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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Covid-19 situation like now with travel in general?

    As you are likely to be aware, the world is certainly well on the path to a return to normal. Nearly all countries now have dropped vaccination requirements, mask wearing, and isolation.

    However some rules do still apply depending on where your travel plans are taking you, and we urge you to not assume that no documentation or RAT's may be required. Please consult with us at the time of booking, or a trusted source of information is the New Zealand Governments website for international travel, which you can find here.

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

    Cruiselines have always been fastidious in their hygiene protocol.  Since Covid-19, and with the gradual return to service that we have seen, all cruise lines employed new measures of hygiene and safety.  They must all 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.

    Most (as of September 2023) have now dropped many of the passenger requirements, such as mask wearing, but will still be actively encouraging practices such as handwashing before entering restaurants and public spaces.

    If you have any questions regarding your upcoming cruise, please just ask, as we can quickly confirm what you need to do (or not need to do).


  • 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.
    • Keep an eye on our specials and sign up for our newsletter so you never miss a DEAL!
  • SPORT ESCAPES – Answering your Sporting holiday questions

    How do I know if my seats are good ones?
    We purchase our event tickets through a number of reputable & trustworthy suppliers, all of whom endeavour to ensure that no tickets are offering highly restricted views of the events.  We can confirm a section, particular grandstand or area you will be in, but exact seat numbers are not provided.  Should an event offer an upgraded seat location, then please discuss with Sport Escapes - sometimes a little extra can provide an extra good experience!

    I don't wish to use part of my package, can I get a reduction in price?
    Generally speaking, unfortunately not, as services have been prepaid for a pre-determined number of attendees.

    Ticket reselling
    Under no circumstances can any portion of the package including event tickets, special inclusions such as dinners, tours etc be onsold to another party, on any medium including any online website or social media site.  If there is instance that you are no longer able to attend but have someone who may be able to take your place, please discuss with us.

    Can I amend the duration of my package?
    Yes of course!  We can customise any of our pacakages to suit.  However, it is important to note in some circumstances, shortening the duration of the package may result in missing out on some fun aspects, so bear this in mind! If you wish to extend your holiday, we are happy to offer options for you. Please note that should a group departure transfer to the airport be included, and you do not use this, a refund on this portion may not be possible.

    Is there a minimum group size?
    Yes, in most instances a minimum group size will apply, which means should the group fall below this, some services and/or price may be altered. In all circumstances, Sport Escapes will endeavour to let you know in plenty of time so there are no surprises, or disappointments.

    Will my itinerary change at short notice?
    We hope not! However, sometimes, things do happen, and should any instance occur that an itinerary does need to alter, we will let you know as soon as we possibly can, and what impact this will have on your package.