Put it on Hold

Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 | 0 comments
The best prices on Cruise Sale Finder are often fleeting- special deals, cruise week sales and limited offers. However, we understand that deciding on a holiday is not a simple task, and it can take time. Did you know that in many cases you can put a cruise on hold for 3-5 days and lock in the price whilst you mull it over?

If you find a price that is hard to pass up but you are not 100% sure, get in contact with one of our friendly cruise consultants (1300 44 00 26 for Australia, 0800 12 21 29 for NZ) to ask for a hold- they will let you know how long they can hold it for. There are a few special promotions which do not allow holds, and any sailing that departs within 90 days must be purchased straight away. However for most cases, the no-obligation hold is a great way to buy more time and still get the prices you want!

Cruise Celebrity-Style with the New Captain's Club

Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2013 | 0 comments
Captain's Club is Celebrity Cruises' rewards program for frequent cruisers. It offers additional benefits to those who are loyal to the Celebrity way of cruising, giving credits for time spent cruising which can earn things like exclusive events, category upgrades, discounts, free services and more- depending on the category which the passengers has reached. The most loyal win free cruises! Celebrity has recently expanded the program to offer more benefits and streamline the system for earning credits, now called Club Points.

Previously, the system included four tiers: Preview, Classic, Select and Elite. Celebrity has added 2 new tiers, these being called Elite Plus and Zenith. The Club Points minimums for each tier are as follows:

Preview: 0
Classic: 2
Select: 150
Elite: 300
Elite Plus: 750
Zenith: 3,000

Points are now earned based not only on how many cruises passengers have completed, but on the number of nights spent aboard and on stateroom category. Longer cruises and higher stateroom categories will rack up points much faster!

Celebrity Equinox

Of course, the most important part of any rewards program is the rewards! These obviously get better as one progresses through the tiers. 'Preview' rewards are not really rewards at all, just a preview of what is to come. Enrolment in the Captain's Club means receiving a newsletter with Celebrity and Club news, and access to the Captain's Club area of the website which outlines the program. This is all available before going on a Celebrity cruise.

Classic Tier benefits include access to an exclusive Captain's Club event onboard, selected category upgrades, a free gelato and discounts on an internet package. On top of these, Select tier members receive further discounts, complimentary garment pressing, priority embarkation, a wine seminar and admittance to the Senior Officers' Cocktail Party.

Elite members, on top of the previously-mentioned benefits, are also offered access to the Captain's Club lounge for exclusive breakfast every morning, and a daily evening Cocktail Hour. A complimentary internet package is also available to the Elite passengers, along with a free dryclean and laundry and an invitation to tea. Elite Plus passengers earn a longer internet package, discounts on beverage packages and specialty restaurants, a private shipboard departure lounge, more free laundry services and free specialty coffees.

With 3,000 or more Club Points, Zenith members enjoy plenty of benefits and are treated as VIPs onboard! Along with the benefits of the lower tiers, they get increased free internet and laundry services, bigger discounts on specialty dining (25% off), a free beverage package, priority embarkation and priority seating in the theatre, luggage valet service and upgraded bath amenities. The best reward at this level, however, is a free 7-night cruise! Every extra 3,000 points earns another cruise.

Have a look at some Celebrity cruises here!

The Prodigal Voyager Returns

Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2013 | 0 comments
Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas has already spent one summer season in the waters of the South Pacific, and this November it returns to its second home to cruise out of Sydney to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

When built in 1999, the Voyager of the Seas was the world's biggest cruise ship. Now overtaken by the Allure and Oasis of the Seas, it is still the biggest ship to be based down under, a monster at 137,000 tonnes and carrying 3,800 passengers and 1,200 crew. It is one of the few ships too big to fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and is home to an ice-skating rink, a 1,350-seat theatre, mini-golf, rock climbing and many restaurants, swimming pools, shops and other facilities.

