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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I manage all the Covid-19 documentation required?

    All countries, and cruise lines as they return to service, will require compulsory documentation to be completed. These will include, but not limited to, proof of vaccination (or exemption), PCR or RAT test to be performed in designated time frames, download of Apps to track places visited, and other documentation as required.

    We will ensure you have all the information you need, and where to upload documents etc.

    Along with taking your smart phone with applicable Apps and documents stored (and ensure your phone is always charged), we highly recommend you print several copies of all required documents and take these with you. Being prepared and ensuring all requirements are met is crucial.

  • What are the current travel restrictions with Covid-19?

    It is imperative you follow the New Zealand Governments advice around travel restrictions. As these are constantly being updated, please refer to our Safe Travel page here.  This page provides links directly to the Unite against Covid-19 website.

    One thing we will mention - whatever paper work you need ie: proof of vaccine, proof of negative tests etc... print these out, put them all in a plastic sleeve and take with you in your cabin bag. While technology is advancing and many Apps are being developed, our experience has shown that airports and operators want quick and easy proof - they dont want you scrolling through your phone and showing them. Print everything and make your travelling simpler!

     

  • What Covid-19 protocols are in place in the South Pacific?

    Each of our South Pacific neighbours are taking Covid-19 extremely seriously, after all, their economy relies heavily on tourism. Each country have their own tracer apps, which you will need to download and follow their rules.

    Have a chat with us about which destination you are going to, and we will walk you through each one and what they require.

    Two things to note as travel resumes:
    1)  Whatever country you are visiting, print everything you need to take with you as proof of requirements ie: vaccination status, negative test results etc. While technology is advancing, and thats great to have on your phones, airlines and operators are wanting quick proof - and scrolling through your phone and trying to log onto Apps to find your information will only hold everything up. Print everything, put it all in a plastic sleeve and put this in your carry on luggage.

    2) Many resorts would have offered things like Reef shoes and snorkelling equipment - however now with strict hygience practices, we are recommending to take your own, as many resorts are removing these from being offered.

  • What Covid-19 protocols is my cruise line using?

    Cruiselines have always been fastidious in their hygiene protocol.

    Nearly all major cruise lines are a member of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association), who have introduced a new Member Policy for the minimum standards that must be met.  You can read about this here.

    As Cruise Lines are now returning to service, all must comply with local, federal and country wide Government rules, which are strict, to ensure the wellbeing of passengers, crew, and of course the ports they visit.  Each country has differing rules, so please get in touch regarding the cruise you are interested in, and we can walk you through all the requirements.

     

  • My cruise visits several countries – how does the ship manage each ports Covid-19 requirements and testing if needed?

    This is a great question! Any testing that may be required by authorities to enter a port of call will be carried out onboard and will be complimentary. Each cruise line operates this differently in terms of logistics, and each itinerary can differ dependant on the current situation. Please check with Ocean Escapes, as we will check your chosen itinerary and ensure you know what to expect before you go.

  • How do I pay my bill onboard the ship?

    • Most cruise lines require a credit card to be registered and your final bill is charged to your registered card at the of the cruise.
    • You can also bank cash if you prefer once you have boarded the ship. This is an excellent way to budget your spending as once you have used the cash on your cruise card it will decline until you top up.
    • Debit cards can be used however they do get pre-authorised so be aware that any un-used funds can take up to 10 days to be returned to your debit card account from your bank.
    • Travel cash passport cards are not recommended to pay a ship account, use those for when you are in port for shopping and other purchases.
  • How do I book shore tours?

    • You can book on the ship as most will have a shore excursions desk onboard.  This is helpful if your not sure and need to ask questions. You can attend shore talk lectures on the ship.
    • Alternatively most cruiselines will have a link to the shore excursions on their manage your cruise or personaliser page which we will provide you. Here is where you can pre book and pre pay and then relax and know that you’re all organised. Tickets will be delivered to your cabin with information on meeting places and departure times.
    • You can cancel a tour on the ship but you need to be aware of the cancellation deadlines on your vouchers or you will be charged.
    • Please note:  Some cruise lines / country requirements surrounding Covid-19 may insist on passengers ONLY taking an organised ship excursion and not permit you to explore on your own.  Please ask our team regarding your cruise for details if this rule pertains to any part of your cruise.
  • What’s the $ currency on the ship?

    • This varies from ship to ship, and the destination of your cruise.
    • General rule is USD$ or $AUD / $NZD out of NZ.
  • Tipping Policy?

    • Tipping varies on each ship and cruiseline and often increases for premium cabins.
    • It is a variable and some prices will include the gratuities (tipping) already.
    • Some cruise lines do not charge tipping at all.
    • You will always find a ‘suggested’ amount to guide you on the ship.
    • You can request that tipping be removed and you will make your own arrangments.
    • If you are happy to tip then leave the suggested amount and it will be charged daily or tip your favourite staff memeber directly.
  • Kids Clubs

    • Yes – these are fantastic for families and offer educational and fun activities for kids of all ages.
    • Fully supervised and a safe environment. You can enjoy a quiet dinner while the kids are making new friends and having fun!
  • Can I bring alcohol on the ship?

    • This varies depending on the cruiseline, plus we can advise you of the ship alcohol policy.
    • Duty free is allowed in port and the ship will cargo this for you and return to you before you depart the ship on the last day.
  • What’s On-Board Credit?

    • On-board credit is complimentary spending money for use on the ship. It will vary depending on the cruise line and is always in the currency of the ship.
    • It is non-refundable so use it or lose it – you can spend this credit on tours, beverages, towards spa treatments and shopping.
    • You cannot withdraw it as cash.
    • It is loaded onto your ship account against your particular cabin.
    • It is generally only given to the first 2 passengers in a cabin. It doesn’t apply to 3rd and 4th passengers if you’re in a triple or quad share room.
  • Cruise Line Loyalty Clubs

    • All cruise lines offer a loyalty programme of some description.
    • The best way to earn credits and bonuses is to stick with your favourite cruiseline, as you would an airline frequent flyer membership.
    • The benefits can include free upgrades, on-board spending money, laundry, wifi and access to special sale fares in advance of general public.
  • Can I visit the Bridge on the Ship?

    • Some ships offer bridge and galley tours as part of a tour activity and can be purchased on the ship.
    • Some ships have a viewing platform so you can watch the bridge operations.
  • Can I pay my cruise off slowly?

    • This depends on the fare you choose.
    • If you are just required to pay a deposit and then the balance by a due date then you can pay in instalments as long as its paid in full by the final due date.
    • If you are purchasing a Flash Sale Fare or Instant Purchase fare due to last minute cruise departures then you will be required to pay in full.
  • Dining & Speciality Restaurants

    • All major cruiselines offer a choice of main dining room – full waiter and menu service and a buffet which is usually off the pool deck area.
    • Many also offer speciality dining options these are often a taste of Italian, French or Asian influence or the classic Steak House Grills and of course the great pub style lunches such as fish & chips. For a casual lunch, enjoy burgers, fries and ice cream at the popular grills, found poolside.
    • They will generally have a cover charge and require reservations but are a very nice way to celebrate an occasion on the ship or a special evening.
    • Many cruise lines offer an option to purchase a Dining Package before you cruise – giving you a discounted price on the cover charges to enjoy several restaurants onboard – please enquire with our specialists.
    • Often speciality restaurants can be booked before you cruise, giving you the ability to ensure you have your favourite restaurant for a special occassion.
  • What’s included?

    • All cruises include main meals, accommodation, entertainment on board and all port taxes.
    • Many premium cruiselines also offer included shore tours, beverage packages and onboard credit.
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