A cruise is, in its true sense, the grandest and the most exhilarating thing that can ever happen in a person’s life. Managing and deciding a maiden cruise trip can be a pretty overwhelming and exhausting task. Cruises are versatile in their own way; after all there is an entire planet to cover under this segment! A traveler may choose either a journey filled with cultural enlightenment and a modern awakening around Europe, or maybe some nights of gambling and partying will do near the Caribbean Islands. However you may be, a perfect cruise ship is waiting for you, its anchor just about to be set loose. It is painfully obvious that you can’t go for dozens of cruises, and planning correctly for your first cruise is vital for sure.
You need to calculate wisely that what your primary interests are. If you are an adventurer, a foodie, or if you like to travel to quiet places, your perfect cruise destination can vary a lot for you. Other major things to be put into consideration are budget, the port of departure, and duration of the cruise.
Most importantly, you need to know where and when to look out for the perfect cruise deal. If you hit the golden jackpot, you might get cruise tickets at a mammoth price difference. People have permanent travel agents that give tips when the time is right, or even scrounging through the internet at the right place could turn out to wondrous.
There are various off the road tips to help you find the best bargain. We present our own bag of tricks to help you find just the right cruise, and you can make the most out of your journey.
A lot of cruise lines sell package deals, and have tie-ups with good hotels, airlines etc. Look out for such packages from companies like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, MSC etc. Wrapping up small expenditures can allow you to save on various overhead costs.
It is highly recommended that you book early, months or sometimes even a year, if you want to choose the best cabins in the cruise. If you are aware of spectacular early bird discounts, you might get a stunning bargain.
If you are a senior citizen, or an ex-military member, you can get spectacular discounts. Almost all sailing agencies offer significant discounts for military personnel, certain government staff, and even teachers.
Just analogous to frequent fliers, you can also avail the frequent cruiser feature to good use. Having cruises with the same cruising line can get you a lot of perks, like complimentary cocktails, and free spa treatments!
If you can rope in more and more of your family and friends to travel with you, you can get major benefits. Booking in bulk can get you a lot of perks. In certain shipping agencies, if you book 10 or 16 berths at once, you can get a free berth, along with loads of other added benefits.
Take help from a travel agent, who can tip you exactly when and where to book for the best deal. They can also monitor pricing and let you know about interesting payback options.
Summer 2017 Cruise Deals/Packages from Cruise Direct:
A good thing you can do when you book a cruise is to book a guaranteed stateroom to get the absolute lowest price on whichever cabin type you’re interested in (inside, outside, balcony, or a suite). With a “guaranteed” cabin, you are guaranteed a room within that particular type of stateroom or higher. This can sometimes be a gamble because you don’t get to choose the cabin’s location but it usually pays off.
There’s a small chance you could end up in an undesirable location like the ship’s bow, under a nightclub, or the galley but usually that does not happen. For example, you could book a guaranteed inside cabin and end up with a beautiful balcony stateroom. With a guaranteed stateroom, you’ll always have the absolute lowest price atleast and you’ll have a better chance to be placed on an awesome part of the ship and even a chance to get a free upgrade so we think it’s worth the gamble or booking a guaranteed stateroom.
It’s generally a safe bet to book your cruise as early as possible. Some people book a year in advance even. If you’re the type of person who wants to book in advance to lock in the best price, don’t stop there. Make sure to keep an eye out on the prices throughout the rest of the year. If the price of your cruise changes or a better promotion pops up, then you can change your booking to take advantage of the new pricing or special. So make sure to always keep on eye out of prices and sales throughout the year. If you find a better/cheaper offer than what you have booked, call your booking agent immediately to rebook the better deal.
Unlike airlines, most cruise lines offer free cancelation as long as you do so before the cancelation period which varies by each cruise line and itinerary. Typically the cancelation period for a cruise vacation is a month or two before the sailing date, so you’ll generally be able to book your cruise early and cancel without penalty anytime before then, and be able to book again if you find a lower price.
If you own a smartphone, make sure to check out the Shipmate App which is available for iPhone or Android. This app contains a free cruise fare monitoring service among the app’s many features. With this app, you can also access your Itinerary, Excursions, Deck Maps and more
You’ve booked a cruise and are starting to prepare for your vacation. You’ve done all the hard stuff, booking your room and your flights, perhaps you are coming in the day before and staying the night in the hotel so you can get to the port and get on the ship as early as possible to enjoy all the ship has to offer. But have you done all the research possible? Are there a few tips and tricks to cruising that maybe you don’t know, especially if you are a first time cruiser?
