement or pleasure. Your ship will stop frequently, so you can also see multiple destinations on one journey. Whether you want to fill every second with holiday fun and entertainment, or never leave your deck chair, the choice is yours. Eat when youâ€™re hungry, sleep when youâ€™re tired, leave all your worries and responsibilities behind, get fully into the sailing spirit and let your cares float like the mighty waves you travel on.
All-inclusive deals mean that your expenses are combined into one package, often at a great discount to separate pricing and paying. For those on a smaller budget, there is likely a cruise quite close to home that will still allow you to travel in luxury and pamper yourself for 1 week, 2 weeks or more. Some cruise packages also include air transport to faraway places, where you can begin your
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different types of cruising Activities vary depending on cruise line, ship and destination, however cruising offers something for everyone! Cruising is the most flexible way to holiday because it offers activities based on your interests, age, hobbies and passions.
Singles Cruising Dine, drink and dance with other singles! Cruising is a social experience, and itâ€™s nearly impossible not to meet new friends. If youâ€™re single, consider booking a singles cruise, which is a cruise specially designed for singles who want to mingle. There are many activities that are specially designed for singles, such as meet and greets, cocktail parties and formal nights or you can enjoy all of the planned onboard entertainment and shore excursions, choose to relax or pursue adventure when you want. Enjoy the comfort and entertainment of people like you, who are interested in socializing and touring the world. Then disembark with new friendships and lasting memories.
Romance for couples Fan the flames of passion while falling in love all over again. Whether a couple is travelling to Europe, the Bahamas or Hawaii, a cruise can be one of the most passionate experiences of a lifetime. A cruise combines the romanticism and pleasures of fine restaurants, engaging ports of call, lavish pampering, like his and hers massages, relaxing hot tubs and sun decks, starlit twilights, intimate piano bars and lounges, and awe-inspiring sunsets.
Getting married That’s right, tie the knot and say, “I do” aboard an elegant, luxurious cruise ship. You are always welcomed to purchase honeymoon, wedding and anniversary packages and let cruise coordinators make your wedding hassle-free.
activities for seniors Sail through your silver years in a more serene cruising environment. Senior travellers who don’t want to be stuck with rowdy college kids or screaming children can take solace in the fact that several cruise lines take great satisfaction in offering a quiet, hassle-free atmosphere.
spas, and listening to lectures and presentations. Seniors with medical needs will appreciate the accessibility of the ship and the standard medical facilities that cater to their needs. Dining rooms even accommodate low-calorie, low-salt and lowcholesterol diets.
Get married on board or at an exclusive port of call and plan small ceremonies or bigger galas and be showered with a cake, flowers, champagne and chocolates.
Cruise lines catering to older cruisers give them the opportunity to appreciate a slower-paced cruise that places an emphasis on hospitality and leisure. These cruise lines include Cunard Line, Holland America Line and Swan Hellenic Cruises. Swan Hellenic even offers child free cruises. Activities aboard these ships include dancing at socials, embarking on shore excursions, playing cards, attending cocktail parties, interacting with hosts, taking fitness classes, reading books, relaxing in CRUISE GUIDE | 5
Culture Expand your knowledge about other countries and cultures on your next cruise! It’s no secret that a lot of people enjoy cruising because of the sun and surf. People who want more than a t-shirt and a tan, however, can now stimulate their minds. To enhance the cultural experience, cruisers can shop in village markets, learn about native customs, dine on multicultural cuisine, tour museums and attend festive performances. Today’s enrichment cruises offer: • Destination-intensive itineraries that include visits to eccentric locales. • Natural history and eco-cruise itineraries that feature wildlife expeditions, rain forest hikes and mountain treks. • World-class lecturers who specialize in a region’s geography, history, culture and wildlife. • Seminars, demonstrations and round-table discussions given by guest speakers. • Pre and post-cruise tour packages that allow cruisers to immerse themselves in a foreign culture • Special performances by native artists. • Exclusive shore excursions that feature tours of prominent museums and trips to historic sites • Knowledge of different cultures and histories 6
Off-the-beaten-path destinations include visits to the: • Volcanic islands of the Galapagos • Rugged mountains and glaciers of Greenland • Ice-sculptured tundra of Antarctica • Chilean fjords of Patagonia • Beaches of Rio de Janeiro • Fishing villages, hamlets and fjords of Norway
Themes Pick a customized theme cruise that floats your boat! Cruisers now have greater opportunities to take unique cruises and enjoy the activities and interests they love. These special voyages let passengers explore art, music, food, nature, sports, technology, health, comedy, literature, cinema and more! Samples of themed cruises include: Carnival: Hop onboard Carnival Inspiration for the Elvis cruise, held in November each year. Enjoy the best Elvis tribute artists in the world, in-room Elvis movies, meet & greet sessions, an Elvis fashion show, Elvis Monopoly and trivia tournaments and many other Elvis-themed activities.
