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Cruising FAQ’s

Cruising is all about doing what you want to do, when you want to do it and how your want to do and with that in mind it will come as no surprise that there is lots of choice when it comes to every aspect of a cruise holiday.

Starting with the choosing your cruise through to the booking process and from starting your holiday to ending your holiday- there are lots of options and lots to think about.

That then leads to lots of questions from those new to cruising and from those who are vastly experienced cruises and everyone in-between and here at CruiseHols we have taken our own experiences and those from cruisers we have spoken to, to bring you our answers to many of the most frequently asked questions.

Cruising Frequently Asked Questions

Here are lots of the most frequently asked questions about all aspects of cruising, to reveal and read our answers, simply click on the + or the question itself.

First Time Cruisers
Will I get bored on a cruise?
If the though of sitting around for day after day at sea just waiting to reach a port fills you with dread, do not worry, as the chances are that that will never be a problem.

Aside from transatlantic and transpacific cruises, it is often the case that the maximum back to back days at sea will be limited to 2 at a time at a maximum but most cruises will only have single sea days with many having none at all.

If you like to keep active on holiday, choose port intensive itinerary on larger ships as more often than not you will come back off of holiday and realise you never even came got the time to try something on the ship that you were looking forward to.

Will I suffer sea sickness on a cruise?
If you have suffered from motion sickness on a plane, train or in a car, there is a chance you will also suffer from seasickness. Even if motion sickness has never been an issue for you, there is still always a chance but it should never be a reason to not cruise.

Most modern cruise ships have a number of ways to keep things smooth on board even in choppy waters including stabilisers whilst the huge size of cruise ships nowadays means you more often than not forget you are out at sea.

Is a cruise right for me?
There are so many options to cruising and so much to enjoy that in the vast majority of cases the answer is simply YES!

If your idea of the perfect holiday is staying at a luxury resort and soaking up the sun, a modern cruise ship matches most resorts.

If your idea of a great holiday is touring a round a region to take in new places, a cruise ship allows you to do that without the need to pack and repack for every new destination.

If your idea of a holiday is all about taking in culture during the day and enjoy fine dining on an evening, then a cruise ship allows you to do that.

Basically, whatever you like, you can do on a cruise ship but where a cruise holiday separates itself is the fact that you not only get to the do the one things that you like to do, but a mixture of lots of great holiday types all in one.

How to choose the right cruise?
Many experience cruisers will have their favourite cruise line, their favourite ships and their favourite destinations so picking their next cruise can be relatively straight forward but if you are relatively new to cruising or if you are simply looking for something different, it can get much more complicated and at first glance somewhat overwhelming.

Thankfully, it becomes much simpler as you narrow down your options, which can be straight forward due to your personal preferences, when you can cruise and of course your budget.

When planning your next cruise, work out the type of cruise line you want to sail with, the type of ship you want to sail on, the destination(s) you want to visit, your budget and your availability.

When you know the answer for those, finding your next cruise is so much simpler and even enjoyable. Our guides help you to make those decisions.

Booking A Cruise
How do I book a cruise holiday?

Booking a cruise holiday is very similar to booking any other holiday. First you have to decide you budget as that is always the biggest determining factor.

Then you will need to when and where you want to visit and then you need to decide whether you mind flying to a departure port or if you want to travel direct from the UK.

With all of that in mind, you will be able to search for cruises on offer and see which cruise line and cruise ships are visiting your chosen destination at the time of year you want to travel at.

When you have found a ship you like the look of traveling to the destination you want to visit for the right price and at the right time of year, you can then start looking at the staterooms on offer and choose the right one for you.

Which cruise line should I book with?
That is an answer that nobody knows apart from you as what makes a cruise lines perfect for one person make it the wrong choice for another.

The good news is that there is now a great range of different cruising styles offered as the days of having to do what cruise lines tell you do are long gone.

It is now the cruiser who is in control, with everything from relaxed cruise lines with no need to dress up or book anything in advance through to lines that still require black tie and to book dining times etc.

For some the former will be best and for some the latter will be best but for many it is the lines that offer a hybrid of the 2 that is best.

To help make your choice of cruise line(s) that are suited to you, we have written in-depth reviews of many cruise lines from our own personal experiences and from researching others experiences.

For more information and to read our reviews, please visit Our Cruise Line Reviews here

When should I book a cruise?
Getting the timing right when booking a cruise can be the difference between grabbing a bargain or overpaying but ultimately it will come down to your own circumstances.

It is often the case that if you book early you will get best price but booking at the very last minute can also lead to huge savings.

