Are you new to cruising, or just looking to up your game a little? You're in luck. I've rounded up a host of advice from the knowledgeable Cruise Sale Finder cruise guru team.
Our team not only book dream holidays for countless passengers each day across many different lines in Australia and New Zealand, but have been on their fair share of cruises too, making them well-qualified to advise on some tricks of the trade.
These cruise guru tips cover the whole process from booking your cruise to preparing for departure and finally some ideas to optimise your onboard experience. Listen up!
- Regarding price, there is no really good time to book a particular cruise. The cruise lines are constantly adjusting their prices based on how well a cruise is selling so it is impossible to predict which way the fares will go. The best bet would be to try and book a cruise during a cruise sale week as these would offer the most competitive rates and typically come with onboard spending money. - Jimmy
- My tip is to definitely book early if you are particular in what you are wanting (e.g location of cabin/ wanting interconnecting or cruising over school holidays etc.). It can be very risky to wait until the pricing is cheaper as you will most likely lose out on the availability! Better to get in early on rather than to miss out altogether. - Alex
- If you are unsure what dining time you would like, pick the first seating as this is usually the first to book out. If you change your mind it's easier to move to the second seating or anytime dining. - Amy P
- Last minute fares may seem like a great deal and they certainly can be but no one knows for sure if a cruise is going to fill up so if you intend to take advantage of those deals, you need to have a very flexible schedule and not be wildly fussed about where you go/which ship you are on or where your cabin is located. - Meg
Preparing to cruise:
- Always make sure if cruising/traveling internationally you have at least 6 months on your passport. Also, keep a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and also a copy of your insurance certificate handy. In case anything happens e.g your passport goes missing, having a copy of your photo page will help with the process of getting an emergency passport or travel documents. Always have at least basic travel insurance to cover for medical and luggage as you never know what will happen on your cruise. - Claire
- Don't overpack! No-one is really going to mind (or notice) if you wear the same dress twice. Comfortable shoes are more of an advantage than heels and boots. Ensure you always pack some warm clothes even if heading on a tropical cruise as it can still get windy on deck when at sea. - Kirsty
- The ships will provide beach towels, so no need to bring your own! - Verity
- When packing for your cruise, a soft shell bag is always a good idea if you have one. Once onboard you can unpack, and the bag can easily be folded up and put away taking up less space in your cabin. Particularly important if there are more than two people in a cabin. Also pack a backpack, great for day trips and shore excursions. It is also useful on the day of disembarkation because you can pack your overnight items in it if your other luggage has been collected. - Ryan
- Most of us want to take things like hair straighteners, cellphones, cameras etc on your cruise. Make sure you check what power points and voltage will be onboard your cruise and bring your own adaptor! - Sarah
On your holiday:
- You should aim to get to your departure port at least one night before your cruise and extend your holiday either pre or post cruise. If you arrive the day before there will be time to explore the departure port and not be stressed out about missing the ship in case of any unforeseen delays with flights and traffic. It also adds a bit of excitement if you can watch your ship sail into harbor before you board later that day and can be a very good photo opportunity at the start of your cruise. - Amy Mc
- If wanting to enjoy one of the specialty restaurants on your cruise, be sure to book onboard on the first day as they book out very quickly! As do some of the more popular shore excursions, so prebook via your cruise personaliser for best choice and availability. - Rachel
- If cruising somewhere you wish to snorkel; check to see if these are included or you have to hire them onboard. If hiring, instead why not buy some then donate to your last island of call for the local children to use. - Kirsty
- Avoid the "Cruise Weight Gain" phenomenon - take the stairs whenever possible, or a nice walk around the pool deck, eat "a la carte" so you don't over indulge in the buffet. And remember, just because they offer 5 courses you don't need to order them all! - Kirsty
- Inside cabins have no natural light. Try turning your TV to the bridge camera station, and -- voila! -- you've got an instant nightlight and a way to see if the sun is up. - Sarah
- Cruise ship spas often offer discounts for first-day and port-day treatments. Stop by the spa, or check your daily newsletters to find out about deals. - Sarah
- When the cruise has stopped at a tender port, ensure you go pick up your tender ticket early in the morning as this will determine when you are able go ashore. - Casey
Some of Cruise Sale Finder's cruise guru team aboard the Pacific Aria