Expert Tips for Purchasing a Cruise
It is one thing to get a great deal, but entirely another to set your budget so tightly that you extract any possibility for pleasure on your cruise. It is true that inside cabins are less expensive than balcony cabins, but balcony cabins can be so much more rewarding.
Only you know what your budget is. It is very important to consider everything before you purchase your cruise, thus assuring you the best possible outcome for your cruise vacation. Balance your budget against these recommendations. We don't suggest you go over your budget, just make sure you make an educated purchase.
Balcony Cabins are Best - You have heard this time and again, that since you are only sleeping there, inside cabins are a better value. Perhaps, but if you enjoy a room with a view, book a balcony. A balcony cabin can enhance your vacation by allowing you to watch the sun paint pastel on the morning sky, dine on coffee and croissants as the ship glides past a captivating landscape or gaze on glaciers in Alaska. Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. In many instances you can get a balcony cabin for just slightly more money than an inside cabin. The memories of the views will last a lifetime. Also, these cabins are usually located in more desirable areas of the ship, meaning more convenience for you. Also, consider staying mid ship and on a higher deck if you tend to experience sea sickness.
The Cruise Begins With Business Class Air - Gone are the days when flying in Economy class was an elegant experience. If you can afford it, upgrade, or find a creative way to make it happen, book yourself in Business Class when flying long distances. Business Class is where the vacation begins. You will experience faster check-in, faster security clearance at some airports, lounge access, comfortable on board seating, and most times, excellent dining and service. Of course, since the cost of Business Class is much more than Economy, you will need to weigh the benefits against the costs. If it is within reason, book Business to begin your vacation before arriving at the ship.
Small Ships Offer Big Value - Big ships offer variety and plenty of activities, and for families, these huge floating resorts may be the perfect way to go. Small ships carrying less than 1,000 passengers often provide better value. Small ships call on ports that the larger ones cannot access. With only a few hundred passengers in port rather than a few thousand, you are not part of a mass tourism experience, plus you get to see destinations that you can't visit on the big ships. Also, they are like small towns, where you get to know everyone onboard. You are likely to develop lasting friendships with like-minded people. Another plus for small ships: In most instances, they are more inclusive than the large ships. That could be a value of several hundred dollars per day. It is also comforting to know ahead of time what your costs will be and not be surprised at the end of your cruise with charges for tips and other incidentals.
All Inclusive Lines - These might seem more expensive at first, but you have to consider the bottom dollar. Shore excursions, alcoholic beverages and other things do add up, making the all-inclusive lines a better price option for some people.
Pre and Post Cruise Travel - Explore and enjoy the cities where your cruise begins and ends by adding on at least one hotel night. There is the additional advantage that booking a pre cruise hotel night assures that you and your luggage arrive at the ship on time. It is a good idea to build in an extra day just in case flights are delayed due to inclement weather, or your baggage gets misdirected. Post cruise alleviates the dreaded end of cruise and back to real life feeling that most travelers feel. There is an effort and expense to get to the great cities where your cruise begins and ends, so why not make the most of the experience by adding on a few days while you are in the region.
Book Back to Back - If you have the luxury of time and some extra travel dollars in the budget, book back to back cruises. Even better than disembarking when your cruise is over, is staying onboard for another adventure. Our Experts recommend this to their clients and people come back raving about this idea. Cruise lines do offer incentives for booking back to back cruises, affording you greater value.
These are just a few helpful tips our Experts compiled to help make your cruise buying decision a little bit easier. We have many more tips to offer potential travelers. Remember we are just a click or a phone call away!