Veteran cruiser GARY TATE has some excellent tips to ensure a happy and healthy time at sea
Gary Tate was recently aboard his eighth cruise on the Astor from Fremantle to Bali return and is a seasoned passenger.
His suggestions to avoid potential pitfalls include:
- Check the ship’s deck plan to ensure it is not next to an elevator, service entrance or sports club to avoid excessive noise. Do you want a cabin with a balcony, just a window or a cheaper inside cabin (no window)? Higher cabins may experience more motion than those lower down in the ship.
- Prefer a double or twin beds?
What to pack
- Ask if formal nights/dining areas require black tie, tie, just a jacket or no jacket?
- An umbrella and a light spray jacket. Laundry will be an additional charge, however most have an ironing room but not all (some cruise lines have washing machines). Irons and power boards will be confiscated on most ships.
- International power plug adaptor for charging cameras and devices.
- An empty drink bottle (can be filled from bathroom tap) for shore excursions.
- Many cruise lines have limitations on alcohol, some will confiscate alcohol and return it at the end of the cruise.
- Besides our normal requirements we also include a general antibiotic, Betadine, bandaids, headache tablets, motion sickness tablets, Gastro-Stop for an upset tummy and rehydration salts (if vomiting may occur).
- Suncream if the weather is going to be sunny.
- Small pack of sanitiser for shore excursions.
- Always use the on-board sanitiser every time you see it to help avoid catching a stomach bug.
- Notify your travel agent of any special dietary requirements and follow up with reception once aboard.
- Shop around and read the small print to ensure adequate coverage for your own needs and any unforeseen happenings.
- Book shore excursions early, well before boarding to avoid disappointment. Mega ships have many activities and night-time shows that also have to be pre-booked well before boarding.
- Specialty restaurants should be booked well in advance. On your first day notify reception of any anniversaries or birthdays being celebrated even if previously advised.
- Check the “muster station” sign on the inside of your cabin door.
- Unpack and once the lifeboat drill is completed it is time to totally unwind.
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