Guide to Cruising Basics in A-Z order

 

Travelling by cruise is different from camping on hills or checking into a villa, but it has the benefit of getting you into vacation mode much more quickly. I bet most of us want to spend at least one of their holidays on a cruise. But first-time cruisers may not know some basics of cruising and might want some tips on what to expect on day one, i.e. when you arrive at the terminal, board the ship and settle in. This guide to cruising basics in A-Z order will be a useful tool for new (and existing) cruise-goers. Here you go!

 

  • A- ALL ON BOARD TIMES

Whichever ship you cruise on, there will be an ‘all on board time’ to adhere to when going ashore. This is the time you have to be ‘back on the ship’, before it departs for its next port of call. Make sure you check your specified arrival time in your Guest Vacation Documents so you can arrive at the time best for an easy check-in. Arrive no later than 90 minutes before the ship sails.

 

  • B- BALCONIES AND BUFFETS

Often the most popular type of cabins has balconies. These are just cherry on the cake! They offer outdoor space and privacy, perfect for sailing out of port or simply relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine to go by. Also there is always a buffet breakfast option with various choices. You can pile it high but be warned it can be busy at peak times.

 

  • C- CABIN

 

Cabin View

Cabin is your nest on the cruise. Inside Cabin– these are the most reasonably priced accommodation on board and are situated in the interior of the ship. They come with no windows and you can enjoy great night’s sleep with no daylight! Outside Cabin– this is similar to the inside but with a window or porthole. You can have a view of the ocean.

 

  • D- DINING AND DRINKS

The food choices on board are endless. There’ll probably be a choice of set dining around 6 pm or 8 pm and you can request a table just for your party or opt to share with fellow cruisers. Drinks can be expensive at sea especially when they have a captive audience. Consider an all-inclusive package or a wine package that offers multiple discounted bottles that are available to you in the restaurants. Have a look on cruise packages like of Champions Yacht Club.

 

  • E- EMERGENCY DRILLS

All passengers have to attend emergency drills in a muster station upon arrival. These are an important part of cruising although some might differ from cruise to cruise. Drills normally include a briefing from the Captain, followed by a life jacket demonstration by crew. This is to make sure passengers know what to do, when there is an emergency on board.

 

  • F- FOOD

Dinner Cruise in Goa

Food is central to the cruise experience. You’ll more likely get hungry on cruise then at a land-based holiday. Different ships offer different dining options but you should have inclusive-dining included in your package. Most ships will also have restaurants with additional cover charges and they are often named after celebrity chef restaurants with fine dining options.

 

  • G- GRATUITIES

Expect to pay gratuities or ‘tips’ on most cruise lines. These are covered only on genuinely all-inclusive ships. On most ships, gratuities are shared between all the service staff. This is often a daily rate, which is split between the crew who look after you (i.e. cabin steward, waiters). Some cruise lines allow you to opt out and tip with cash and some other cruise lines either add them to your bill or suggest appropriate amounts.

 

  • H- HOLIDAY

Holiday at Yacht Goa

Going on a cruise is all about relaxing and switching off from the monotonous work life. So don’t panic about being a newbie. As soon as you board your every whim will be taken care of. From relaxing in a bar to browsing the shops, from culinary services to an exotic spa, there’s plenty to keep you entertained, even on a rainy day!

 

  • I- INTERNET

Every cruise offers internet access of some sort, whether it’s Wi-Fi or through an internet café on-board. Connections are still patchier and slower afloat than ashore, but improving. Check the price as it can cost a lot on a per-minute tariff.  Many ships offer free Wi-Fi on Viking river cruises in Europe, Russia and Ukraine.

 

  • J- JOINING

This is the process of embarking the ship on the first day. You will be sent the embarkation details beforehand. Before boarding, you’ll check-in at the terminal building beforehand, a bit like at an airport. Disembarkation refers to getting off of the ship at the end of the cruise.

 

  • K- KEEP FIT AND ENTERTAINMENT

Try and keep fit on a cruise ship. They usually have a well-equipped gym and promenade deck where you can walk around. Some river ships also carry bicycles. Also you’ll never be short of entertainment on a cruise. From theater shows and movies, to quizzes, sail-away parties and nightclubs, there’s plenty to keep you busy. Most ships have a daily newspaper where you will find a list of the entertainment for that day.

 

  • L- LAUNDRY

 

Laundry Services at Yacht Goa

Many of the larger ships have laundry service available which costs a modest fee. You fill a bag and leave with your room attendant and your clothes will be returned the following day, washed and ironed. Most ships have free timing to use launderettes on passenger decks. Plan your washing carefully as the launderettes can get very busy.

