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Saturday, 10 August 2013

Packing for a Worry-Free Cruise Holiday

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Cruise season is here again and there's nothing like a seemingly-endless parade of glistening cruise ships visiting ports all around Australia to prompt travellers to consider a cruise holiday.

For the first time cruiser, the thought of packing enough different outfits to last an entire holiday is always a major concern, so the International Cruise Council Australasia has come up with a simple guide to make cruise holiday packing that little bit easier.

General Manager Brett Jardine said the best way to ensure Australian travellers chose the cruise line to suit their lifestyle would be to first speak with a cruise expert, such as an ICCA-accredited travel agent.

"When you know you've picked the right ship and the right destination for you to enjoy a great holiday, everything else will fall into place," Mr Jardine said.

The first thing people think about is what to wear on board ships. Usually the dress code during the day is comfortable and casual so t-shirts and shorts, skirts and sun dresses teamed with sneakers, thongs and sandals are all good options. But note that swimmers and sarongs are fine around the pool but not in public or dining areas anywhere around the ship.

At night, most cruise lines offer a mix of formal, semi-formal and casual nights throughout a cruise with your average week-long cruise including at least two formal nights (usually on sea days), a couple of cocktail evenings and the rest smart casual.

Evening dress codes usually apply to restaurants and public areas from about 6pm but for those who don't enjoy formal nights, passengers can usually choose to dine in the more casual buffet alternative.

Double check the dress code information the cruise line sends with the tickets – it's the best way to ensure packing appropriately.

Apart from your wardrobe, there are a few other essential items:
  • Passport with at least six months' validity after your return and any destination visas
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Sufficient quantities of any medications you may need – these may be unavailable onboard
  • Sunglasses, hats and sunscreen
  • A camera for all those happy snaps as well as any cables you need to download shots onto Facebook to update family and friends
  • Laptops or iPads – most ships have wi-fi connectivity to make staying in touch easier
  • A good book or two – and there's always extras at the onboard library
  • Any sporting equipment you can't cruise without – such as snorkelling gear in the tropics, you can often hire these onboard but it can be easier to carry your own.
A great final tip is to check the type of electrical plugs used on board – there's nothing worse than a camera that can't be charged without a US or European adaptor plug!

The International Cruise Council Australasia is a not-for-profit organisation formed in 1996, committed to training travel consultants and raising consumer awareness of cruising.

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