Voyager of the Seas

The Pool Deck

The Voyager has some great itineraries lined up for summer 2013/2014. There are some circumnavigations of New Zealand, plenty of tropical South Pacific voyages and a trip down south to Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide. Royal Caribbean are learning what's what in the Australasian cruising market, and are making adjustments to Voyager of the Seas accordingly. Cruise Director Luke Arrowsmith told the Sydney Morning Herald that they put out fewer deck chairs for activity-loving Aussies and Kiwis: "Brits like to spend all day lying in the sun but Australians don't. But they do like to have a barbecue out on the deck so we'll do that." Sounds like they have us figured out!

Have a look here for great deals on Voyager of the Seas cruises!

Scenic River Cruising- Cruise Through Europe

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | 0 comments
Cruise Sale Finder has recently welcomed another cruise line to the site- Scenic River Cruising by Scenic Tours.

The cruises include itineraries on the rivers of Europe, the most popular being "Jewels of Europe" which begins in Budapest, the stunning capital of  Hungary. It then heads northwest through several countries and numerous cities, disembarking in Amsterdam. Additions to this cruise are also available in the form of days spent in Prague and Paris at the beginning and end of the cruise, with road or train transfers to and from the ship. The trip is 14 nights long (20 with the extras) and it travels the rivers Rhine, Main and Danube. Other itineraries include various journeys in the south of France and the "Romantic Rhine and Moselle River" cruise between Zurich and Amsterdam.

The river cruises are not only scenic, they are all-inclusive! In this case, they really mean it- all meals and drinks, gratuities, airport transfers, shore excursions, special events and activities are included in the price of the cruise. The only reason you might need to reach into your wallet is to buy the occasional souvenir, as you will want to remember the amazing cities you are passing through. These cruises are the very definition of luxury, with 84% of staterooms and suites in possession of a private balcony, and private butler service for all passengers. Wireless internet access is complimentary, and all accommodations have flat-screen TVs and Mac mini infotainment systems. Gourmet treats are served at every restaurant on board which range from formal to al fresco casual.

A river cruise is an amazing way to holiday, mixing the convenience of cruising with the adventure and reach of a land-based tour. Leaving the ocean behind and heading inland means many more places to visit and explore, all without having to unpack and repack between each destination!

Check out Europe Scenic River Cruising at great prices here!

Live Life on the Edge with P&OEdge

Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2013 | 1 comments
P&O Australia's ships have always been targeted at the Kiwi and Aussie market. With sports courts, rock climbing walls and mini golf, they know how we antipodeans like to be on the move! Now, P&O is taking things to the next level with its new "P&OEdge" program, which will send passengers flying, bouncing and racing onboard the Pacific Jewel.

The program is intended to appeal to adventure seekers, and to change the mind of those who view cruising as a boring and sedentary holiday. Installed currently on the Pacific Jewel, the program involves 20 thrill-seeking activities and there are plans to add it to the other 2 ships in the fleet in coming years.

Turning the Jewel's upper decks into an adventure playground are high rope swings, segway obstacle courses, a flying fox line, a slackline, a bungee tramp, climbing nets and more. There is even an adventure program for kids, and an opportunity to reenact the famous 'Titanic' scene on the ship's bow! Bookings for the activities can be made onboard the ship at the P&OEdge shop.

In this video, stuntwoman Janene Carleton promotes the Edge:


Find cruises on the Pacific Jewel here!

All Aboard for Tahiti

Posted on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 | 0 comments
Just the name 'Tahiti' evokes an image of balmy tropical islands, white sand and clear water. It is all this and more- the name refers not only to the largest island in French Polynesia, but often also to the country made up of the 118 islands. Both Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia are some of the most beautiful in the Pacific, with rugged green mountains meeting crystal seas, palm trees fringing the spectacular beaches.

Papeete Port

Huahine Beach

Despite being somewhat isolated in the South Pacific between New Zealand and South America, Tahiti's popularity as a cruise port is rising. Discerning cruisers deem the extra time to reach the archipelago worth the wonderful views and experiences they offer, and cruise lines are taking notice! Tahiti has two specialist cruise lines which cruise out of Papeete. The small-ship luxury line Paul Gauguin Cruises offers specialised cruises, and their shallow-drafted ships can get up close and personal with the more obscure Tahiti destinations. The Aranui 3 is a freighter which serves a dual purpose by taking cargo and passengers around the small islands and villages surrounding Tahiti. These two lines can offer some very in-depth cruising, as well as a wealth of knowledge about the area, its natural and social history and the people.

