Q. I'd love to go to Australia, but it's too far
A. Australia is less than a day away. In fact, from
the West Coast you can be there in under 15 hours.
Think of the flight as three delicious meals, two
great movies and a relaxing nap.
Q. Why should I go to Australia?
A. It's beautiful, unique, fascinating and fun.
Q. Can we afford it?
A. It costs less than you think! Airlines are more
competative than ever these days. And the good values
start when you reach Australia. For example: favorable
exchange rate, no sales tax, tipping is not mandatory,
accommodations are available to suit every budget
from B&Bs to five star hotels. In general, day
to day expenses are comparable to ours. Wonderful
food, quality accommodations and beautiful Australia,
all at an affordable price.
Q. When is the best time to go?
A. Australia is a year round destination with seasons
opposite ours. The climate is generally pleasant
without extremes. 60% of the country has a temperate
climate with all four seasons. Spring is September-
November, summer is December- February, Fall is March-May,
Winter is June-August.
Q. Is cruising affordable and a good vacation value?
A. Yes! There are cruise vacations to suit every
budget, from the cost-conscious to the most luxurious.
Even more important, a cruise offers the best travel
value for your money. Your fare includes all meals,
your cabin, onboard daytime activities, nighttime
parties and entertainment. So for once, you'll know
what your vacation will end up costing you before
you go. (Your only extra expenses will be drinks,
optional shore excursions, and personal services
such as massage or hairstyling.)
Q. How long are cruises?
A. As long or short as you want. There are cruise
lines that offer itineraries from three days to three
months. Whatever your schedule, we'll do our best
to find the cruise for you.
Q. What's the best time to take a cruise?
A. Anytime is the best time to take a cruise, but
it also depends on where you'd like to go. The Caribbean
is fantastic year round; however, some of the more
exotic destinations are seasonal. For example, you
can only cruise to Alaska between May and September;
to Europe between April and November; to Bermuda,
between April and October; the Panama Canal, between
September and April. So you see, no matter what time
of year it is, it's a perfect time to cruise.
Q. When is Hurricane Season?
A. If we could only predict the future. Officially,
the National Hurricane Service states that hurricane
season starts on June I and ends November 31st. That's
6 months of the year. However, history has shown
us the greatest concentration of hurricane and tropical
storm activity tends to be between late August and
mid-October. Since we've been in business, we've
only seen one sailing date was cancelled due to hurricane
Q. When is the most affordable time to take a cruise?
A. If you are looking for the very, least expensive
time to take a cruise, then consider sailing between
the end of August and the sailing before Christmas,
but not over Christmas or Thanksgiving. Most families
have children that are back to school, folks begin
saving vacation time for holiday travel, and everyone's
saving money for the holiday season. Considering
all of these factors, expect to cruise prices that
are better than 2-for-1 with reduced rates for 3rd
and 4th passengers. A 7 night cruise that normally
sells for $899 per person in the summer could be
$499 pp during this period with the 3rd and 4th sailing
for $99. That's a potential average of $300 pp for
a one week cruise.
If you're looking for a senior citizen rate, a regional
promotion, a past passenger promotion, or a last
minute deal, you'll likely find it during this period.
Not the Winter, Spring, or Summer.
Q. Where can I go?
A. Where do you want to go? Cruises visit practically
any destination accessible by water - the Caribbean,
Bahamas, Alaska, Bermuda, Europe, Hawaii, the Greek
Isles, the Orient, Australia, Tahiti, the Galapagos
Islands, South America, India, the Panama Canal and
more. If you can name it, we can probably get you
there by ship.
Q. Is motion discomfort a problem?
A. Not really. The most popular cruise areas boast
some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition,
stabilizers on modern ships, advance availability
of accurate weather information, and development
of effective preventative medications have, for the
most part, eliminated the incidence of motion discomfort.
Q. What's there to do in port?
A. So much you'll have a hard time choosing! You
can go off on your own. Or take a guided tour. You
can search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains.
Ride a raft over river rapids, a bicycle down the
side of a 10,000 foot volcano, or ride a horse across
miles of hills and beaches. Climb a waterfall or
pyramid. See the birthplace of civilization or listen
to steel drum bands. Follow the footsteps of history
or the wake of a waterskiing boat. If there's still
time (and you aren't ready to rest yet), enjoy a
folkloric show. Play golf or tennis. Eat native foods.
Learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim at some of the
world's best beaches. Catch a record marlin. Sail,
snorkel, or go scuba diving. Go to a nightclub or
glittering casino. Take a cable car to the top of
a mountain. Explore dark catacombs. In short, a cruise
is the easiest way to see new places and do all the
things you dream of. Cruising is the perfect way
to sample a number of destinations that you may want
to return to for another vacation ... and you never
have to pack and unpack the destinations come to
Q. What if I don't want to take a tour?
A. You can do what you want in port. You will either
tender (small boat to shore) or dock. It depends
on the port and how many ships are there. But if
you tender it will usually be done efficiently.
You can take tours arranged by the ship, take your
own tours (rent a car, cab, etc.), just walk into
town, or stay on the ship. You can have lunch on
the ship - you can always come back, even with tender,
they run all the time. If it's an all-day tour, and
they will usually include lunch. The half-day tours
are bmed to get you back for lunch (or leave after
They will review all the tours for you on the ship
and you should go if you're interested. Even if you
want to do it on your own, you may pick up some ideas.
In the Caribbean and Alaska you certainly don't
have to take tours - but many people do and are quite
happy with them.
If you are cruising in Europe and some other parts
of the world it may be different. Unless you just
want to go into the city. They usually run shuffle
buses which will take you 'downtown'. But this is
only to the port city. For example, the port for
Paris might be Le Havre. If you want to get to Pads,
you're on your own. Sometimes you're close to a train
station - all depends.
Ship tours are usually well organized and usually
well worth the money. We know sometimes you can do
it cheaper on your own, but remember that you are
also paying for a guide, admissions, etc. Not to
mention peace of mind - the ship won't leave until
all the tours are back. If you go on your own you
may have to build in extra time to be sure you won't
miss the ship.
If you're highly independent we're sure you can
always do things on your own. But for the rest of
us - the tours are just fine. And if you're worried
about waiting for stragglers, this rarely happens
in our experience, especially if you are on a cruise
in Europe, Asia, etc. Experienced cruisers know how
to behave. And if they don't they are brought in
line very quickly - believe me!
Q. What's there to do at night?
A. At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns
on. There's dancing, live entertainment in nightclubs,
discos, lounges, feature films, and parties with
all your new friends. Most ships even have casinos.
There are also many special events like the Captain's
Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, the Masquerade
Parade, the Late Night Buffet (for one last bite
to tide you over until breakfast). And the night
can go on as long as you want. Even until the spectacle
of sunrise at sea.
Q. Is there a charge for entertainment?
A. NEVER. On a cruise vacation, the entertainment
is on the house. There's no cover. No minimum. No
charge for an admission ticket. The shows are live.
The movies are first-rate. The variety is limitless.
Q. Is it easy to meet people?
A. A cruise ship is a great place to make new friends,
because everyone's so friendly. The atmosphere is
cordial, relaxed. And you'll have all kinds of things
in common to talk about. At dinner. At cocktails.
Around the pool. Or along the promenade rail. And
don't be surprised if you find yourself making arrangements
to meet them aboard ship again next year.
Q. Will there be people like me?
A. No matter what you've heard to the contrary,
there's no such thing as a typical cruise passenger!
ALL kinds of people take cruises ... of all ages
... from all walks of life ... singles, couples and
families. Passengers can vary from ship to ship and
cruise to cruise. Just ask one of our agents for
advice on the best ship for you, based on your tastes
Q. Can singles have fun on a cruise?
A. Cruising is ideal for people traveling alone,
because it's so easy to meet other people. In fact,
most ships have parties just for singles early on,
so you can start to be involved right away. Most
ships also have single cabins as well as single rates
for double staterooms. In many cases, a cruise line
will even find you a roommate to share a double if
you ask them.
Q. Is cruising right for honeymooners?
A. Without a doubt. Cruising offers an atmosphere
thats just right for romance ... cozy dinners for
two, strolling on deck at sunset, dancing the night
away (even under the stars) and so much more to remember
forever. Most lines provide special services from
Sunday or Monday departures to welcome champagne
and breakfast in bed. (And, speaking of beds, most
ships have them in double, queen, or king sizes!)
