FAQ: Australia Cruisetours

Whether you are going to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, explore the infinite beauty of Kakadu National Park, see the wonders of the Outback and Ayers Rock or take in cosmopolitan Sydney, your cruisetour is sure to be a memorable vacation. We look forward to welcoming you on your upcoming land and sea vacation with Princess.

Below is supplemental information for the land portion of your cruisetour. Click on a topic headline to view detailed information relating to your selection.

Australia Cruisetour Answer Book (55 KB)

Flight Guidelines

 

To report delays en route (flight/weather)
US & Canada only 800-545-0008
Outside US & Canada 661-284-4410

Airport to first hotel transfers
If you purchased a transfer through Princess, you must provide your air arrival information to ensure that we are able to meet and transfer you. Please add air arrival and departure information into the Cruise Personalizer.®

Note: Most flights arrive in Sydney, Australia between 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. local time.

Special Needs/Access

 

Princess requires advance notification if you choose to travel with a wheelchair. 

In general, we request that non-ambulatory guests be accompanied by someone who is able to assist them throughout the duration of the tour. We will request additional information to help us determine how best to meet your needs. Many areas require advance planning to be ready to accommodate wheelchairs and we cannot guarantee your needs will be met in the absence of this information. 

We have a department designated to assist you in the coordination of these details so that we can provide you with a quality experience. If you have special requests or questions regarding accessibility, please have your travel agent contact the Princess Access Office at 661-284-4521. you are required to provide your own wheelchair for travel on land tours.

On Land in Australia

 

There are important differences between the cruise and land portions of your cruisetour. Please read the following section to better understand those differences.

Time Zones

  • Cairns, Port Douglas and Sydney:  +10 hours Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or +18 hours Pacific Standard Time (PST)
  • Ayers Rock, Alice Springs and Darwin: +9.5 hours Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or +17.5 hours Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Note: Sydney observes daylight savings time and will be +19 hours Pacific Standard Time (PST) during the Australian Summer months, December - February.

Currency
All additional expenses will be paid in Australian Dollars (AUD). Exchange rates fluctuate daily; we suggest you check for the most current exchange prior to your departure.

Cash Expenses
Unlike cruising, cashless travel does not apply on land. Make sure to have cash and/or a credit card and valid ID on hand. Additional expenses will include and are not limited to: non-included meals at your hotel and elsewhere, room incidentals, shuttle services, laundry, and gift shop purchases. If you wish to charge incidentals to your hotel room, stop by the front desk upon arrival to establish credit.

Meals/Dining
Daily breakfast (buffet hot and cold selection) is included in your tour, along with select lunch and dinners. Visit the Cruise Personalizer® for your detailed itinerary regarding specific inclusions for your tour. Your tour director will be able to provide you recommendations for meals on your own as well as the hotel concierge. As a reference point in Australian Dollars, an espresso coffee in a café will cost about $4, bottled water $2, and sandwich $8 - $12 depending on what city you are dining in.

Tipping
Gratuities are a personal matter and an expression of appreciation for genuine, personal service provided by knowledgeable and creative professionals. Below are suggested ranges (in Australian dollars) to assist you in determining what gratuity amount is appropriate. The customary end-of-tour gratuities to your tour director and full day touring motorcoach driver are not included, as they are at your discretion.

ServiceGratuity
MealsAverage 10% gratuity for server in upscale restaurants
Motorcoach Driver$4 (AUD per person, per day)
Escorted Tour Director$5 - $7 (AUD per person, per day)
Taxi DriversDo not expect tips

Electricity Information
Australia is 240 volts, 50 cycles AC designed for three flat pins. An international adapter is recommended and can be requested at hotels. A converter plug is not an adapter. Please make sure the plug you are using in Australia is always through an adapter and converter, as an electrical fire can occur with only a converter.

Cell Phone Coverage
Given the areas through which you will be traveling, wireless reception may be limited or in some cases, non-existent. Please take this into consideration prior to your departure so that your family and friends are aware. Contact your cell phone carrier to determine limitations and services that exist in Australia. In Australia the emergency dial is 000 (not 911). This will link you to the ambulance, fire and police services. Phone cards are also available from selected newsagents and stores. Public phones accept credit cards and should you need call assistance dial 013.

Traveling with Children
Due to heightened security, many countries have adopted practices to prevent international abductions of children. If a child will be traveling with grandparents or with only one parent, it is recommended that a notarized letter be written by the parents or non-traveling parent stating the dates of travel and granting authorization to travel. We suggest that you also contact the appropriate consulates and airlines, who may have additional requirements.

The CDC recommends that you speak with your child's doctor about your travel plans outside of North America. He or she can give you recommendations on which vaccines or medicines are safe for your child. You may also want to consider bringing your child's car seat, as the availability and quality of such seats abroad may be limited.

Climate
This average low/high temperature chart will give you an idea of what to expect on your cruisetour. 

Average Low/High Temperatures (degrees Fahrenheit) 

DestinationDecemberJanuaryFebruary
Alice Springs/Ayers Rock (Uluru)98/7092/7292/72
Cairns/Port Douglas92/7492/7892/78
Great Barrier Reef - Average Ocean Temperature868888
Darwin/Kakadu National Park96/8094/8094/80
Sydney80/6482/6682/68
In the tropics humidity can often be high and the weather transitional. Protect against sunburn at all times, strong sun block should be applied regularly and hats are highly recommended.

