European Cruising - Tips and Tricks

Posted on April 17, 2018
Filed under Travel travel, cruise

Planning your European cruise – tips & tricks

Whether you’ve got your sights set on a river cruise of the Rhine or a Mediterranean odyssey around the Greek Islands, Europe is made for cruising.

Make your cruise the trip of a lifetime with some savvy planning by following these tips and tricks.

Set a budget

Decide how much you can afford to spend before you get your heart set on a month-long, all-inclusive, luxury Aegean cruise only to discover it’s way out of your price range.

Booking for shoulder season or off-peak will often save you quite a bit of money so compare dates before you buy.

Worldcare Australia - Cruise Ships In Europe

Decide on your route

This is definitely the hard part of planning your cruise, as you’re spoilt for choice in Europe.

Some of the region’s most iconic itineraries include:

  • A river cruise encompassing any number of countries, for example Germany, France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic or Hungary
  • Western Mediterranean cruises stopping in Spain, Monaco and the west coast of Italy
  • An Eastern Mediterranean cruise with stops in Croatia, Greece, the east coast of Italy and sometimes even Turkey and Israel
  • A Baltic cruise around Scandinavia and Russia
  • Canary Islands cruises
  • A British Isles cruise visiting historic castles in England and Scotland
Worldcare Australia - Mediterranean Cruising

As a rough guide, you may be able to pick up a berth on a 7-day cruise for as little as $600. Of course the sky’s the limit if you’ve got cash to splash!

One of the good things about cruising is that food, drinks and activities are often included in the price, making it easier to budget for your holiday.

Choose a cruise operator

This decision will depend on your budget, chosen route, inclusions offered and the style and size of ship that you prefer.

Some operators worth checking out include:

Pack right

Here are the essentials you’ll need on a cruise to stay comfy and look the part:

All routes & seasons

  • Basics that will go the distance like your favourite jeans, shirts (both T-shirts and button-up), chinos for men and versatile dresses for women.
  • Some dressy clothing and accessory options for dining out, attending shows and dancing the night away.
  • Comfortable loungewear and/or pyjamas for relaxing inside your room.
  • A selection of shoes for all occasions – thongs/flip-flops or sandals for lounging and wandering around on deck (unless it’s cold), comfortable walking shoes for shore excursions and sight-seeing, plus heels for women or dress shoes for men for heading out at night.

Summer cruises

  • At least two swimwear options, plus casual cover-up pieces that are easy to throw on top of your swimmers like a kaftan or sarong for women and a singlet or button-up shirt for men.
  • Plenty of cool tops, shorts, skirts and summery dresses for women and T-shirts, breathable button-up shirts and shorts for men.
  • A hat, sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from UV exposure.
Worldcare Australia - Island Cruising Europe

Winter cruises

  • A good coat to stay cosy while catching the views on deck and sight-seeing on shore excursions.
  • Warm and comfortable walking boots or shoes that can be dressed up or down.
  • Plenty of clothes you can easily layer like thin sweaters and light scarves.

Take care

Once you’re on board and having the time of your life, keep it that way! Unfortunately cruises carry some not-so-nice risks like sea sickness, catching a virus or tripping and injuring yourself during rough seas.

Do everything you can to avoid falling victim to these nasties by taking the following precautions:

  • Try to watch the horizon if you start to feel queasy – don’t just stay in your room below deck or you could end up feeling much worse.
  • Stock up on natural motion sickness remedies like ginger or acupressure wrist bands like Sea-Band to prevent or ease mild to moderate sea sickness.
  • Head to the onboard pharmacy or doctor if you need something stronger to deal with severe sea sickness.
  • Eat well, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep to keep your immune system strong. You may even want to consider a supplement to boost your immunity containing vitamin C or echinacea.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser frequently to reduce your risk of catching a bug.
  • Wear shoes with good grip, use handrails where available and avoid walking on deck during inclement weather to reduce your risk of tripping or falling.
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