Cruising can be a nightmare or amazing! Here are some thoughts and tips we have discovered in our very short experience.
I have always had an aversion to the thought of cruising. The only one I was interested in was not far from my home in Far North Queensland in Australia. That was because it was a lovely area but also because you were mostly close to land something I liked!
My aversions were a few:
- I don’t like the ocean and get sea sick easily.
- You lose sight of land and those waves can be fearsome.
- You are with a couple of thousand other people on a tin tub in the middle of ocean and can not get away from them!
- Germs and food poisoning stories abound.
- Way too much food and I didn’t want to watch people or myself make gluttons of ourself!
- Way too many excesses all up with too many imbibing too much alcohol.
So all up it was not what I considered a nice holiday. However, one ferry ride we took across from Finland to Sweden was such a wonderful experience that I thought it might not be too bad to go on a more defined cruise.
We were offered a two for one deal and after Paul said he really wanted to go and visit Alaska we headed off for our 40th Wedding Anniversary with three thousand other people.
We opted to spend a bit of time in Canada before the cruise and loved the amazing country.
The cruise was for 10 days so we were indeed locked up with a lot of people but it didn’t feel to constricted. We opted to do a lot of walking in the ports rather than pay loads of money on tours organized by the cruise liner. We have since discovered that there are definitely options out there rather than join up with the masses.
Things we have learned on our very limited cruise experiences:
- Unless you are cruising an area that has spectacular views, don’t pay extra for a balcony – You are hardly in your room and when you are it is usually to sleep or nap so dark is good! And preferably not close to a lift!
- Higher isn’t necessarily the best! The sway is considerably more in the event of bad weather.
- Washy washy! Washing hands is imperative to avoid nasties. Health issues in such close quarters are really important as is what you eat and drink on land at the various ports. Take care!
- Be alert! Travel always requires that we remain aware of our surroundings. There are some not so pleasant people out there and situations, so be smart.
- Get off the ship and shop around! There are better tours that can be found at the docs and even outside the port fences! Get a group together and negotiate a fair price for your drivers as well as yourselves. We appreciated our small intimate group and our ability to negotiate our time and sightseeing, instead of being dictated to along with 70 other people.
- Get away from the tours to support local artisans and retailers. Bartering isn’t fun for me but if I feel they are giving me a fair deal I will buy. If I feel I am being ripped off I walk away!
- Have fun and get to know other guests. There are some amazing people out there to meet. Don’t just sit with your friends and family.
- Don’t be the rude, whinging tourist! Treat your cruise staff with respect and patience. Treat the locals with respect as well. They are trying to make a living in some pretty hard circumstances. RESPECT!
- Take phone numbers of your tour guides. It can come in handy. Paul left his phone in the taxi we hired and we were able to contact him and connect to get it back – and gave him a nice tip for being honest and driving back to us!
- Have fun! This a great time to relax, enjoy new sights as well as be pampered!
So just a few thoughts as we embark on our third cruise – This time to Italy and the Adriatic Sea – Just a little excited about it! This is my dream cruise!
Until next time