From sickness to ironing, Megan Singleton answers cruising questions.
I've just disembarked from 12 days cruising the Mediterranean on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas. Here are some answers to your questions:
1. Will I get seasick?
I have only felt seasick once, cruising from Auckland to Fiji in the winter over big seas. The rocking usually makes me sleepy, but that wears off after a couple of days. If you are a sufferer, or a first-timer worried you might be, pills from a pharmacy usually work well, but remember to start taking them the night before you set sail. Be prepared, as onboard remedies can be expensive.
2. Meal and drink plans
Your cruise cost will cover three meals a day and sometimes drinks. On our ship we had the option of paying US$75 ($113) to dine at specialty restaurants Chops Grill, Izumi and Giovanni. Those nights were well worth it. They also sold a drinks plan for US$22 per person per day for all you can drink. If you were having one cocktail and one glass of wine a day, you'd easily spend that.
3. Luggage and storage
I was surprised to find plenty of room for the two of us to unpack completely and still not use all the drawers. We stowed our bags in the wardrobe and for 12 nights it was like our own bedroom. You will need a small bag for toothbrush and undies on your last night when all luggage is collected by midnight the night before your cruise ends.
Apparently public laundries are fire hazards on ships, so many are taking them out. You need to send a bag via your cabin steward for washing and drying. On our ship this was US$30 per small bag (although we squeezed loads in!) Irons are also banned from state rooms so for about $3 per shirt, these are done for you. You'll need a collared shirt for dinner, especially on formal nights.
5. Shore excursions
I pored over our itinerary for weeks before we left, looking at the shore excursions the ship offered deciding whether to do my own thing or do theirs. At some destinations it was great to be able to book tours that gave you VIP access into places like the Colosseum and Vatican Museums of Rome. At smaller ports we just hopped off and ended up either renting our own quad bike (Santorini) or finding our own driver for the day (Ephesus).
Megan Singleton was a guest of Royal Caribbean Cruise NZ
Click here to read Megan's blog on why Santorini was her favourite port of all.