Crystal Cruises: Capture breathtaking landscape and wildlife images during adventurous photographic safaris in Africa. Disney: Disney cruise lines offers more than just a Disney character-themed cruising experience for children. While their ships are full of captivating entertainment, lavish food and drink, and world class amentities, Disney also has a number of private islands where your experience continues with you onshore.
Radisson Seven Seas Cruises: Discover the ‘Art of French Cooking’ by attending workshops and demonstrations given by Le Cordon Bleu chefs. Orient Lines: Attend lectures and workshops given by experts from the “Antiques Roadshow” in preparation for onshore shopping excursions in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Bombay. Seabourn Cruise Line: Partake in a celebration of heralded books and memorable music during the innovative ‘Writers of the World: Lyrics and Literature’ cruise. Silversea Cruises: Take a Silver Links Golf Program cruise and perfect your swing at more than 30 golf courses throughout Australia, New Zealand, the Mediterranean, the British Isles and North America. Costa Cruises: Rub elbows with some of baseball’s favorite players, Hall of Famers and sportscasters. You can also attend clinics and get autographs given by baseball greats. CRUISE GUIDE | 7
Accommodation for Special Events Conduct business as (un)usual at sea! More and more business meetings and conferences are now being conducted on cruise ships. Business executives host corporate meetings at sea because cruise ship accommodations are often less expensive than high-end resort stays, employeesâ€™ families are provided with a plenitude of activities, and business amenities such as rooms, AV equipment, fax machines, flip charts, easels, microphones and computers are readily available. Some cruise lines even provide secretaries, language translators and meeting coordinators. Hosting meetings on American flagships may even be tax deductible. Employees can get down to business during the day while their families relax amidst the cruise
shipâ€™s amenities. Other popular group cruises include class and family reunions, which give people the opportunities to catch up with each other while taking a dream vacation. Cruise lines can also accommodate birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties and other celebrations. You can even get married with the help of cruise wedding planners!
Family Fun Round up the troops and start packing for a cruise! A cruise is the ideal family-based vacation because it provides customized entertainment for both the parents and their kids. Children of all ages can participate in planned, supervised activities; giving parents the freedom to have their own fun. Most cruises even provide babysitters. Meanwhile, adults can kick back and relax, have an intimate dinner at a fine restaurant, or seek their own adventures. Later, families can get together and share all their experiences! Samples of activities on cruises for kids ages 3-12 include: • Watching magic shows and theater productions • Drinking Shirley Temples at “mocktail” parties • Taking a behind-the-scenes look at the ship • Participating in pool Olympics • Partaking in a simulated archaeological dig • Learning how to make pizza
Examples of teenagers’ activities include: • Singing karaoke and dancing at teen clubs • Relaxing in teen hot tubs • Taking Tae-Bo classes • Surfing the Internet and emailing • Playing video games • Producing, directing and performing plays
Adventure Get on your feet and explore the world over! If you’re looking for a fast-paced vacation with invigorating adventure and thrills, a cruise is for you! Cruising awakens the adventurous spirit. Today’s cruises are giving people unique chances to: • Take a Jeep safari tour through the vast savannahs of Cozumel • Chase butterflies amidst the lush tropical foliage of Martinique • Navigate Corsica’s mountainous terrain • Prowl the lush islands of Polynesia • Scale the Rock of Gibraltar, the world’s most famous stone • Swim face-to-face with stingrays on a snorkeling excursion in Georgetown • View the molten lava flows of Kilauea, Hawaii
And if you’re cruising in balmy weather, you can engage in activities like: • Para-sailing • Scuba diving • Sea-floor hiking • Cliff diving • Sailing • Heli-skiing • Surfing • Water skiing • Snorkeling
There are also a wide variety of onboard adventure activities. On Princess cruises, you can get your scuba diving certification, and on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas, you can go rock climbing! After a day full of exploration and adventure, kick off your shoes and relax. But take a deep breath, because the excitement continues the very next day! CRUISE GUIDE | 9
Sports If you crave sport and fitness, there’s no better place to be than aboard a cruise ship! The world’s biggest playgrounds await you when you cruise. Depending upon your vessel, these facilities may be available: • Virtual driving ranges • Miniature golf courses • Shuffleboards • Basketball courts
• Running tracks • Pools • Water volleyball nets • Bowling alley
And once you get onshore, the action heats up! If you’re cruising to balmy destinations, a variety of water sports, such as scuba diving and parasailing, beckon you. If you’re looking to get fit or stay in shape, many cruise ships have fitness centers complete with: • Treadmills • Stairmasters • Resistance machines
• Free weights • Fitness rooms • Aerobic equipment
Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas even has a rock climbing wall, a skating rink and an inline skating path. If you’re a sport-minded person, cruising is for you!