Also, some ships offer special programs for performing
a marriage ceremony or renewing your marriage vows
in port. By the way, honeymooners should email us
for our Honeymoon Planning Guide with special rates
for our passengers tying the knot.
Q. How do I book a cruise?
A. Simply call us at 1-800-967-5583. One of our
enthusiatic, knowledgeable travel consultants will
be glad to help you. We will help you pick the cruise
that fits your vacation schedule, tastes, and budget;
then make all the arrangements to get you from your
doorstep to your stateroom and back.
Q. What should we budget?
A. There's no easy answer. However, your honeymoon
is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. This is not a
good place to cut comers. If you are concerned about
money, you probably will prefer an "all inclusive" resort
or a cruise so that you don't have any budget surprises.
Because meals and entertainment are included, these
are usually the best value. No matter what you have
budgeted for your honeymoon, the experts of Touraine
Vacation & Cruises will have lots of wonderful
options for you to choose from.
Q. What is a honeymoon registry?
A. A honeymoon registry works just like a bridal
registry, but instead of a toaster or a cheese tray
your friends and relatives can make a contribution
to the cost of your honeymoon. This is becoming a
popular trend and it is not uncommon on a bridal
shower invitation to have a travel agency listed
under other registration locations. Your personal
travel consultant at Touraine Vacations & Cruises
can assist you to set up your own registry.
Q. I've heard that leaving the day after the wedding
can limit our choices? Is that true?
A. This can be a challenge, particularly with cruises.
For example, only 4-day cruises leave on Monday,
making it virtually impossible for a couple getting
married on a Sunday to leave for a 7-day cruise the
next day. Even for Saturday weddings, Sunday departures
may require getting up earlier than you would like.
You might consider taking your honeymoon a few days
or more after the wedding. This gives you a chance
to relax and recover from the wedding (not to mention
catalog the gifts) and take your honeymoon when you're
less tired and stressed. Tradition no longer demands
you leave the next day. If, however, you want to "get
out of town" right away, your Touraine agent
will outline all your options. Staying overnight
at the airport, for instance, might be one solution
to an earlier morning flight.
Q. When is the best time to go to Hawaii?
A. Anytime! Seasons are very subtle in Hawaii with
year-round temperatures ranging from 73 to 88...so
the weather is always warm. And, the tropical tradewinds
keep humidity low to provide natural outside air
Q. What should I pack?
A. Most airlines allow two pieces of checked baggage
plus a carry-on without an additional charge. That
should be ample, since you'll only need lightweight
clothing. Hawaii is extremely informal so take plenty
of casual wear and a few dressy items for big occasions.
Take comfortable walking shoes, sports equipment
(Hawaii offers great tennis and golf facilities)
and, if you are going with youngsters, their favorite
toys and books. But don't worry, Hawaii is just like
home, so you can get anything you've forgotten anywhere
Q. How much spending money should I take?
A. About $50 per person per day should cover your
daily expenses. You'll want walking around money
for personal expenses such as laundry, telephone
or food. There are fast food and inexpensive restaurants
all through Hawaii but you might occasionally want
to splurge on more costly dining experiences. Travelers
checks can be cashed and major credit cards are generally
accepted all though Hawaii. And, ATM machines are
Q. What time do flights leave?
A. Usually early or mid-morning, arriving in Honolulu
in late afternoon. But coming from the mainland don't
forget, you'll be "going backwards" through
time zones, so afternoon in Hawaii could be late
at night back home. Coming home, you'll typically
leave late afternoon or evening and arrive home the
next day. If you're coming back home to the Midwest
or East Coast, you might enjoy a stopover in Los
Angeles, San Francisco, or even Las Vegas. It's a
perfect transition which adds to your vacation experience
while avoiding the pitfalls of jet lag.
Q. How much will my vacation cost?
A. Your two major costs are getting there (and back!)
and staying there. There are super discount airfares
available from just about all major cities to Hawaii
and there are hundreds of hotels and condos to fit
every budget. We can assist you in finding a custom
vacation that fits your desires...at a price that
pleases your pocket.