7 ways to win over non-cruisers
1. You don’t have to lift a finger
Well okay, full disclosure, you do have to book. That will involve some typing or dialling. But after that, you can put those fingers at ease. The best thing about cruises differs for everyone, but who doesn’t love the idea of no cooking, no cleaning, no map reading, no driving, no haggling and no traffic? Hint: Everyone!
If you’re booking a cruise for the first time, don’t stress. You choose your cruise, your room preference and book. It really is that easy. From there, we'll do the heavy lifting and keep you updated with pre-cruise emails jam-packed with cruise tips and tricks, shore tours and information about your ship’s services and facilities.
2. Pay one low fare
If your non-cruiser friend likes to count the pennies, mention these two little words: All-inclusive. What other holiday offers amazing destinations, all main meals in designated restaurants, entertainment, activities and kids clubs in one low fare?
The benefits of an all-inclusive cruise are clear. It’s incredible value, especially when travelling to places that charge exorbitant prices for food and accommodation.
Bonus Tip: Build anticipation and get your friend excited about booking your cruise by sending them our best cruise deals.
3. Skip the hassle on group holidays
Group holidays are a fantastic concept until you start organising one. Arguments about what to do and when or bringing up the sensitive topic of a budget can be tricky.
One of the main reasons why groups of people go on cruises is to avoid these common travel pitfalls altogether. From spacious suites to budget-friendly interior rooms, there’s something for every budget. Another benefit of booking a group cruise is that you can come together when you choose but still have 'me' time. No arguments necessary!
4. The kids love it
No airline queues, no backseat arguments, and you only have to unpack once.
The kids are your trump card. They love the dedicated activities and clubs where they can have a ball with new friends. And if that’s not enough to convince someone why cruises are the best, remind them about the “joys” of flying or driving with children.
You won't hear a single “Are we there yet?” because the holiday begins the moment you step onboard.
4. The Battle of Milne Bay Cruise
When you step off the ship in Alotau, it’s hard to believe that this pristine place was the site of the Battle of Milne Bay in World War II. It was the first battle of the Pacific in 1942, and Australian army troops defeated the invading Japanese forces.
With remnants of planes, ships and trucks scattered throughout the area, Alotau still hints at its turbulent history. To learn more about the battle that changed the course of the war, take the Battle of Milne Bay Cruise shore tour. Led by a local historian, the two-hour tour takes place on the Underwater Explorer, and is truly fascinating. A must for history buffs, you’ll find out about the events in the lead-up to the battle, as well as the effect of the fighting on local villagers who were not accustomed to modern warfare. You’ll also learn about the Aussie digger who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his courage and bravery, and pass key sites such as the KB Mission, Alotau War Memorial and Turnbull War Memorial.
5. Visit the town markets
Across Papua New Guinea, local markets are at the heart of village life. They’re bustling with people and lined with stalls selling everything from colourful produce to clothes and crafts. The trinkets on offer vary between towns, so be sure to pop into the markets at every port. At Kiriwina Island, pick up intricate wooden carvings and coconuts. The markets in Alotau are best known for beautiful woven bags and baskets, while you can shop for hand-carved wooden bowls and tribal artefacts in the Conflict Islands.
If you want to taste the local cuisine, the markets are the most authentic place to do that. Depending on the market, you might be able to enjoy yam- and rice-based dishes, and finish with fresh tropical fruit for dessert. Wash your meal down with kulau (young coconut milk).
You’ll need cash for the markets, so exchange some money into kina (the Papua New Guinean currency) at the port beforehand. Haggling is acceptable here. As for how to transfer Papua New Guinea currency to AUD, you can do that at the port.
6. Try your hand at Trobriand Cricket
Try your hand at a bat-and-ball Trobriand cricket played by the islanders on Kiriwina Island. The unconventional rules include an unlimited number of players, dancing and whistle-blowing, the ball is a guava root and instead of the conventional white uniforms, players wear their traditional costumes.
This sport is special to the island and only played when the ship is in port. It’s a non-traditional take on the old game and takes place just a short walk from the spot where the tender docks.
5. There’s so much to choose from
Why go on a cruise? Because you choose your holiday your way. Tell your thrill-seeking friend that they’ll never be bored. From zip-lining and banana boat rides to nature trails and markets, each destination offers unique experiences for you to try.
And the fun continues on board with world-class dining, a range of bars and nightclubs, and of course, live shows.
Do you both love a good dress-up or are you foodie fanatics? A short themed cruise is the perfect way to get a taste of why people like cruises so much.
6. Create the holiday of your dreams
You could jam-pack your itinerary with shore tours, nightly shows and onboard activities if that floats your boat. But if the thought of all that activity leaves you wondering “are cruises relaxing?”, you’re equally welcome to laze the day away. Soak up some sun on your tranquil balcony or sip a cocktail in a cushioned cabana at the (child-free) Oasis.
There's entertainment and activities on offer, but what you do is completely up to you!
7. No passport, no worries!
A good cruise tip for first-timers is to understand the P&O passport requirements. If you’re visiting an overseas country you’ll need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months, just as you would if flying.
However, for a domestic cruise, you can use your driver’s license. Children can use their medicare card as long as their parents are also listed on the card and are travelling with them. P&O takes care of any visa requirements for cruise ship passengers. Cruising takes so much of the stress out of the planning stage of a holiday.
Give your non-cruiser the time of their life
A cruise is your chance to escape the everyday and travel to new destinations in style and comfort.
Maximise your trip by reading these secrets to having the best time onboard. And pat yourself on the back for turning a non-cruising sceptic into a cruise lover.