Optional Land Excursions

 

There are no optional land excursions available at this time on Australia cruisetours.

What to Bring

 

You may experience a broad variety of weather on your cruisetour. We recommend that you bring casual, comfortable clothes for sightseeing while on tour. In the tropics, shorts, sunglasses, swimsuit, small travel umbrella, comfortable walking shoes and a water bottle will make your touring days comfortable. In the Outback, temperatures cool at night and a light jacket and casual pants may be needed. No formal attire is required at any of the hotel properties or restaurants on tour. If you plan on doing an optional scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef, you will need to be certified by a recognized program (e.g. PADI, NAUI, SSI) and show proof of certification.

Luggage

 

All Princess cruisetours include our hassle-free luggage handling service every step of the way. During the land portion or your vacation, your luggage will be transported via motorcoach or by truck and delivered to your hotel room. Please check with your airline carrier for luggage allowance/restrictions and guidelines prior to departure.

Follow these important luggage reminders:

  • Essential medicines, travel documents, valuables and breakables should be hand carried in your possession at all times.
  • Princess will make every effort to assist you in safeguarding your belongings. But remember, you are responsible for your things at all times. Princess is not responsible for money, jewelry, cameras, binoculars, documents or any other articles you retain in your personal control.
  • All luggage should have a sturdy personal identification tag that will not be lost or damaged in the course of typical airport and trucked luggage handling.
  • On journeys including air travel, luggage will be subject to a considerable amount of handling and we would recommend that your luggage be of sturdy construction.
  • Princess recommends that your travel protection is adequate enough to cover any possible loss or damage which may occur. Any loss or damage caused by Princess or an airline must be reported immediately to the responsible party.
  • For domestic Qantas flights within Australia, you are allowed to check one piece of luggage per person, not to exceed 50 lbs per bag. One piece of carry-on baggage is allowed, not to exceed 15 lbs. If you have more than one checked bag you will be required to pay a $40 (AUD) excess baggage fee per additional bag for each domestic flight segment.
  • If you have more than 50 pounds, a heavy surcharge of $30 AUD fee will be assessed. Please note: baggage fees are subject to change by the airlines at any time. These prices are accurate as of 2013.

Luggage needed during Land Tour

  • Pack one bag per person to travel with you on the land portion of your vacation. This piece of luggage should include items you might need at your hotel after check-in but do not need access to during the day.
  • The bell staff will deliver the luggage from the motorcoach to your room and vice versa. Your tour director will give you instructions on where to place your luggage.
  • This bag will be transported separately from you and will not be accessible during transit.

Luggage not needed during Land Tour

  • You will be allowed to stow one suitcase per person in Sydney while you are on the land portion of your vacation that will be reunited with you in Sydney when you return.
  • This bag should contain items you may need on your cruise but will not need on your land tour, such as formal wear, dress shoes, or dinner jackets. On the land portion of your cruisetour, the dress code is always casual so there is no need for any formal wear.

Hand-Carry Tote/Backpack

  • You'll want this bag with you every step of the way, so include only the essentials.
  • Items to pack in this bag include travel documents, photo ID, important medication, toiletries, camera, insect repellent, and any extra layers of clothing such as jackets or hats.
  • Your hand-carry tote bag should be a size that is comfortable to carry and should be able to be stowed under your seat. We recommend soft-sided tote bags or backpacks no larger than 17" x 14" x 4" with a zip enclosure.
  • Wheeled carry on cases that are used to carry-on luggage on airlines are too large and are not suitable as hand-carried luggage on motorcoaches in Australia.

Service

 

An experienced and knowledgeable Australian tour director will personally join you on your travels on the land portion of your vacation, taking care of all the details. A welcome letter with further details will be provided with your room key upon arrival at your first hotel indicated in your itinerary. It should be noted that the tour director does not accompany you on the cruise portion of your vacation.

Transportation

 

Motorcoach Travel

  • Princess contracts with trained and knowledgeable drivers for your motorcoach travels.
  • Seating aboard the coaches is assigned daily by your tour director.
  • Ample stops are made for photo and rest breaks.
  • Coaches are equipped with restrooms, PA system and are air-conditioned.

Accommodations

 

Hotel Stays
Hotels are selected for their location, amenities and staff services. Princess communicates bed configuration requests to the hotels, but bed types can be limited and room assignments are at the discretion of the management of each hotel. While we forward the request, non-smoking rooms are not guaranteed. Disabled rooms are available at the hotels but must be requested in advance. Please put the request in writing and fax it to the Princess Access Office at 661-284-4408 at least 30 days prior to your travel. Or if you have questions about the program in general, please call the Princess Access Office at 661-284-4521.

Your tour director will provide a key packet upon arrival at each hotel and assist with your hotel questions and check-in information. Credit card check-in/check-out is not necessary unless you plan to charge incidentals to your room (phone calls, room service, etc.). Incidentals must be cleared one hour before departure. As a general rule, check-in time at all hotels is not prior to 4 p.m.

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