Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ships? | Page 8 | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Who on AFF are the cruise gurus and what are your preferred cruise lines and ships?

Pushka

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
16,088
Flights
My Map
Is Thomas Cook in England a cheaper option for booking a cruise in Europe than booking it over here?
VPN their website?
Or best website to get best offer on cruise including Greek islands, departing from europe?
You really need to make sure that the Agent knows you are in Aus as cruiselines can be a bit funky out this - esp Princess.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
6,721
Qantas
LT Silver
Flights
My Map
Which month are you looking at? you could have a look at Vacations To Go. They have a 90 day ticker which can make it quite reasonably priced. All in USD, and need to give them yr email. I have booked one cruise through them and they were very proactive and professional.

Just looked at Vacation To Go and they seems to have 100s from Athens.
 

casanovawa

Established Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
2,935
Flights
My Map
Which month are you looking at? you could have a look at Vacations To Go. They have a 90 day ticker which can make it quite reasonably priced. All in USD, and need to give them yr email. I have booked one cruise through them and they were very proactive and professional.

Just looked at Vacation To Go and they seems to have 100s from Athens.
Vacations to go do have little flags you can click on which will give you estimates in other countries currency, one of which is AUD, but then they don't seem to quote taxes like a lot of USA sites, and you get a bit of disappointment when you see it wasn't quite as cheap as you were thinking...
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
6,721
Qantas
LT Silver
Flights
My Map
Sure, but it’s paid in USD.

Vacations to go do have little flags you can click on which will give you estimates in other countries currency, one of which is AUD, but then they don't seem to quote taxes like a lot of USA sites, and you get a bit of disappointment when you see it wasn't quite as cheap as you were thinking...
 

Ipilgrim

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
16
Which month are you looking at? you could have a look at Vacations To Go. They have a 90 day ticker which can make it quite reasonably priced. All in USD, and need to give them yr email. I have booked one cruise through them and they were very proactive and professional.

Just looked at Vacation To Go and they seems to have 100s from Athens.
We use vacations vacations to go (VTG ) as a comparison tool on price and destinations. Gives us a good all-in-one base to price match with our TA.

Tip...On previous HAL and princess cruises we sign the forms on day one to eliminate the daily gratuities (seabourn was all-inclusive) Note that VTG says there is no choice but to pay on msc but others may have experience with that cruise line.
 

Pushka

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
16,088
Flights
My Map
Tip...On previous HAL and princess cruises we sign the forms on day one to eliminate the daily gratuities (seabourn was all-inclusive) Note that VTG says there is no choice but to pay on msc but others may have experience with that cruise line.
I’m not sure withdrawing the paying of gratuities is a good tip.
 
Joined
Nov 18, 2011
Messages
6,721
Qantas
LT Silver
Flights
My Map
Seabourn says that gratuities are paid in the purchase price. But, I asked a few Americans on my Alaska trip recently if they planned to trip and they said ‘yes’.
 

Pushka

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
16,088
Flights
My Map
Seabourn says that gratuities are paid in the purchase price. But, I asked a few Americans on my Alaska trip recently if they planned to trip and they said ‘yes’.
Yes. Not uncommon. I never take off auto gratuities so that everyone receives their dues and might tip someone who goes out of their way.

Interestingly Viking Ocean’s price for Aussies includes tips but not for USA bookings.
 

mrs.dr.ron

Established Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2010
Messages
1,266
We basically only cruise Silverseas - their website states -

"Gratuities Always Included

Our unwavering commitment to flawless service requires an attitude that is totally focused on the part of every member of the staff. It is a rare treat to experience personal service on such a high plane. Yet surprisingly gratuities are not expected. They’re included in your fare."

So what we do is contribute to the on board 'Crew Fund' - it benefits all the staff on board - and we have had several crew members thank us for donations.
 

SydneySwan

Established Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
1,224
Qantas
LT Silver
Here is the part of the email that references tipping;

'I believe cruising is the easiest way to see the world, but there is one part of the cruise experience that can cause anxiety for otherwise carefree passengers -- tipping. Here's a look at how tipping is handled by each of the world's major cruise lines.

Most cruise lines automatically charge tips to shipboard accounts and divide the total among all dining room personnel, cabin stewards and others who are involved in serving passengers. In most cases, the amount falls in the range of $12 to $16 per passenger, per day. The lines that automatically apply tips include Carnival, Celebrity, Costa, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Cunard, Disney, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Oceania, P&O, Pullmantur, Royal Caribbean and Windstar.

If a passenger feels that the amount automatically charged to his or her account should be adjusted higher or lower based on the service received, some cruise lines will make that adjustment when the bill is settled at the end of the cruise. If you have a shipboard credit on your onboard account, most cruise lines will let you apply it to automatic gratuities. Vacations To Go also frequently negotiates offers for our customers that include free prepaid gratuities.