Both can also leave you overpaying, especially if you leave it late and cruises are all but full or if you book early and the popularity of your cruise is overestimated but by booking early you do have the option to re-book at lower prices, so long as you keep checking or use a travel agent that does it for you and as most cruise lines only require a relatively low deposit until around 90 days before departure, you still have lots of time to save up.

Should I book via the cruise line or a travel agent?
It can often be just as easy to book directly with a cruise line as it is with a cruise line so most of the time it comes down to who can offer you the cruise that you want for the cheapest price.

If you are short on time or simply want to somebody to do the work for you, then using a travel agent, even online line or offline, is a great choice whilst the chances are that if you are on a site such as this one, you are taking your time, doing your research and you will know what cruises right for you, so going direct is often the best option.

With some upsides and some downsides to both, the easiest answer is whichever you feel most confidence doing is the right option!

Life Onboard

Do cruise lines require black tie?
This is often a big question for those new to cruising or for those looking to cruise for the first time as the vast majority of us want to simply relax and enjoy spending time with friends and/or family whilst on holiday and not have to worry about following lots of rules and regulations.

Having to dress up and wear black time is often seen by those who have not cruised as one of the off putting aspects of a cruise holiday but the good news is that the majority of lines have started to adapt and understand holidays are about relaxing and enjoying it your way.

The vast majority no longer require black tie and just as with every aspect of cruising, there is lots of choice including some cruise lines that require smart clothing for ‘formal nights’, some that still require dressing up every night and some that have very relaxed requirements such as no swimwear in restaurants.

Luxury cruise lines such as Cunard, Silversea, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas and Azamara are great options for those still wanting glitz and glamour whilst on holiday.

Do I need to interact with others on a cruise?
For many of us, the chance to spend time with our partner or with our family whilst on holiday is what really makes a getaway so good, so the though of having to spend time sharing tables with others is off putting.

For others, the chance to meet new people is a great part of a holiday and the great news is that no matter what your preference, on the vast majority of cruise lines, the choice is yours.

Most lines now offer the chance to sit on shared tables or just with your party in main dining rooms and in speciality dining and buffets, you will sit with just your party.

Food and Drink

Do cruise lines include drinks?
Some cruise lines offer an all-inclusive offering, so all drinks are included, but even those that are not all inclusive, you still get a range of drinks included, with most offering tea, coffee, fruit juices and water as a minimum in dining venues.

If you want sodas, premium coffees and alcoholic drinks, the majority of cruise lines offer the chance to pre-pay for drinks packages so you know exactly how much drinks will cost you before you travel and you do not have to worry about it once onboard.

Of course if you are not a big drinker, you can also charge the drinks to your onboard account on a pay per drink status.

Embarkation / Disembarkation

What happens to my luggage at the start of a cruise?
Whilst the exact procedures change from one line to the next and are dependent if you are in a suite etc on the majority of occasions, you will hand over your luggage at the port, either when you park up or just before/as you enter the terminal and then your luggage will be delivered to your stateroom.

Some fly cruise options allow for your bags to be delivered to you stateroom without the need for you to see them again after you check in at the airport.

Make sure you pack an overnight bag for your first night/first morning in case of any delays to your luggage arriving in your stateroom.

What happens to my luggage at the end of a cruise?
Once again, the exact procedures change from one line to the next and are dependent if you are in a suite etc on the majority of occasions, you will hand over your luggage to porters the night before departure (usually by leaving them outside of your stateroom) and then they will be waiting for in a baggage hall after you have cleared customs.

Make sure you pack an overnight bag to use on the last night/last morning.

What is embarkation?
The term embarkation simply refers to the process of boarding a cruise ship; from dropping off your luggage, to checking in and then of course, boarding the ship.

It is a simple process that is usually much quicker than boarding a place but many aspects are similar.

What is disembarkation?
The term disembarkation refers to the process of leaving your cruise ship at the end of your holiday including leaving your room, sorting out any bills (if needed), going through customs/passport control and picking up your luggage.

Ports of Call

How long do we have in port?
The length of time you have in port changes from one port to the next and from one cruise to the next due to a number of factors including the overall length of your cruise, the number of cruise ships in port, the distance from your last port and the distance to your next port.
What is a tender?
Some smaller ports require cruise to drop anchor off shore and ‘ferry’ passenger to the port. Even if a port can facilitate a cruise ship, some ports will allow more than 1 to arrive at the same time, so you may not know if you need to tender until the day you dock.

Some port have shuttle boats whilst some require cruise ships to use their lifeboats and some allow for the mixture of both.