28 Oct, 2008

Tips for cruise travel

Posted by: admin In: Tips

Going on a cruise can be one of the most fun and relaxing vacations you’ll ever take, but to make sure you keep that stress level down, you need to prepare well in advance and be ready for both the expected and the unexpected.  These tips for cruise travel will help make your next cruise one of the most enjoyable times of your life.

Before you Book

Before even booking the trip, there are plenty of things to check and be sure of.  With skyrocketing fuel costs, airlines are shaving costs in every way that they can, including limiting the amount of luggage you’re allowed to bring onto a plane.  If you have to fly to where you’ll be getting on the ship, be sure to check with the airline you fly with about luggage requirements.  Some still allow two check in bags, but most don’t anymore.  If you’re willing to pay the extra fees for additional baggage, this isn’t too big of a deal.

Look around for the best travel agent. Price is a factor, but not the only one.  You need to find a good price, but also an agency that has low or no cancellation fees.  The cruise line itself will have these fees, so it’s a double whammy if the agency also charges them.  Nobody expects to have to cancel a vacation once they’ve booked it, but it does happen.  Travel insurance is not a bad idea either, and can protect you from some of the pain of having to cancel, as well as other unforeseen eventualities.

Try to find an agency that will honor a lower price if one comes along after you book. Some will do this and some won’t.  Sometimes it’s not up to the agent, but to the cruise line, and when that’s the case, there’s nothing that the agency can do about those situations.

If you’re using an online agency, as many of us do, make sure they’re a fully professional agency that allows direct, easy telephone contact if you need it.  An agency that does all of its correspondence online is not a good idea.  Whether online or not, make sure of all fees ahead of time.  Don’t get caught with unexpected fees and pay more than you’d bargained for.

Getting There

• Don’t forget that airports have strict regulations about what can be brought on the plane with you.  Have only the essentials with you and leave things like nail clippers and liquids of any kind in your checked luggage.

• Always ID tag your luggage and it’s also a good idea to tie a unique looking ribbon to each piece that you’ll easily recognize.

• Be sure to arrive in the town of your port of call a day ahead of time, just in case of delayed or canceled flights.

• Bring the right clothing. A trip to Alaska and the northern ice floes requires a completely different wardrobe than a trip to the Caribbean.  Be sure to bring plenty of the right kind of clothing so you won’t have to buy it on the trip, which will almost certainly be more costly.

Another thing to be sure of well in advance is that you have enough of any medications you take to last you through the entire vacation with a few to spare, just in case.

• If you’re traveling to a place that doesn’t use American currency, get the appropriate currency ahead of time if possible.  Travelers checks should be strongly considered.  Also be sure to take small bills for tipping.

The Cruise

Once on the ship, be sure to book any reservations, such as special dinners or spa visits right away.  Otherwise, you may not get them at all.

Check your dinner schedule and seating right away, not only to know when and where it is, but for any potential problems.

Be sure to read the ship’s bulletins, newsletters and daily papers.  Important information will be relayed via these sources.As much as you’ve paid for the cruise, be prepared to pay for just about every little thing aboard most ships as well.  Laundry, spa visits, some dinners, even soft drinks will cost you extra, and of course there’s the casino.

When you go ashore, either stay close to the boat or plan any excursions through the ship itself.  That way you don’t risk getting left behind if you’re late getting back.

Being prepared and using these tips for cruise travel will ensure a smoother sail and a fun time.


1 Response to "Tips for cruise travel"

1 | Jay

October 24th, 2014 at 5:18 am

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tnx for info!!…

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