How do Aussies stack up?

Posted on Sunday, February 17, 2013 |
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+

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