top of page
P&O, Carnival, Costa and NCL
  • P&O, Carnival, Costa and NCL


    Navigating the Seas: A Savvy Guide to Choosing Your Ideal Cruise Line

    Let’s chart a course through the choppy waters of cruise decisions and let us explain why there are some crusie lines we do not sell or recommend.


    1. The All-Inclusive Advantage

    • Picture this: You’re lounging on the sun deck, sipping a chilled cocktail, and gazing at the horizon. The best part? You’re not calculating extra charges for that drink—it’s all included. Here’s why we love all-inclusive cruise lines:
    • No Bill Shock: Say goodbye to the dreaded final-night invoice ambush. With all-inclusive fares, you won’t be hit with unexpected charges for drinks, specialty dining, or gratuities. Smooth sailing, indeed.
    • A higher Quality at a Lower Price: These cruise lines offer better value than their 3-star counterparts. You’re not just paying for a cabin; you’re investing in an experience.


    2. Avoiding the Troubled Waters

    • We steer clear of certain operators with a less-than-stellar reputation. Brace yourself for some candid reviews:


    • P&O Australia: Once a well renouwned brand that built it's reputation on imigration from the UK to Australia, has lost it's lustre after chasing the bottom of the market.
    • You get what you pay for. And at the budget end you will be sharing your dream holiday with those happy to wallow in the bottom of the market, with meaning to be rude, think the Kuta Beach or Spring Break crowd.
    • Passengers report serious service failures, dated ships with visable rust, and a general sense of “meh.” It’s like ordering a gourmet meal and receiving a microwave dinner.


    • Costa Cruises:
    • Quirky Italian flair meets inconsistency. Some love it, others…not so much. Expect a mix of delightful pasta and puzzling decor decisions. When servive is bad in Europe, it is really bad and this is what you will generally find onboard. If things go wrong, you won't find any help or assistance onboard, or indeed before or after you board.


    • NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line):
    • Freestyle, casual cruising that sounds appealling to some, but with a side of hit-or-miss. While some of their new ships absolutely shine, the ones they send down to Australia are their clapped out old relics, that are over run, with run away kids and drunken parents. Unless your idea of a dream hioliday is a crowded party where the DJ plays elevator music, best you don't book.


    • NCL Hawaii - this is only ship that cruises around the Hawaiian Islands. Why? The Jones Act requires that to cruise between domestic ports in the USA a ship must be flagged in the USA and crewed by Americans. This means that their cost base is significantly higher where all other world wide crusie lines are flagged in tax free havens.
    • As such the level of service and the age of the ship mean that quality of the product is sub par of what international operators can offer. 
    • The passenger mix is also problematic attracking a Vegas like party culture.
    • There are some great repositioning crusies to and from Hawaii between Astralia and Alaska, however these are more expensive and only operate April or October. They are also longger and will involve many days at sea. If you want to cruise Hwaii, this is the only way we recommend to do so.
    • That being said, occassionally we hear that some people have have enjoyed cruising with NCL, but these reports are greatly out weighed by reviews where others report to us that their dream holiday was any thing but.


    2/3 Night Taster Cruises

    • Of all our advice here, take note most of this. Avoid at all cost 2- or 3-night cruises. Why? Because they’re often packed with party-goers celebrating hen and buck’s nights. Picture rowdy dance-offs and quirky inflatable pool toys. If you’re seeking tranquility and genuine exploration, opt for longer voyages. 


    Bill Shock is real 

    • With these budegt lines you are paying for cruise ONLY. Every thing else onboard is an addtional expense. Additionally these lines are continually, relentlessly asking you to pay for this or that, which can be very draining on what should be a carefree holiday. Most people who have crusied previoulsy will tell you that on their first cruise or two onboard expenses got totally out of hand and fonal accounts totally several thousand dollars are not uncomman. That is why our inclusive fares often work out many hundreds of dollars cheaper.


    The Partner Dilemma: Cheap vs. Memorable

    • Some think booking a quick, cheap cruise is a smart move—especially if their partner is unsure about cruising. We hear every week ... "How bad can it be?".


    • Let me tell you, so bad that your parter will return home and say never ever again, and if that happens your cruising days are over.
    • Don't fall into this trap as you will never be able to climb out of it


    My favourite anology: Every one loves a cheap bottle of wine.


    But if that wine is undrinkable, then you have wasted your money.


    Take our advice, don't waste your money and those valuable, and finate holidays you work so hard for all year. If you can only afford a budegt cruise, you really are better off saving up an extra year and letting us find you a great one.


    What do here is focus on all inclusive deals that often times work out cheaper than 3-star lines like the ones mentioned above.


    We fully understand that this might be disappointing for you to hear, and we routinely turn business away like this every week. Many agents will book any cruise or line you ask them to. We won't do that. We would rather be up front and honest which means we will lose some business, but at the end of the day we will maintain the loyalty of our customers.


    Remember, choosing a cruise line is like selecting a lifeboat—it matters. So, weigh your options, read reviews, and set sail with confidence. If because of budget or what ever reason you decide to book one of these lines, you may well have a great crusie and we hope that is the case. Although we  won't be able to assit you this time, please come back and see us next time.


    If you are new to cruising, here are some useful links to advice re cabin selection, sea sickness, drink packagaes and tipping.


    Fair winds and following seas, fellow adventurers! 

    bottom of page