Blues-free cruising

By Jennifer Ennion

The peak cruise season may be over but it's never too early to start thinking ahead, writes Jennifer Ennion.

Get the lowdown on the ship, services and charges before taking off on an ocean cruise. Photo / Getty Images
Get the lowdown on the ship, services and charges before taking off on an ocean cruise. Photo / Getty Images

If you're a first-time cruiser, take heed of these on-board tips before you leave ...

1: Pick the right ship for you by doing plenty of research. You don't want to be the only under-40 on a shipload of over-70s - or the only 50-year-old on a schoolies trip.

2: Pack motion-sickness medication, even if you've never been sick on a boat; ocean crossings on ships can be rough. Good brands are Kwells and Travacalm, and ginger tablets also work.

3: Book your shore excursions before you leave home so there is no chance of missing out on that vineyard tour.

4: Avoid cabin fever by reserving a room with a view. They will cost more than those deep in the bowels of the ship but you'll appreciate it.

5: Medication for diarrhoea, such as Imodium, is something every traveller should have on hand: you never know when a stomach bug will spread.

It may seem overly cautious but use the anti-bacterial handwash provided on the decks.

6: If you want a beauty or spa treatment, book early. Times are reserved quickly by those in the know.

7: Pack light: the wardrobe in your room can get crowded with a large suitcase. On that note, take a little black dress or good suit for formal nights.

8: At dinner, some restaurants will have two sitting sessions, usually around 6.30pm and 8.30pm. Reserve your preference early.

9: If you want to keep up your exercise routine, rise early to make the most of a quiet ship.

10: Last but not least, get the drill on extra charges - everything from how much you're expected to tip the crew to Wi-Fi charges (which are expensive at sea), and which restaurants have extra charges.

- AAP

- NZ Herald

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