I just finished yet another cruise last week, so while I was on board, I was thinking of you guys and picking up little tips I’d like to share with you. A cruise can be SO much fun, but they can be a LOT less expensive if you follow these few simple tips.
CUT CRUISE TRAVEL COSTS
One of your biggest expenses for a cruise is just getting there. This is a great time to use frequent flier miles or other travel incentives or discounts to save on airfare and baggage fees. There are lots of other posts with tips on how to book your flights, so I won’t get too specific, but airfare can be your biggest cruise savings.
Also, consider your transportation back and forth to the airport and the debarkation spot. You basically have three choices – Cruise line buses, taxis or Uber. I almost always opt for the cruise line bus. It costs $30-$50 bucks, but you will end up in the right place at the right time. That’s one less stressful thing on my plate.
Speaking of stress, I do another thing that costs a bit of money, but really reduces my stress level. I fly into the departure city the night BEFORE my cruise. Yes, I have to pay for a hotel, but it builds in a safety valve in case a flight is delayed.
Is it more money? Yes. Is it worth it? YES! Have I ever had to use it? I almost did.
My father-in-law passed away one week prior to our 25th-anniversary cruise. His funeral was Wednesday in California and our ship left on Saturday from Miami. Life happens – jobs are lost, people get sick, babysitters cancel, etc. You just never know what is going to come up. Travel insurance just gives you that “just in case” cushion.
This nice thing about travel insurance was that it took the money factor out of the decision. We ultimately decided we needed some time away after a VERY stressful couple of weeks.
That said, READ your policies. There are several available from your travel agent or direct from websites. The cost and coverage can vary greatly.
CHOSING YOUR CABIN
This is another big ticket item. But it is a decision that can really affect the quality of your cruise. So take your time and really think it through. I’ve done the variety pack here – I’ve gone super cheap and I’ve gone high-end.
If you’re a busy and active cruiser who won’t be in the cabin much, consider going a bit cheap. You probably won’t be in the cabin other than to shower and sleep. But if you’re an older couple who might be spending more time watching movies or relaxing in your cabin, consider an upgrade.
However, DON’T do what we did on our first cruise. We crammed four people plus six large pieces of luggage into a TINY inside cabin! That was not fun.
If you have little kids needing naps and space to play. You might consider spending more for a larger cabin. You’ll appreciate not feeling like sardines.
I do have to say that I LOOOOOOVED my balcony cabin. We splurged on our 25th Anniversary Cruise and got a balcony cabin. It was heaven! It was much more spacious with a separate seating area to watch TV. Plus, I absolutely loved to prop the door open and go to sleep to the sound of the sea, the smell of the salt air, and the gentle motion of the ship. Best sleep ever!
One misstep on my Bloggers Cruise with the Six Sisters. I had a good cabin location, but it was right by one of the hallway doors. It about drove me CRAZY the first day and the last day, because it had a metal strip on the floor and people kept bumping their suitcase wheels across it. Fortunately, I am a ridiculously sound sleeper, so I got used to it quickly. But for a light sleeper, this would have been a big problem. Look at the ship layout really closely when choosing a cabin and consider ALL factors.
Bonus tip – Cabin location is important. The center of the ship has less motion than the ends. Also ships are a ton of walking. We’ve found the BEST cabin location is either right above or right below the dining rooms. Saves a lot of steps and we never heard a peep of noise from them.
next up – we’re going to talk cell phones
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