We’ve talked before about the wonders of going on a Disney cruise. Today let’s look at a few hacks and tips for a better travel experience.
1). Look for Off-Peak Cruise Times
At the start of our list is a great way to save money on a cruise: consider off-peak times for your cruise. An off-peak time is exactly what it sounds like: any time at which a location will not be experiencing peak tourist numbers.
The key advantage, of course, is price. Since cruise lines sell fewer tickets during these times, the cost is cheaper. Plus, you’ll avoid drunken college-age partiers.
2). Guaranteed Staterooms Can Save You Money
When you go to book a cabin on a cruise ship, you’ll have your choice of different cabin types: inside, outside, balcony, and suite. If you book a “guaranteed” cabin, you’ll pay for the guarantee of a cabin in that particular type or higher.
What’s the hack? Simple: you’re giving up the choice of the exact location of that cabin in exchange for the lowest possible price for that type of cabin. To be clear, there’s some risk: you might be assigned a cabin in an undesirable area, such as under a nightclub or galley – but then again, you might not, and either way you’ll save money.
3). Think About Charging Your Electronics
On land, charging your electronics is easy – you simply need power strips with surge protectors.
On cruise ships, however, those same power strips are banned because they pose an electrical hazard – in particular, because of the surge protectors and extension cords. If you try to bring any of these, they will be confiscated by security.
If you don’t have many electronics, you might be fine with one or two outlets, but there is another option: cruise power strips, which are designed without surge protectors or extension cords in order to be compliant with cruise lines.
4). Take Advantage of the Cruise Line’s App
You’ve already paid for your cruise, so why not enjoy a bit of free wifi while you’re on it?
In general, wifi is notoriously expensive and slow on cruise ships, but most cruise lines now have a free app that you can use while you are onboard. This app might not allow you to do everything you’re accustomed to doing online, but it will allow you to check your balance, look through the activities available, make reservations, and the like.
All you have to do is connect your phone to the ship’s network, and then you can use the app – and be sure to download the app ahead of time if you want to download it without fees or roaming charges.
5). Read Up on the Lines Before You Even Book
There are a lot of different cruise options, from the tried-and-true Caribbean to Southeast Asia to the Galapagos to Europe. It’s definitely in your best interest to read up on them before you decide where to go.
In particular, think about what you want out of a cruise, and then see which options offer the best fit. Are you after tropical islands? Rugged scenic beauty? Cultural and historic treasures? There’s a world of options waiting for you.
6). Think About Safety & Know Your Rights
As with pretty much the rest of life, people sometimes have accidents on cruise ships, and in some cases, you may have a legal claim for compensation.
It is important to understand that when you purchase a ticket for a cruise ship, you will in all cases be agreeing to the cruise line’s liability waiver. This means you cannot sue for compensation in the event of an injury, unless you can establish that the cruise line was negligent.
However, as personal injury law firm SteinLaw explains, there are cases in which you may have a claim for a cruise injury: torn carpeting or a loose handrail that led to a fall, or a lack of proper signage around a dangerous area, or even food poisoning from improperly-prepared food in the kitchen (to learn more about cruise ship personal injury, go to https://www.steinlaw.com/).
7). Get a Romantic Gift Package
If you’re traveling with your significant other, get a gift package. Most lines offer these, and they’re a fun, stylish, and romantic way to start your vacation. Options may include everything from champagne and balloons to a rose bouquet.
8). About the Pool…
Pools on cruise ships tend to be notoriously crowded. Skip the crush: there are other options. If you want to sunbathe, look for recliner space away from the pool. A spa pass is another option.
9). Get Creative With Dining
You don’t necessarily have to eat in a group at a prescribed time, the way the cruise lines want you to. Take advantage of delays in a port of call to have dinner in town, preferably something fairly native.
A cruise can be a wonderful vacation travel opportunity, a chance for you and your family to get away and make some special memories. Take advantage of these hacks and tips and any others you can find online, and your experience will be that much better.