Cruise holidays are an increasingly popular, yet deluxe, way to travel. Cruising offers many different itineraries and experiences across the world's oceans, coupled with on-shore adventures, delectable dining, and so much more. Here, we guide you through some FAQs for those new to cruise.
Knowing how popular cruise holidays are, RCI has introduced a new cruise product to bring its members better discounts and benefits than ever before. RCI Cruise°, in association with Cruise118.com, offers RCI members access to thousands of cruise holiday options with the world's leading cruise lines. We are pleased to be able to offer our member cruise-bookers up to £600 on-board credit on selected sailings. Exclusive member-only rates are also available on selected bookings, backed by the Best Price Guarantee. There are no restrictions on sailing dates or destinations around the world.
Cruises make great family holidays, having so many on-board activities, together with a fabulous choice of flexible dining options. Lots of different cabins are available to suit families and budgets of all sizes. There are many itineraries to choose from too, with cruises ranging from two-night mini-breaks to two-week holidays, taking you across the world's oceans. Having all your travel, accommodation, food and entertainment costs covered, cruise holidays offer excellent value all-inclusive holidays to take you to several ports of call during your voyage. It's a good way to get a taste of new places, some of which may become your favourite future RCI holiday destinations. From solo cruisers and young couples enjoying their honeymoon to family reunions and retirement breaks - we firmly believe there is a cruise for everyone. Let us guide you through first-time cruising with our frequently asked questions:
"I’ve never cruised before. Where do I start?"
It can be hard to know what to look for if you have never experienced cruising. Our Cruise Concierge team are experts at finding the perfect cruise for everyone. We do this by finding out what you want from your holiday: Where do you want to go? Who else are you travelling with? What’s your budget? What’s a typical holiday day for you? We can then use all of this information to choose appropriate elements of your cruise holiday, for example: an adults-only ship; a cruise line with a drinks package; a longer duration itinerary; or even a destination that offers fun for all of the family.
"What’s included in my cruise fare?"
Every cruise line is different in what it offers its customers. All cruise lines include accommodation, dining and selected drinks, entertainment, activities, youth programmes (where available) and much more. You can add on extras, including transfers, flights, hotel stays, on-board packages and excursions.
"What’s the dress code?"
Each cruise line has its own dress code, which will vary depending on the time of day, dining venue, and even destination. It’s often thought that cruise lines require you to dress formally for every dining event and have strict rules on dress codes, but that isn’t always the case. Most cruise lines have casual dining venues where you don’t need to don your suit and tie, and have become much more relaxed over the years so you feel comfortable on board. It’s always best to check with the cruise line to see what its dress codes are to help you decide what to pack and wear during your time at sea.
"What are shore excursions?"
Shore excursions are trips you book to explore the ports you visit throughout your cruise. The cruise line offers its own catalogue of excursions, as well as being able to book through external providers yourself. Excursions offer an excellent way to experience the destinations and you don't have to worry about logistics. The cruise line shore excursions include travel to and from your ship, as well as a guarantee that you will be back on the ship before it departs. You usually have to pay extra for shore excursions, and you can book these either before your cruise or during your time on board. If it’s something you really want to do, it’s worth booking it pre-cruise, as you don’t want to find your chosen trips are fully booked!
"Will I get bored?"
There’s plenty to do on a cruise ship! Cruises thrive on wanting to make each day as enjoyable as the next for its guests, that’s why there’s always something to do and keep you entertained on board. Cruise lines hand out daily schedules so you know what’s coming up for each day, varying from daytime activities such as trivia quizzes, live music, pool games and sports events, to night-time entertainment, such as theatrical shows on a par with Broadway, fine dining venues, bands playing in bars and playing the slots at the casino.
That’s not to mention the waterparks you find on some cruise ships, as well as exciting on-board activities found on some ships, such as laser tag, surfing simulators, rock-climbing walls, skydiving simulators, go karting, bowling alleys, Formula 1 simulators, kids' clubs and programmes, dodgems, zip lines, cinemas, mini-golf, ice skating, sports courts… Need we go on?
"Will I get seasick?"
For those who have never cruised before, and tend to get travel sick, it could be a major worry that you might feel unwell during your time on board. Today, ships are built with innovative technology and engineering so that they can safely navigate bad weather. They also boast stabilisers to reduce motion and the likelihood of guests falling victim to motion sickness. Royal Caribbean’s Chief Medical Consultant - Dr. Benjamin Shore - has some tips for seasickness, including walking around the centre of the ship, which is the area experiencing the least movement, or using natural remedies such as ginger, peppermint or chamomile.
"What about my dietary requirements?"
One of the things cruising is renowned for is its dining experiences. There are buffets, fine dining venues, outdoor grills, ice cream parlours, pizza kitchens, sweet shops and more! If you have a dietary requirement, your cruise ship will be more than happy to facilitate your needs. All you need to do is let them know ahead of time, so that they can prepare. However, all tastes and requirements are already catered for on board, including Halal, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets.
"Are cruises expensive?"
To a first-timer, cruising can seem expensive. They do vary in price depending on cruise line and ship, as well as the destination, time of year and how many people you’re booking a cruise for. When you’re shopping for a cruise, it’s good to bear in mind what you get for your money. Don’t forget that your cruise fare includes your accommodation, full-board dining, selected drinks, and everything you need to keep you entertained throughout the days and nights of your itinerary. When comparing to a land-based multiple destination holiday, cruising most definitely comes out top in terms of being real value for money, appealing to everyone, and hassle-free holiday organising!
RCI members cannot use trading power or points to book a cruise; but they can save them to add an RCI Exchange Holiday onto a cruise break to either start or end their high seas holiday adventure with a relaxed resort stay. For more information on RCI Cruise° visit RCI.com/cruise-weeks or RCI.com/cruise-points and book through a dedicated call centre on 0808 274 0645 (the lines are open every day: 09:00-21:00). All bookings are ABTA and ATOL protected.
If you are already an RCI member, you can use your membership to take advantage of accommodation in more than 4,300 resorts in over 110 countries. Click on the RCI Resort Directory button below to see where you could be holidaying.
Don't forget that you can always check your personalised RCI Account online - or look out for your monthly RCI Account Statement mailings - to be sure that you don't waste any of your trading power or points, and are getting away on all the fabulous holidays throughout the year that you deserve.
If you own timeshare, but are not yet a member of RCI, you can become part of our holiday exchange community today. By clicking on the Join RCI button below, you can sign up in just a few simple steps. Being able to swap your timeshare holiday home for other stays in so many exciting destinations across the world will give you the real value from your purchase of timeshare - it's all about opening up new travel opportunities for you and your family.