2nd Mar 2015
Essential Guide to Cruising
Author: YourLifeChoices
Essential Guide to Cruising

Cruising as a holiday option continues to grow in popularity worldwide, so it may come as no surprise that 833,348 Australians took a cruise in 2013. And, with the ever-expanding choice of ships and destinations, the number of Australians embarking can only continue to increase.

It’s not just ocean cruising in huge vessels that appeals to Australians, almost 50,000 passengers opted for a river cruise as their holiday of choice in 2013. And for some, a trip to New Zealand becomes a true adventure when you cross the Tasman in a ship.

With such a strong growth in demand, the door has opened to more cruise lines basing ships in Australia for the cruise season, and this means a whole lot more choice for travellers. However, this can be confusing, and a little overwhelming, for those who haven’t previously taken to the water.

Whether you’re new to cruising, or a seasoned sea-traveller who wants to try something different, the YourLifeChoices Essential Guide to Cruising will help you take the next step. You can find out which ships are sailing when, what’s on offer on board, what to take with you and whether cruising is for you if you’re travelling alone.

Our cruise expert, Joanna Hall, answers your cruising questions and our style guru SJ has some tips on the essentials you need to pack. You can also check out some great cruise deals and, if you’re not keen on venturing too far on your first trip, we have some Aussie sailings which may appeal.

We thank our sponsor APT and hope you enjoy our very first Essential Guide to Cruising. Please tell us what you think or, if you have a question you would like answered, feel free to email us at newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au.


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    20th Jun 2015
    On speaking to relatives etc who have cruised with APT they do a wonderful job, However when you travel as a single, it does not matter they say fly free or reduced single supplement, they are still SOOOO expensive. Not everyone has a "bucket load"
    Still scratching away at the scratchies......
    20th Jun 2015
    Dizzy, there is no such thing as a "free" anything. You end up paying for everything you get, no way or the other. Caveat emptor, sort of.
    20th Jun 2015
    Yes, I know Fast Eddie, however I have always been a dreamer!!
    20th Jun 2015
    Nothing at all wrong with that, Dizzy. Without aspirations, longings, desires, etc, very few things become a reality.
    20th Jun 2015
    My wife and I are shortly going on a 7 night Mediterranean cruise from Istanbul to Rome. I have read the Essential Guide to Cruising, but cannot find anything relating to tipping/gratuities. I would have thought this should be covered. We have been told there is a mandatory charge for this on our cruise, which is with an American carrier. Customarily, I would only tip for good service, so feel a bit miffed that they are telling me I have to pay BEFORE I receive any service. Any comments re this would be appreciated. I have been told you can have the charge removed, but then do you get treated like a leper by the staff?
    20th Jun 2015
    Dobbo1, what you have been told about a mandatory gratuity charge is what is standard with a lot of American cruise lines and usually around 10% of the cruise fare added on top. This used to be the policy with P&O and Princess Cruises in Australia, then was amended from mandatory to passenger discretion. Not knowing how this was shared amongst the crew we choose to tip cabin boy and dining staff directly. This we do on the onset of our cruise and at the end of it and this certainly seems to attract even more fabulous service (which is already at a very high standard). The crew which we have assigned to our cabin and dining room are the same throughout the cruise so it's well worth a generous tip for the even greater service received. Even for the wonderful appreciation you see on their faces. If you sail out and about Australia we highly recommend Princess Cruises - great ships!
    20th Jun 2015
    Dobbo1, I have in the past asked when going onto the ship, to have the gratuities removed, only the pursers desk know you are doing that (most people seem to do it now) and I carry $'s or Euros (depending on the ship and where it usually cruises) then on the last night envelopes are put in your cabin for giving to whoever you wish. I have no problem doing this, as the pay is not great, and a lot of the crew are supporting families at home. It is suprising the Mothers and Fathers working away from home for long times to do this. Don't let this spoil your cruise. Its easy if you wish to it this way. I am getting money to-gether for just this purpose for early 2016.
    14th Jul 2015
    I have been on a couple of cruises and gave tips to cabin/dining staff etc. But also left something for those that also made the journey possible behind the scenes. Kitchen Engineering to name two.

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