Are there children’s facilities onboard?
Cruises are very popular with families and most enjoyable for children between the ages of 3 yrs and 16 yrs. Cruise ships are not really suitable for babies and toddlers. Most cruise ships offer extensive facilities for children; with many having their own Kid’s Clubs with lots of fully supervised activities, games and parties. Please note that children cannot remain onboard if their parents or guardian go ashore, with the exception of cruises with Ocean Village, where children may be left in the care of the Youth Team at a charge, subject to availability of places. Please note that places are limited and cannot be guaranteed. Early dinners and special children’s menus are also available in many cases.
Can I choose to explore independently at the ports of call?
If you wish to explore independently, you can, either on foot or with one of the many taxis that are available at most ports. Please ensure to negotiate taxi fares before you set off. However, the professional tour staff onboard ship will be pleased to assist you whether for an optional half or full-day shore excursion, a private car and guide or even local tee times for a round of golf. In some ports, certain popular excursions are in high demand and it is recommended that you book in advance to avoid disappointment. While the ship is in port, the restaurants, bars and other facilities (except the shops and casino) will remain open should you choose to stay onboard.
If you choose to explore independently, please ensure you return in good time for the ship’s departure time. Please note the ship will not wait for any passengers, who are not back onboard by the allotted time.
Is the port always the main destination?
Usually, although there are some exceptions where the main places of interest are not on the coast and are only accessible by coach or train from the port. An example of this is Livorno in Italy, from where you can visit Florence or Pisa.
What is an anchor/tender port?
Usually the ship will dock in the port and you will leave by the gangway. In some ports, however, the ship will anchor a little way out from the shore and you will be taken ashore by launch. These launches operate a free and frequent service ashore which allows you to come and go as you please. These anchor/tender ports are indicated on the itinerary. Sometimes these may change depending on the weather or if a port is particularly busy, in which case the Captain may be asked to anchor offshore.