So, you’ve decided that you want to do a Cruise? How do you Choose your Cruise? Choices, Choices, Choices…..
Did you realise just how many options there are for cruising from Australia?
If you love to research and plan you will be in seventh heaven, but I know we’re not all like that and if you haven’t cruised before, the amount of information can be over-whelming.
How do you decide on the right Cruising Holiday for you?
Take a look below at the Top 5 Ways to Help You Choose Your Cruise:
1: SHIP OR ITINERARY?
Is your holiday about the ship as the destination, or is the ship a means for you to explore new destinations?
Some consider the ship and it’s amenities as the primary reason for choosing to cruise.
If this is you, you may want to spend a little more time delving into the differences between each Cruise-line and each individual ship.
However if your holiday is more about the places you will visit, I would be less inclined to worry about the nitty-gritty of ship comparisons. Make a list of the places you would like to visit and then see what cruises can take you there.
2: WHERE TO?
The most popular cruise destination from Australia is the Pacific Islands (mainly Vanuatu and New Caledonian islands) followed by cruises up to North Queensland, and to New Zealand in the summer. But there are also lesser travelled routes that might interest you.
Do you have a Passport? Remember that any destination outside of Australia will require you to have a valid passport, so consider this when choosing your destination.
Also consider the time of year you want to cruise while you are considering destinations – will hot/humid weather during the wet season ruin your holiday dreams, or do you want to travel when the seas are warmest? Whatever you do, don’t try to predict when the weather will be “best” or the seas will be “calmest” because we all know that Mother Nature will do what she wants when she wants!
3: WHERE FROM AND HOW LONG?
How long do you have for your holiday?
You can book a cruise that lasts anything from 2 days to over 100 days! Most of us will be looking at the more common 7-14 night cruises, so choose the length of your holiday and you can immediately short-list your list of cruise options.
Where do you want to depart from?
By far the most common departure point for Australian Cruises is Sydney, but we don’t all live in Sydney, do we?? Are you happy to travel to Sydney to access a wider choice of cruises?
Brisbane also features cruise departures year-round.
Other departure points from Melbourne, Adelaide, Cairns and Perth (Fremantle) are not year-round so more limited.
4: THE PRICE
What is your budget for your holiday? This will play a huge part in deciding what cruise is right for you.
Remember to factor in other costs involved in the holiday (travel to the cruise, pre-or-post cruise accommodation, shore tours, spending money, extra costs on-board, parking fees) when you are determining your budget.
I have often heard quoted that $100 per person/per day as a great price for a cruising holiday (this is for the cost of the cruise only). You may pay more than this (depending on the ship and cabin category you choose) or you may pay less (if you get a last minute bargain for example).
Don’t let others tell you what the right amount is to pay for YOUR holiday. Set an amount that you are comfortable with and work on that for a start.
Use a good travel agent to help you find a cruise that fits your requirements and budget.
Know what is included in your fare as this will help you to set your budget more accurately.
5: THE “BELLS & WHISTLES”
You should now have a good short-list of cruise options by going through stages 1-4 but what else is important to you?
Don’t be tempted to ask too many opinions of others as you will invariably find that everyone has a different view, and you will end up even more confused!
What Floats your Boat May Sink someone else’s Ship!
There are always going to be the little “extras” that may sway your vote one way or another.
Is there a particular feature of one ship that makes you really want to sail on her (eg a famous Chef restaurant you must try, or ice-skating for example)?
It may be the stateroom category or the size of the ship, it may be the included extras that you would have to pay for on another ship…
Just be aware of your individual “deal-breakers” and factor those into your decision. Don’t try to compare and contrast every single aspect of every single cruise ship – you will never book a holiday if you try!
No matter what choice you make once you choose your cruise, you are in for a wonderful experience!
Join us in the following weeks to learn more about Choosing your Cruise – what’s included in a cruise, what Cruise Ships visit Australia and all the destinations available to cruisers from Australia!
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