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Q: What are the dress standards aboard a cruise?
A: Nearly every cruise line has a dress code which tends to vary depending on the type of cruise you're on. Some dress codes range from a clean t-shirt for dinner or a full tuxedo. Once you book your cruise, your final documentation will provide you with the important details, and what to wear, particular if there is a themed dinner on your itinerary. Alternatively, you're best to contact RAC Cruise Club and we can obtain all the information you need to know.
Q: Are hair dryers included in my cabin?
A: Most of the time hair-dryers are included in your cabin. When selecting your cruise, in room facilities will be listed so just check to make sure you don't need to pack one! You need to know that the hair dryers are only small and not the salon kind, so if you are a little pedantic about your hair then your best to bring your own if you don't mind packing one.
Q: Is alcohol included in the price?
A: Most cruises don't include alcoholic beverages in the advertised cruise fare. Beverages like champagne and cocktails will be an additional charge while you're on board. A cruise card, in which you can top up with cash, is how you would typically purchase your drinks or any additional items i.e. spas and salons.
Q: Are speciality restaurants included in the price of the fare?
A: Unfortunately, speciality dining is an additional cost, much like alcohol you will need to purchase this separately while you're on board with your Club Card.
Q: Are there always kid's facilities on board?
A: Not all the time, some cruise ships don't cater for the family market, so its always wise to do your research on the type of cruise you wish to travel on with your family. An RAC Cruise Club consultant will be able to assist you with the types of cruise brands that suit family travellers.
Q: Is there free Wi-Fi access on board?
A: Unfortunately, we will need to pay for your Wi-Fi internet access. All cruise ships will charge a fee to access the internet while you're on board. Most ships offer a per minute rate, however you can get a cheaper per minute rate if you buy in block of minutes. Expect to pay approx. 75c per minute for Wi-Fi excess. For Wi-Fi packages expect to pay between $55 - $65 for 100 minutes.
Q: How does my family contact me while I'm on the ship?
A: Your family can contact you via Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN) Shore to ship telephone services. Long distance charges to do apply. Your family do need to know your specific cruise details so please be sure you leave the following information with them before you leave; Ship's name and the full guest's name. The charges will be applied to the caller's credit card: MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Diner's Club. For more information visit: http://www.dialaship.com/.
Q: Are there Doctors available on board?
A: All cruise ships have some kind of medical facility on board with a qualified doctor or nurse to assist you. Please note, not all illness can be treated while you are onboard your cruise. Things like serious heart problems, strokes etc. will require off ship treatment. It's important you are prepared before you leave and speak to your doctor if you are safe to travel.
Q: Will I feel sea sick?
A: If you are prone to getting sea sick, be prepared and bring your own sea sick tablets, this way you can take them before you start feeling ill. Alternatively, sea sick treatments are available on most ships from the ships pharmacists, nurse or doctor.
Q: What type of travel insurance will I need for my cruise holiday?
A: Travel insurance is essential for any trip and depending on where you cruise is going will be dependent on the type of policy you should purchase. If your cruise is travelling in international waters (this may include some Australian cruise itineraries), a comprehensive international travel insurance policy is required since Medicare coverage does not extend beyond the Australian landmass. For more information contact RAC Travel Insurance on 1300 655 179 (and select option 1)
Q: Is a passport and visa required to cruise?
A: Yes, you are required to travel with your passport (must have at least 6 months validity beyond the end of your cruise). Visas are not always required on certain cruise ship, however it will be dependent on the country the cruise is travelling to and if your disembarking off the ship. Most of the time blanket visas can be purchased at the same time as your cruise. However, it is always best to check with your RAC Cruise Club consultant if you're unsure.
Q: Can I make any special requests while on board?
A: Yes, special request can be made on board or before you leave with your RAC Cruise Club consultant. Most cruise ships are happy to arrange special birthday or anniversary arrangements including proposals.
Q: What type of luggage can I bring onboard?
A: Most cruise lines recommend no more than two bags per person. Bag size restrictions do apply and vary per cruise ship. Normally bags should be no more than 140cm x 60cm x 40cm and weigh no more than 32kg.
Q: What time do I check in?
A: Time of check in will be dependent on when the cruise departs the port. Sometimes its serveral hours before departure, however you are best to check with your RAC Cruise Clun consultant to get the correct details before you leave home.
Q: Can I check in online?
A: Yes, most cruise lines have an online check in capability. Although, you are still required to follow the embarkation procedure when you get to the port
Q: What is the embarkation process?
A: The embarkation process these days are very streamlined and don't cause too much hassle. Here are the key things that happened during embarkation: 1. Security check point, most the time you will go through x-ray machines with your carryon luggage. 2. Check in: From the security check point you will be directed to the check in line. Here you will need to present your ID and proof of citizenship and establish you're on board account to make purchases while you sail. 3. Souvenir photo: will be taken and available for purchase on board. 4. Second security check point: This is your final embarkation step. Everyone's photo, including infants, will be captured through our APass kiosks. Your photo will be linked to your Sail & Sign card and used at security checkpoints when getting on and off the ship.
Q: What type of entertainment can we expect on board?
A: This varies per cruise ship, sometime they happen all day and night and included in the price. During the day there tends to be a lot of poolside music entertainment, to napkin folding, wine tasting gest lectures etc. Each evening, most ships offer "feature entertainment" in their show rooms. And they're normally structured so both early and late diners can enjoy them. Shows are held either just before or after each dining time. Las Vegas style shows are normally performed at night and sometime the occasional Conga!
Q: What is the Tourist Refund scheme?
A: The Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) allows you to claim a refund of the goods and services tax (GST) and wine equalisation tax (WET) paid on goods you buy in Australia. The refund only applies to goods you take with you as hand luggage or wear onto the aircraft or ship when you leave the country. The TRS is open to all overseas visitors and Australian residents, except operating air and sea crew.
Q: What is the cancellation and refund policy?
A: Cancellation and refunds can vary between cruise lines and it is best to check the cancellation and refund policy and the time of booking. All terms and conditions from the cruise lines specify these conditions, so it's always best to read them before you pay your deposit. Agent fees must also be considered in the cancellation process.
Q: Can I do my own laundry on board?
A: Nearly all cruise lines offer a laundry service, including dry cleaning services. Prices to vary depending on the cruise ship you're on. Expect to pay between $2.50 – $3.50 to wash a t-shirt. Washing and drying one load can cost you up to $4. Self-service Laundromat may also be available; however this will not be on all ships. You're best to check with your Cruise Club consultant before you leave.
Q: Are there any extra costs I need to know about?
A: Yes, there will be extra items that are payable while you are on board. These are; Alcohol beverages, cappuccinos from the bar, spa or salon treatments, photographs (portraits or film developing), shore excursions, internet, babysitting services speciality dining and laundry – just to name a few.