Cruise FAQ - Your Questions Answered

Posted November 12th, 2014

Our Cruise Experts have come together to answer your most-asked cruising questions...

Is there internet access onboard?

Yes, most cruise lines provide internet facilities such as an internet cafe and Wi-Fi zone.  These options are at an additional charge and can be expensive, while connectivity can be limited depending on how far out of range the ship is so it is best to log-in when in port.

Monique Van Gelder, Customer Experience Manager Cruiseabout


Keeping in touch online is easy, but costly on a cruise.

What currency is charged onboard?

This will depend on the cruise line’s origin, but many of the ocean cruises will be in US dollars.  Overall, river cruises in Europe will be in Euros and most ships visiting Australia will be in USD.  Home ported ships in our waters such as the P&O fleet, Carnival Australia and Princess Cruises’ Sea, Dawn and Sun Princess are in Aussie dollars.  There are exceptions to these rules but your travel consultant will give you a heads up.

Elise Przytula, Cruise consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes

Will I need a passport?

Australian passport holders going on a domestic cruise that doesn’t stop in an overseas port will not need to bring a passport but will need a valid government-issued photo ID.  All travellers cruising from Australia to New Zealand, the South Pacific or Asia will require a passport with six months validity, as will all other overseas cruises.

Elise Przytula, Cruise consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes

What about a visa?

This depends on a number of factors including the passenger’s nationality, their intended itinerary and whether or not they are disembarking in a destination or simply transiting through.  If a visa is required, your travel consultant and cruise line will work together to arrange this on your behalf with cruise lines granted a blanket visa from the local government to cover days in port for all passengers on most occasions.  If this isn’t the case, your travel consultant will work with you to determine the visa requirements specific to your travel plans and arrange this with you.

Elise Przytula, Cruise consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes

What’s included in my cruise cost?

Your accommodation, transport, entertainment and all main meals are included in the cost, as well as access to most of the ship’s facilities and tipping on occasion.  River cruises may also include shipboard gratuities, some shore excursions and alcoholic drinks while expedition cruises will include shore visits and equipment.  Cruise lines offer a number of optional extras for a small cost including dining at speciality restaurants, spa treatments and shore excursions. For more details on what is included in your cruise fare, read our full blog post here.


Your cruise fares includes your accommodation throughout your holiday.

Monique Van Gelder, Customer Experience Manager Cruiseabout

How do I pay for things on the ship?

Cruises operate on a cashless system.  Instead of paying for items as you go, they are charged to your unique room card that is linked to your credit or debit card.  An itemised account is presented to passengers before disembarkation to be settled prior to check out, or automatically debited if there are no discrepancies.

Megan Hopwood, Cruiseabout Lane Cove

How do I arrange shore excursions?

Cruise lines continually review their shore excursions and include new tours to ensure there is a good variety for all interests and fitness levels. The selected shore excursions will be available approximately 90 days before departure and can be booked by passengers through their cruise personaliser on the cruise line’s website.  Popular shore excursions may sell out early so it is best to book these ahead of time, however they can also be arranged while on the ship through the concierge.

Anna Baelz-Stead, Cruise Consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes


More cruise holiday tips

9-Step Guide To Booking The Perfect Cruise Holiday

Recommended Adults-Only Cruise Voyages


Can I get off the ship on my own, or do I need to do a shore tour?

You can get off the ship at each port to explore on your own and this can be a good way to control expenditure on your holiday.

Leanne Almeida, Cruiseabout Hampton

Will I get bored during days at sea?

The ship is a destination in itself, sometimes like a floating city! There are plenty of activities onboard - both complimentary and some with a small additional charge - to suit all interest groups and fitness levels.  And again, you can do as much or as little as you like, it's your choice.  A recommended sea day itinerary on an ocean cruise could include breakfast with a view followed by a relaxing spa treatment (or two) before a poolside lunch, and then catch a movie to take you into late afternoon when group activities like bingo, wine tastings and cooking demonstrations start, followed by dinner and a show.

Anna Baelz-Stead, Cruise Consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes


From mini-golf to bingo, there is always something to do onboard.

Can I open the windows in an oceanview cabin?

No. The windows in oceanview cabins are fixed so for fresh air, you will need to book a balcony cabin.

Leanne Almeida, Cruiseabout Hampton

Will I get seasick?

Everyone feels different affects of motion sickness, but there are decisions regarding your cabin location that you can factor in that may help slightly.  Take a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck as these are generally the most stable and best for travellers prone to seasickness.  Other passengers find an oceanview cabin with a window and natural light better so they can see the horizon, while a balcony cabin lets you step outside and let fresh air in.

Anna Baelz-Stead, Cruise Consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes

What’s an inside cabin like?

These are the most inexpensive cabins and are perfect for travellers looking to keep the costs down.  As there is no window, these cabins are better suited to passengers who just need a base for the night and prefer to use the ship’s facilities and lounges during the day.  Keep in mind that there is no natural light in these cabins so it can interfere with your body clock as you will need to have the light on when not sleeping.

Leah Morton, Cruise consultant, Cruiseabout Caloundra

I’m a light sleeper, what cabin should I go for?

Light sleepers should steer clear of cabins near noise sources such as dining rooms, stairwells, elevators, beneath pool decks or near nightclubs and crew service areas.  As a rule of thumb, select a cabin in a deck that is above and below another passenger deck for the quietest location.

Anna Baelz-Stead, Cruise Consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes

Will I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is a must for cruising – even if the ship doesn’t leave Australian waters.  While ships provide a high standard of medical care, medical clinics on board are privately run and are not covered by Medicare or private health insurance.  Plus, you may be a long way from land if anything goes wrong, requiring expensive emergency evacuation.

Jarrod Pask, General Manager Cruiseabout

Are there drinks packages?

A lot of cruise lines offer drinks packages, either alcoholic or soft drink packages.  These are often per person per day and are available with a variety of different inclusions allowing you to choose which package will add the most value to your cruise.

Elise Przytual, Cruise consultant, Cruiseabout West Lakes

We hope we have answered your question! But should you have any others, leave us a comment below, or call one of our Cruising Specialists on 1300 954 661 and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have about cruising in general, a cruise line or ship or a cruise destination.


Set sail on a dream holiday with Cruiseabout


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