Practical Tips for a First Time Cruiser

Cheap cruises.  If you want to grab great bargains, go on a cruise during off-peak seasons.  You can sign up online to receive announcements from cruise lines whenever they have promotional off-peak cruise sailings.
Be informed.  It’s easy to get enticed by the breathtaking photos and exciting descriptions that you can find from brochures and websites. Before signing up, make sure that you really understand what the cruise line offers as well as the inclusions of the itinerary.  Do your own research by visiting forums online and checking out different cruise lines.
Seek help from a travel agent.  If it is your first time to go on a cruise, it is advisable to get assistance.  A travel agent can help you choose the right company, give you valuable advice to make sure that you will enjoy your trip, and may even offer you a discount, a promotional rate or perks exclusive only to clients.
Study the ship’s deck plan.  This is important when choosing your cabin location.  Make sure that you are aware of the locations where you can find the important rooms, elevators, and emergency exits on the ship.
Avoid unnecessary hassles. Cruise lines usually offer packages that include round trip air tickets.  In this case, delays and cancelled trips won’t be much of a hassle as it is your cruise line’s responsibility to get you to the next flight so you can catch up with the ship at the next port.

Check your travel insurance. 
It is wise to get travel insurance but before signing up, make sure that you have examined the inclusions of the coverage.  Remember that you have the option to get insured with your cruise line, travel agency or a private insurance company.

Don’t forget your passport.
  If you are going to travel outside the US, you will need a passport.
Anticipate the costs.  When planning your vacation cruise budget, don’t forget to consider the extra costs such as gratuities, off-shore tours, laundry/dry cleaning, bar drinks, souvenirs, taxes, and other fees.
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