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Top 10 Questions About Taking A Cruise

We at Travel Routes love cruise holidays, and many of our Travel Specialists even enjoy their own cruise holidays as well. We’ve put together the top 10 questions we are most often asked about cruising, so as to help you decide if a cruise holiday is right for you. 

1. Will I Enjoy a Cruise Holiday?

If you enjoy exploring the world, then there is no reason why you would not love a cruise holiday. There are a huge variety of cruise lines and ships, with each of them offering a very different experience. This means it is almost certain there is the perfect cruise out there for you, and if you choose the right one you'll be all but guaranteed an incredible and unforgettable holiday. However, the wide variety of different cruises available also means there are plenty of cruises that won't suit your needs so well. This is where the advice from one of our Travel Specialists can be invaluable, so as to ensure you don't pick the wrong one, and that you truly end up on your perfect cruise. If you are unsure about cruising, then why not consider taking a cruise to a destination where seeing it from the ocean really is the best way to travel there? This way you are trying out a new type of holiday whilst also getting the absolute most from the destination you are visiting. Good examples would be Alaska, Caribbean Islands, Norwegian Fjords, Greek Islands, Greenland and Antarctica.

2. Is it Expensive On-Board?

Don’t forget that most cruises are normally full board as a minimum. Although some speciality restaurants may have an additional cover charge, this means it is perfectly easy to enjoy an entire cruise holiday without ever needing to pay for a meal. With regards to others costs, prices at the cafes and bars are normally around the same as their equivalent in a city centre. However, if you want to know that the cost of drinks is also taken care of then we highly recommend looking at buying drinks packages or choosing an all-inclusive cruise. This way you can relax and drink all the sparkling wine you desire!

Another cost to consider when cruising is for the shore excursions, as these are rarely included. Shore excursion costs will depend on what you want to do and how exclusive the activity is. As a guide, they tend to range from US$30 - $250 per person, per excursion. If you take advantage of a cruise offer that includes on-board credit, then you can always use this towards your excursions. Also, don't forget that there is nothing to stop you getting off the ship and doing your own thing without booking onto an excursion, which costs nothing at all! 

Finally, keep an eye out for the tips / gratuities, which in general are normally around $10 - $20 per person, per day, so this is worth factoring into the price of your holiday. Again, you could choose an all-inclusive cruise option where these are paid for as part of your cruise fare. 

Other than those costs mentioned above, you might just want to budget for any spins on the roulette tables if your ship has a casino! Although of course, this could always go in your favour, too! Aside from that it's normally just things like personal expenses, and perhaps any shop purchases that you will need to take care of. 

3. Is a Cruise Just Full of People?

The answer to this question really depends on the size of your ship. If you go for a large ship then yes, there will be plenty of people on-board, but this is great if you enjoy meeting lots of people and want to have a lively atmosphere in the restaurants, bars and theatres. However, even large ships will have quiet corners where you can escape from other people and enjoy some peace. 

If being around other people is not your thing, then we would highly recommend a premium, luxury or small-ship cruise, as these are where you can enjoy the benefits of cruising without having people around you all the time. These ships are specially designed to offer lots of space to a much smaller number of people, which makes them perfect if you prefer to keep to yourself on holiday.

4. Is Cruising Safe?

Without a doubt, cruising is one of the safest ways to travel and you really shouldn’t have any concerns in this regard. Every cruise line is subject to very strict safety standards and all the crew on-board will be experienced in dealing with any of the potential situations that could arise at sea. 

Strict hygiene and cleaning protocols ensure that everything is immaculately clean to prevent anything like infections or viruses passing their way around passengers. All air and water on cruise ships is regularly passed through some of the best-quality filtration systems in the world. 

If you have children, the on-board kids' clubs are always supervised by certified and well-trained childcare staff. The other great thing from a safety point of view when travelling with children, is that you can relax knowing the kids can go off to play, and they can’t go anywhere other than the ship!

5. Will I Get Seasick?

The majority of the time, you should find your cruise navigates through fairly calm waters, so the chance of seasickness is low for most people. However, there can be times where the seas are not as calm and therefore you will feel some motion on the ship as it sails. On these occasions there is a chance that you could feel seasick, but normally a little medication will take care of it. 

Another thing to factor in is the larger the ship, the less you will feel any motion from the ocean, and also accommodation in the centre of the ship will also be the most stable too. We can help you choose a good location for your accommodation if this is something that is important to you. 

If you aren’t sure how good your sea legs are, then we would recommend taking your first cruise somewhere that is more likely to be in sheltered waters, including the Inside Passage of Alaska, Norwegian Fjords, UAE and the Dalmatian Coast in the Mediterranean. 