- Pack clothes that are wrinkle resistant! – Seasoned cruisers know that, unlike hotel rooms your cruise stateroom will not have an iron and finding out that dress or shirt you packed needs ironing once you unpack will result in an unexpected charge. Save yourself and pack wrinkle resistant clothing!
- Don’t over pack! – There is only so much room to unpack in your stateroom (which you should do right away, it will make it much easier to move around your room if you unpack your suitcase) and you will find that you won’t need nearly half as much as you think you will!
- Bring a highlighter and magnets! – There is noting worse than looking over the “daily” each evening and making your plans for the following day only to miss the events you wanted to do. By bringing a highlighter and magnet you can mark off the items you want to attend. And the magnets will allow you to hang up those notes on your stateroom door!
- Bring small bills! – There will be times you want to tip those who make your cruise extra enjoyable or who have gone out of their way with extra service – a porter, your room attendant, bartender, waiter. Having small bills allows you to tip these fine folks at the time of their service.
- Check the dining dress code – every cruiseline’s dress code is different and the rules for “formal night” is different. It pays to check the rules around dining room dress codes to help with what you need to pack, especially with airline luggage restrictions! And if you are not interested in formal nights remember you can always head to the buffet or order room service (on your balcony!) those evenings!
- Consider a drink package – while basic drinks like tea, coffee and iced tea and lemonade in the buffet are included in the cost of your cruise; sodas, bottled water and alcoholic drinks are not. Cruiselines offer drink packages that can include both alcoholic drinks and non-alcoholic drinks. Many cruiselines will also allow you to bring on two bottles of wine per cabin (subject to a corkage fee)
- Research your ports and the excursions you are going on. – Depending on your ports and your excursions you may need to make some packing additions to your list. Are you going to be doing some hiking? Remember to pack your hiking boots? Spending a lot of time on the beach? Pack a wide brimmed hat? Going to be visiting churches and temples in Europe? You may need to have your shoulders covered and be wearing longer shorts or dresses, check websites of these attractions for any dress codes to avoid disappointment!
- Attend the free seminars and draws. – On the first day or two of the cruise there will be lots of seminars and draws for various products and services. Attend these! Often there will be discounts given to those who attend and there will be draws for free prizes. Someone must win!
- Art auctions. – The art auctions can be fun and interesting! Not only do you get to learn about great works or art and artists but you will get a free work of art and free champagne!
Most of all, enjoy your first cruise vacation! There is so much to do and explore on each ship and each port you will never be bored!
Most people on a cruise ship choose to dine in the main dining room or eat at the buffet on the first night of their cruise. This is a great chance for you to check out one of the specialty restaurants on the ship.
If you book an alternative dining venue for the first night of the cruise, you may get a discount on select cruise lines (like Celebrity Cruises for instance). Even if you don’t receive a discount, you’ll have an easier time getting a reservation at one of the more popular venues.
Carnival Cruise ship passengers who choose to dine at the steakhouse on the first night get a free bottle of wine with their dinner meal.
Are you looking to plan a cheap cruise? It’s still possible to save big money on most cruises if you plan carefully and choose the right room for your particular budget. Our cheap cruise tips will help you save big!
With rapidly rising fuel costs, the price of going on a cruise has been on the upswing lately, so its more important than ever for anyone on a budget to research cruise fares and find a reasonably priced sailing that won’t break the bank.
Generally, if you are looking to book a specific type of room, you are best off booking your cruise very early in order to ensure that you get the best possible fare. Room categories can sell out — often months before the sail date — and by booking up to a year and a half in advance, you can take advantage of often substantial early booking discounts while still getting that balcony room or suite that your heart is set on.
Of course if you want to save even more money, you need to be more flexible with the type of room you are willing to book. Inside rooms — the rooms in the interior of the ship — are often as much as one third less than balcony rooms or suites. This can represent a tremendous savings for the economy-minded traveler.
On most cruises, there is simply so much to see and do, from shows to pools to dining, that many passengers end up spending very little time in their rooms. Therefore, it is often worth considering booking an inside cabin, since you will still have access to all the same great meals, entertainment, and activities as passengers paying far more than you.
Of course, one drawback to inside rooms is the lack of windows, so if you have issues with claustrophobia, and inside room might not be for you. But there is another great low-cost option on many ships that can cost little more than inside rooms. This second option is an obstructed view outside cabin.
