Cruise Guides

Find all the answers to your cruise questions!

Cruising can be confusing. With so many itineraries, ships and destinations to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start! That’s where we come in. At My Cruises our aim is to make cruising as hassle-free as possible. From the planning and research, to getting to and from the ship and enjoying your time at sea, our Cruise Holiday Experts have got you covered!

See below for some of our most frequently asked questions about cruise holidays. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, get in touch! Our Cruise Holiday Experts have over 30 years of experience and will be able to help you with any information and advice you need. No question is too big or too small! We love helping our customers because, after all, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference!

What’s included in my cruise fare?

Included in our cruise fare you will receive your onboard accommodation, daily main meals in complimentary dining venues, onboard daytime activities and most entertainment.

What will I need to pay for onboard?

There are extra amenities and offers you can pre purchase before you sail, or once you are onboard. Beverage packages, internet minutes, gratuities, specialty dining and shore excursions generally incur an additional fee, however select cruise lines will include some of the above depending on their promotion at time of booking. Spa treatments are also available onboard for an additional charge, along with some specialty shows or activities.

How long are cruises?

Cruises vary in length of days anywhere from 2 nights to 110 night around the world journeys. Most first time cruisers will start with a 3-4-night cruise to test the waters, whereas experienced cruisers will often book on average, a 10-14-night itinerary, or longer.

Where can I cruise to?

You can cruise anywhere you want; the choices are endless! The main cruising regions of the world are; Mediterranean, Alaska, Asia, Caribbean, Hawaii, Northern Europe, North, South & Central America, South Pacific, New Zealand & Australia. Cruises are the ideal way to reach those remote bucket list destinations you have been dreaming of! Whether you have always wanted to visit remote villages in the Alaska, wander the white sandy beaches of Tahiti, or drink fine French wine from a picturesque riverside vineyard, there is a cruise holiday for you! Check out our cruise destinations page for more details.

Will I get sea-sick?

Cruise ships now feature innovative stabilizing devices and advance weather notification procedures which helps to minimise the movement of the ship, which can cause sea sickness.  If you are prone to sea sickness, you should select a cabin in the middle of the ship on a lower deck and have some over the counter solutions ready to use to ease your concerns. There are also onboard Medical Services that can assist you if you do get sea sick. Best things to do if you suffer from sea sickness is to get plenty of fresh air, look at the horizon, watch what you eat, take medication or natural remedies, avoid reading & stay hydrated.

Do I need a passport to cruise?

ou will require a passport to cruise internationally. Some close to home domestic sailings will only require a valid driver’s license. It is always recommended to have a valid passport whilst cruising and is your responsibility to ensure you have the applicable photo identification.

Do I need a Visa to cruise?

Certain countries do require you to obtain a Visa in advance if you wish to disembark the ship in port. You will need to check the Visa requirements for the countries visited on your cruise itinerary. Countries such as China, Russia, India, Canada & the USA require all Australian passport holders to obtain a Visa.

Will I get bored onboard?

One of the most appealing aspects about cruising is that you can do as much or as little as you want onboard. There are endless options to keep your children occupied, no matter their age, and a huge variety of daily and nightly activities are on offer for adults. Alternatively, you can relax by the pool, treat yourself to a spa day, or make use of the exercise equipment in the gym.

What kind of entertainment is available onboard a cruise ship?

The onboard entertainment varies depending on the ship, however generally you will be able to experience Broadway style musicals, comedy shows, theatrical performances, listen to live bands, or try your luck at the onboard casino.

When is the best time to book a cruise?

The best time to book your cruise is as soon as you have decided on an itinerary, date and cruise ship. Cabins sell out very quickly, and well in advance, so if you are after the cheapest, or best location, or a Suite you better book in quick. Most cruisers will have their cruise booked in at least 12-18 months in advance to secure the best deals and preferred choice of cabin. See our cruise seasons guide here.

What types of accommodations are onboard?

There are usually 4 main accommodation categories on a cruise ship to choose from ranging in size, budget and inclusiveness. The most affordable are the Inside cabins with no window, followed by Ocean view where you will either have a porthole or large picture window facing out to sea. If you enjoy the fresh air opt for a Balcony cabin which are increasingly becoming the most popular choice onboard ships. If more space, more privacy and a more deluxe experience is what you are after, then be sure to book a Suite, which often comes with butler and concierge services. Most staterooms cater for 2 guests, however there are cabins that can accommodate up to 4 people with additional beds that either fold down from the wall, the ceiling or features a sofa bed. View our Cabin choice guide here.

What is the best cabin location?