Around the Clock Entertainment Pursue non-stop adventure and entertainment throughout the day and into the night. Hit the ground running and don’t miss out on a single event! Those who are worried they might become bored on a cruise will be quite surprised to discover that they don’t have enough time to do all they want. From the moment you set foot aboard the ship upon embarkation, you’ll be presented with an endless array of activities, such as: • Bon voyage celebrations • Games and contests • Lectures and presentations • Poolside socials • Formal dinners • Cocktail parties • Vegas-style shows and productions
• Fitness and wellness classes • Dances • Seminars at sea • Sports like basketball and tennis • Casinos • Shopping • Concerts
Stop and take a deep breath because the excitement continues during your exhilarating shore excursions. The action stops only when you do!
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Cabin selection When booking your cruise, choosing which type of cabin you want is a tricky decision. These tips should help you to make the right choice. It can be quite daunting when it comes to booking your cabin, there are so many terms and categories that you need to understand in order to make the right booking for your needs. Some ships can have as many 20 different cabin categories and the pricing will vary depending on size, amenities and location. So make sure you look at all of your options before booking because staying in the wrong cabin can change your whole cruise experience.
Some terms that you will need to know: • Bow – is situated at the front of the ship. Balconies will be more susceptible to wind • Stern – is the rear of the ship. You will be out of the wind, but there may be some engine noise. • Mid-ship – are cabins that are in or near the middle of the ship. These can be more expensive because they are reputed as being more stable, making it less likely to get seasick. • Top decks – cabins are near the pool and sun deck making them quite popular but can get noisy. • Lower decks – these cabins are located away from public areas, therefore are less noisy, but you will need to take the lift or walk up more stairs. • Starboard (right) or Port (left) – finally you will need to decide which side of the ship you want to be on. If you are cruising along coastline you will want to make sure you can see it.
Main Cabin Categories Inside Cabin: Are located in the interior hallways, so have no windows or portholes. These are the least expensive of the cabins and cater towards the family budget.
Outside Cabin: These are often the same size as an inside cabin, but are equipped with a porthole or window. If you specifically want a view, make sure to check that there won’t be a lifeboat or any other equipment hindering your window.
Balcony Cabin: Each cabin comes with its own balcony, most big enough for at least one chair, while others will fit a table and chairs, where you can dine and gaze out over the ocean.
Suites and Penthouses: These come in many different layouts and sizes, some with balconies, sitting areas and some may even include spa baths and private butlers. Study the deck plan carefully when choosing a suite or penthouse cabin to ensure it is right for you.
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Top 7 Cruise Destinations Cruising options throughout the world are numerous, so your first decision when booking a cruise is where do you want to go? With beautiful coastlines, interesting destinations and an abundance of cruise lines to choose from on your very own doorstep, you don’t necessarily have to travel far to begin your cruise vacation.
Australia/New Zealand Explore the hidden gems of the Australian and New Zealand coastlines! From crystal clear seas to rugged landscapes, our beautiful backyard has it all. Head to Australia’s Top End and visit the Great Barrier Reef or explore the majestic and remote Kimberley coastline, meander up the Murray River, cruise Tasmania’s pristine coast or New Zealand’s breathtaking Fjordland region? Our great lands of Australia and New Zealand have plenty to offer. More and more international cruise lines are coming to our shores, giving Australians and New Zealanders more cruising options than ever before. Departures from Australia and New Zealand ports now include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Newcastle, Fremantle, Adelaide and Auckland.
