Due to the region’s excellent climate, recognisable landmarks, natural attractions, and apparently endless beaches, Sydney cruises are among the most desirable vacation destinations. Even if you’ve taken numerous cruises in the past, most tourists still experience a few surprises when they sail to Australia. Here are some facts about cruising in Sydney that you may not be aware of.
1. There Is No Mandatory Tipping
Tipping is a common practice in the service industry, including the cruise industry. However, there is no mandatory tipping in the cruise industry. Some cruise lines include gratuities in their fare, while others leave it to the passengers’ discretion. In this article, we will explore the idea of mandatory tipping and why it is not a universal practice in the cruise industry.
Gratuities in the Cruise Industry
In the cruise industry, gratuities are a way to acknowledge the service provided by the crew members, who often work long hours to ensure that passengers have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Some cruise lines include gratuities in their fare, while others add them as a separate charge to the passengers’ onboard account. It is not uncommon for cruise lines to recommend a specific amount of gratuity per day, per passenger, based on the type of cabin they have booked.
No Mandatory Tipping Policy
While some cruise lines may recommend a specific amount of gratuity, there is no mandatory tipping policy in the cruise industry. Passengers are free to tip as much or as little as they like, or not at all.
This can sometimes lead to confusion, as passengers may not be sure how much to tip or who to tip. However, most cruise lines provide guidelines on their websites and onboard materials to help passengers navigate the tipping process.
It is worth noting that there are some exceptions to the no mandatory tipping policy. For example, some luxury cruise lines may include gratuities in their fare, and passengers are not expected to tip additionally. Additionally, some cruise lines may automatically add gratuities to passengers’ onboard accounts, and these may be difficult to remove. It is important for passengers to check their cruise line’s policy on gratuities before embarking on their voyage.
2. Jet Lag Will Disrupt the First Days of Your Trip
There is little hope of avoiding the dreaded jetlag when a lengthy flight from the United States, the United Kingdom, or Europe is combined with a significant time change. You should give yourself a few days to recover from the flight; otherwise, you risk sleeping for most of the trip. Moreover, keep in mind that this Great Southern Land is one day ahead of the Northern Hemisphere, meaning you could arrive up to two days after leaving.
3. Sydney Cruises Has Two Terminals
Almost all Sydney cruises start and end in Sydney. While the majority of passengers desire to dock at Circular Quay, which is directly across from the Sydney Opera House, they may actually land at a terminal with a less recognised view. Ships can also dock at the more recent White Bay Cruise Terminal, which is close to the district of Balmain, in addition to the popular Overseas Passenger Terminal berth at Circular Quay.
Smaller vessels are more prone to berth at the less accessible White Bay, particularly during the height of the summer season. The good news is that getting there still involves sailing through a harbour. There is a ferry between White Bay and Circular Quay; however, to or from any other location in Sydney, you must use a taxi and give additional travel time.
4. Prepare for a Wild Ride
While Bass Strait may not appear to be much on a map, it is famed for its incredibly big waves and howling trade winds. The Bass Strait separates Tasmania from the mainland. The journey can occasionally be silky smooth, but it’s frequently a tumultuous one. It can be a tough crossing from Australia to New Zealand, so if you’re prone to becoming seasick, pack some medications or other cures.
5. Ports in Sydney Are Far Apart
Every state’s capital city may be reached by boat in two to four days, and it takes a week to travel the west coast. A complete circumnavigation takes around a month. A Queensland itinerary may be a fantastic choice if you’d like to see more ports because it includes both regional and beachfront destinations.
Choose a journey that covers Western Australia, Tasmania, the Top End, or the South Pacific islands if you want to spend more time at sea. The northernmost ports are Darwin, Cooktown, Thursday Island, and Broome in the Kimberley.
6. American Currencies Are Not Accepted in Sydney
Although it may seem obvious to some, it is reasonable when Americans attempt to make purchases in Sydney, Australia, using dollars from their home country. Since it is one of the most extensively used currencies, it is accepted everywhere, from Vietnam to Ecuador. Sadly, the mighty greenback is not accepted in Australia. You’ll probably be greeted with a confused smile and polite directions to the closest ATM if you try to pay with U.S. dollars.
7. Car Rentals Can be Challenging
Sydney often has higher automobile rental costs when compared to other nations. Also, the service is less practical. There are no complimentary shuttles that take passengers from cruise ports to car rental agencies, no services for dropping off cars, and it’s unlikely that corporate representatives will be pleading for your business on the port. When huge ships are in port, smaller ports can actually run out of automobiles, so reserve your minivan, car, or Jeep in advance and plan a little extra for taxis to and from the ship.
8. Sydney Has Tight Quarantine Regulations
Even though Australians are known for having a laid-back attitude, they take no prisoners when it comes to defending their country against foreign diseases and pests. The cruise operator will read a notice warning guests not to take food off the ship due to Australia’s strict quarantine requirements each time your ship lands at an Australian port. Avoid the temptation to smuggle some nibbles into your backpack. The majority of ports have quarantine canines that will quickly sniff out your treats. If you are caught, the fine is given to you right away.