Planning to take a cruise real soon? Aah! then we caught you at the right time. Every time we get real travelers to share their tips and hacks with us and this time it is those cruise –savvy bunch we clung on to! Well, such hard work pays because, after some coaxing, they usually end up sharing their valuable wisdom with us. So here we are with insider’s tips and tricks for that perfect cruise trip. These tips are not only about making you comfortable but also save you some moolah on the way!
1. Beat the peak season
Have you ever wondered the difference between late August and early September? Well, practically nothing but when it comes to booking your cruise, it might be the difference between peak and off season. Let us face it, going on a cruise is an expensive affair so try booking a week before or after the peak season. The discounts are hefty and the crowd that much less.
2. Special welcomes…. Why not?
For first timers' cruise tips, this one is really valuable! Our regulars swear by the special welcomes that you can request for your loved ones on-board. Simple gestures like flower bouquets, chocolates, decorations in the cabin can come at really low rates but the happiness on the faces is well…..priceless! And if you are a member, then these guys should be able to do quite a bit without slamming a bill on you…better check.
3. Dive into bills before hand
If you are amongst those who hate queues or waiting then our biggest advice is to ask for your bill a night before the cruise is to end. Staff will be happy to give it to you and you will have ample time to check it. This is something you must do if you have availed various billable facilities on the ship.
4. Do your own Pre and Post bookings
Don’t get us wrong, your cruise company can do a great job booking your rooms and cab rentals for before and after the cruise but the rates are for anyone to guess. To make sure that one does not miss the ship, most of the passengers like to arrive before the designated day and if you are to de-board at a nice port then it only makes sense to explore it. When you do the bookings yourself, you are bound to find better price. Also, book in the hotels that are little away from the actual port because the once near it would have a high tariff owing to demand.
5. Eating in the room is not a bad idea
No not at all! We love room service because it gives you that privacy and on a cruise ship, it means giving all that crowd and commotion a miss. Try room service at least once during the duration of your cruise. Dining-in also means that you can plan something special for that special someone without the prying eyes of others on you. If it is your anniversary or birthday, let the staff know and a complimentary cake and champagne can be very well expected.
6. Get your networking hats on
For people who like to mingle with others, cruise is probably the best kind of vacation! Hundreds of people together on one ship gives you great opportunity to expand your network and meet people from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. For those who have been bitten by the wanderlust bug, it means going back home with bunch of contacts in very many countries!!
7. Always carry warm clothes
Oh so the itinerary of your ship is around tropical regions and that means no warm clothes…right? WRONG! The thing about sea breeze is that it gets quite cool in the night and of moon gazing on the deck is your idea of fun then light warm clothes are a must. Inside the ship too, the air conditioning is pretty strong so it makes sense that your cruise packing list includes something to cover yourself up in case it gets too chilly indoors. Wind breakers to wear at nights are also a good idea if you want to enjoy the starry nights on the deck without getting frozen in wind.
8. Baby things are best carried from home
Yes a luxury liner is expected to have everything, right from a shop to full fledged kitchen etc. But still carry your baby food, diapers, wipes and all those things that baby might need. Why? One, the shop on ship will cost you a bomb. Two, not every diaper or brand of food would suit the baby. We also recommend carrying detergent to wash baby utensils because once we had to wait one full hour for the feeding bottles that we had sent across for washing and sterilizing. I don’t even want to talk about the baby CRY during that time! Do checkout the Kids Travel Section of our Travel Store for buying all the above products
9. Check for formal dinner nights
Oh those star studded events on-board cruise ships are something out of a fairy tale. And you need to dress up for some of them….and by dress up we mean jacket, bow-ties and all. Imagine missing the entire show because all you could think while packing was shorts and jeans! It is always a good idea to talk to your cruise company and check for the events that need you to dress up formally.
10. Plan excursions ahead
Most of the cruise itineraries are quite cramped up with hardly anytime on certain ports. However, major ports are given ample time and these are the places where you should plan a nice getaway, after all that is the point of it all! Contact tour agents in the area once you have confirmed bookings for the cruise. Again the cruise company can arrange a nice excursion for you but the prices are expected to be exorbitant! So this is a great way you can save money on Cruise.
Most cruises involve short trips to beaches and island. You will find our article on 10 helpful tips you need to know before your next beach vacation particularly useful . You may also want to read our article on camping tips in case your cruise trip involves camping on some remote island.
11. Best time for pool is when it is empty…..but that is not the tip!
In the point above we mentioned “cramped schedule” of the cruise. The reason we are repeating it is that sometime the duration on port is so ridiculously short that there is hardly anytime to see anything worthwhile. Find such ports on your itinerary and do not step out on one or two such ports. This will give you an almost empty ship to yourself and with it the pool that is usually jam packed!
12. Look for the freebies
Do not underestimate the extent of freebies when you are on a cruise ship. Discounts on in-house facilities are highest when a ship is berthed at port so if there is any port where your ship is spending really less time or you are not particularly interested in going out on a particular day, check out the awesome facilities and discounts on them, you will be surprised! A complete spa treatment might be pricey but those pampering showers, steam and sauna are usually a free walk-in.
13. Can alcohol be carried?
Most of us never ask this assuming that it is such a stupid question. But friends, many cruise ships allow you to carry alcohol on your person. Of course, there might be restriction on number of bottles to be carried but remember, even one bottle of wine can save you a lot of money when onboard! We have this awesome foldable wine bottle in our store that is a great addition for your every outdoor adventure. For this cruise tip on Alcohol...you sure owe us one!
14. Carry walkie-talkies
If you are in a big group then it is advisable that you carry walkie-talkies particularly if kids are part of the group. Most of the cruise ships have special play areas for children and adult areas as well. Walkie-talkies allow everyone to have their share of fun without losing touch because phones won’t work mid-sea and walkie-talkies will save you lot of money!
So these were our cruise tips coming to you from actual travelers who love the cruise life. If we missed something there, do leave it in comments and if it is the love you want to share then gives us a thumbs up. Subscribe for more of such articles straight in your inbox. Dive right into our cruise planner page and book your next cruise trip NOW!