The best cabin location really depends on personal preference. Some passengers prefer to be on higher decks closer to the main public areas and restaurants, some prefer to be at the front & back of the ships away from the main areas as these tend to be quieter. Some passengers want close to elevators, and some prefer away from elevators and staircases. It is important to go through the deck plan with your agent of the ship you are sailing on in order to select an available cabin most suitable to your needs. The further in advance you book your cruise, the more likely it will be to secure your preferred cabin & cabin location.

What does “guarantee cabin” mean?

If you book a Guarantee cabin, it means that you are guaranteed that particular cabin category (inside, ocean, balcony etc), however you can not select your location of that cabin. This is done by the cruise line, typically up until the day prior to sailing. These cabins are more affordable as you do not get a choice on where you are on the ship. There is a chance you may receive a cabin upgrade if you book a guarantee cabin, at no additional cost. If you prefer a specific location of the ship, or you want a specific cabin number, do not book a guarantee cabin.

Why is it so expensive for a solo person to travel?

The price of the cabin is usually based on twin share (2 guests), so when you are travelling alone you will be charged a single supplement fee to assist the cruise line in recovering the cost of your cabin. This fee can range from 10% to up to 100% of the cruise fare. There are some cruise lines that cater for single travellers and have Studio cabins with no single supplement fee required. Please speak with one of your MyCruises Experts if you would like to find out more information.

Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is not mandatory on cruises, but we do highly recommend it! Travel with confidence knowing that you’ll be ok if unforeseen circumstances arise. At My Cruises, you can purchase your travel insurance with us. Click here for more information!

Do I need to bring a hairdryer?

On most cruise ships, your cabin will be equipped with a hairdryer.

Is there a dress code onboard?

Cruising dress codes vary depending on which cruise line you are sailing with. During the day, cruise casual and smart casual is widely accepted, with evenings being either smart casual or formal attire. Some cruise lines require men to wear jackets at dinner, and women to wear cocktail dresses. You will need to speak with your MyCruises expert to find out what the specific dress code policy is on the cruise line you are sailing with. If you do not comply with the cruise line dress policy, you may be asked to leave the venues. Across most cruise lines, they all generally have a rule of no baseball hats, no thongs, no bare feet and no swimwear/sleepwear in the dining venues no matter what time of day. See our cruise dress code guide here.

Is parking available at the cruise terminal?

Yes, at most cruise terminals around the world there are parking facilities available, usually at a small fee per day.

What time do I need to get to the cruise terminal?

At the time of completing your online check in, you will either be able to select an embarkation time or be pre allocated a time slot from the cruise line.

How do I book shore excursions?

The beauty of a cruise holiday is that you can wake up in a new destination every day! To make the most of your time in port, you may want to book one of your cruise line’s shore excursions. These are a great way to get around, plus they ensure that you’ll make it back to the ship before it sets sail again! Book your shore excursions via your cruise line’s online check-in.

How do I pay for things onboard?

Once you board the ship you will be set up with an onboard guest account. You will receive your cruise cabin card that also acts as your payment method whilst onboard. Every purchase you make onboard will be charged to this account and you will need to finalise the account prior to disembarkation with either cash or credit.

Can I bring visitors onboard?

Due to strict security procedures, you cannot bring visitors onboard.

What drinks packages can I purchase onboard?

Drinks packages vary between cruise lines and even cruise destinations. Some cruises have soft drinks or coffee packages that you can pre-buy and some have alcohol packages as well.

How much do drinks cost onboard?

Drinks on board most cruise lines are similar prices to what you would pay for on land. Cocktails will start from roughly $9.00AUD per drink and can go up to $20.00AUD depending on which one you choose. Beers range from $6.00AUD upwards and spirits will range from $7.50AUD upwards, depending on the spirit. There are water stations, tea and coffee that are all complimentary.

What currency is used onboard?

Most cruise lines offer cashless cruising. To access this all you must do is set up your account at the start of your voyage and then settle your bill at the end of the trip. Currency on board will vary between cruise lines but you can pay for most things using a credit card. You may need local currency when in port to purchase drinks, snacks and souvenirs.

Is tipping expected?

Tipping, or gratuities vary depending on the cruise line you are sailing with. Often, they are down to personal preference, other times they are already included in your cruise fare, or sometimes they are automatically added onto your guest account onboard. Be sure to check with your MyCruises expert what the tipping/gratuity policy is regarding your cruise.

Are there medical services onboard?

All major cruise lines will have fully equipped medical facilities onboard their ships with qualified staff to be able to assist in any type of medical emergency.

What can I do with my onboard credit?

If you have onboard credit against your cabin account, you can use this to purchase shipboard extras such as drinks, shows, specialty dining venues, shore excursions, gift shop purchases, and spa treatments.