The views in these cabins tend to be obstructed by lifeboats, poles, or other elements of the ship’s design. While the view might be partially or even full obstructed, you still have a window and thus usually will get some sunlight at the very least. Therefore, obstructed view rooms can be a great option for anyone who really needs a window in their cabin yet who still wants to save some serious cash.
When it comes to booking a relaxing yet fun family holiday, it is typically problematic to find a vacation spot that targets the whole family. This concept becomes a lot more challenging when teenagers are involved. If you and your household are interested in having a relaxing, yet exciting getaway, you are motivated to think about vacationing aboard a cruise ship.
Norwegian Breakaway Pool and Slides
Aboard a cruise ship, you will find a vast array of facilities, services, and activities. The activities discovered aboard a cruise ship will all depend on the cruise line and ship in question. In spite of the truth that cruise ship activities differ, there are number of common activities that are targeted towards teenagers.
All stopover cruise ships have some type of pool to swim in. The majority of cruise ships have a standard adult size swimming pool, but additional pool styles may be offered on select ships. A limited number of cruise ships have actually onboard lap swimming pools or wave pools which kids love. Some Norwegian cruise ships such as the Norwegian Breakaway have water slides which are the fastest slides at sea.
Game rooms can even more be establish aboard numerous cruise ships. Numerous arcade chambers are targeted to more youthful kids, but not all are. On a number of cruise liner, you may be able to find numerous video game rooms that specifically target teenagers. These video game rooms might consist of, but are not restricted to fighting games, air hockey, pool tables and other interactive sports games. Most games found inside a cruise liner arcade require tokens or coins. If you intend on leaving your teen unattended, make sure that they have enough cash to play the video games or table games of their choice.
In supplement to a wealthy package and a game room, many cruise ships have an onboard film theater. Many of the films shown onboard a cruise ship are designed for adults and teenagers. These movie theaters often feature popular release movies however make sure to check the ratings of the movie if your teen is planning on watching the movie alone.
Game spaces, motion picture theatres, and unique swimming pools are common feature for cruise lines. Additional teenager activities may be enter upon aboard various ships. These activities may include surfing, rock climbing, or even ice skating. To identify whether these extra activities can be found on the cruise line you are looking into, make sure you analyze each of the cruise ships layouts. All centers and onboard activities must be described in a diagram or in a printed description.
One of the few cruise lines that currently offers onboard establish skating is Royal Caribbean International. Royal Caribbeans ship, Adventure of the Seas, has one of the most popular skating rinks on seas. If your ship features rock climbing, rock climbing walls are great for teenagers. For a small fee, your teenager could spend all day climbing high in the air. These rock climbing walls are safe and the staff is properly trained to supervise your teenager.
If your teenager likes to surf, you may want to check out Royal Caribbean because no onboard activity is as synonymous with Royal Caribbean as the surf simulator known as the Flowrider. The Flowrider is a brand new simulator that is featured aboard their cruise ship, Freedom of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean FlowRider
FlowRider is a surf simulator that allows participants to “bodyboard” (boogie board) or “flowboard” (same concept as surfing but with a smaller board), even if they’re nowhere near the ocean. The simulator comprises a wedge-shaped area that’s covered in thin padding. Powerful jets spray a continuous stream of water over the surface, which is where passengers can hang ten
The foresaid activities are hassle-free and are just a few of the generous activities that are geared towards teenagers. If you wish to book a cruise, but are fretted that your kid will be bored, do not worry. It is easy to see that many cruise ships have a large number of enjoyable and interesting cruise ship activities for teenagers similar to your own. The activities discovered aboard a cruise ship will all depend on the cruise line and ship in question. Despite the fact that cruise ship activities vary, there are number of typical activities on each ship that are targeted towards teens. If you are new to cruising make sure to check out the Intelligent Cruiser guide at http://www.cruisesecrets.net
Are you thinking about taking a cruise? If so, you are not alone. Each year a large number of people think about vacationing aboard a cruise liner. You might be questioning what centers, activities, and services can be discovered onboard if you have actually never ever been on a cruise ship previously. The activities found onboard a cruise liner will differ from ship to ship, however numerous cruise ships have a number of activities and services offered.
Some of the most widely known facilities found on cruise liner are dining halls, snack bars, and restaurants. Big cruise ships may offer a number of onboard dining facilities. It is very important to note that a number of these dining centers are considered high end restaurants. In addition to a sit-down dining establishment, there area typically a variety of little eateries located onboard. Sophisticated dining restaurants are popular amongst cruisers. To guarantee that you have the ability to delight in a stylish meal, you are motivated to set up a booking as soon as you board the ship.
