Cruise and Cruise Website Reccomendations

Hey guys,

My mother wants to go on a cruise trip end of this year, however I have no experiences with cruises or what to specifically look for.

Was hoping that maybe someone on here might have some good recommendations for cruises/cruise websites which I can look at for deals & ect?

Also any cruise companies which I should avoid as well?

Not too picky on destinations, any cruise thats about 7-10+ days and that departs from Melbourne should be good.

My mother is in a wheelchair but I assume most cruises should cater to that and have easy access on docks and whatnot.

Thank you!


  • +2 votes

    used a few different websites, but pick a cruise and then hunt around and also check direct as well to see the prices

    For the main 3 companies that service oz, they go PO, then up a level to carnival cruises and then up again to royal caribbean

  • +2 votes

    I travelled with friend in wheelchair. Many ports do not have wheelchair access unfortunately.
    I think it is just mostly when you have to get off onto the smaller boat (which then takes you into the shore) . That small boat was not accessible for wheelchair.
    Any port stops where the big ship can pull right into shore for boarding should be fine. They even supplied a person to help push him up the ramps. Everything onboard was accessible and staff were very keen to help, didn't even have to ask, if they saw him at food buffet they would straight away offer help and carry tray etc for him, which was something I would do for him (or our other friend would help) but its nice we didn't need to because staff were right onto it offering assistance.
    For pricing I look at anything under $100 per day to be a good deal. Can get as cheap as around $70 or less a day is an amazing deal.

    I go onto to ozcruising website . I just google it, then click "hot deals" to check what's going for a good price.
    Most of the 7-10 day cruises will go overseas, so need passport. Often some good 'hot deals' available to noumea and Vanuatu and some islands. Double check which stops have a proper docking and wheelchair access. We went carnival cruise, and their smaller boat to take us into shore at Port Authur was not able to take wheelchairs.
    If stuck on ship for some stops, there is always plenty to do though. My friend in wheelchair was happy to stay on ship that day, I just made sure to tell him it was crap onshore and that he didn't miss anything. Don't go onshore then come back and tell your mother how great it was, if she had to stay on ship for that stop.
    The other site I check is dc cruising, deck chair cruising to look for sales and specials.
    I then would prefer to book in a physical agency, which price matched what we found online.
    Cruiseabout, was the cruise agency we went into to book, with price match of deal we found online.
    **Also for wheelchair accessible cabins, they don't have many of them, so probably need to book a while in advance, I'm not sure how early they get booked out, but there are not many wheelchair accessible cabins. They do not charge extra for wheelchair accessible cabins which is good. ** My friend has a very narrow wheelchair and can lift himself off seat, onto toilet, shower, everything. So we just needed to check the doorway was wide enough then we booked a regular cabin because proper wheelchair accessible cabins were sold out. If you are able to book a good while in advance though, you hopefully will get wheelchair cabin, just don't expect 1 to be available at the last minute, thats all.

    • -3 votes

      so. many. words….

    • +1 vote

      Thank you so much for the detailed reply, I really appreciate the tips and recommendations!

      I believe my mum isn't too picking and won't mind staying on the ship, but I'll defs keep what you wrote in mind and won't tell her she missed out on anything from the shore.

      I'll definitely keep a lot of what you've pointed out in mind, once again thank you for the detailed reply.


    Go see a travel agent in person, they have a wealth of knowledge on such issues

  • +1 vote

    Leaving/returning Melbourne will be a bit of a stretch. Most depart from Sydney, and some only depart OR return to Melbourne (i.e. a ship may go from Sydney to Melbourne, then do a few cruises to Tasmania from Melbourne, then go from Melbourne to Sydney). Basically, if you can expand your search to include Sydney, the chance of a deal is much improved. Doubly so if you take the overnight train and arrive bright and early the morning of the cruise (I prefer arriving the day before, just in case "issues" arise).

    Anyway, with the currently low AUD, anything under $100 per person per day can be considered good. Under $70 is a deal. $50 and under, I've already booked our family and am considering flying family here to accompany us (hasn't happened in a while).

    Just your mom going with you? Ships themselves are generally pretty handicap accessible (make sure to book an accessible room if possible). If she wants to get off at a tender port, if it's not too rough the crew members generally assist with getting people onto the tender (don't depend on this, I've seen them carry people on/off the tender, but don't have first hand experience). When docked it won't be an issue. Often the last little bit before getting off the ship has stairs, but there's always a way to get there via elevator, ask the crew for help.

  • +1 vote

    Princess and and e-cruising.

    If you are brave and have a little wisdom to "work the angles" (ie. prove you live in America …freight forwarding cough cough)some good savings to be had at In USD and you must have an American address.

  • +1 vote

    one way cruises have some ripper deals

  • +1 vote

    Avoid P&O, go with Carnival. Purely anecdotal/personal experience.

  • +1 vote

    Princess Cruises are great - really lovely staff and happy to help out.


    I've been told you can rock up on the day to the port and ask if they have rooms available on the cruise leaving that evening. Anyone has done this???


    I find that have the most competitive pricing. I used to use but have found the deals to be not as good and a drop in service these days.
    Many ports in NZ are docked rather than tendered so it would be easier for your mother to disembark (e.g. Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Picton, Dunedin) whereas there are fewer docked ports in the South Pacific Islands.
    P&O- more budget based- for all ages (don't pay more than $100 per day)
    Carnival- kids and familys (just above P&O level)
    Princess- caters for the older passengers- service/quality better than P&O (don't pay more than $150 per day)
    Royal Caribbean- family orientated- all ages- my favourite line- (wouldn't pay more than $150 per day)

    Keep an eye out on last minute deals for the upcoming season :)

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