Some cruise lines follow a more traditional tipping procedure, where guests hand cash gratuities to the service staff on the last full day or evening of the cruise. For longer itineraries, tipping on a weekly basis may be the norm. The cruise lines that follow this tipping procedure are Blount Small Ship Adventures and Viking Cruises. Hurtigruten follows this policy for expedition cruises, but tipping is not a common practice aboard its ships that sail Norwegian coastal voyages. Quark Expeditions currently follows the traditional custom but will include gratuities in fares starting with 2018 departures.

Tipping recommendations from these lines range from about $11 to $16 passenger a day, depending on the company. In some cases, passengers hand the money to the ship's hotel manager or reception desk, to be distributed among the crew later.

Most of the lines we represent will allow you to prepay gratuities before you board the ship. There are a few exceptions: Blount, Costa, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, Hurtigruten, P&O, Quark and Viking do not offer this feature.

Whether you're on a ship that automatically charges gratuities to your onboard account or one that follows the more traditional tipping method, it is customary to tip bartenders and wine stewards 15%; many cruise lines automatically add this gratuity to the bar or beverage bill. Gratuities for special services such as spa treatments usually are left to the discretion of the guest, but 15% is considered typical.

A few cruise lines specifically state that gratuities are included in the cruise fare and that tips are neither expected nor encouraged. Azamara, Crystal, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Ponant, Quark (starting in 2018), Regent, Seabourn, SeaDream, Silversea and Voyages to Antiquity fall into this category, as do the three Celebrity expedition ships that sail the Galapagos Islands. Even on these lines, some passengers still tip for outstanding service or special favors.

On many cruise lines, a significant percentage of the crews' compensation comes from gratuities, and most passengers welcome the opportunity to reward their hard-working cabin attendants and dining room wait staff. In my years of cruising, I've met many crew members who never failed to be eager, attentive and smiling as they worked long hours each day, and long months away from loved ones back home.

For more information about the specific tipping guidelines for any ship we offer, please click here and click on any ship name.

By knowing the cruise line's tipping policy prior to boarding, the only thing that you will have to worry about at the end of your cruise is returning to reality.'
 

JJJJSwan

Newbie
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
4
Flights
My Map
We are frequent cruisers and average 5+ a year.
Our favourite cruise lines are:
1. Holland America - a standout for service, facilities and everything except their loyalty rewards.
2. Royal Caribbean - Almost as good as Holland America but not quite...close! BUT their loyalty program is by far the BEST!!!
3. Celebrity - Again not for behind Royal Caribbean and their loyalty program is ALMOST as good.
They are our picks, obviously upmarket Cruise lines like Silver Seas are great but all additional benefits are in their all inclusive and much more expensive fares.
The other cruise lines that we have used include Princess, P & O & Norwegian.
Unfortunately there is no way we could recommend them as they lack everything!
 

straitman

Enthusiast
Moderator
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
16,998
Qantas
LT Gold
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
We are frequent cruisers and average 5+ a year.
Our favourite cruise lines are:
1. Holland America - a standout for service, facilities and everything except their loyalty rewards.
2. Royal Caribbean - Almost as good as Holland America but not quite...close! BUT their loyalty program is by far the BEST!!!
3. Celebrity - Again not for behind Royal Caribbean and their loyalty program is ALMOST as good.
They are our picks, obviously upmarket Cruise lines like Silver Seas are great but all additional benefits are in their all inclusive and much more expensive fares.
The other cruise lines that we have used include Princess, P & O & Norwegian.
Unfortunately there is no way we could recommend them as they lack everything!
I guess this shows how subjective this is as I would most certainly rank Princess above Royal Caribbean. Then P & O International, Norwegian and P & O Australia a good last.
 

Pushka

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
16,088
Flights
My Map
I guess this shows how subjective this is as I would most certainly rank Princess above Royal Caribbean. Then P & O International, Norwegian and P & O Australia a good last.
I’d rank Celebrity above RCL for sure. Princess - maybe it’s the outdated ships I’ve been on or their style but jury is out. Never been on a HAL ship and will never go on P&O Australia.
 

odysseus

Established Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2009
Messages
1,110
Subjective, but it's also due to ship, and even itinerary (location) differences.

At the moment generalising to cruise line level, I put Princess above, then RCL and Celebrity fairly equal. But individual ships have different characteristics that will move them up and down, and that can be accentuated further by the region they are operating in.
 

Community Statistics

Threads
84,831
Messages
1,983,499
Members
52,176
Latest member
MaggieSye
Top