Cruising become more and more popular these years because of easy, relax and "all-inclusive" vacation experience. Follow the next Ten Super Cruise Tips, you will achieve a perfect cruise experience.
1. Know your cruise line.
Like many other industries, cruise lines target their cruise ship experience to certain markets.
Five basic categories are the ultra-luxury market, the upscale mass market, the middle of the road mass market, the bargain/smaller lines, specialized Lines.
Three popular cruise lines for the middle of the road mass market are Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival.
Royal Caribbean's newer ships are spectacular, great service, and their food vendor rivals some of the ultra-luxury ships.
Princess is also very good with outstanding food.
Carnival has a party ship reputation and target the younger market where the food and ship decor are pretty ordinary. But the price is usually cheaper than Royal Caribbean and Princess.
2. Get the cruise line brochures.
See a travel agent or contact cruise lines to obtain brochures. But don't make an early commitment.
Do not be scared about the brochure prices. Just use it only as a guide and relative reference; Instead, pay more attention to the text description and pictures to get perspective on the line's basic philosophy, like what kind of passengers they target.
Ship deck cabin category and location is another thing you need to study as well after you decide.
3. Know more your cruise ship.
Most importantly, know what you want and what are your priorities? Different cruiser has different interests, like budget, destination, port of call, food, entertainment etc.
After that you probably limit your interesting to few cruise ships. Use internet resource to know more about the cruise ship you select. Read other cruiser's review as a reference for their service.
Cruise Super Link have a lot of useful cruise travel links .
4. When to Cruise.
Match your preferred destination to the dates you can travel.
Alaskan itineraries are usually offered late May through September. Most European sailings are in summer and early fall. The Caribbean is busy year-round but more popular in winter and summer could be a hurricane season.
Of course peak season, school vacation time and holiday the price will go high. if you want to find good deal, avoid these time and try Off-peak times, Best deal could be found Fall time after Labor day, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and Superbowl weekend.
5. Book Early or Late.
You generally get the best deals by booking either well in advance of your sailing date or at the last minute.
Reserving space three to six months prior to departure provides "early-bird" savings of 15 to 50 percent and also locks in the cabin category of your choice
Last minute deal will be found within a week or two of sailing date on a ship's unsold cabins. But be aware you may not get the cabin category you want. Also if you need to fly to the port, it may be difficult to get an inexpensive flight.
6. Seek Out a Cruise Specialist.
Booking a cruise is a relatively complicated purchase decision, for example, distinguishing between cabin categories, determining which cabins are adjacent to noisy areas of the ship, reserving dining room seating, requesting a special diet, etc.
But not just that. Savvy successful agents can give extra discounts the cruise lines can't give. They the best source of information on the hottest available deals. An experienced cruise specialist who sells a large volume of cruises will often be rewarded by the cruise lines with access to special discounts on ships of major lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess.
7. When you booking.
When you are booking, deal with travel agent who you trust. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Make sure he or she explains first- and second-seating meal options. Inquire about cabin upgrades and on-board spending credits; these may be unavailable, but it never hurts to ask.
You need to pay attention to the cancellation policy. If there are some uncertain about your trip, especially when you plan to travel with young kids, you may think about the cancellation insurance option.
If you plan to fly to the port and continue your vacation after your cruising, you need to book the flight and lodging at right time.
To find a reputable travel agent specializing in cruises contact CLIA which lists agencies staffed with Master Cruise Counselors(MCC) and Elite Cruise Counselors (ECC). Another good source for cruise expertise is the Institute of Certified Travel Agents
8. Shop around
Cruise line will never have a sale that is exclusive to its reservation agents, various travel agencies can negotiate special deals or will pass differing commission-based discounts to their customers.
You could conceivably approach five agencies and receive five different fare quotes. Based on the percentage of business an agency does with a cruise line, it may offer lower rates or special cruise deals.
When you shop around, be prepared to tell a travel agent exactly what you want from a cruise.
9. First time cruiser.
Try a quickie cruise first When it comes to choosing an itinerary, first-time cruisers should consider booking a short cruise of three, four or five days to "test the waters" and get the feel of the cruise experience.
Nowadays, sea sickness is not an issue because of the larger ships with several stabilizers. Do not need over concern. You always can get an over the counter product from your pharmacist before you leave, like Bonnine or Dramimine.
10. Beware of added charges.
While cruise lines tout their "all-inclusive pricing", experienced cruisers are aware that there are many opportunities to spend money while at sea that are not covered by the cruise fare.
Known as "onboard revenue", these additional expenses encompass everything from everyday tips, casinos, soda drink and alcoholic beverages, photos snapped by the ship's ubiquitous photographers. Others include onboard shopping or a dining at a specialty restaurants.
Perhaps the largest additional cost are escorted shore excursions offered in every port of call. Passengers seeking to conserve funds can explore on their own and/or arrange their own excursion; those who prefer this approach should find out what sites are within walking distance of the ship as well as the cost of hiring a cab, taking a local bus or renting a car.
W hen you follow our Ten Super Tips, We may not know you are a first time cruiser and not, but we will know for sure that you become a savvy cruiser. Welcome aboard and enjoy your dreaming experience at sea!