While we are talking pre-cruise homework, taking out cruise-specific travel insurance is advisable; even if you are not leaving Australian waters, Medicare and private-health policies do not cover medical expenses, which can be enormous on cruises. A good policy will also cover your expenses for cruises that are cancelled, unforeseen flight delays that mean you miss the ships departure and pre-paid port excursions that might have to be missed because of weather or sea conditions.
Many lines, especially river cruise companies, offer bonuses such as free flights, pre-paid gratuities and on-board credits when you book and pay several months in advance. You also have the benefit of booking your preferred deck plan and cabin and if you are planning a family cruise during school holidays, always the busiest times, booking at least six months ahead is almost essential.
Whatever sort of cruise you choose – resort-style, boutique-luxury, leisurely river or adventure – you want to make the most of your precious time on board. And if you are cruising for the first time, there are lots of things you can do to save time and money that might not apply to land-based holidays.
All deck plan pages include basic statistical information, such as:
- year built, vessel class and sister ships (among the fleets of all lines).
- total number of cabins, plus number per type (Inside, OceanView/RiverView, Balcony, Suite).
- capacity - passengers (normal and max/double occupancy) and crew capacity.
- number of passenger accessible decks, number (in any) of swimming pools and whirlpools (hot tubs), passenger elevators, water-slides.
- On some ships is additionally provided information regarding name origin/meaning, service history, fun facts.
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