6. Do I Have to Pay Lots of Gratuities / Tips?

This is one of those areas of cruising that you do need to understand. It is different for every cruise line, but as a general rule of thumb most cruise lines will add around US$10 - $20 per person, per day, on to your final bill in order to cover tips to the staff that work on the ship. In addition, it’s quite common for there to be a 10% service charge added to any drinks purchases as well. This can seem like quite a lot, but it also means that you do not then need to worry about having to tip as you go; it’s all taken care of in the gratuity payments. However, all gratuity payments are optional so if you don’t want to pay these charges then you don’t have to, and you can visit the guest-services desk during your cruise and ask for gratuities to be removed from your bill. If you want to avoid the subject of gratuities altogether, then there are a number of cruise lines that include them in the fare.

7. Is Cruising Just for Older People?

Absolutely not, cruising is most definitely for all ages! Having said that, your choice of cruise line is going to determine what the general age of the passengers on-board are going to be. Some cruise lines, that are perhaps more traditional in style, commonly attract a more mature clientele. Some cruise lines are much better for families, with fun facilities dedicated to the kids. Some cruise lines are much more suited to a younger age group, couples and honeymooners, with plenty of space on-board and luxurious touches to enjoy. This is where our expertise will come in helpful, to make sure that you will be on the right cruise for your needs, and also that you'll be sharing the ship with the kind of people you want to find.

8. Do I Have to Socialise with Other Passengers?

You never have to socialise with other passengers. If you want to keep to yourself then that is absolutely possible on a cruise holiday. However, having said that, there are better cruise lines for those that want lots of socialising, and others better suited for those who would rather avoid this. In general, larger ships will both offer more opportunities to meet your fellow passengers, and of course have more people to meet. The smaller ships can still offer opportunities to socialise but are more likely to have things like open seating for dinner, tables for two and cosy corners, ideal for those that just want to enjoy each other’s company. 

9. Are Cruises Stuffy and Formal?

The answer to this again depends on your choice of cruise line. If you love dressing up, formal evenings, gala parties and all the fuss that comes with this, then we definitely know the best cruise lines for you! However, if like many others, you don’t want any fuss and just want to enjoy your cruise in your own style, then there are plenty of options for that as well. It might be that something halfway between the two if the right choice – generally relaxed but with the odd gala or formal night so you can enjoy a night or two of getting dressed up. In short, a cruise can be as formal as you want it to be, and we’ll help you choose the right fit!

10. How Long Does it Take to Get On and Off the Ship at Ports?

Most of the time, getting on and off the ship when it has docked at a port is a swift process. Passengers who have shore excursions booked are normally staggered, so that everyone doesn’t rush off the ship at the same time. Passengers getting off to do their own thing are usually able to disembark at any time, although on larger ships sometimes they will invite higher-category accommodation passengers to disembark first. Overall, getting off the ship at a port is rarely a problem.

Getting back on the ship after your visit can take a little more time, but rarely to the point where it becomes a problem. When you re-board you will have to go through a security scan, and you may find a bit of a queue when you return. However, generally it will move pretty quickly, and a lot of cruise lines will put on some live music and serve refreshing drinks while you wait. On average, you’ll be back on your ship within 20 minutes and it can certainly be quicker than that too.

What can take a little more time is when your ship can’t dock at a port, and uses tender boats to get you on and off the ship. The tender boats will operate between the ship and the shore very regularly, and each tender boat normally has a reasonably large capacity. However, this might take a little longer if for example you have just missed a tender boat departing, or perhaps the one before you was full. However, one of the great things about tender boats is that you get an unbeatable view of both your location and your ship from the water, so grab a window seat and get your camera out!

Please note some of the information contained within our cruise guide may differ once cruising resumes in the wake of Covid-19.

Ready to find your perfect ocean cruise holiday?

Simply complete the enquiry form to get in touch, or call our Travel Specialists on 0203 924 8888

Our Top Selling Cruises

Below is just a tiny selection of our best-selling cruise holidays. Get in touch to discuss your exact requirements and we'll help you find your perfect cruise holiday; 

12-Day Canary Islands with Princess
12-Day Canary Islands with Princess

This 12-day cruise with Princess Cruises departs from Southampton and heads for the warm sunshine of Spain and the Canary Islands. Enjoy 6 ports of call including Lisbon, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Madeira. During your days at sea you'll be able to enjoy the wealth of facilities on-board your Princess Cruise Ship including first-class entertainment and exquisite dining options. The best part of this cruise is that you don't need to fly, so your holiday begins the minute you step on-board!

September departures

Southampton  >  Lisbon  >  Gran Canaria  >  Tenerife  >  Lanzarote  >  Madeira  >  Vigo  >  Southampton

Cruise Holiday Includes

  • 11 nights accommodation on the ship
  • Full board whilst on-board the ship
  • Port fees and taxes

From £799 per person

Price based on two people sharing a Interior Stateroom in September 2021. Other dates and cabin upgrades available. Simply enquire below.

