Adventure Travel Abroad

9 Top Cruise Hacks, Tricks And Tips For 2019 / 2020. How To Have An Amazing Cruise

9 Top Cruise Hacks, Tricks And Tips For 2019 / 2020. How To Have An Amazing Cruise

I’m Gary Bembridge and this is another
of my tips for travellers. I’m going to share with you my favourite tricks, tips and
hacks that I use to get better fares, a better cruising experience, better
excursions and overall just a better time cruising.
First of these is sign up for the Cruise Line newsletters. This might sound a
really simple and basic one, however if there’s certain cruise lines that you
are fans of I strongly recommend you sign up for those newsletters. That’s
where they push out if they’re doing any special deals, free upgrades or free
drinks packages or gratuities thrown in, or solo traveller deals. You get
alerted when there’s any special promotions. I always make sure that I’m
signed up to any of the cruise lines who I think I may want to cruise with, or
I’ve enjoyed cruising with, so I am alerted when there are great deals and
offers. My second tip is to use a cruise agent. Even if you’ve sign up for the
newsletters, it doesn’t necessarily mean to book direct. Not only can their help
guide you and make sure that you’re going on the right Cruise Line, or you’ve
got the right cabin, or the right deal at that time, they will always be able to
match and often you’ll find they can beat those incredible offers. Even if
you’ve seen a great offer on the email newsletters that you signed up for, often
the cruise agent will be able to improve on that or it may be as simple as they have an inside track to get you an even better cabin for the same price,
which has happened to me. Cruise agents are really really important to the
Cruise Lines. It’s where most of their business comes from, so they work really
closely with travel agents and cruise agents to make sure that they have
incentives and offers that will be a really big plus for travellers. Even
though I have done 67 cruises at the time of recording this, I still use
a cruise agent when I go cruising. My third tip and trick is around cabins. How
do you get a great cabin? There’s two ways of approaching it. First of all, if
you want to get the best deal go for a “guaranteed cabin”. However you have no say
on where that cabin is going to be, as a guaranteed fare basically means that you
choose whether you want an inside, curve an ocean view, a balcony or a suite, and
it’s normally a lower price and the cruise line decides exactly which cabin
you’re going to have, and you normally only know that really close to the cruise and
you have no say. The second thing, which is what I should prefer and I recommend, is to go for a fare where you pay a
slight premium and you choose a specific cabin. A couple of key
things: first of all focus midships, that’s where you gonna have the least
amount of movement, then absolutely critical when you look at the deck plan
and choose a cabin, make sure you’re surrounded on all sides by other cabins.
A cabin above you, below you, to the left and to the right of you and ideally
opposite you as well. That makes sure that you’re away from
any of those things that could be creating a lot of noise.
Also make sure, unless you need it, that you don’t have a interconnecting door to
the next cabin because that can also be where a lot of noise and sound and
disruption comes. My next tip may not sound very exciting, and it may sound
like you’re just spending more money, and that is you should really get travel
insurance – and when you get travel insurance make sure that it also covers
cruises. A lot of travel insurance companies have specific insurance
policies for cruising, because there are lots of costs if you have to be medivacted off
a ship. Ifyou do fall ill you obviously have the onboard cost as it’s quite expensive to use the medical center onboard, and if you have
something more significant the cruise line will offload you in a port and
pretty much leave you to your own devices. So you have to think
about how to get home and those medical costs which could be many
thousands of dollars. Don’t take it out just before you go on the cruise, take it
out at the time of booking your cruise. That’s important because then
if you have to cancel your cruise you’re not going to lose your deposit. When you
pay a deposit on a cruise on pretty much every Cruise Line it’s non-refundable, so
if you cancel your cruise before you go you lose your deposit. Travel insurance
should cover you for that. My next tip is make sure that you get to
the port where you’re joining a cruise the day before the cruise. Don’t aim to
arrive the day that your cruise departs as anything could disrupt your travel. If
you miss the cruise leaving it’s going to be at your own costs, and stress and
hassle, to join the ship later on. My next trick is around excursions. If you go on
excursions through the Cruise Line, it could add a huge amount of money onto
your cruise fare. What I like to do is look at alternatives. Most cruise lines
will have Port guides, they might have a library which has travel guides in, a
lot of them will give talks which often while trying to sell excursions
will often give you a lot of tips and advice around the port themselves. Many
Cruise Lines bring on board representatives from the port and when you
get off a ship most ports nowadays will have a representative from the
tourist board, or even just different tour guides offering alternatives. One
thing I really recommend you do is take a look at these and plan to do self
touring. One of the great things is hop- on hop-off buses. These are very popular
with cruise passengers. I love them and they are a really inexpensive way of seeing
