Cruising should be straightforward for everyone but you’ll be surprised at the number of ways it’s possible to come unstuck. Check out our guide to happy cruising and there’ll be no embarrassing faux pas.
Check this out carefully when you book as there’s a number of ways it operates depending on the cruise line and the destination. With some cruise lines, tips are included in the price, with others you’ll get a surcharge on top of your holiday invoice whilst a few will suggest a daily tip rate and who it should be paid to. Many cruise passengers baulk at these often costly charges imposed saying that they prefer to give to staff who’ve been particularly helpful rather than contribute to a pot that gets shared amongst the staff. If that’s the case, check out each company’s policy carefully before you book.
On Board Credit
Another mistake often made is to assume that your cruise is all inclusive as in most cases it’s not. Drinks almost always have to be paid for separately as does any laundry, shore excursions and sometimes there’s a charge for room service. If you want to eat in the nicer restaurants, you’ll have to pay more too. Many cruise companies now offer substantial levels of on board credit as an enticement to get you to book. It benefits them for they only lose out on cost price and it benefits you because you’ll save on extras.
Excursions from cruise ships may sound great but they’re incredibly expensive and can waste a lot of your shore time through having to organise coach loads of passengers. Two ways to avoid the cost are to contact a local excursion provider and ask them to collect you at the dock or if you’re a confident driver, arrange a hire car through us to be ready at the port when you arrive. Both ways will work out significantly cheaper and making your own way around the local sights means you can stop when and where you like – just make sure you’re back on time!!
With well over a thousand people on board most cruise liners, hygiene sometimes suffers and it’s rare for a cruise to pass without some debilitating bug hitting dozens of the passengers. You won’t like the measures that the ship will impose on you if you do become ill – quarantine for at least two days is the norm – so do what you can to avoid illnesses like norovirus, e.coli or salmonella. Try to get to the buffet first, don’t touch any food on the buffet with your hands unless you’re taking it to eat. Carry antibacterial gel or wet wipes with you and use them before a meal. Don’t eat what appears to be food reused from a previous meal, so avoid stews. Make sure too that you take plenty of stomach upset pills with you so you can nip any problems in the bud before you get locked up!
Make sure you’re aware of the age group usually seen on the cruise you’re considering. A couple of twenty-somethings will hate a cruise where the average age is over seventy. Entertainment, activities and food is often determined on the age of the passengers so if you don’t want backgammon classes and an evening with a Vera Lynn sound-alike, check before you book.
At meals, you’ll be allocated a table with up to twelve guests per table. If you wanted quiet and romantic, you’re unlikely to get it unless, you’ve guessed it, you’re happy to pay for the privilege. Take note of our recommendations and your time on board will at worst, not be a shock and at best, be a very enjoyable holiday.
Read our full MS Veendam Review
here if you are considering cruising on this ship!