I’m still in cruise mode – always a great mode to slip into – as I travel around the country on a speaking tour alongside Scenic. We are chatting all things cruising, aligned with my book The Best Of World Cruising, and I thought I’d answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
1. IF YOU COULD ONLY OFFER ONE TIP BEFORE PEOPLE DEPART, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Take some photos on your phone before you leave to show where you parked at the airport, how your luggage looked before it went on the plane and a copy of your passport. I’d also suggest you send this to a trusted loved one, just in case.
2. WHAT’S THE BEST MULTI-GENERATIONAL CRUISE?
My tip here is a cruise from Canada to Alaska exploring the Glacier Bay. The larger ships offer a great Kids Club, and there are animals galore plus a train trip, dog-sledding, yummy food, juicy history and the icebergs are the cherry on top. It’s lovely for solo travelling and pretty much all ages enjoy this one.
3. WHAT IF I GET SEASICK?
Truly, the only cruise I’ve been sick on was crossing the Tasman on an overnight trip. That cruise is not in my book. Ships these days are so technologically savvy, with built in stabilisers, even bowls of ginger lollies on hand, that it’s become an uncommon complaint. That said, if you have children or if your instinct is that you may get queasy, pop a tablet early in the piece. Sip on ginger beer or ale and keep your eyes on the horizon my love.
4. SHOULD I LEARN A FEW WORDS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE?
Absolutely, you only need a few words to show you’ve made an effort; it’s respectful (you wouldn’t like it if someone cake up to you on Pitt Street and asked directions in Swahili), it’s fun (I love to learn the odd rude word) and it can keep you out of trouble. I’ve downloaded Google Translate on my phone, my book has the basics too and you can now buy little translation devices that you speak into and it returns the words into your desired language. Trust me on this, just a few words can take you a long way.
5.BEST CRUISE FOR BOTH FISHERMEN AND THEIR NON-FISHING PARTNERS?
The Kimberley and The True North are on another level. My son loves to fish, the other loves art, so we’d let Andrew go off with his fishing tribe whilst Charlie and I discovered new waterfalls and art work each and every day. Andrew called it ‘Barradise’.
6. WHAT IF MY PARTNER IS IN A WHEELCHAIR?
Most ships and river boats these days have lifts and are remarkably wheelchair-friendly. This is where a great travel agent, or chatting with your cruise company can come in handy for anyone with special needs. Pre-planning is key here.
7. DO YOU GO THROUGH A TRAVEL AGENT OR ARE YOU MORE INDEPENDENT?
This is so personal and can vary according to what sort of trip you’re after, but even after so many years having Getaway look after me and making so many great ‘travel concierge’ contacts via Journeys To Come I like the comfort of an agent.
8. DO YOU GO FOR GOOD VALUE OR EXPENSIVE?
Having stayed in some of the world’s most ritzy hotels, I can say first hand ‘money doesn’t buy good service’. Don’t think that because something is the most expensive it’s the best. Once again, your instinct won’t fail you here.
9. I THOUGHT ALL CRUISES WERE BIG OCEAN CRUISES?
There is this crazy misnomer that all cruises must be on board ships so large they have their own postcode. No sir, the joy of cruising is that they come in all shapes and sizes.
10. WHERE IS YOUR NEXT CRUISE?
I am so excited to share that I’ll be going to Chile, but focusing on the Chilean Fjords. Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t even know Chile had Fjords! Did you? Isabelle Allende is one of my favourite writers and I never thought I’d go to her homeland, let alone take in its beautiful waters. Full report coming soon!
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