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While cruising is emerging as one of the most preferred holiday options, not everyone is aware that careful planning of  their cruise vacation would result in peace of mind and better value for money for every penny spent. Following set of Q&A are incorporated in this Cruise Planner to help you make an informed choice:

 

Q. How many of you are travelling and what is the purpose of this cruise vacation?

A. These are the first few questions which determine how to find the best deal. In case you are a small family, then your requirements would be different than a large family group. Accordingly, you would need to look for cabins closer to each other or on the same decks. Also, you must be clear about the purpose of cruise vacation to be taken – is it a honeymoon trip, a family reunion, an exploratory trip or a dealer incentive / management group.

 

Q. Where, when  and for how long you want the cruise for?

A. No-one knows your destination preferences better than yourself, therefore, you need to evaluate your options sensibly.  You need to research well and find out that if you want a long duration cruise (7-10 days) at a destination and which all cruise line is offering a cruise in that destination. Also, cruises operate in different regions at different times, therefore planning a cruise in a destination where the cruises are being operated during your preferred dates is critical.
Traditionally, the longer you are on a cruise ship, more value you get out of the total cost. A shorter duration cruise (4-5 days) is optimal for the first time cruiser, as this would give you a balanced exposure to the life on a cruise. Anything shorter than a 3-4 day cruise is a waste of money, unless you just need to party hard onboard the ship.

 

Q. How ships are different from each other ?

A. Different ships deliver unique atmosphere & style of service based on the product offering – casual, upmarket, premium or luxury. In addition to this, based on the size of the ships the size of cabins & facilities offered may differ. Therefore, it is important to look at the ship size and facilities being offered which matter to the client. For eg: a rock climbing wall on a ship may not be of importance to senior citizens going on a cruise, but may matter to young family. Similarly, choice of paid specialty restaurants onboard a ship may be of interest to an upmarket passenger, but may not be of any use to a budget traveller.

 

Q. How to decide which cabin to book ?

A. The choice of cabin purely depends on the kind of person you are. Club crawlers may find the cabins close to theatres & bars most convenient, but if passengers would like to go to bed early, then they should chose the cabin away from noise. Late sleepers would be better away from the gym & children’s club, which are usually lively in the morning. If you have difficulty walking long distances, then cabins close to elevators would be sensible to choose. If a family with kids is travelling, then cabins opposite each other or adjacent / interconnecting would be a good choice. When it comes to choosing a cabin type (inside, ocean view, balcony, suite etc.) one must look at the cost & duration of the cruise – for a shorter duration itinerary, one could opt for an inside cabin but for longer duration cruises (7 days or above), it is highly recommended to take a balcony or higher cabin category, otherwise passenger starts to feel claustrophobic after initial two days.
Always remember that your holiday experience has to be better than your day-to-day life, therefore, if your kids do not stay in the same room with you at home, then do not have them share the cabin with you on a cruise just to save cost or because of some deal – this would ruin your vacation experience. Since higher cabin categories tend to sell out faster, it makes more sense to make cruise bookings about 5-6 months in advance.

 

Q. How much luggage could be carried on a cruise ?

A. On most cruise, there is no restriction of baggage - passengers can bring in as many bags as they could fit into their cabin. But passengers must remember that all international & domestic flights have baggage allowance restrictions, which may vary from economy to business class. Therefore, passengers need to be familiar with baggage allowances / restrictions of airlines they are using before & after the cruise to ensure that they do not face inconvenience at the airports.

 

Q. What about dining choices onboard the ship?

A. Most cruise lines have a substantial variety of dining options available for the duration of the cruise, inclusive in the cost. The quality, taste & presentation would vary on the rating of the cruise and the market segment the cruise-line is catering to. An upmarket, premium cruise line would surely have more dining options than a mass market cruise line. Since dining forms an integral part of any cruise vacation, it would always recommended to spend more and sail on a premium cruise lines to get the most in terms of dining options as each day cuisines from different parts of the world is included in the menu along with Indian Meals for dinner.

 

Q. What about tips on a cruise?

A. It is needless to say that genuine, attentive & excellent service is a hallmark of most premium cruise lines. Tipping is similar to Service Charges (which range from 10 to 12% ) which is levied in most Indian & overseas fine dining restaurants & hotels. Good service cannot be taken for granted, therefore, good service must be rewarded handsomely. Tipping should not be viewed as an additional expense, but should be looked at as an opportunity to reward & thank someone who has made your vacation a memorable one. On most cruises, the gratuity / Service charge is automatic added (as a predetermined amount) to passenger’s shipboard account, so as to avoid any confusion by trying to do this manually, but, this could always be altered / removed based on passengers preference. Generally, this amount various from US$ 8 – 12 per person per day. Some cruise lines have a No Gratuity Policy also, therefore, one must evaluate options carefully.

 

Q. What are the children’s club like onboard a cruise ship?

A. The children clubs on most cruises are run to a very high standard and their charges are included in the fare. Normally, kids are divided into various groups based on their ages and daily a number of activities are planned for the kids and executed in a supervised manner by trained & multi-lingual ship staff. The activities may range from a treasure hunt, to T-shirt painting, to cooking lessons & competitions, to Karaoke parties & talent search. Kids, up-to teenage, could participate in these activities for as long as the parents are on the ship. If parents decide to go for shore excursions, then kids have to accompany the parents – this is a norm on most premium cruise lines.

 

Q. What happens in case of a medical emergency?

A. Most premium cruise lines’ ship has a medical centre onboard, supported by fully qualified doctors. This is accessible to all passengers for minor ailments & consultations. While we all hope that none of the passengers become ill, it is important to note that medical treatment & repatriation expenses in most countries could be substantial, therefore, it is highly recommended for passengers to obtain a medical insurance to cover such costs including their entire travel duration covering air & cruise durations as appropriate. If a passenger is taken ill while on the cruise and his/her condition is so serious that he/she needs to be brought ashore, then the standard operating procedure for most cruise lines is to place the passenger in care of the port agent till he / she recovers and is declared fit to travel by the attending doctors. Please note that all expenses incurred in such cases are charged for, therefore, an overseas medical insurance is a must for all passengers.

 

We hope that now you are ready with following important items to help us plan your cruise vacation:

Total Number of passengers:
Adults:
Children:

Destination Option 1:
Destination Option 2:

Month of travel:

Cruise Duration:

Cabin type:

 

Kindly call us at 1800-103-0306 or send us your query with as much information & your contact details on helpdesk@cruiseprofessionals.in