Smooth Sailing Cruises
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New to Cruising? Find answers to your questions here

Q1. When booking a fly and cruise package can I alter my flight dates and add extra hotel nights so I can spend more time in a city before or after my cruise

Q2. How long is a typical cruise holiday?

Q3. Are most ships and cruises similar?

Q4. When is the best time to take a cruise?

Q5. When is the best time to book my cruise?

Q6. Will I get seasick?

Q7. Where can I go on a cruise holiday?

Q8. What are the deposit and cancellation fees applicable to my cruise?

Q9. What are Port taxes?

Q10. Do cruise lines offer facilities for children and babysitting services?

Q11. If I'm on the bottom deck am I below the water line?

Q12. Should I purchase travel insurance even if I'm cruising locally?

Q13. What does run of ship mean?

Q14. What is a 'Guaranteed' cabin category?

Q15. How much are gratuities (tips) and when are they paid?

Q16. What are the dress requirements onboard?

Q17. Can I pay for my holiday in part payments?

Q18. Why should I book with Smooth Sailing Cruises?

Q19. Why shouldn’t I just go to the company where I can get the cheapest price?


Yes. Our fly/cruise packages are generally very flexible and you can change flight dates and times where seats are available. Hotel stays if included can also be amended, in fact just about any part of our holiday packages can be altered to suit your needs.


Cruises are available from as short as two days, or as long as four months. Most sailings from Australia to the South Pacific or New Zealand are between 7 and 14 nights. As a general rule the shorter the cruise the more 'lively' the crowd will be. Whatever your schedule and preferences there is sure to be a cruise to suit, and we'll do our best to help you find it.


Not really. Ships range in size from under 50m long to over 300m. Some weigh less than 5000 tons, and others more than 200,000. This difference in size creates a hugely contrasting cruise experience, as you may be cruising with anywhere from fewer than 100 fellow passengers to over 6000! The atmosphere on board can also differ from casual to formal, classically simple to ultra-deluxe. You can even choose between traditional cruise ships, sail-assisted cruise ships, or river boats. It's vitally important you choose the right ship and cruise line for your needs and expectations.


Cruises are available year round, and in most areas throughout the world. The best time for you will depend on where you want to go. Cruising in Australasian waters is fantastic year round, however some other destinations are seasonal. For example, the Alaska cruise season is between May and September, or in Europe most cruises operate between April and November.


It's difficult to know exactly when you should book to get the very best price, as cruise fares can fluctuate almost on a daily basis depending primarily on supply and demand. If the cruise you are interested in is proving popular then chances are prices won't be reduced. Alternatively if the sailing is not so popular then some great bargains may be available. If you can avoid the peak summer & school holidays (at your destination) you will also find prices are lower. If you can travel at relatively short notice, and don't mind what type of cabin you are in, there are plenty of cruise bargains available. It's a good idea to join our enewsletter for weekly updates on the latest deals and cruise line sales.


Chances are you won't get seasick on todays modern superliners. Cruise ships are built with very effective stabilizers to minimise the rocking movement of the sea and if you're on an average size ship it will be up to 15 stories high - it takes a big wave to move a ship of that size! Cruise ships are often diverted from their standard course to avoid bad weather and most of the time you will be in beautiful calm waters. And if all else fails - preventative medication is cheap, and it works.


Cruises visit practically any destination accessible by water - Antarctica, Alaska, North America, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, the Greek Isles, Mediterannean, the Orient, Australia, Tahiti, the Galapagos Islands, South America, India, the Panama Canal and more.


At the time of making your booking you will need to pay a deposit to secure a cabin and other arrangements. From this point on cancellation fees apply to your booking. Cancellation policies vary between cruise lines and other suppliers, such as airlines. Generally as you move closer to your departure date the cancellation fees increase proportianally. Please check on the exact policy relating to your holiday at the time of booking. We are always available to answer any questions regarding these policies. To protect yourself from cancellation fees due to unforeseen circumstances we highly recommend you purchase Travel Insurance.


