Cruise Ship Tips
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
December 14, 2012
Filed Under Vacations
Contributed by Info Guru Lisa Pratto
The Caribbean. Alaska. Europe.
Everyone has their favorite or dream cruise destination. You can even go on a river cruise. It’s a relaxing way to travel; you don’t have to drive or cook or plan anything. Everything is taken care of for you and your family down to the smallest detail. Whether you are a first time cruiser or walking the gangplank is old hat to you, everyone can appreciate more cruise ship tips.
It never hurts to ask for a discount. Seniors, members of the military, teachers, EMTs, police officers, fire fighters and AAA members all get discounts. There are also discounts for last minute travel, and for people willing to fill in empty spots in charter trips. You never know until you ask.
This is a sensitive issue for some, but you should know that many ships do not allow smoking except for in a few, select designated outdoor areas. If you can afford it, splurge for a balcony room and smoke to your heart’s content. Don’t get caught throwing your butts in the ocean, though; that’s a big no-no.
Aside from the fact that cruise ships offer amazing food 24/7, you should know that some of the specialty restaurants may require an advance reservation. If there is something you want to try, book it when you book your cruise.
If you have a food restriction, such as an allergy or a religious/moral limitation, do make sure to let the cruise line know well in advance.
Some of the best kept cruise ship tips involve secret rooms. Disney Cruise Lines for example, has several rooms that are priced at a lower, inside stateroom rate but, in reality, they have a porthole with an outside view. The view is partially blocked so they are sold at the lower rate. Google your cruise line for any secrets they may have.
6. Dress Code
While some of the more upscale cruise ships, like Cunard’s QE II, still have a dress code, it is pretty much a thing of the past. You can, however, attend the formal dinner in your finest duds, if that appeals to you. But even if you’re the casual sort, odds are you’re going to want some new, relaxing clothing for your big trip. Go for comfort, ease of care and packability (big stuff is a bear to pack!)
Check your receipt. Generally, gratuities are automatically added in for you. I once made the mistake of adding a generous tip on my own, only to realize that I mistakenly gave the server a $17 tip for cheeseburger.
4. Days at Sea
Before booking, research how many days you will spend at sea. If you are traveling with children, too few stops may be boring and too many may be overwhelming. Do what works best for your family.
3. Shore Excursions
Plan your shore excursions out ahead of time. They are usually a separate fee but, more importantly, they occasionally require a different attire. Be sure to pack long pants, bug spray, a rain slicker and hiking boots if you are going to need them on your chosen shore excursions.
In all honesty, packing for a cruise can be an article in and of itself. Just be sure to look over the lists provided by the cruise ship and use common sense. Another great tip is to bring along an extra duffel bag. You can cram your dirty clothes into it and use your suitcase to hold all your new purchases.
This is one of the sillier cruise ship tips but it is vitally important to your enjoyment of the trip. If you fail to apply sunscreen, you will get a nasty sunburn and, in turn, you will be miserable. You waited for months for this trip of a lifetime; spend five extra minutes protecting it.