BOOKING YOUR HOLIDAY AT SEA
Choose your cruise
Pick a destination: Most first-timers keep things simple with a cruise that departs from the nearest port. If you like beaches, there are many South Pacific itineraries to the sunny islands of Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. New Zealand is another popular destination for Australians or you can stay domestic with a Queensland or west coast cruise.
The top international, culture-rich choices are Europe’s Mediterranean and the Baltic areas, or Alaska for the wonderful wildlife and landscapes lined with glaciers and icebergs. Japan, Iceland and Hawaii are also on the rise.
Pick a ship
Different cruise lines and ship sizes suit different personalities. What entertains a family may horrify a couple, while a solo traveller has their own specific needs. Even when you narrow it down, each ship has its own quirks too.
A large ship (anywhere from 1000 to 6000 passengers) can be lots of fun or lots of queues. A smaller ship can be cosy and friendly or it may seem too specific for your tastes. And, of course, your final decision has to fit your budget.
Who can help
• Travel Agents: Talk to a welltrained consultant who is accredited with the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). This website has a handy tool to find a cruise agent in your state: cruising.org.au
• Cruise Critic: The world’s largest cruise community is an unbeatable source of advice and reviews by experts and passengers. Check out this Australian-focused site: cruisecritic.com.au