Shh! Secret Cruise Business

Shh! Secret Cruise Business

Cruise like a pro with these handy cruise tips!

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Cruising - Australians can’t seem to get enough of it - almost a million travellers took a cruise in 2014.

Which isn’t surprising, considering they cater to travellers of all ages and an enormous amount of interests ranging from Broadway quality shows to educational seminars to zip-lining across the ship.

You’ve probably seen all the ads about what you can do on a cruise and where you can go cruising.

So if you’re considering taking one very soon, here are a few things about cruises that you may not know about, which will have you travelling like a pro in no time!

1) There’s a jail on board!

Cruise ships are like a mini city on the sea, and occasionally you’ll get the passenger who doesn’t want to play by the rules. If that does happen, and if the crew believe that someone is endangering other passengers, then they may put that person into the ‘brig’ - aka the ‘Cruise Jail’.

They may be kept there for the remainder of the trip, or left with the relevant authorities at the next port. However, don’t be complacent just because the facility is there – be alert to theft and crime just as you would be if you were on land. 


2) One of the main drawcards of cruising is food, glorious food…and if you want more then you can have more!

  • Did you know that you’re not limited to a single serving of an appetizer, entrée or dessert in the main dining room? So order a few servings of each if you want.
  • If you're craving a meal with a bit of 'me' time thrown in, get room service - it's free for breakfast lunch or dinner! Tipping is recommended, but you don't have to go overboard (pun intended) like in a hotel.
  • Some of the specialty restaurants may charge for dinner, but may be free at lunch time, so you can take advantage of the fantastic food and fewer people.
  • Don’t assume that if some of the cafes or coffee shops charge for the coffee, you’ll have to pay for everything else they offer – check with the staff because the food may be free.


3) Have your drink…and drink it too!

  • You’re not restricted to having your drink at the bar or buffet – take it anywhere you like.
  • It’s cheaper to buy wine by the bottle, and if you can’t finish it, the waiters can cork it, mark it with your room number and serve it the next time you’d like a drink.
  • Just because the special drink you want is served in a pricey souvenir glass, doesn’t mean you have to pay for it. Just ask for the drink to be served in a regular glass, and it’ll be cheaper.
  • The tap water is safe and drinkable – no need to buy bottled water unless you want to.
  • Some cruise lines let you bring a reasonable amount of non-alcoholic drinks onboard, so bring your own and save some money.


4) Cruise cabins are not created equal

  • Even within the same category, cabins may vary in terms of space, balcony and also noise level. So checkout the deck plans on the ship you want to travel on and see if you can get a better cabin for the price that you want to pay.
  • The beds are the only pieces of furniture that’s moveable in your room – the rest of the furniture is weighted so that they don’t fall over or move during rough seas.
  • If you’ve got a lot of electronic gadgets, there may not be enough power outlets available in the cabins, so bring your own charging station and power board, or ask a staff member for help – they may know of extra outlets in your room.
  • Not many cruise ship bathrooms have windows or ventilation fans, so after some time, your bathroom may not smell as fresh as the sea air outside. Bring some aromatherapy oils or air freshener to sweeten your time inside - just don’t bring candles or incense for obvious reasons.


5) Board and Port – the quiet times

  • Dine in one of the specialty restaurants when you first board the ship, or on the first night – they usually offer a discount or a free bottle of wine, and you’ll also avoid the crowds eating in the main dining room or buffet.
  • Book in for a spa or massage on the first day, or when the ship is in port because these services will usually be discounted


And one last thing: Soft serve ice cream machines on either side of the deck may have different flavours – it pays to do your research!

Do you have any other cruise insider tips? Send your tips to - we’d love to hear from you!

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