 

  • M-MEDICAL CENTER

Medical Center

Whether you are a first time cruiser or a cruise veteran, you can never predict the weather. Make sure you remember seasickness tablets (or bands) before boarding. All ships have modern, fully equipped medical centers with nurses and doctors on board. Keep up travel insurance as medical care is not included in the cost of a cruise and medical bills can soon rack up.

 

  • N- NOISE

Cruise ships can be noisy day and night. Whether it’s the ship’s stabilizers, your fellow passengers talking or announcements over the PA system, noise is unavoidable unless you rent a cruise ship of your own! But most ships will have somewhere fairly quiet place where you can escape to. A ship is normally quietest when it is in port and most passengers have gone ashore.

 

  • O- ON-BOARD ACCOUNT

When you purchase items on board, you do this using your cruise card, not cash. Your on-board account is linked to your credit/debit card and you get a final statement at the end of the cruise. Some people will also have On Board Credit (OBC) which is free spending money that is allocated to your cruise account as an incentive, and will be taken off in your final bill before you disembark.

 

  • P- PORTS OF CALL

 

Ports in Goa

Ports of Call are the stops that your ship makes along the route. You can research all the ports online ahead of your cruise which will help you decide whether to take an organized excursion or DIY. These ports can be explored independently or passengers can take a shore excursion organized by the ship. Cruise lines often provide passengers with detailed information about the destinations. Many cruise lines will also organize shuttle buses for passengers.

 

  • Q- QUEUING

Expect queues both on the ship and ashore. Like if everyone decides that 8 pm is a good time to dine then there could be a lengthy wait for a table at dinner. Common things you queue for include: getting on and off the ship, having photographs taken, food, shuttle buses and shows.

 

  • R- RIVER CRUISES

River Cruises feature much smaller ships than ocean cruises and the itineraries take in the sights, sounds and destinations of many of the greatest rivers. Some of the ships look stunning and many are luxuriously appointed. These also have a spa for those who want to relax and indulge.

 

  • S- SAIL-AWAY PARTIES

Sail Away Parties

Sail-away parties are a highlight of any cruise and usually happen 3 or 4 times during a 14 night break. The entertainment team takes to the top deck and whips the crowd into frenzy. The waiters ensure the drinks are flowing and the ship heads out of port. Enjoy this fun!

 

  • T- TENDER BOAT

Tenser Boat

During your cruise you may visit some smaller ports that don’t have the facilities for a large ship to dock. If this happens you will visit the port by tender, a smaller boat used to shuttle passengers between the ship and the port. Typical tender journeys could take between five to twenty minutes from ship to shore. Most ships will have their own way of organizing passengers on to tender boats, which can include a ticketing system.

 

  • U- UNIFORM

Expect to see officers and crew walking around in uniform. There are various reasons for wearing uniform, including differentiating staff from passengers. Officers are distinguished by:

  1. Deck officers– Black infill between each gold stripe
  2. Engineering officers– Purple infill between each gold stripe
  3. Electro-technical officers– Green infill between each gold stripe
  4. Medical officers– Red infill between each gold stripe
  5. Hotel officers– White infill between each gold stripe

 

  • V- VISAS AND VACCINATIONS

Some ports will require visas and vaccinations and may have strict laws on immigration. Be sure to check for any visa or vaccinations you need before travelling. You can usually find details of this in your online check in information. Always plan ahead and read your paperwork before you board.

 

  • W- WRISTBAND

Wristband

If you are travelling with small children you’ll be given a wristband on boarding. This is compulsory and shows the cruise’s muster station. If your child is in kids club and there’s an emergency that requires you to go to the muster point, the staff will cater to and you should meet them there.

 

  • X- X-RAY MACHINES (SECURITY)

Getting back on a ship requires you to go through scanners (like at an airport) for security reasons. These will either be in a terminal building or on the ship. Some countries (e.g. Australia) do not allow you to take certain items on and off the ship. If this is the case, the company will normally inform you in advance.

 

  • Y- YOUTH CENTER

For parents travelling with children, family-friendly ships normally have a youth center where you can drop your children off for the day. Different ships have differing age restrictions, but most youth centers have all the facilities kids need to be entertained and are fully staffed.

 

  • Z- ZIP-LINE

One of the more unique features on-board is a cruise ship’s zip-line. The zip-line is an indicator of how cruise lines are trying to come up with unique attractions to move the whole cruising industry forward.

Happy Cruising in Goa

7 Basic Rules of Safe Sailing

The Belief: Sailing is an adventure! I am in love with the sea & the concept “Sailing” is simply fascinating!

The Reality: Sailing is not that cool as safety is not guaranteed! It might be crazy on-board burdened with many mini-crises & conditions.