South pacific Cited as the most popular cruise destination amongst Australians and New Zealanders, the South Pacific certainly does not disappoint. With pristine white beaches, turquoise waters and unique culture, a South Pacific cruise is the ideal way to escape from it all. South Pacific cruises depart from a number of ports across the region and are typically between 3 and 17 nights in duration. ASIA The Far East is a kaleidoscope of exotic sights, sounds and tastes with new experiences waiting at every port of call. An Asian cruise is the perfect way to explore this vast region; from the numerous ancient temples, the tropical beaches and magnificent jungles to world-class shopping in the bustling open-air markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok. Europe - Ocean Cruises See the best of the Mediterranean from both sea and land! Explore lands rich in romantic languages, classic architecture, food, art and music. The Mediterranean encompasses a diverse range of countries each displaying their own unique culture, traditions and language. France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain are the main countries to visit on a Mediterranean cruise, but certain Mediterranean cruise itineraries also include Israeli, Egyptian and Turkinsh ports. Forget expensive taxis, public transport or negotiating crazy European drivers, explore the Mediterranean in style on board your floating resort!
Europe - Riiver Cruises Cruising the rivers of Europe is a unique way to discover the hidden delights that mainland Europe has to offer. Relax on the sun deck of your outside cabin as you watch a new village, a fairytale castle or historic monument glide past. Exploring the rivers of Europe by river cruise is an intimate and relaxing way to discover the lesser known areas, as well as enjoy the main tourist destinations. Generally river cruise itineraries include The Danube, Seine, Elbe, Rhine, Rhone, Saone, Po and Douro. Alaska/Canada An Alaskan cruise is a once in a lifetime experience and a must on anyoneâ€™s bucket list. Experience awe-inspiring glaciers, isolated towns and unspoiled wilderness. Alaska cruises depart from various ports on the west coast of the United States as well as from Vancouver and Seward. Options to extend your Alaska cruise are plentiful with many Canadian and Alaskan tour options available to the Canadian Rockies, Denali National Park and other major attractions in the region. Caribbean Caribbean Cruises are a world favourite for a good reason. With the Caribbean made up of more than 7,000 islands, cays, islets and reefs, a Caribbean cruise is a great way to see many of these in one vacation. Famed for its stunning beaches and relaxed atmosphere as well as its historic and cultural elements, the Caribbean is an idyllic getaway. From a cruising perspective, the Caribbean is broken up into three main regions: the Western, Eastern and Southern Caribbean. CRUISE GUIDE | 15
Find the right cruise to suit your personality by completing our quick quiz Q1 - I prefer to spend the majority of my holiday... A. Relaxing by the pool B. Visiting historic sites C. Participating in adventure activities D. Exploring the natural environment Q2 - What kind of climate do you prefer? A. Tropical heat B. Nice and icy cool C. Not really fussed D. The weather doesn’t worry me Q3 - What level of comfort do you prefer on holiday? A. Comfortable with a few luxuries B. It’s first class all the way C. I can live without my hairdryer D. Clean and comfortable is OK with me Q4 - Describe you perfect holiday experience... A. Give me time to soak up the sun and party with new friends B. Live, laugh and learn is my motto C. I’m always on the go and look for a challenge D. Holidays are a time to get in tune with nature
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Mostly Aâ€™s: Your holiday is your timeto relax from the pressures of everday life. Soaking up the sun, drink in hand garnished with a cocktail umbrella, by the pool or on a beach somewhere exotic is your idea of heaven. You are easy going and enjoy yourself wherever you go, and with your great sense of fun you are sure to meet many new like-minded friends. An Ocean Tropical Climate Cruise is ideal for you, to destinations in the Mediterranean, South Pacific or Caribbean. Great cruise lines for you to consider include Royal Caribbean, P&O Cruises or Carnival Cruises.
Mostly Bâ€™s: Your holiday experience is spent exploring new and interesting places while living and learning about their history and culture. You love variety - a myriad of art and history museums, historic architecture, castles and palaces, vineyards and snow capped mountains - on your holiday there is always something to see and do. With all the transport, accommodation and meals taken care of, all you have to do is live, laugh and enjoy yourself. A luxury European River Cruise or Murray River Cruise in South Australia is more your style. Top rated River Cruise companies to consider include Avalon Waterways, Viking River Cruises, APT or Uniworld Boutique Cruise Line.
Mostly C’s: You are up for anything on a holiday and thrive on an environment that is physically or mentally stimulating - you love a challenge! You are more likely to totally immerse yourself in a culture and look for the out of the way, the roads less travelled. You are easy-going and generally laid-back and like to be able to control where you go and what you see - at least some of the time. An exciting Expedition Style Cruise is the perfect vacation for you. Get up close and personal to nature and visit far flung destinations - the Kimberleys, Antarctica, the Arctic, the Amazon, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Galapagos. Cruise companies that can take you there include Orion Expeditions and Gap adventures.