Aranui 3

As well as the specialised Tahiti cruise lines, mainstream cruise lines are upping their Tahiti time as they set itineraries for the months to come. Princess has always maintained a presence in French Polynesia, but is increasing it in 2013 and 2014. The Ocean Princess has a number of 10-night Tahiti and South Pacific cruises planned, departing from Papeete. This allows passengers to experience and explore the island individually by land before or after the cruise. The Pacific Princess will also be seen in Tahiti in January and February of 2014.

Royal Caribbean is another of the major cruise lines which is planning some stops in French Polynesia, as part of their transpacific itineraries. The small luxury lines Silversea and Regent Seven Seas are also planning to join the line up in 2014 with several port stops in Tahiti.

Get amongst it! Cruise Sale Finder has plenty of options for Tahiti cruising, and the best deals around.

Silver Discoverer to Join Silversea Expedition Fleet

Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 0 comments
Silversea' s fleet of luxury small cruise ships is set to expand, with the line announcing the purchase and planned refurbishment of the former Clipper Odyssey, to be named the Silver Discoverer. The ship will begin sailing for the line in March 2014.

The Clipper Odysey, soon to be Silver Discoverer.

The ship carries 128 passengers, and it will join the line's 2 expedition vessels, tackling the more adventurous itineraries and destinations. The Silversea Expeditions website indicates that the Silver Discoverer will run expedition cruises in the South Pacific, Australasia and Southeast Asia. As with the other Silversea expedition vessels, she will visit small ports which big-ship lines are unable to access, offering very in-depth explorations of exciting destinations such as Indonesia, tropical northern Australia, Japan and Russia, and New Zealand and its isolated outlying territories- the Chatham Islands, Bounty Islands, Antipodes Islands and more.

Silversea ships are always fitted out and staffed to a very high standard, as befits their reputation as an all-inclusive luxury cruise line. The Silver Discoverer will be no exception! All accommodations will be spacious and have ocean views, and all suites have butler service. All-inclusive means no tipping, and complimentary wine, beer and spirits as well as soft drinks throughout the ship and in-suite. Shore tours are wonderfully adventurous and also included in the cruise fare, made hugely interesting with the help of expert expedition teams to guide you through the destinations before and after landing with lectures, discussions and tour guiding. Dining onboard is open-seating and always gourmet!

Have a look at some Silversea cruise deals on Cruise Sale Finder!

Here Comes the Sun

Posted on Thursday, August 15, 2013 | 0 comments
The Sun Princess is one of the several Princess ships which sail from Australia for part of the year, making her a common sight in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and around the South Pacific. Many an Aussie and Kiwi has fond memories of cruising aboard this particular Princess during the southern summer.

Next summer season will bring a new and improved Sun Princess as she is currently in Singapore for a 2-week drydock, beginning a 30 million dollar refit and makeover. The upgrades will include a beautiful new atrium, new furnishings and decor and a full paint of the hull. There will also several additions to the onboard venues- Princess's signature International Cafe, a new sushi and seafood restaurant and an updated pool grill and buffet area with new options. The Lotus spa will also get an upgrade. The Horizons Court buffet is set to receive action stations for live a la carte cooking, an exciting new feature!

The Sun Princess will be relocated to Japan for northern summers for the next few seasons, and this is to be reflected in her makeover. As well as the new sushi restaurant, the decor and furnishings will include asian-style nods to her new home base.

Expect to see a beautiful and fresh Sun Princess around the South Pacific come October! Here you can find great deals on Sun Princess cruises.

The Love Boat's Last Fling

Posted on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 | 0 comments
The Pacific Princess has been known and adored by many as "The Love Boat" from the 1970s television show by the same name. This month, after years of being decommissioned, it took its final journey- sailing to the Aegean Sea to be scrapped. This marks the end of an era for fans of the show which put a spotlight on cruising and sparked an interest in cruise ships as a way to holiday.