a place and getting around, because you’ll have commentary on board and you will
find that many of those hop-on hop-off buses will start and end at the port, so you’re right by the ship. It’s a really
inexpensive way of seeing a particular port. If you are one of those people that
does prefer to go on a more organised excursions, obviously look at the cruise
excursions but then compare them to independent
providers. There’s lots of companies have set up and offer excursions in
every port. You’ll normally find they’re similar to the ones the
cruise line are doing but with small groups and cheaper. The reason that most
passengers like to do the cruise line excursion is the cruise line guarantees
that if any of their excursions are running late, or there’s problems, the ship will
wait until all of their excursions are back on board before they depart. If
you’re an independent traveller or going with one of those independent providers,
they do not have that guarantee – so a lot of people do prefer to go with
the cruise line. So, if you’re kind of a or nervous traveller and you want that
reassurance then stick with the cruise line excursions because it’s going to
give you that reassurance – but seriously do take a look at some of those
alternatives as it could save you a lot of money and you could actually see more
and different things. The next thing I’d like to talk about is a couple of tips
around packing. First of all, look at the dress code and
what you have to wear to meals, particularly dinner, and make sure
you bring those. You don’t want to find that you can’t go to the dining room because you don’t have the right dress code. Linked to that, also have
a look if there’s any themed parties, like White Nights, Scarlet Nights, 70s
Nights etc, that you want to bring some gear with so you can get into the
whole spirit of those. Think about the excursions you’re going on and if you are going to need any specific equipment, for example if you’re going cycling or
hiking. When you’re packing, put anything that’s valuable and anything that you’d hate
to lose in your carry-on. Obviously also things like passport, money and
credit cards and if you’ve got expensive cameras. Also medications, make sure that those
are in your carry-on. Another really important thing that I recommend you
pack is your own little personalized first-aid kit and in here put all the
little treatments that you use around the home to deal with anything from
headache and stomach upsets. Take a look in your bathroom cabinet and bring a little
personalised kit, because it can be very expensive if you have to go to the
medical centre on board to get it or it can be quite difficult to navigate the
pharmacy in ports with different brand names, products and language. Also in that kit
make sure you bring a tooth repair kit. Cruise ships do not have dentists and so
bring a tooth repair kit so if you have a filling fall out or crown
come off ,you can deal with that – either hold you over to the next port or even for
the whole cruise. The last thing on packing is make sure you bring the right
adapters and all the charges for all your gear. Luckily, most cruise ships
now have USB charges, but not all of them, some of them have USA-style plugs and some
have Euro-style plugs, so check what your cruise ship has and make sure you bring the right adapters. Next I have a couple of tips around
saving money on board. First of all, check what allowance you have for bringing
on board alcohol, soft drinks and whatever and consider bringing that on board, because
that’s going to save you money when it comes to drink. Secondly, when you
embark the ship there will be loads of offers going (the spa, drinks
packages, dining packages excursions) and you’ll find there are loads of offers.
You’ll find incredible packages, particularly on Wi-Fi as well. If you are
planning to do shopping on board at their the shops, wait till the very end of the
cruise before you do that because you’ll find that there’s often discounts or
special promotions, particularly based on how cruise lines are hitting or not hitting
their targets for that particular cruise. Always shop towards the end of the
cruise onboard. If you want to use the spa, use it on port days as you’ll
find the cheapest time to use the spa is on port days. A couple of easy tips to
save some money when you’re on board . If you want to avoid putting on a lot of
weight on a cruise, there’s a couple things you can do that will mean that
you still can party have a great time. First of all, use the stairs not the lifts or elevators. It also means you’re not waiting around. All of the ships are really huge
and you’ll burn a lot of calories just walking around the ship and using the
stairs. Secondly, most cruise lines will have a spa menu and take a look at the
spa menu because you’ll often find starter, main course and dessert and
you could have great food but it’s not going to have huge amounts of calories.
The third thing is look at are for excursions which have perhaps more
exercise involved, even if it’s walking, hiking or cycling. With those activities you’re going to see the sights, have a great time but you are again
going to be burning calories. Consider really carefully if you want to take the
drinks package. Drinks packages are relatively expensive, and they enable you
to have a lot of drink and of course there’s a lot of calories packed in
drinks particularly cocktails. You’ll find if you do the couple of these
things you’ll come back from your cruise not only having had a great time but
also not having to go on that post vacation diet to try and shift all those
pounds. I hope you found this helpful. I have loads more videos with loads of cruise
tips and advice which I’d love you to watch right now.

