Be A Smart Cruiser: Things You Should Know

Do you want to be a smart cruiser? I have 12 things that clever cruise passengers always do, right now. Let’s go ahead and dive in.

Number 1: Arrive the day before

They arrive in port the day before their cruise. Now if you are driving in and you only live an hour, two or maybe three hours from the port, sure go ahead. You can drive in on the day of your cruise. If you get a flat tire or there’s traffic, that’s no big deal.

 

You should still have plenty of time before the ship departs. But if you are flying into your port city, keep in mind all those delays that we see with airlines these days such as mechanical failures where they have to switch out planes. Or maybe the weather, or even computer breakdowns to where it leads to long lines in the airport with massive delays.

 

You don’t want to risk it because remember if you are late to the port, the ship can leave without you. So go ahead, be a smart cruise passenger and on your next trip arrive in port the day before your sailing.

2. Book early for discounts

The second clever thing that smart cruise passengers do is that they book things on the ship ahead of time to get a discount. So you’ve already booked your cruise fare. You know when you’re sailing. Now, remember that you are not done with the money that you’ll spend.

If you want internet access, if you want drink packages, if you want spa treatment – anything like this, you know that you’re going to spend money on the ship. Go ahead and book it through the cruise line ahead of time.

 

The reason? Being cruise lines offer discounts if you book early. For instance, on Royal Caribbean there have been discounts of buy one drink package, get the other one 50% off. Sometimes it’s 30% off.

 

There are similar deals for internet access. The only thing you need to remember is that there are discounts when you book these things early. So if you know you are going to use them, go ahead book early and you can save yourself a bundle.

3. Know the drink package rule

Moving on to number three, let’s go back to the drink package that I just mentioned. Smart cruisers know the drink package rules.

 

Now, on the surface, drink packages are pretty simple to understand. You pay a set daily fee and then you get to drink whatever you want on the ship. However, there is a lot of fine print and a lot of caveats on these packages.

 

For instance, not every drink on the ship is included. Items in your mini bar or welcome aboard drinks are often excluded from these drink packages. As well as some cruise lines have limits on how many drinks you can get. Carnival will only allow you up to 15 alcoholic drinks per 24 hour period.

 

There are also other rules like if one adult in the cabin gets a drink package, all adults in the cabin have to get the drink package. So if you’re thinking about getting the package, go ahead. Take a look at the fine print and understand the rules and the caveats of it. Just to make sure that you are getting what you think you’re buying with your money.

4. Do the drink package math

Now that brings us to the fourth thing that smart cruise passengers do. They do the math on the drink package before they buy. So first off, there’s the simple math: a beer on the ship will cost six to eight bucks, a cocktail will run you about ten to fourteen dollars, and a glass of wine can run anywhere from about eight to fifteen dollars.

 

So are you going to drink enough alcoholic drinks and those non-alcoholic drinks to make the package worth it? You can go ahead and check that out.

 

But there are also some other things you need to consider. Specifically, the rule is that if one adult in the cabin buys a drink package, then all adults have to buy it. In this case, if you have a husband and wife and say one person drinks and one person doesn’t, that means you’re essentially paying double if you still buy the drink package because only one person out of the two is going to use it.

 

So be a smart cruise passenger – be sure that you do the math on this before you go ahead and buy the package.

5. Buy travel insurance

Smart cruise passengers always buy travel insurance before they set sail. First things first, the odds of something coming up that you need travel insurance for are relatively low. However, the insurance can give you peace of mind and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

 

A lot of policies start at around 3% of the cost of your trip and they go up to about 10%. It depends on a lot of factors including your age. So, you have a lot of options and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to help you sleep better at night.

 

As well, travel insurance covers a lot of things that you might encounter on a cruise. For instance, say you get hurt or you get sick, if you go to a hospital or a doctor in a foreign country, then travel insurance can oftentimes cover the costs of these services.

 

Or say you needed to be evacuated from the cruise ship, travel insurance often covers this as well. So for just a little bit more money travel insurance can give you some peace of mind and it’s something that smart cruise passengers always purchase.

