5 Surprises about Cruising

Posted September 27th, 2012

Last year a record number of Australians took a cruise holiday (623,294 in total), up 34% on the number who cruised the year before. But, with a population of more than 20 million people, that still means that the majority of Australians have not yet experienced the joy that is cruising!

So, to everyone who has yet to go on a cruise, we ask you - what if we told you that you will experience many things that you probably never expected to find on a cruise? Things that are so good that they will make you say "If I had known how great it is, I would have started cruising a long, long time ago?" Would you feel tempted then?

Most people who take their first cruise end up saying that the experience offered far more than they expected. So for those that have yet to take the cruising plunge, we are here to tell you exactly what surprises you can expect on a cruise, and why you should be tempted!

1. Excellent Food and Restaurant Service:

We would like you to think about your favourite restaurant at home. Does it have tables beautifully set with white linen, multiple utensils and a number of glasses for different varieties of wine? Is your waiter, smartly dressed in a tuxedo, holding out your chair for you and waiting to lay a napkin on your lap? The answer is probably "no".

But, on a cruise ship, this is the regular standard of dining service - and it is becoming increasingly rare in land-based restaurants. On cruise ships, all of the meals are served in the finest of settings, and the menu items include  variety of salads, appetisers, soups, entrees and fabulous desserts. And, if you want to, you can try everything you want on the menu at no extra cost (and believe us, sometimes you will want to - everything just sounds so delicious!). Breakfast, lunch and dinner and all included in the basic cruise fare (excluding speciality restaurants).

2. Room Stewards:

In a hotel, your room and bathroom will be cleaned while you are out, without you ever meeting the person who does this for you! But, on a cruise, your room steward or stewardess will introduce themselves the moment you arrive. They will ask you about your preferences for fresh fruit or flowers in your cabin, and leave you with a number so you can call them at any time should you need anything during your cruise.

During they day they will clean your room, but they will also return while you are at dinner to do a turn-down service. They will leave you the next day's daily program, and may even leave a little chocolate on your pillow, or a towel-animal to greet you when you get back to your room. Your room sterward will add that personal touch that just makes everything that much more special.

3. Free Room Service:

Who doesn't enjoy having a hot breakfast with coffee delivered to their door, while relaxing on their private balcony in their bathrobe? Room service is the perfect way to start or end a busy day, and what makes it even better is that its free. Cruise ship room service is included in the cruise fare 24 hours a day (with exception of a few cruise ships who charge after certain hours).

For room service breakfast, just leave your order out before you go to bed, and the next morning it will be delivered to your door at your specified time. For lunch or dinner, you can order from the menu offered in the main dining room - usually the whole menu is on offer, but some cruise ships offer a limited version for room service orders. Either way, you can enjoy a delicious meal, while relaxing in the comfort of your own cabin. It's almost too good to be true.

4. Concierge and Butler Service:

On most cruise ships, those who have booked the higher stateroom categories, have access to concierge and butler services. The concierge will be at your service in the concierge lounge, where you can find fresh water, fruit, coffee, snacks, magazines, newspapers, books and DVDs, day and night. Additional services range from collecting your laundry for cleaning and pressing, to shining your shoes. They can help you with your shore excursion bookings, and will pick up and deliver your tour tickets for you. They can also make reservation at speciality restaurants for you.

5. Free Time:

The final surprise you will find on a cruise is the amount of personal time you will have. Everything is so effortless - you don't have to worry about packing and unpacking, finding tour guides in ports of call, cooking and cleaning, or anything else for that matter! All you need to do is show up at whatever it is you choose to do.

Not having to worry about the little details like taxis, trains, hotels and restaurants, gives you so much more free time and money to spend on things that will make your cruise holiday even more memorable.

With all of this included in your cruise vacation, its no wonder that so many people love cruising. Take the plunge! Try your first cruise and experience it all first hand! Very soon you too will be one of those people saying "If we had known how great it is, we would have started cruising a long time ago!"

Short cruise breaks are the perfect way to experience a cruise for the first time! If you are interested in taking your first cruise, call one of our Cruise Specialists on 1300 954 661 today!

Source: 2011 Australian Cruise Industry Report published by the ICCA

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