The Pacific Princess began life as the Sea Venture in 1971, sailing for Flagship Cruises. She joined Princess's fleet in 1975, and soon after began to serve as the set for "The Love Boat," which went on the air in 1977. The show was a well-loved comedy which told the story of love affairs between crew and passengers as the ship sailed between California and the Mexican Riviera. The show is credited with widening the market for cruise holidays (which was viewed solely as an activity for the "newly wed and nearly dead") and ran for nine seasons. The Pacific Princess became synonymous with "The Love Boat" during that time, and there will be many who are sad to see her go!

The 640-passenger ship operated as part of the Princess Cruises fleet until 2002, after which she had a stint with Pullmantur and then CVC before being seized and put out of action in 2008 due to debts owing. She was sold in 2012 to a ship-breaking company in Turkey. Her last journey took place at the beginning of August 2013, ending in an unceremonious arrival in the Turkish breaking yard after taking on water during the trip and requiring help from tugboats.

The Pacific Princess circa 1978

Although the original Pacific Princess will soon be nothing but scrap metal, her legacy lives on in the new Pacific Princess which joined the fleet in 2002 to replace her. Cruising has moved on since the days of "The Love Boat," with bigger ships, more amenities and modern touches- but the older Pacific Princess will forever be fondly remembered as an icon amongst older cruise lovers.

Cruises on the new Pacific Princess can be found here!

National Cruise Week

Posted on Sunday, August 11, 2013 | 0 comments
National Cruise Week is set to take place from the 2nd to the 9th of September 2013. This is the largest promotion in the Australasian cruise industry, and behind it is the Cruise Lines International Association of Australasia (CLIA).

What will the Cruise Week mean for customers? All 30 cruise line members of the association will be offering deals, savings and promotions throughout the week, brought to you through cruise agents who are also members. Details are not yet released, but some examples of promotions from last year's National Cruise Week included 50% off select itineraries, onboard credit galore and 'buy one cruise fare, bring a friend for $1' on some MSC cruises!

Celebrating Cruising!

The National Cruise Week promotions will only be available through travel agencies and agents who are members of the CLIA. This includes Cruise Republic, and as usual we will have the best of the best deals on our Cruise Sale Finder Australia and New Zealand websites. Keep a close eye on what's happening on the site during that week, or call our cruise consultants on 1300 44 00 26 (Australia) or 0800 12 21 29 (New Zealand).

Carnival Legend Aussified

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 | 0 comments
We wrote in May about the Carnival Legend making the move Down Under to serve the Aussie market alongside her sister ship the Carnival Spirit. Carnival has revealed that she will not be coming as-is, but they have a few tricks up their sleeve to ensure she will fit right in to her new home in September 2014.

In preparation for her seasons in the South Pacific, the Legend is getting some great new features.

All Aussies and kiwis love a good pub, and the Carnival Legend will be fitted out with the popular Carnival Redfrog Pub.  Here passengers will be able to hear live music, play foosball and enjoy a cold beer in a typical relaxed pub atmosphere.

Sushi is also popular down in the southern hemisphere, along with any and all Asian cuisine! Bonsai Sushi is coming to the Carnival Legend, and allows passengers the opportunity to enjoy rolls, sashimi, sake and more amongst the bonsai trees.

What else could one need but lollies? Cherry On Top is a candy store, and you will revert to childhood upon entering. Rows of brightly-coloured lollies and chocolates is certainly a wonderful sight!

The Serenity Retreat is another feature being added to the Carnival Legend, and it's a good one! Child-free and stress-free, this is the spot where adults can go to put their feet up by the pool, have a quiet drink or swing in a hammock.

Green Thunder is a Carnival feature that was designed especially for Australia, already installed on the Carnival Spirit. The steepest and fastest waterslide at sea, it appeals to the thrillseeking nature of southern hemisphere dwellers. There is also a waterpark with giant tipping bucket for the kiddies.

Other nods to the Aussie market are set to include abolishing tipping for the southern cruises, Australian power points, and new menu items. Also, in a move that will truly endear the ship to Australasians everywhere, they intend to improve the quality of the coffee!