6. Book the “End of Hall” cabins

A smart tip regarding where on the ship to book your cabin. If you want a quiet spot, then toward one of the ends of the ship is ideal. Cruise cabins are fairly well insulated to where you don’t hear much from the adjoining rooms within reason.

 

The same can’t be said for the cabin doors. When people pass through the hallway outside the door, you can hear them well. Now that’s not a big deal most of the time, but if it’s 2 am and a loud group is coming back from the bar, that can definitely wake you up. That’s why smart passengers try to find rooms toward the end of the hall instead of in the middle of the ship.

 

In these locations there is much less foot traffic, meaning that less of a chance of a passerby in the hallway disturbing the peace and quiet in your room. Just keep in mind that you may have to walk a little farther to get to the elevators or stairways each time.

7. Don’t sail without the shot

Obviously, health and cruising have been linked by the recent crisis and will be, well, into the future. That’s why smart cruise passengers don’t sail without taking the vaccine first. Not only is that important for staying healthy, but the difference between sailing with the shot and without it is dramatically different – at least for the time being.

 

Those who have yet to take the shot have a number of rules in place, including rules on mask-wearing, distancing, testing and even shore excursions. For instance, as of this writing, unvaccinated passengers must wear masks while vaccinated passengers don’t have to.

 

They also have to undergo testing before boarding at their own expense and there are also rules about quarantining if you were a close contact of a sick passenger and unvaccinated. It is much easier and much safer for everyone on the ship if as many passengers as possible have the shot before sailing.

8. Book cabins on the upper decks

Smart cruise passengers book cabins on the upper decks of the ship because it’s the most convenient location to sail. The way that cruise ships are designed, there’s usually an inner public area in the middle of the ship where you’ll find things like the casino, shops and restaurants. On your typical ship, this area is normally around decks 6 through 8.

 

Then, there are the pool and outdoor decks located at the top of the ship. Getting a cabin between these two areas is ideal given that they are the two spots where you’ll spend the most time. It makes sense to be between them.

 

That way you can take the stairs to head up to the pool or down to the casino, which is much faster than the elevator. Or if you do take the elevator, you simply don’t have to go as far to get to where you want to go.

9. Sail with a passport

Smart cruise passengers sail with a passport instead of a birth certificate. Now one of the nice things about cruising is that, no, you don’t have to have a passport on most cruises that are closed loop.

 

That means they begin and end in the same port. You can usually sail with just a birth certificate and a photo id. However, it’s still a good idea to go ahead and get a passport and sail with it instead.

 

The number one reason is if something comes up during your cruise and you have to make an emergency departure from the ship back home, then a passport gives you that flexibility. To say catch a flight from the Bahamas or Mexico back to your home city. Sail with a birth certificate and a photo id and that’s much more difficult.

 

But what more people are going to experience is that it is convenient to cruise with a passport thanks to facial recognition. Now, this sounds a little creepy, maybe a little spooky to some people. But cruise ports are moving toward using facial recognition for disembarkation. So in some ports when the cruise comes home, all you do is, if you have a passport, you scan it, it takes a picture and you are on your way within seconds.

 

A lot of major cruise ports like Port Canaveral and many spots in Miami already have this in place. It makes it really easy and fast to get off the ship. If you were sailing with a birth certificate instead, you still have to stand in line and meet with an officer. So passports offer a lot more convenience. It can actually get you back home much faster.

10. Budget for onboard spending

The next thing that smart cruise passengers do is they budget for their spending when they’re on the ship. Many people, especially first-time cruise passengers, might think once you buy your cruise fare, you have spent all the money that you’re going to spend on your vacation. That is simply not the case.

 

Alcohol, specialty restaurants, shore excursions, even gambling in the casino. There is no end to what you can spend on a cruise ship. In fact, if you look at the financial reports from the cruise lines, the typical amount spent on board is about 30 to 40 per cent of cruise fare.

 

So if a couple pays a thousand dollars in cruise fare for the cruise, they can expect to spend about three to four hundred dollars on average during the course of that trip while on the ship.