The “SAIL” Factor:

  • Identifying what’s likely to occur
  • Assessing the complex weather system
  • Assessing pre-collisions
  • Applying navigation nuances at the right time

What it looks like:

Well, it might look like a playbook seeing the dingy experts in the sea when it comes to control while on sails. But this adrenaline sport can get very dangerous if you are new to it. Sailboats differ in terms of size, keel type, the types of hull & configuration, speed, the number of sails it covered, usage and purpose. So are the sailing basics, rules and manoeuvring techniques of handling waves for sailing in the big seas.

The Factors of Sail:

Strong winds – cold & freezing sometimes, lightning bolt, thunderstorms, severe waves are some of the dangerous conditions might spell out worst even for a passionate skilful sailor. These goose pumps are enough to lose out strength to endure longer steering the boat with an attempt to negotiate enough on the huge waves, unless you are an extraordinary competent sailor, to prepare for tracks and jostle your way against the wind. Waves behave differently in light winds, speed winds and strong winds, for which your boats needs to be manoeuvred in order to steer around. It’s important to perfect your steering balance when you are sailing in the waves.

No boat is 100% optimized for sails. What make it to a success are the tactical decisions you take just at the right time. The knowledge of the sea, the motor functioning and body weight balance & setting onto sail and other techniques can minimise risks and set sail smooth. To know more, let’s explore the set of 7 general rules of boat sailing you need to be familiar with to get you started.

#1. Start with positioning a boat: 

When you start off, it depends on the wind direction how you treat your boat. Figure out if your anchor needs another bungee or more lashings to keep it in place. Begin with the bow and work aft (the back of the ship). The winds tend to increase the further you sail. To make the current favourable across the height upwind, use the rudder to turn the ship and steer through the waves.

#2.  Position the Tiller Extension          

Tiller steering boats are simple to operate with outboard motor but basically handled depending on the weight and boat length. As you speed into the waves, your position & moves will also change depending on the type of steering you take. The tiller re-directs the water pass through the hull to create motions that aids to course changes. The helm should sit up by the side of the boat to stay alert of how much the boat is tilting. The general rule is:

  • Sit on the side of the boat
  • Position yourself as far as you can from the centreline
  • Hold tiller extensions with a microphone grip

#3.    Turning the boat

In order to turn the sail boat towards the desired direction, the first rule is to detect the direction of the wind. Else it might end up capsizing the boat in case it’s breezy. To turn the boat at your pace, there are three general turns:

  1. Tacking- This is done when the wind is ahead of you on one side. In this case, if the wind is blowing ahead such as port or left, and you turn the boat across the wind to the left & when the wind is on the other side , you turn it to right.
  2. Gybing- If the wind is behind you at one side (port or starboard) so you turn the boat right so that the rear part of the ship crosses the wind and again the wind comes behind you the other side (port or starboard) you turn right.
  3. Close-hauled- In this case, there’s no crossing of wind direction. Rather, you turn right having the sails close-hauled with the wind on one side (port or starboard), with wind on your port side.

#4. Boat Handling

Always keep the mast upright pointed at the sky. It is wise to work out a plan for boat handling across all major potential situations. In lighter sea conditions, it’s smart to use as little rudder as possible to steer which means more usage of the heel angle to aid the rudder function. While in strong breeze, it’s vital to get the boat upright. If you are willing to change the course, know the course first. Anticipate other boats nearby while maintaining a steady pace enough to get through the wind. Reduce the risk of capsize by simply tacking around rather than gybe.

#5. Steering Lessons

Once the boat starts moving on water, make sure you are positioned and sitting by the side of the boat towards the direction of the wind, just opposite to the sail. This is to keep the boat balanced by going across the wind against sails that keeps the boat balance in terms of weight on one side and the boat heel         or lean over on the other side.  This will also prevent the boat from capsizing.

#6.  Trim the sail

Use sheets for trimming while sailing against the wind. For perfect trimming, let out the mainsheet in a way that the mainsail is perfectly close to the wind and continue the same, until you tighten the mainsheet to adjust directions till the time it stops luffing. The more you sail close to the wind, the more you pull in the sheets. With experience, you can adjust the sails, switch sides and balance the boat for well-trimmed sails.

#7. Navigation techniques & nuances:

It’s not the best move or rule applied to always but the sense applied playfully when it comes to sails. The nuances of sailing also depend on certain smart skills, confidence and I.Q applied by the sailor. Make it or break it in the moment – an exceptional sailor knows which rule applies in the present track or when to withdraw from a given situation that gets the boat around a favourable current.

Sailing might sound like a game of adventure & fun to many sport-oriented people but not many are real sailors on water paradise when it comes to sails.  Think ahead of time, stay prepared, apply what’s ideal at specific situations or crisis- this is such an adrenaline drive sport; if not played by skillful hands equipped with rules & tactics of sailing, the expedition might turn dangerous.