Cruise Sale Finder has great prices on Carnival Legend cruises- have a look here to browse and book! Book between the 19th of July 2013 and the 26th of July 2013 and receive up to $200 onboard credit, and get a reduced deposit.

Round-The-World on the Dawn Princess: Would You Do it?

Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | 0 comments
What does a round-the-world cruise involve? Not a race to circumnavigate the globe, but nigh on a third of the year spent at the relaxed pace of life on board a cruise ship, awaking to ocean vistas or exotic ports each morning. These cruises which began with Cunard's Laconia in 1922, are a true getaway and an opportunity to see the world from a watery perspective.

Most world cruise last from 100-120 days, and although some don't literally go around the world, they hit a huge variety of different ports in different continents. These cruises are seeing a revival with lots of people signing up for the relaxing holiday of a lifetime. They're not for everyone, mind you- it is a long time to take off work, and they do involve a lot of sea days which will cause some restlessness for those not skilled in the art of relaxing. However, just imagine being completely free of cooking, cleaning and dishes for 3-4 months! Seniors are obvious candidates for these cruises as they have the freedom to up and leave for a long period, but workers who just need a break are also picking up on the trend. Taking a sabbatical to see the world is made easy when you only have to unpack once!

Library and Archives Canada

A great world cruise for Australians and Kiwis is this cruise on the Dawn Princess, leaving in May 2014. What better way to avoid the winter? Leaving from and returning to Sydney, this one indeed does circumnavigate the globe over 104 nights with 40 ports of call, some of which the ship visits for more than one day.

From Sydney, the ship makes its way up the coast of Australia with a stop at Brisbane, then into Asia with stops at Singapore, Yangon, Colombo and Mumbai. After 2 days at Dubai, there is a brief African interlude with stops at Port Said and Luxor in Egypt and a trip through the Suez Canal. Three weeks are then spent in the Mediterranean, with visits to all the major coastal cities and some wonderful minor ones also. After a call in to Cobh in Ireland comes the transatlantic crossing, ending in Boston. The cruise stops in bustling New York before heading to the Caribbean, favourite cruising grounds of Americans. There are a few tropical and exotic port calls there, including Santa Lucia, then it is through the Panama Canal and down the South American coast to Callao. The ship then has a leisurely voyage through the many wonderful and interesting islands of the Pacific (including the Easter Islands) before returning to Sydney.

A simplified itinerary map

3 weeks in the Med? Yes!
by Bruce Harlick Flickr Creative Commons

Boston awaits across the Big Blue
by chaoscentral Flickr Creative Commons

'But why,' you may ask, 'would I want to spend that long on a boat?' Any cruise lover could tell you that a cruise ship is not just any boat- and the Dawn Princess certainly isn't. Princess Cruise Line is widely regarded as one of the best mid-range lines. Whilst not in the high-end luxury category, the line is affordable and not lacking in luxurious touches. In fact, their latest addition, the Royal Princess, was christened by none other than the human Royal Princess, Duchess Kate! The Dawn Princess has all of the cruise ship essentials which will keep you occupied when at sea- pool, gym, organised activities, enrichment programmes, bars, casino and show lounge amongst others. As with most Princess ships, she has a multi-million dollar art collection, a big screen for Movies Under The Stars, an elegant library and elegant decor. Her point of difference is that she is set up for Australasian cruisers- Australian Dollars used onboard and vegemite served at breakfast, what more could an antipodean wish for? The best aspect of a trip of this length is the community- passengers get to know each other and make great friends, often keeping in touch once the cruise has ended. 

Dawn Princess

See here for great deals on the World Cruise aboard the Dawn Princess!

A Legend Comes to Australia

Posted on Sunday, May 26, 2013 | 0 comments
The Carnival Spirit has been a hit in the South Pacific, running itineraries to the beautiful tropical islands out of Sydney. As demand for cruises grows in Australia it is fast becoming a major market for cruise lines, and the Carnival Spirit is becoming lonely and overworked! Carnival is sending its sister ship, the Carnival Legend, to help out the Spirit and make the most of the growing number of cruise lovers in Australia and New Zealand.