Transatlantic & New York Stay with Cunard
Transatlantic & New York Stay with Cunard

Enjoy this Westbound transatlantic crossing aboard the iconic Queen Mary 2. She is a remarkable flagship, her style and elegance are legendary. With 7-nights at sea the choice is yours. There is as much or as little to do as you please, with more possibilities than you'll have time to discover. After your cruise enjoy 3-nights in New York with 2 full days to explore the 'Big Apple!'

Year-round departures

Southampton  >  Transatlantic Crossing  >  New York

Cruise Holiday Includes:

  • 7 nights accommodation on the ship
  • 3 nights accommodation in Manhattan, New York
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included on-board ship
  • A welcome bottle of sparkling wine
  • Port fees and taxes

From £1,249 per person

Price based on two people sharing an Britannia Inside Cabin on November 2021 departure. Simply enquire below.

Alaska Hubbard Glacier with Celebrity
Alaska Hubbard Glacier with Celebrity

Enjoy a 8-day cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse as you set sail to discover the spectacular scenery and amazing attractions of Alaska. From the dramatic glaciers, majestic mountains and the amazing wildlife including whales, there is sure to be something to amaze you on this fantastic cruise. The price also include 2-nights in Vancouver at a downtown hotel. (CXC)

May to September departures

Vancouver  >  Inside Passage (Cruising)  >  Sitka  >  Hubbard Glacier (Cruising)  >  Juneau  >  Ketchikan  >  Inside Passage (Cruising) >  Vancouver

Cruise Holiday Includes

  • International flights from the UK in Economy
  • 7 nights accommodation on the ship
  • 2 nights accommodation in Vancouver
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included while on-board
  • Classic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Transfers and taxes

From £1,599 per person

Price based on two people sharing an Inside Cabin between May and September. Simply enquire below.

Gems of the Danube River Cruise with Scenic
Gems of the Danube River Cruise with Scenic

Enjoy a classic 8-day river cruise along the Danube to discover the historical wonders of Europe from Budapest to Nuremberg. All while enjoying the elegant atmosphere and exquisite service on-board a 5-star vessel with Scenic River Cruises. (SCN)

April to October departures

Munich  >  Nuremberg  >  Regensberg  >  Passau - Linz  >  Melk - Dürnstein  >  Vienna  >  Budapest

Cruise Holiday Includes:

  • International flights from the UK in Economy
  • 7 Nights accommodation on the ship
  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners and premium beverages
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • All gratuities
  • Transfers and taxes

From £2,399 per person

Price based on two people sharing a Standard Suite between April - October. Itinerary also operates in reverse. Simply enquire below.

Southern Caribbean with Holland America
Southern Caribbean with Holland America

What better way to see the Caribbean than on this amazing 14-day Southern Caribbean cruise with Holland America. The cruise takes in 9 diverse islands of the Caribbean on a round-trip voyage from Fort Lauderdale onboard the elegant and spacious Volendam. (HAL)

March to April departures

Fort Lauderdale  >  St. Thomas  >  St. Kitts & Nevis  >  St. Lucia  >  Barbados  >  Grenada  >  Guadeloupe  >  St. Maarten  >  Puerto Rico  >  The Bahamas  >  Fort Lauderdale

Cruise Holiday Includes:

  • International flights from the UK in Economy
  • 13 nights accommodation on the ship
  • 1 nights accommodation in Fort Lauderdale
  • Breakfast, lunch & dinner included while on-board
  • Signature beverage package
  • Gratuities
  • Port fees and taxes

From £2,599 per person

Price based on two people sharing an Inside Cabin between March and April 2022. Simply enquire below.

Singapore to Hong Kong with Silversea
Singapore to Hong Kong with Silversea

The names may seem familiar but nothing can prepare you for the epic beauty of Vietnam. From the natural beauty Ha Long Bay to the manmade artistry of the sacred temples and pagodas, to the rice terraces and beaches, Vietnam is more than a sum of its parts. Three days in wonderfully chaotic Ho Chi Minh City will excite even the most seasoned traveller while a final day at sea allows for plenty of R & R on board. (SVS)

October to January departures

Singapore  >  Ho Chi Minh (overnight)  >  Chan May  >  Ha Long Bay (overnight)  >  Hong Kong

Cruise Holiday Includes

  • International flights from the UK in Economy
  • 7 nights accommodation on the ship
  • 1 night accommodation in Singapore
  • All Inclusive
  • Gratuities
  • Butler service
  • Transfers and taxes

From £4,399 per person

Price based on two people sharing an Vista Suite in Decxember 2021. Cruise operates in varying lengths and itineraries during season. Price includes 10% early booking bonus. Simply enquire below.

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