Can I smoke onboard?

All cabins, public areas and theatres are strictly non-smoking onboard. You can however smoke in the designated smoking areas of the ship. These areas typically include outdoor smoking zones, casinos, cigar lounges and cabin balconies. It is recommended to check with the cruise ship as to where the smoking areas are onboard.

What do I do when I am in port, do I have to get off the ship?

There will be a variety of shore excursions on offer in each destination you visit on the itinerary. You can choose to do book a guided shore excursion, perhaps catch a transfer into town and explore on your own, or you can stay onboard the ship. Some people opt to stay onboard if they have already visited the destination previously. The advantage to this is you basically have the ship to yourself. The pool is far less crowded, spa treatments are usually on special and no line ups at restaurants or bars.

Do cruise lines offer accessibility cabins?

Most cruise lines offer a very enjoyable holiday for people with disabilities. All cruise ships offer wheelchair accessible cabins ranging from inside cabins to suites, however the number of these will be limited. Ocean cruise ships can be very large, which may be difficult for passengers with mobility issues or slow walkers to move around the ship easily. You can rent a scooter or wheelchair for the cruise to make things easier for you. If you require an accessible cabin, be sure to speak with your MyCruises Expert so they can liaise with the cruise line to ensure your needs can be met.

Can I bring alcohol onboard?

Cruise lines have different rules regarding bringing alcohol on board. If you are planning to take your own alcohol on board, make sure you look up your chosen cruise line’s guidelines or check-in with your My Cruises Holiday Expert to make sure it’s allowed!

Is the water in the tap safe to drink onboard?

Yes, the water out of your tap in your cabin is safe to drink thanks to the onboard water desalination systems. Cruise ships water supply has to go through filtration and testing to ensure it is safe for passengers and crew. You can purchase bottled water onboard if you prefer to drink from a bottle.

Do cruise lines cater for special dietary requirements?

Yes, cruise lines cater for vegetarian, vegan, lactose, dairy, gluten free, diabetic, kosher and halal diets. They also will assist with specific allergy requirements; however, it is best to notify your cruise line at the time of booking so they can be aware and prepared. Once onboard ask to speak with the dining department on your first day to ensure you are taken care of.

Where can I keep my valuables onboard?

Valuables are best to be left at home, however if you do need to bring them with you onboard, they are best to be kept in your cabin safe.

Is there WiFi onboard?

Yes, there is WiFi available on almost every cruise ship, however there is an additional fee involved to access the internet. Most cruise lines will have internet packages available to purchase, and the internet is available through out the public areas of the ship, and in your cabin. Be aware, internet at sea can be quite expensive, so if you can disconnect whilst on board, and use the WiFi in port, or tourist venues on land it will be much cheaper for you. Most cruise ships will also have an internet café to use.

Are there laundry facilities onboard?

Onboard almost every cruise ship, they will have laundry facilities and most offer dry cleaning services for a free. Some ships also have self-service laundrette onboard.

Do I need to make reservations at the Spa?

It is strongly recommended you book your spa treatments in the day you get onboard.
The day spa availability fills up very quickly, especially on days at sea. If you are not getting off the ship on a port day, the spa usually will have special deals and will have more availability as majority of the passengers are off the ship in port.

Can I take my infant onboard?

A general rule across most cruise lines is the infant must be at least 6 months old. This can vary depending on the destination, length of cruise, and how many consecutive days at sea is on the itinerary.

Do the staff in Kids Club have qualifications?

Although cruise lines all have their own different criteria when it comes to hiring their staff, most if not all ensure their Kids Club staff have degrees in education or related children focused fields, along with having extensive experience working with children at schools or day cares centres. In the teen areas they also will have Child counsellors present.

What do I need to know about onboard Kids Clubs?

Most daytime activities for kids and teens are included in your cruise fare. You will usually have to pay additional for babies and toddlers in the nursey, along with any late-night babysitting service. Small children are required to be signed in and out by their parents, however the older kids can sign themselves in or out. Most cruise lines have kids club catering for children between the ages of 3 – 17 years old and are divided into age groups with different activities and areas suited to the different ages. Across most cruise line Kids Clubs you will find activities such as arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, karaoke, pool parties, sports tournaments, teen lounges, trivia and theme parties. Be sure to check with your MyCruises Expert what the Kids Club policy is for your cruise as this does vary.

My Cruises Hot Deals

Keen to test out your sea legs? Traverse the ocean or meander along picturesque river banks all around the world! Our hot My Cruises deals include flights, transfers, pre or post-cruise accommodation plus unbeatable bonus value extras! Get the most out of your cruise experience with us! Take a look now or contact our Cruise Holiday Experts to find out more!