A look at the stateroom on APT river cruise ship AmaBella.

Cruise operators are regularly grappling with comfort levels in their cabins. It’s extremely easy to make things ultra-luxurious however doing so isn’t always that user-friendly unless your everyday lifestyle sees you using furniture and products befitting such luxury. It’s a bit of a tightrope for these brands to walk, and customers will make the right decision for them.

Aussies being the intrepid travellers they are, we have no problem jumping out of our comfort zones whenever we head abroad, however there’s always that warm & fuzzy feeling of comfort and home whenever we encounter something familiar on our travels that reminds us of our home life. Some of these can be as simple as a food item; others may be about our personal security while another might just be a cute and cuddly decoration.

APT has factored this into the design of its river cruise staterooms, and in appealing to its largely Australian clientele, has done away with ultra-luxury in some minor parts of its cruise experience in favour of ensuring its guests get that warm & fuzzy feeling when encountering these homely comforts as part of their cruise accommodations. Sometimes it can be the little things which make the biggest differences to a passenger’s comfort.

Auto-locking balcony door

APT river cruise guests can accidentally lock themselves on the balcony if not careful.
While great for security, it’s also possible to lock yourself on the balcony if you’re not careful.

If you’ve ever travelled on a river cruise ship in Europe, you’ll know how close to the water line you spend most of your time. Unlike an ocean cruise ship, where in most cases you’re facing a lengthy fall to the sea, a river cruise ship is built with length in mind, not height, due to its need to fit under many of the low bridges along Europe’s waterways.

From a personal security perspective, because your cabin is so close to the water line and your ship will dock right alongside the port, it can create an appeal for criminals and burglars who might see a river cruise ship as easy to sneak onboard. However these undesirable characters will soon find their progress stopped with all balcony doors automatically locking every time they close. So as long as you remember to close your windows and door, your belongings will be completely secure whenever you’re not in the cabin.

Of course, the only negative to this – especially if you’re travelling solo – is if you happen to close the balcony door behind you while you’re standing or sitting out there. You’ll need to have a loud voice to attract the attention of crew to help as you’ve locked yourself out.

Postage services from any port

Souvenirs can be shipped home if you'd rather not squash them into your bag.
Souvenirs can be shipped home if you’d rather not squash them into your bag.

Most travellers buy souvenirs where they go – that’s almost a natural thing – however not all of them are limited to the size of a postcard, fridge magnet or shot glass and may not always be able to fit into one’s suitcase to carry home with them. That’s why it’s handy to know that your APT river cruise sends out mail in every port it visits and can help you.

Next to the reception desk, you’ll find a rack of postcards for all of the ports you visit and at any time, you’re able to select one, write on it and submit to the staff to mail for you from the next port. The postage charges are added to your onboard account.

The same applies for larger items. It’s entirely likely you might spot something on your travels that you must have, but which may prove bulky or cumbersome to try and fit into your suitcase. The solution is easy – take it to reception and you can arrange to have the item shipped anywhere in the world. Again, the postage charges will be added to your onboard account, but it’s handy to know you can send the item home and won’t need to worry about packing it into your bags for your onward travel.

One Australian power point

APT river cruise ships feature an Australian power point.
Many people carry multiple devices when they travel these days and not enough adaptors – so this is handy.

In this highly technological world, many travellers carry multiple devices these days, whether smartphones, tablets or laptops among others – and there rarely seems to be enough power points in a hotel room or cruise ship to be able to keep them all charged. Sometimes we don’t take enough power adaptors to allow them to fit into the European outlets.

How handy is it then that APT river cruise ships include an Australian power point in your cabin – negating the need for an international power adaptor.

Vegemite at the breakfast buffet

An Aussie breakfast staple can be enjoyed in Europe on your APT river cruise.
An Aussie breakfast staple can be enjoyed in Europe on your APT river cruise.

It’s a quintessentially Aussie favourite and no matter where we go in the world, if you’re a fan of Vegemite – you’re almost instantly drawn to it.

Vegemite can be found among the breakfast selection you’ll find on your APT river cruise ship, with a jar of the salty stuff next to the toaster and the bread for you to make your morning toast with plenty of Vegemite to suit your tastes. It’s the perfect comfort food for Aussies eager for that taste of home wherever they are around the globe.