 

So go ahead and be smart about this. Put it into your budget so you’re not surprised that when you get on the ship not everything is free.

11. Take the stairs when possible

This one is a short and sweet one. One of the smart things that clever passengers do is they take the stairs on the cruise ship whenever they can. Now, cruise ships today are gigantic. They can be 20 decks tall in some cases.

 

So if you were on deck 3 and you want to go to deck 18 to go to the pool, no, you don’t want to climb 15 flights of stairs. You will probably take the elevator. However, if you are only going one, two, maybe three decks, it’s typically much faster and easier to go ahead and take the stairs.

 

The elevators, they really are sort of the heartbeat of the ship and people are using them to go up and down constantly because there’s so much to do all over the ship. That means there can be long lines and long waits to get an elevator if you’re only going a few decks.

12. Check your onboard account

The final clever thing that smart cruise passengers do, they check their stateroom account periodically during the cruise. For every cruise ship you sail on, you have an onboard account that is tied to your room key card. Whenever you make a purchase, you slide your card and your account is charged. This balance will be listed in detail. Sometimes it’s on the shipboard app if you downloaded the ship’s app to your phone. As well as your cabin TV, you can oftentimes go in and access your onboard account and see what’s on there.

 

It’s always a good idea to check this two or three times during your cruise just to make sure there’s no spending that is not yours. It is rare, but I can personally tell you that it does happen. I’ve had it happen to me and it was easy to take care of.

 

However, if I didn’t know about it and I wasn’t on top of it by checking the onboard spending account, then it might have been charged at the end of the cruise for some expenses that were not mine.

 

So go ahead, be a smart cruiser. Check in on your onboard spending just like you would with a credit card statement. It might save you a little bit of money.

Recent Comments

    about us

    CruisesforSingles.net is dedicated to providing quality information on the subject of Cruises for Singles and in particular various other cruise ideas for customers and merchants online.

    Cruises for Singles

    Be A Smart Cruiser: Things You Should Know

    Do you want to be a smart cruiser? I have 12 things that clever cruise passengers always do, right now. Let’s go ahead and dive in.

    Number 1: Arrive the day before

    They arrive in port the day before their cruise. Now if you are driving in and you only live an hour, two or maybe three hours from the port, sure go ahead. You can drive in on the day of your cruise. If you get a flat tire or there’s traffic, that’s no big deal.

     

    You should still have plenty of time before the ship departs. But if you are flying into your port city, keep in mind all those delays that we see with airlines these days such as mechanical failures where they have to switch out planes. Or maybe the weather, or even computer breakdowns to where it leads to long lines in the airport with massive delays.

     

    You don’t want to risk it because remember if you are late to the port, the ship can leave without you. So go ahead, be a smart cruise passenger and on your next trip arrive in port the day before your sailing.

    2. Book early for discounts

    The second clever thing that smart cruise passengers do is that they book things on the ship ahead of time to get a discount. So you’ve already booked your cruise fare. You know when you’re sailing. Now, remember that you are not done with the money that you’ll spend.

    If you want internet access, if you want drink packages, if you want spa treatment – anything like this, you know that you’re going to spend money on the ship. Go ahead and book it through the cruise line ahead of time.

     

    The reason? Being cruise lines offer discounts if you book early. For instance, on Royal Caribbean there have been discounts of buy one drink package, get the other one 50% off. Sometimes it’s 30% off.

     

    There are similar deals for internet access. The only thing you need to remember is that there are discounts when you book these things early. So if you know you are going to use them, go ahead book early and you can save yourself a bundle.

    3. Know the drink package rule

    Moving on to number three, let’s go back to the drink package that I just mentioned. Smart cruisers know the drink package rules.

     

    Now, on the surface, drink packages are pretty simple to understand. You pay a set daily fee and then you get to drink whatever you want on the ship. However, there is a lot of fine print and a lot of caveats on these packages.