Reader Comments

  1. Huh, I was not aware the cruise line chooses which particular cabin you get. So there is a possibility I might not like the design style of said cabin.

  2. Also with the drink packages you have to figure out if you're really saving money in the long run. For example Carnival I know has a 15 drink limit per day for alcoholic drinks. If you don't consume that much in a day then it's probably not worth getting.

  3. Gary, when you spoke about cruise agents, do you mean independent agents or representatives from the cruise ship company?

  4. Great advice, I am glad you let us know about the tooth repair kit, I never thought of that!

  5. Wonderful video, as usual, with great tips! I especially agree with the First Aid kit. Ship medical care is very expensive, should you need it! Happy cruising!

  6. I'm happy to pay a little extra for Cruise Line sponsored excursions so I have no anxiety about missing the ship and having complete safety and security while ashore.

  7. We learned the hard way about having a dental issue, took us 11 days before we were able to see dentist. Fortunately there was a acupuncturist on board to help with relieving the pain when pain medication wasn’t able to help.

  8. I recommend showing up early to the ship on the first day since they will often let you on sooner than scheduled. This leaves you more time to explore the ship and even take advantage of common areas like pools, fitness centers, jogging tracks, etc. before they get crowded. On my most recent trip the officially listed boarding time only began at 12:30 PM but I made it onboard by 11:00 AM and some people were there even earlier.

  9. And if I may add, as with the "Guarantee" cabin choice, because you have no choice in your cabin selection (and in many cases not get an assigned cabin until the day of embarkation) you may find yourself under, above or in the vicinity of a venue that may run well into the night such as a club. As mentioned, try to pay the small bit more to choose your cabin so you know what is around you as well as easy access to venues. Also, unless you are within the final payment window, NEVER pay for your cruise in full when booking. The reason is that if there are any promotions from the cruise line that may afford you a lesser price than what you paid in the future, most cruise lines will not allow you to change your booking unless you are NOT paid in full.

  10. On my upcoming cruise I am traveling on the overnight sleeper train from Melbourne to Sydney. Arrive at 07:00 in the morning, hopefully refreshed, and board after lunch 🙂

  11. My Travel Agent got me a good deal on a Balcony Stateroom upgrade! But why you should ALWAYS use a travel agent! Guy recently booked online for a holiday on St. Helena in the South Atlantic, including accommodation at the St Helena Hotel. Plane landed, asked taxi to take him to the St Helena Hotel, Taxi driver looked rather nonplussed, said, Sir, there is no St Helena Hotel here??!! The St Helena Hotel is in California!! 🙁

  12. Is it better to get travel insurance through the cruise line? Or through your local imsurance company?

  13. I was wondering I am not a nervous traveler but what excursions around the world would you definitely book with the cruise line?

  14. We are doing a Princess cruise next week and not taking the drink package as we both social drinkers, ie we drink moderately. Princess has this program where you can bring your own wine onboard for a $15 corkage fee per bottle. The first bottle is free then $15 per bottle after so as my wife drinks Bogle Chard which is $7.99 from the local store = $23 a bottle so a lot cheaper than the wine by the bottle prices onboard plus she's drinking wine she likes, many times on previous cruises the wine they serve at the bars is not up to her standard. Has anyone done this with Princess?

  15. Travel Insurance should be mandatory for anyone planning to go abroad or cruising. Even if you are well off and can afford to shrug off the loss of your entire travel fare, there are very few who can handle the costs of a catastrophic medical event w/o insurance. If you need to be medically evacuated back to your home country you could be looking at six figures just for that.

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