Port taxes vary according to each cruise and are associated with incidental costs such as pilotage entering and leaving ports, costs incurred while in port such as stevedoring, waste removal, and payroll for port-related functions. These costs are typically included in the total cruise cost and as such are reflected in any advertised price.


Most cruise lines cater to families with children and these lines almost always offer babysitting services after hours. Childrens programs are generally excellent, with superb facilities and dedicated, highly trained staff ensuring kids have an even better time than their parents. Some cruise lines or ships may not provide a children's program or babysitting services but there are very few of these.


No. All passenger & crew staterooms are located above sea level.


We have seen many cases of people having to cancel a substantial holiday at the last moment and losing almost the entire value of their fare. Travel insurance offers you protection if you have to cancel due to injury, sickness, or death of you, a travelling companion, or immediate family member. Additionally, it provides emergency assistance while you are on your holiday. These same benefits and risks apply to cruising from Australia to the Pacific or even within Australian ports, as once you are on a cruise ship in international waters you may not be covered by Medicare.


Run of ship means that your stateroom could be literally anywhere on the ship. This could be from the lowest deck to the highest, inside or outside staterooms, front, back, or mid-ship. You will generally not receive your stateroom number until you arrive at the pier.


A cabin 'guarantee' means you will not receive a a specific cabin number at the time of booking. The cruise line will assign a cabin to you at a later date, possibly after full payment is made but maybe not until you actually check in. The good news is you are guaranteed to receive a cabin in the category that you have purchased, with the possibility of an upgrade to a higher category. Cruise lines typically offer 'guaranteed' cabin grades when the fares have been lowered from their original prices, so you will be receiving a great price in return for accepting a cabin assigned by the cruise line.


Many cruise lines add a gratuity to your onboard account at the end of your cruise. However this is not uniform throughout the industry. Some lines include it in the fare before you leave, others do not charge at all. (Princess and P&O Cruises Australian based ships for example) The typical amount you pay, or are expected to pay, is approximately USD$12.00 per day per passenger. Those companies that add the cost to your account do allow you to change the final amount by visiting the pursers desk.


Most contemporary cruise lines have relaxed dress standards aboard ships. The norm is now smart casual for restaurants and evening wear, and resort wear during the day. Formal nights are often still encouraged, but even then, a sports jacket or tie is usually sufficient for men. Some people like to dress up during formal nights even on casual ships and the black tie dinner is still available if you choose. Some of the luxury lines such as Seabourn expect a more formal style for dinner.


Yes. You can pay for your cruise in regular small payments, or at anytime you like, as long as you have paid in full by the due date. This is normally about 80 days prior to your departure.


Have you asked yourself any of the following questions. Which cruise line is best for me? What are some of the differences between the ships? What is included in the cost and what are the hidden costs if any? Is a cabin on a lower deck any different to one which is higher? If so, you need good experienced advice, and we offer it. And because we are a specialist cruise travel agency we can focus on getting the best deals, as well as giving the best advice. As the cruise industry grows so does the choice of itineraries, cruise lines, ships, costs and cabins; just to name a few of the options you should consider when booking a cruise. We're here to help you through what is an important decision and we'll do so in a friendly and unbiased manner.



You're probably considering spending a quite substantial amount of money on your upcoming holiday. You should use an accredited, experienced agent offering quality advice in an efficient and friendly manner. Your holiday requires substantial resources to organise, and we may need to be in contact with you on a regular basis. We care about your needs, and make sure your holiday is organised as efficiently as possible, with courtesy and kindness. Sometimes not everything runs as smoothly as you would like. Cruise lines can change their itinerary; requiring a reorganising of flights and accommodation. We are here to help, without question, with a minimum of fuss and because we have a strong relationship with the cruise lines, we make sure our clients are looked after as best as possible.





Talk to a Cruise Expert 
02 9680 4450 or email