     

    For instance, not every drink on the ship is included. Items in your mini bar or welcome aboard drinks are often excluded from these drink packages. As well as some cruise lines have limits on how many drinks you can get. Carnival will only allow you up to 15 alcoholic drinks per 24 hour period.

     

    There are also other rules like if one adult in the cabin gets a drink package, all adults in the cabin have to get the drink package. So if you’re thinking about getting the package, go ahead. Take a look at the fine print and understand the rules and the caveats of it. Just to make sure that you are getting what you think you’re buying with your money.

    4. Do the drink package math

    Now that brings us to the fourth thing that smart cruise passengers do. They do the math on the drink package before they buy. So first off, there’s the simple math: a beer on the ship will cost six to eight bucks, a cocktail will run you about ten to fourteen dollars, and a glass of wine can run anywhere from about eight to fifteen dollars.

     

    So are you going to drink enough alcoholic drinks and those non-alcoholic drinks to make the package worth it? You can go ahead and check that out.

     

    But there are also some other things you need to consider. Specifically, the rule is that if one adult in the cabin buys a drink package, then all adults have to buy it. In this case, if you have a husband and wife and say one person drinks and one person doesn’t, that means you’re essentially paying double if you still buy the drink package because only one person out of the two is going to use it.

     

    So be a smart cruise passenger – be sure that you do the math on this before you go ahead and buy the package.

    5. Buy travel insurance

    Smart cruise passengers always buy travel insurance before they set sail. First things first, the odds of something coming up that you need travel insurance for are relatively low. However, the insurance can give you peace of mind and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

     

    A lot of policies start at around 3% of the cost of your trip and they go up to about 10%. It depends on a lot of factors including your age. So, you have a lot of options and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to help you sleep better at night.

     

    As well, travel insurance covers a lot of things that you might encounter on a cruise. For instance, say you get hurt or you get sick, if you go to a hospital or a doctor in a foreign country, then travel insurance can oftentimes cover the costs of these services.

     

    Or say you needed to be evacuated from the cruise ship, travel insurance often covers this as well. So for just a little bit more money travel insurance can give you some peace of mind and it’s something that smart cruise passengers always purchase.

    6. Book the “End of Hall” cabins

    A smart tip regarding where on the ship to book your cabin. If you want a quiet spot, then toward one of the ends of the ship is ideal. Cruise cabins are fairly well insulated to where you don’t hear much from the adjoining rooms within reason.

     

    The same can’t be said for the cabin doors. When people pass through the hallway outside the door, you can hear them well. Now that’s not a big deal most of the time, but if it’s 2 am and a loud group is coming back from the bar, that can definitely wake you up. That’s why smart passengers try to find rooms toward the end of the hall instead of in the middle of the ship.

     

    In these locations there is much less foot traffic, meaning that less of a chance of a passerby in the hallway disturbing the peace and quiet in your room. Just keep in mind that you may have to walk a little farther to get to the elevators or stairways each time.

    7. Don’t sail without the shot

    Obviously, health and cruising have been linked by the recent crisis and will be, well, into the future. That’s why smart cruise passengers don’t sail without taking the vaccine first. Not only is that important for staying healthy, but the difference between sailing with the shot and without it is dramatically different – at least for the time being.

     

    Those who have yet to take the shot have a number of rules in place, including rules on mask-wearing, distancing, testing and even shore excursions. For instance, as of this writing, unvaccinated passengers must wear masks while vaccinated passengers don’t have to.

     

    They also have to undergo testing before boarding at their own expense and there are also rules about quarantining if you were a close contact of a sick passenger and unvaccinated. It is much easier and much safer for everyone on the ship if as many passengers as possible have the shot before sailing.

    8. Book cabins on the upper decks

    Smart cruise passengers book cabins on the upper decks of the ship because it’s the most convenient location to sail. The way that cruise ships are designed, there’s usually an inner public area in the middle of the ship where you’ll find things like the casino, shops and restaurants. On your typical ship, this area is normally around decks 6 through 8.

     

    Then, there are the pool and outdoor decks located at the top of the ship. Getting a cabin between these two areas is ideal given that they are the two spots where you’ll spend the most time. It makes sense to be between them.