Debuting in Australia on the 24th of September next year, the Legend will remain for the season and Carnival have planned for it to return in subsequent seasons, with a view to being homeported in Queensland. Jennifer Vandekreeke, Carnival Director for Australia and New Zealand, compared Queensland with Florida when speaking to the Gold Coast Bulletin yesterday- Florida being the home of cruising in North America. She and other cruise lines would also like to see a cruise terminal being built on the Gold Coast.

The Carnival Legend is a Spirit-Class ship, a Class which introduced some great innovations for Carnival including wedding chapels, museum-quality artwork and an impressive 80% of total onboard cabins having windows, balconies or portholes letting in natural light. The ship has 3 restaurants of which one is a specialty steakhouse, and plenty of things to keep passengers busy during the day and in the evenings. There are four swimming pools, a jogging track, a mini golf course, sports and activites, shopping and a number of bars and lounges for nighttime entertainment, as well as a casino, comedy club and theatre.

Carnival Legend

Quantum of the Seas Revealed

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | 0 comments
Royal Caribbean is rolling out its latest ship next year, with an aim to wow the cruise market and keep up the line's trend of innovation at sea. Currently in possession of the biggest cruise ships afloat, Royal Caribbean has chosen to downsize for their next wave of ships, and the Quantum of the Seas and its sister ship the Anthem of the Seas (coming in 2015) will be around 75% of the size of the monstrous Allure and Oasis of the Seas.

The Royal Caribbean fleet will be growing!
by Woody Hibbard Flickr Creative Commons

Although smaller than their fleetmates, these two ships will be exciting additions to the cruise market. They feature very ambitious entertainment features, starting with a host of "firsts." The Quantum of the Seas will have the first bumper cars at sea, the first skydiving simulator (a wind tunnel), and the largest indoor sports and entertainment venue at sea. It also has a ride which is definitely a first for the cruise ship industry- it looks like nothing I've ever seen before! A mix between a cherrypicker and the London Eye, the North Star whisks 14 passengers at a time on a mechanical arm out 300 feet above the ocean for spectacular views.

One new feature which looks set to be a hit is the Two70° venue, which will have full-length windows offering 270-degree views. During the day this will be a lounge with casual dining and home to many scheduled activities. For the nighttime, the space transitions to become a place for amazing aerial displays and other performances.

Other innovations concern staterooms. On average the rooms are 9% larger than the recent Royal Caribbean ships, and there will be a larger variety of categories including better options for single travellers and interconnecting cabins for families. Inside cabin categories will be fitted with screens which simulate a window, hooked up to real-time feeds of the ocean or port views.

More details such as dining options  are yet to be revealed, but the ship will contain some tried-and true favourite entertainment features from the cruise line. These include the FlowRider surf simulator, DreamWorks Experience, Solarium, spa and children's play area. Missing will be the ice-skating rink and the traditional Royal Promenade, making way for the new and different components.

For more information and upcoming sales with regards to the exciting new Quantum of the Seas, join our newsletter here (AU) or here (NZ)!

Author: Ryan Posa+

Precious Addition to the MSC Fleet

Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 | 0 comments
The MSC Preziosa entered service on the 24th of March 2013, an identical sister ship to the MSC Divina. In true lavish MSC style, the ship was christened with a luxurious ceremony in Genoa. Doing the honours was the godmother of the entire MSC fleet, actress Sophia Loren.

The ceremony included a flash mob of crew and passengers from fleetmates MSC Splendida and MSC Opera which featured sound and lighting effects. There were also fireworks and an acrobatics display to properly welcome the new ship into the fold!

Onboard the ship, cruisers will find some wonderful features including the infinity pool, bowling alley, sports courts, 21 bars, Solarium and Aqua Park for the kids. She will sail the Western Mediterranean with itineraries ranging from 1 night to a week.

Author: Ryan Posa+

See MSC cruises here

P&O's Latest Domestic Paradise

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 | 0 comments
P&O has a new destination, and it's only 35 kilometres from Brisbane! Now incorporated in a number of short break cruises on the Pacific Jewel from Sydney will be Moreton Island off the Queensland coast, providing a bit of onshore fun in what are otherwise sea-only excursions.