Aside from dining bars, facilities and dancehalls are also found on many cruise ships. As with the majority of the bars and dancehalls found on land, there may be age restrictions in location. If you are taking a trip with your household, they might have to finish other activities while you enjoy the nightlight over the seas. You are in luck since most cruise ships have day care centers and other activities tailored towards children of all ages if this should take place.
It is likewise important to keep in mind that cruise ship workers are often closely kept track of, highly informed, and appropriately trained. While it might be hard at first, you should feel comfy leaving your kid in the care of a cruise ship childcare worker.
Childcare is ideal for smaller kids; however, if you are taking a trip with a teen, daycare might not be an alternative. Swimming pools, libraries, video arcades, and theater can often be discovered on cruise ships. Adult guidance is a policy that avoids kids under a particular age from strolling easily around the ship. Teenagers might have the ability to go to these facilities without adult supervision. Each cruise ship is most likely to have different adult supervision policies. You are motivated to review these policies before purchasing your tickets.
In addition to the above mentioned dancehalls and bars, gaming halls or gambling establishments can be found on the majority of cruise ships. As with gambling on land, there are age limits on those that can bet aboard a cruise ship. If you are scheduling a cruise simply to bet, you may want to further explore the gambling choices aboard each ship.
Cruise ship operators know that lots of travelers take a cruise to leave their everyday routines. Sadly for some, one routine that can not be left is exercise. That is why nearly all cruise liner have onsite fitness centers and completely geared up fitness centers. These fitness centers are typically similar, and sometimes even much better, than the fitness centers discovered in your home town. In addition to a gym, a large number of cruise liner have jogging tracks.
These cruise lines are likely to include, but are not restricted to, Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity Cruises. With the click of a mouse or a toll complimentary phone call, you can quickly determine if your preferred activities can be found aboard the cruise ship of your choice.
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Taking the suggestions of well-traveled cruisers is the best thing for very first time cruise passengers to do. Why not learn from someone else’s mishaps or mistakes? Undoubtedly, you’ll still have a few of your own, but that is what makes your first cruising experience unforgettable.
You’ve got your cruise booked and are counting the days until you set sail. There are a few things for you to do before you even start to think about packing for your trip. Check with the cruise line to see what shots, if any, are needed for your trip. You’ll need to make a visit to your doctor to get current on any shots.
While you are at the doctor, inquire about tips on staying healthy and avoiding the flu or colds before you depart for your cruise. It is no fun having to travel sick or canceling entirely. Ask about seasickness remedies. Some of these medications are prescription only.
Refill on other prescription medications just in case they are scheduled to run out during the course of your trip. Often, insurance companies will make exceptions and allow a prescription to be refilled early if you are traveling with no access to a chain drug store. One last thing– get a note from your doctor on official letterhead listing your prescriptions and stating that they were all legally prescribed for you. A note will sometimes keep you from being detained while your medication is inspected if you have to go through customs.
Let the cruise line be aware of your dietary needs when you book your cruise if you are on a special kind of diet. Most diets are easily accommodated, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. A few weeks before you depart, check in with the cruise line again to review your reservations and special needs diet.
Pack a small emergency assistance kit for those “just in case” emergencies. Include antacids and anti-diarrhea medications for those episodes of “Montezuma’s Revenge” that seem to strike regardless of where you travel. Aspirin, antibiotic cream and aloe vera gel for sunburns also come in handy.
Stow away moisturizer, sunscreen and lip balm in your luggage too. You often tend to forget things like sunburn when you are having too much fun outdoors. Be sure to apply the sunscreen lotion before heading outside. Moisturizer and lip balm will help keep your skin soft. Sometimes the temperature change from cold air conditioning to the heat outside can damage the skin and dry it out.
Aside from the sunscreen, protect your skin by wearing sunglasses and hats. The sun’s reflection off the water can be quite bright when you are on the ship’s deck gazing at the waves. The sunglasses will protect you from harmful UV rays from the sun. Obviously, the hats will shield you from the sun’s rays and possible sunburn on your ears and face, two places that people sometimes forget to apply sunscreen lotion.
With the right preparation and precautions, you are well on your way to a happy and healthy first cruise. And when in doubt about something, ask your cruise line. They want to see to it that your cruising experience is trouble-free. Obviously they want you to sail with them again.