     

    That way you can take the stairs to head up to the pool or down to the casino, which is much faster than the elevator. Or if you do take the elevator, you simply don’t have to go as far to get to where you want to go.

    9. Sail with a passport

    Smart cruise passengers sail with a passport instead of a birth certificate. Now one of the nice things about cruising is that, no, you don’t have to have a passport on most cruises that are closed loop.

     

    That means they begin and end in the same port. You can usually sail with just a birth certificate and a photo id. However, it’s still a good idea to go ahead and get a passport and sail with it instead.

     

    The number one reason is if something comes up during your cruise and you have to make an emergency departure from the ship back home, then a passport gives you that flexibility. To say catch a flight from the Bahamas or Mexico back to your home city. Sail with a birth certificate and a photo id and that’s much more difficult.

     

    But what more people are going to experience is that it is convenient to cruise with a passport thanks to facial recognition. Now, this sounds a little creepy, maybe a little spooky to some people. But cruise ports are moving toward using facial recognition for disembarkation. So in some ports when the cruise comes home, all you do is, if you have a passport, you scan it, it takes a picture and you are on your way within seconds.

     

    A lot of major cruise ports like Port Canaveral and many spots in Miami already have this in place. It makes it really easy and fast to get off the ship. If you were sailing with a birth certificate instead, you still have to stand in line and meet with an officer. So passports offer a lot more convenience. It can actually get you back home much faster.

    10. Budget for onboard spending

    The next thing that smart cruise passengers do is they budget for their spending when they’re on the ship. Many people, especially first-time cruise passengers, might think once you buy your cruise fare, you have spent all the money that you’re going to spend on your vacation. That is simply not the case.

     

    Alcohol, specialty restaurants, shore excursions, even gambling in the casino. There is no end to what you can spend on a cruise ship. In fact, if you look at the financial reports from the cruise lines, the typical amount spent on board is about 30 to 40 per cent of cruise fare.

     

    So if a couple pays a thousand dollars in cruise fare for the cruise, they can expect to spend about three to four hundred dollars on average during the course of that trip while on the ship.

     

    So go ahead and be smart about this. Put it into your budget so you’re not surprised that when you get on the ship not everything is free.

    11. Take the stairs when possible

    This one is a short and sweet one. One of the smart things that clever passengers do is they take the stairs on the cruise ship whenever they can. Now, cruise ships today are gigantic. They can be 20 decks tall in some cases.

     

    So if you were on deck 3 and you want to go to deck 18 to go to the pool, no, you don’t want to climb 15 flights of stairs. You will probably take the elevator. However, if you are only going one, two, maybe three decks, it’s typically much faster and easier to go ahead and take the stairs.

     

    The elevators, they really are sort of the heartbeat of the ship and people are using them to go up and down constantly because there’s so much to do all over the ship. That means there can be long lines and long waits to get an elevator if you’re only going a few decks.

    12. Check your onboard account

    The final clever thing that smart cruise passengers do, they check their stateroom account periodically during the cruise. For every cruise ship you sail on, you have an onboard account that is tied to your room key card. Whenever you make a purchase, you slide your card and your account is charged. This balance will be listed in detail. Sometimes it’s on the shipboard app if you downloaded the ship’s app to your phone. As well as your cabin TV, you can oftentimes go in and access your onboard account and see what’s on there.

     

    It’s always a good idea to check this two or three times during your cruise just to make sure there’s no spending that is not yours. It is rare, but I can personally tell you that it does happen. I’ve had it happen to me and it was easy to take care of.

     

    However, if I didn’t know about it and I wasn’t on top of it by checking the onboard spending account, then it might have been charged at the end of the cruise for some expenses that were not mine.

     

    So go ahead, be a smart cruiser. Check in on your onboard spending just like you would with a credit card statement. It might save you a little bit of money.

    Recent Comments

      about us

      CruisesforSingles.net is dedicated to providing quality information on the subject of Cruises for Singles and in particular various other cruise ideas for customers and merchants online.

      Cruises for Singles