Cruising: How to find a cruise that’s right for you

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Think you’re not a cruiser? Think again! There’s at least one ship, cruise or destination that will be right up your alley. Let our cruise suggestions pique your interest.

I don’t like crowds, so I’ll hate being on a cruise ship, right?
If you choose a megaliner with 4000-plus guests, then yes, you may find cruising a chore. Instead, we suggest going somewhere serviced by smaller ships. There are many options for peaceful Mediterranean getaways or, for the more adventurous, the icy tranquillity of the Antarctic. Testing your tolerance with a local cruise in the Kimberley or along the Murray is often a good way to start.

I like active holidays and I refuse to lounge around all day on a cruise ship.
You will find some freakishly fit people on ships who look like they’ve never sat down for more than two minutes in their life. By the time you’ve hit the gym, taken a yoga session, had some rhumba lessons, gone roller-skating, worked off some aggression in the bumper cars, circumnavigated the ship on the promenade deck a few times, shot some hoops, and spent an hour wandering the corridors trying to find your stateroom – most ship floor plans are mazes – you’ll need a rest. And that’s before you’ve even factored in any shore excursions.

And if you restrict yourself to three meals a day – which is difficult because food is available 24/7 on a cruise – and never take the lift (seriously, it’s often quicker to take the stairs, even on ships with 16 decks), you’ll put on no weight and have no time to lounge around.

happy older couple on a cruise

I couldn’t imagine seeing nothing but ocean for days on end.
Then the 100-day around-the-world cruise isn’t for you. But there are plenty of cruise destinations where almost every morning means a new port for you to experience. For instance, the Holland America Line has a 19-day Mediterranean cruise where all but three days are spent in destinations such as Dubrovnik, Naples, Athens and Istanbul.

And on a typical Caribbean cruise, you’ll be docking at five different islands, in five countries, in five days, so you’ll very quickly find out which West Indies nation has the best rum.

I haven’t got time for a cruise.
So wrong! There are cruises from most Australian main ports, which are as short as three nights. Or ask your travel agent if you can join just a sector of a longer cruise, because not everyone takes the entire voyage, and you can join it part way, from a port that interests you.

All up, that’s just a long weekend!

Do you have any tips for making a cruise more enjoyable? Why not share them with our members?

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RELATED LINKS

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Cruising: booking a cruise to match your budget

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    Love cruising and yet to do more.


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