Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Top 10 Tips For First Time Cruisers

A cruise vacation can be an extremely expensive vacation but if you follow these tips you could save money and make your vacation even more special.

1. Board the ship way before you set sail. Although everybody knows that you have to be on the ship 30 minutes before sailing not everybody knows that you can board it quite some time before you sail. Take advantage of all the ships amenities before you even set sail. Eat, drink, and play. You could even have a sleep in your cabin. Why sit around for hours in the port where there is usually very little to do.

2. Eat in the dining room rather than the buffet. It can sometimes feel a bit like feeding time at the zoo. The dining room is a welcome break from standing in line for your food. There is not as much choice but it can be a lot more civilized and the food will be of just the same high standard and you will be waited on for a change.

3. The popular classes will have a surcharge that you may not be prepared for but there are plenty of ways to keep in shape aboard the ship. The ship is huge, even covering these large distances on foot can burn a few hundred calories. For the more enthusiastic passenger there may be a running track around the top deck which provides lovely ocean views while you have a run or a brisk walk.

4. Most ships have a great social scene. Take advantage of it and try to join in wherever you can. Everything from art auctions to chess to wine tasting events will be on offer. The ship is specifically designed to be a sociable environment so even if you are traveling alone there is no need to be alone, get out of your cabin and have some fun! If non of that seems great then there's always the ship spa.

5. Be prepared to tip. The average ship worker gets paid peanuts and they do rely on their tips to survive. Tip anybody who gives you a service. This includes everyone, waiters, room service etc.

6. There are usually additional charges for soft drinks and alcohol but the juice stations and soft serve ice cream machines are included. Take advantage of the limitless juice stations, it will save you dollars.

7. You r daily bulletin will show the days drinks specials, these can be a great deal but only if you don't also order the souvenir that usually comes with it.

8. Room service is available 24 hrs a day. There will not be an extra charge for it but remember to tip!

9. There is more than one pool on the ship. If your pool is too busy, the other ones will be the opposite. Hunt the ship for a pool that is the right level for you. You want to be able to relax.

10. Making telephone calls on board is very expensive. It is much cheaper to use the Internet café and email your friends and family....Even cheaper is to wait until you are in port and find an Internet café.

Bonus Tip: Try to book your shore excursions before you leave home, it will be much cheaper.

Use these tips to get the most out of your cruise and make it much cheaper.

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