Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Q&A for a Geneacruise

I know I’ve just come back from a big overseas holiday but – I’m off on another! 
This time with my Mum.
We are going on the 9-day Unlock the Past genealogy cruise on the huge Voyager of the Seas.
Mum is the one who got me into genealogy in the first place, so it’s only fitting that my first genealogy cruise is with her.
Besides Mr Jax thinks cruise ships are floating prisons – and he doesn’t even have any convict ancestors.

Being first timers, Mum and I had a lot of questions. We have been watching the blogs, facebook and Geniaus’ hangout and only getting more confused.

I emailed off twenty questions to Natalya at Clean Cruising and she came back same day with answers to every one of them. How efficient!
Natalya said she was happy for me to blog about this as it might answer the questions others have.

Here is a summary of the answers for any others of you as confused as Mum and I were:

Money and payment:
All prices quoted by the cruise line are US$ - this includes example drinks prices and drinks packages.
If you want to pay in AUD$ the ship will exchange them on board at their rate of the day (which won’t be as good as the banks).
You have to pay via credit card or cash only – you can’t use a Travelcard even if it is a Mastercard because these work more like a debit card and the ship doesn’t like that arrangement.
If you want to use a Travelcard with US$ then you will need to withdraw cash (ATMs on board with a $5 fee) and use it that way.
If you pay with cash you need to put down some cash on your account to start with (Natalya thinks US$300) and pay the balance later.

In our rooms:
There is a bar fridge in the room, and the room steward can arrange a wine cooler with ice if asked.
There is a kettle in the room so no need to take a thermos to collect hot water from anywhere else.
You can take tea and coffee sachets on board. The coffee provided by room service is instant coffee.

The water in our room and out of other taps on board the ship is drinkable.
You can take bottled water on board.
You can take a drinking bottle to refill and carry around the ship.
Water ordered through room service will be bottled water and will incur a charge.

Drinks at meals:
Water, tea and coffee is included free with all meals.
The buffet restaurant also provides free juice at breakfast, and lemon squash drink at lunch and dinners.

Wine / Drinks packages:
You can buy a bottled wine package and this is fine to share with others.
If you buy a drinks package where it’s all by the glass then you can’t share that with others.

Drinks at the conference centre:
There may be tea, coffee and water available for morning and afternoon breaks but Natalya is still confirming this. She said we can get these for free if we go 3 floors up to the café promenade on deck 5.

This really cleared things up for Mum and I and I hope it’s helped you too.


  1. Jackie, that's a great bunch of questions and answers. Thankyou for sharing them with everyone.

  2. Jackie, if you'd like just a glass of wine with dinner, you can charge a bottle to your cabin. You waiter will save your bottle & bring it out again the following night. Yes, same waiters serve your table each night.
    Look forward to seeing you & your Mother on the cruise.
    Carol Field

  3. Great advice Jackie (and Natalya). It's been helpful to have clarification on some of these especially the kettles which I'd read about on cruise critic. I only drink decaf so that's a good option for me.

  4. You will have a great time Jackie. I went last year with my cousin and we had a great time. Now seeing those who are going this year, I think I would have liked to go next year but I am thinking next year.