Moreton is the world's thrid largest sand island, and 95% of it is a National Park. Although there are a small number of residents, most who land on the island are day trippers who come to enjoy the park and take part in the recreational activities offered on the island. These include hiking, 4 wheel driving, snorkelling, diving, whale watching and attending the feeding program for wild dolphins at the resort of Tangalooma.

Honeymoon Bay
by brewbooks Flickr Creative Commons

Cruise passengers will have access to these activities and more, and will have the opportunity to hand feed wild bottlenose dolphins! The champagne pools near Honeymoon Bay are predicted to be popular amongst cruisers- natural pools formed amongst the rocks at the northeastern tip of the island. The ship will moor in the morning and depart after the evening dolphin feeding, allowing a full day of fun in the sun.

Dolphin Feeding at Tangalooma
by brewbooks Flickr Creative Commons

Cruises going to Moreton Island in 2103 include the Moreton Island Cruise in May, September and December, Lifestyle Cruise in June and the Food and Wine Cruise in August.

Author: Ryan Posa+

How do Aussies stack up?

Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 | 0 comments
Americans have for a long time held the top spot in the cruising market, but there is a newcomer snapping at their heels. Australians are taking to cruising big time, and already the big cruise lines are sending ships to be based down under. Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody, Radiance and Voyager of the seas are common sights in Sydney and surrounds, and both the Sun Princess and Dawn Princess are now true-blue, with Australian Dollars being used as the onboard currency. The Carnival Spirit is another ship which has made the move and now exclusively serves the Australasian market.

by Jimmy Harris Flickr Creative Commons

As well as changing currency and power points, the Carnival Spirit was renovated in an effort to better match the Australian lifestyle, adding a BBQ, thrillseeking waterslide and a few other features in a 7 million dollar "Aussiefication." However, Carnival has had a bit of a learning curve as it discovers more ways in which Australian (and Kiwi) cruisers differ from their American counterparts.

This article on News.com.au outlines a few of the differences between the two markets which came as a surprise to Carnival. Aussies and kiwis are much more aware of the sun and the damage it can cause, so a stock-up of hats, sunscreen and covered sun loungers was required. Drinking habits also differ, not so much in the quantities but in the types of drinks ordered- gin and tonic is a favourite down under, whilst American cruisers love rum-based cocktails. Salmon is an Australian favourite, so more has to be brought onboard for Spirit cruises, as well as a lot more coffee to fuel the active Aussies!

by Penny Higgins Flickr Creative Commons

A heartwarming difference is the addition of more family-focused activities, as Australian families like to spend time together on their cruise rather than take full advantage of the Kids Clubs. The Spirit has changed dining times to better enable families to eat together, and added things such as family movie times.

Other small changes have been made not just on the Spirit but on the Australia-based Princess ships- vegemite often replaces peanut butter, fitness classes have been increased to keep up with demand, and tips made optional.

The Australian cruise market is on the up, and it is good to see the big cruise lines responding and adapting to make the experience great for Aussies and Kiwis!

Author: Ryan Posa+

ICCA Awards 2013- Congratulations Sarah!

Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | 0 comments
The International Cruise Council Australasia hosted their annual awards night in Sydney last weekend, honoring the best agents and agencies in the Australasian cruise industry. Hosted by Deborah Hutton, the event was attended by many people from both cruise lines and agencies. They dressed to the nines for a great night out which included a presentation by Christine Duffy, president of the Cruise Lines International Association.

We at Cruise Republic were very happy to receive Silver in the NZ Agency of the Year category, and extremely proud of our Team Leader Sarah Goldfinch, who was named the NZ Consultant of the Year.

Cruise Republic New Zealand's trophy case is getting quite full now, with three silvers and one bronze award in the Agency of the Year category over the past 4 years!

Sarah with Anne Sherry, CEO of Carnival Cruises

Ryan with John Molinaro from Uniworld and Deborah Hutton

Photos from Travel Today NZ

Author: Ryan Posa+