Mostly D’s: While you want to experience the great outdoors in all its glory, you still appreciate your creature comforts. Although you can sometimes get a little restless on a holiday, as long as you have a selection of destinations and a variety of unique experiences within one holiday you’re satisfied you simply want style with choices! Calling at a selection of ports and destinations, a Northern European Baltic Cruise, an Alaska Cruise (check out the Fire & Ice program) or a New Zealand Cruise is a great holiday for you. Cruise lines that suit your style include Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal Cruise or Royal Caribbean Cruises. CRUISE GUIDE | 19
Cruising FAQ’s You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers. Here are some of the more commonly asked questions about cruising.
Q. What is included in my cruise fare? Cruising is a very inclusive way to travel. You sail to some amazing destinations, with accommodation in a luxurious cabin, all of your main meals are provided while onboard and you will be entertained throughout - including the use of the ship’s many facilities such as swimming pools, spas, gym, steam rooms and much more! Q. What do i wear on board? During the day, casual clothing is the norm for most ships. Once the sun starts to sink below the horizon though, smart casual clothing is required in public areas, including restaurants. Whilst on board there will be at least one formal night - this is your chance to dress up and strut your stuff! Often there will be additional “themed” nights - check out your cruise line’s website to be prepared.
Q. Do I have to ‘tip’ onboard? Generally gratuities, or tips, are included in the price of your cruise. Your consultant will inform you when gratuities are not included. Although not compulsory, it is customary to thank the staff on board that have offered great service Q. What is the currency on board? Your consultant will advise what currency you will require on board at the time of booking. The currency will depend upon the origin of your ship, and the itinerary involved. Most cruise lines have a system available so you don’t need to carry currency, such as a charge card that you may top up on the ship. Alternatively, they may provide you with credit so that you may finalise your bill at the end of your cruise. Q. If I get sea sick, is there anything that will help me with this? Larger cruise lines have stabilizers which help with the motion of a cruise ship in the ocean. It is also recommended that you take sea sickness tablets with you. If you still experience motion sickness, the on board doctor will be able to assist. Q. Do I need Travel Insurance for my Cruise trip? Definitely! You should not assume ‘it won’t happen to you’ - accidents or illness can happen to anyone. We also recommend taking out your insurance at the point of booking your cruise, this will ensure cover from the point you pay a deposit to the point you arrive home. Travel Insurance is an essential and simple tool for your peace of mind when travelling.
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Q. When will I receive my cruise tickets? Provided we have received all of your personal details and you have completed your online cruise registration, along with your booking paid in full, then your cruise tickets and information should arrive within 3 weeks prior to your sail date. Some cruise lines will only issue boarding passes, however each cruise line is different. This is a Q. What time should I arrive in the city question to ask when your final balance is paid. of departure prior to the cruise? We recommend ensuring your flight arrives no later Q. How do I find out about shore tours available in each port? than 4 hours before your cruise departure time, if not arrive the day prior. This will ensure ample time Most cruise lines require you to have registered and that you do not miss your cruise! When flying yourself on their website prior to being able to view available shore tours. Most shore tour information home after your cruise, ensure your flight departs can be found online at the cruise website, some no earlier than 5 hours after your cruise arrives back in port. Also ensure you double check your cruise lines even let you pre book these tours. This arrival/departure times of your flights a day before is s great idea as it saves you time, whilst ensuring you do not miss out! you depart as airlines can change times or dates of the flights. Q. Are there Visas and vaccinations required for my cruise? We always recommend enquiring about Visa/Vaccination requirements for your destination of travel, upon booking your cruise. Alternatively you can view requirements online at www. passports.gov.au or if you are a New Zealand citizen, refer to www.passports.govt.nz.
Q. I need medication on board, can I take this with me? Yes, all medical conditions and medication needs to be advised at the time of making your booking. It is also advised to take a few extra days supply, in case of any unforseen delays. There is also a doctor on board if any medical attention is needed. 22
Call AU 1300 657 948 or visit us at www.cruisemegastore.com.au and start saving on your next dream holiday!
PO Box 3065, Westfield TC, Helensvale, Queensland, 4212, Australia Cruise Megastore is facilitated through: • Our Vacation Centre Pty Ltd • ABN# 54 105 542 176 • Travel Lic#3008099 • TCF# 4/8461 2012/2013 CRUISE GUIDE | 23