Old timey cruise

YQrtw: Why a repositioning cruise

We’re sort of back on schedule with my daily round-the-world (RTW) posts.

Today, we are talking about my 15-night repositioning cruise from Dubai to Europe.

Old timey cruise
Old timey cruise
Image credit: Australian National Maritime Museum

The cruise was the first booking I made for my RTW. After paying the deposit, I felt that the RTW was going to come true. It also helped with choosing travelling dates for the rest of my trip.

I planned to cross either the Atlantic or Pacific ocean on a cargo ship but the price wasn’t cheap enough.

In the end, I found out about repositioning cruises which are ships that travel during off-peak season back to popular starting points.

Pros and cons of a repositioning cruise

Pros

  • Cheaper per night than the usual cruise
  • Long sailing period (so much water! and sunsets on the ocean)
  • One-way (so I do not need to backtrack)
  • Full of retirees (so I don’t have to see party animals)
  • Unlimited food (vs cargos with three meals)
  • Stops at a few important locations (one-day excursion!)

Cons

  • Large one-time payment
  • Long sailing period (with few stops at shores)
  • Full of retirees (who have the time to travel on a long stretch of time)
  • Expensive (not the usual price of a budget flight and not recommended if you are on a round-trip journey)
  • High single surcharge (vs budget flights)
  • Short stays at shore

Cost of repositioning cruise

When I made the booking for the cruise from Dubai to Italy, my booking charge was around S$2,000. I felt it was a reasonable price since it included transportation and lodging.

I paid the final fees in early February. However, I was shocked when I did a search and found out that the type of room I booked for was going at an even cheaper rate.

My friend advised me to call up the cruise company and tell them that I am upset about the price difference. I did make and call and was surprised when the operator told me they would refund the difference.

The refund turned out to be S$599.75 which is a really hefty sum and could help me with many nights in a cheap location.

I still need to pay about S$200 of tips for the whole trip but I haven’t made the payment yet.

While I’m very excited about the cruise, two of my friends who have been on cruises told me that it is actually really really boring. Gulp! I guess I’ll have to find out myself.

Have you been on a cruise? How was the experience? Will I be bored out of my mind?

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

4 Comments

    1. Glad you got your refund sorted – that’s a real bonus.

      Will you be bored? The answer is probably yes, at some point, but that’s ok. The rest of the time, you should be really enjoying yourself, so the bored moments won’t matter.

      I’ve never done a transatlantic cruise, but I have done 2-3 sea days in one go. I think part of the secret is to pace yourself. When you first get on board, you will have been tearing around doing lots of busy things in preparation for the massive trip you are taking. Then suddenly it stops and you can relax, but your brain is still going full speed like a cartoon character running over the edge of the cliff with its legs going nineteen to the dozen.

      So I’d suggest taking the time to ask your brain to slow down and chill. Make use of the gym and pool and take time to really explore this ship. There will be lots to do on board, so check the daily newspaper carefully to see what interests you, whether it’s lectures, food demonstrations, dance classes, crafting or whatever else might be on offer. Check out the shows and the live music. See what’s available in the library. Take full advantage of all the pampering you will get on board before the rest of your trip begins.

      Looking forward to keeping up with your journey via your blog. And if there’s anything specific you want to know about the ship or cruising, I’m a cruise agent, and am always happy to chat about ships!

      (Advice courtesy of an ENTP ;-))

      1. Hello Bernadette,
        Thanks for the tips about pacing myself. :)

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