Depending on the size of the ship...you may wish to; lounge on a deck chair by the pool, sign up for fitness or cooking classes, swim, play bingo, play bridge, gamble in the casino, take in a Broadway-style show or comedy act, enter a talent show or a putting contest, take a dance class, get a massage, attend a lecture, eat, drink, exercise, read, mingle, sightsee or just relax.
FAQ - Life Onboard
What can I do on a ship?
What is a Day at Sea?
A day at sea is a full day spent sailing between two ports. Most cruises include one or more days at sea.
Is Internet service available?
Most ships today offer an internet service, whether it be in the internet cafe or specific wireless hot-spots around the vessel. Charges differ per cruise line.
Can I use my cell phone on a ship?
As long as you have coverage you should be able to use your phone. Keep in mind that international roaming charges will/may apply. Contact your cell phone provider for more details.
What is traditional cruise ship dining?
Traditional early or late dining means that you have a set dining time and are seated with the same passengers and attended to by the same wait staff every evening. Many passengers prefer traditional dining due to the level of personalised service each guest receives from their waiter.
What is "Anytime" or "My Choice" dining?
More and more cruise lines today offer this concept allowing passengers the ability to choose their own evening dining time. Breakfast and lunch are almost always open seating.
Do I have to participate in formal night?
Formal nights are a theme evening, not a requirement. A suit and tie will suffice. Many cruise lines offer alternative dining options such as the buffet, pizzeria or separate smaller specialty restaurants - some may incur a surcharge but they are well worth it.
Do I need to make reservations for the specialty restaurants?
Yes, you should try and reserve your specialty restaurant bookings on the day you embark to save disappointment as they do tend to fill quickly. Although there may be a surcharge they are worth it.
How much should I tip?
The norm tends to be approx US$10 per person per day. However, some cruise lines include the gratuity within the cruise fare, some require passengers to prepay when booking, some automatically add it to your cabin account, and some leave it to your discretion to pay onboard. Ask your iCruise consultant to advise you what is required for your booking.
What are the smoking policies onboard?
This varies depending on the cruise line but all allow smoking in designated outside areas onboard.
Can I visit the bridge on a cruise?
Bridge visits are usually not permitted due to security reasons. However, some cruise lines offer "Behind the Scenes" tours (at extra cost) – book these early as they have limited numbers and fill quickly.
How do I pay for onboard expenses on a cruise?
It is a cashless society onboard. An onboard cabin account will be set up for all passengers upon embarkation (check in). All onboard purchases are charged to your cabin account. Account balances can be checked any time during the cruise at the Purser’s desk and payments are charged to your credit card (which would have been swiped at embarkation) unless you organise a cash payment of our account.
How do I make a purchase onboard?
Today's cruise ships are a "cashless society." All passengers are given an onboard charge card that typically doubles as your boarding pass. This card is used for all purchases including drinks, souvenirs, shore excursions, boutique services, spa services etc. Cash is accepted in the casino & for gratuities to the staff that served you.
Laundry and cleaning services are always available onboard your cruise ship. Some cruise ships have self-service laundry facilities for passengers to use; whilst others provide laundry service. Most cruise ships are equipped with washing machines, dryers, ironing boards, irons and detergent. Self-service washing machines & dryers generally tend to be coin operated.
Are there medical services onboard?
Virtually every ship has a fully-equipped medical facility and staff to handle most emergencies. There is a cost to visit the doctor onboard so make sure you have travel insurance to cover any unforseen costs.
Are there drinks included? How much do they cost?
Coffee, tea, water, milk and juices are included as part of your cruise fare. Soft drinks, bottled water, beer, wine and spirits are additional unless you are sailing on select Luxury Cruise Lines, in which case it would be included. Prices for drinks are comparable to what you would pay in a local hotel or restaurant. Many cruise lines now offer drinks packages for the duration of the cruise which can be pre-purchased.
Gambling in the Casino?
Most onboard casinos offer a selection of Pokie-machines plus table games such as Black Jack, Poker & Roulette. There are games for all levels of player, with onboard lessons for novice players and tournaments for the more advanced. You will need to use cash, traveller's cheques or a credit card for casino purchases.
Health, Spa & Beauty Treatments? What’s not included?
Health & Spa treatment companies are contracted to cruise lines, you will find everything from The Canyon Ranch, to the exotic Asian Mandara Spa out of Asia, to French companies such as La Carita Paris. You will be amazed at the variety of treatments available. If you've never treated yourself before or you're an experienced spa-goer there's opportunity to simply relax and be pampered. Some cruise lines offer pre-packaged menus of spa treatments that can be booked in advance. If not, you can book on board. Spa treatments tend to be relatively expensive depending on the treatment you have purchased.
Is there on board photography?
You will meet the photography team first at embarkation when they will take a picture before you go onboard. From then on you will see them regularly at all the ship events and dinners, taking photographs of guests and possibly a video of the cruise experience. The results of their work are displayed in the Photo Gallery where you can choose to purchase or not, there is no obligation to purchase.
Are there ATMs onboard the ship?
Most ships offer an ATM in the currency on board, however they do tend to charge a high usage fee. If you need cash while on the cruise it would be cheaper for you to use the ATMs while in port. For Cruises from Auckland, most Pacific Islands take NZ$, AU$ or US$ however you will get your change in local currency so small denominations are best.
Is there a cost for the Kids Club?
One of the main reasons for a cruise making such a great family holiday is the "kids club" facilities offered on board, and they are all included in your cruise fare. Typically the kids clubs are broken into 3 different age groups - 3 to 6 years, 7 to 12 years, and 13 – 17 years. In these specifically designed child facilities they are looked after by trained staff and the facilities are generally open from 9am – 10pm. Parents can check their children into the "kids club" whenever it suits them. Children love these facilities as it is "their space" aboard the ship. Note School holiday cruises fill very quickly so you need to book early as the children's space will sell out. Ships have a limited number of children they are allowed to carry on any one departure.
Is there babysitting on-board?
No. However infants between one and three years can use the facility but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times. An evening minding service in the kids club for children three and above is available at a small charge.