Our list of 10 things seasoned cruisers do for better cruise vacations
In this week’s podcast we talk about 10 things seasoned cruisers do. This is the third in a three episode series, so go back and listen to the last two episodes to learn about mistakes new cruisers make.
Let’s start with a big one. WE COVERED THIS LAST WEEK, BUT IT BEARS REPEATING… Seasoned cruisers almost always travel with a passport. Sure, you can manage a closed loop cruise with a birth certificate and photo ID, but it’s much easier, and less risky to invest in a passport. Trust us on this one.
Veteran seafarers also typically Pack less stuff. That doesn’t mean they go without shampoo for a week and wear the same shoes every day, but they’ve got a firm grasp on what they need and what they don’t for a cruise, and over time, they’ve learned that trimming the stuff means trimming the stress. They don’t necessarily pack like minimalists at all, they have simply learned WHAT TO LEAVE HOME.
Using a travel agent may seem like it wouldn’t make sense for experienced cruisers, but it does, and here’s why. Experienced travelers take the time to build a relationship with a travel agent who can save them time and money. Travel agents are the ones who pick up the phone if something goes wrong before the cruise, if a price needs to be adjusted, or if you want to make changes to your booking. How would you rather spend your time? ON the phone with the cruise line, or working on your tan? Nuff said.
But I want to take this a step further. Seasoned travelers know that it’s okay to move on if you’re TA isn’t right for you, or to use multiple agents
People who have been cruising for a while also tend to take control of when they show up to port on embarkation day. They either show up early or late to avoid the mid day crowds. THINGS HAVE changed with covid, you’ll have an assigned boarding time for a little while, but you may still get to PICK that time.
We’re early people, but we know lots of seasoned cruisers who push the all aboard time to the later hours, for one reason or another. It’s up to you, but avoiding mid day check in crowds is a nice way to start your vacay in a more mellow mood.
Cruisers who have been around the block also re-price their cruises now and then. They rely on their travel agents to watch the prices, but they also use websites like cruiseline.com to set a price alert to make sure they get an email when the price of their cruise goes down. To do this….choose a cruise, toggle to set a price alert & enter your email.
Saving money on a cruise is usually a big priority for experienced cruisers. The more you save, the more you cruise, so they leverage date flexibility when booking a cruise as a way to save money. They will look at the same cruise on several different dates to see which one offers more value and sometimes even hunt for ultra low cruise prices at random dates to find those rare, super deals. Deals are out there folks. But, it helps to be flexible about when you’ll cruise if you want to employ this ninja strategy.
We’ve also found that the more someone cruises, the more they weigh their options before booking shore excursions directly with the cruise line. Comparing prices with outside vendors can save loads of dough, and most carry the same “return to ship” guarantees the ship does. Give it a try on your next cruise, and see if the smaller crowds and lower prices are worth it.
Cruise loyalists also know they can consider the option to book airfare through the cruise line. It’s not always the best option, nor the cheapest, but if your cruise line offers it, it’s worth checking into. We’ve had excellent luck with Princess and Royal Caribbean’s air programs, and in both cases, we saved money on the tickets and our flights were fully guaranteed in the event of a delay or change. Not too shabby.
Lastly, experienced cruisers know to expect itinerary changes and read their passenger contract, particularly when cruising during storm or shoulder seasons. Weather happens. You’re on a floating vessel. The cruise line doesn’t WANT to change your itinerary unless they have to go around a storm or some other weather event, but they’re going to keep you safe… and itinerary changes are par for the course when you’re traveling by sea.
Take the cruise you can afford
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Here’s what people are saying about the CruiseTipsTV Unplugged Podcast
- Informative and thorough cruise podcastSeptember 16, 2021 by katde81 from United States
This podcast is very much worth the listen. I have never cruised before and found myself interested in planning future cruises. I hit the jackpot when I found Cruise Tips TV. You will find all aspects of cruising in the podcast. Sheri and Mr. Cruise Tips TV tell reviews about previous cruises and excursions, cruise industry news, preparation tips, packing tips, and so much more. They tell you so much useful information all while having a really wonderful dynamic that makes listening to them truly fun. I am so glad that I found this podcast. I now really feel prepared to plan some cruises for my family and I and I’m really excited to do so. This is literally the best travel podcast that I have found. One non podcast tip- check out their YouTube channel if you aren’t on the move. It’s really great to be able to get a real visual, especially of the ships and excursions.
- Cruise tips tvAugust 24, 2021 by Plantladydiane from United States
I recently found your show in preparation for my first cruise. I have found helpful information in each episode. I am enjoying all the tips and helpful hints! Thank you for an entertaining and informative show!
- Sounds Like CruisingAugust 10, 2021 by KarynClay from United States
You can’t help but hear Sheri’s voice and get swept away into the world of cruising. Whenever I’m really missing the feel of the ocean or the excitement of packing up my favorite cruise items, I listen to Sheri and feel like we’re right there together. She’s like the cream filling between each ‘cookie’ cruise you get to take.