My name’s Emma and I’m a blogger at
CruisingsNotJustForOldPeople.co.uk My name’s Danielle, but I’m best known to my readers as Cruise Miss. I’m Dave Monk, otherwise known as Ship Monk. My name is Flavia Gray and my website is ShipsAndChampagne.com and
I’m Gary Bembridge of Tips For Travellers. So let’s go in hear the best cruise tips
that we have for you. I like to pack things like dresses and
blouses on the hanger so that when I get on board all I have to do is open the
case, get all the hangers together, lift them
out and put them straight in the wardrobe with the clothes already attached to them.
And ladies let’s face it, even if we took every single hanger out of our wardrobe we would still be looking for more. When I get on board, one of the things I
find really challenging when I’m on a cruise is keeping the cabin tidy –
especially if there’s more than two of you sharing a room. So I found the
solution to this is to buy one of these over the door shoe hanging racks, and
they have 24 pockets in them. You can put practically anything in them from
sunglasses, sun cream, medicines. These are really easy to get on eBay, you can
just order them online. And another little tip is I pre-packed the
pockets at home and then I rolled it up and put it in the suitcase. So when I
arrived in the ship all I had to do is unroll it and hang it up. So one
thing that I recommend, and I always do, is take my own tooth repair kit.
So while ships have medical centers on board, they do not have dentists on board.
So if you have a problem with your tooth, you know filling falls out or a tooth
cracks or something, if you have one of those little tooth repair kits – you can
buy them from a drugstore or from a pharmacy – they’re great for patching up
little problems, solving problems. It can either tide you over until you get to the
next port where there is an emergency dentist that you can try and see, or it
can often just tide you over until you get back home and see your own dentist.
If, like me, you travel with lots of different pieces of technology: a laptop,
mobile phone, camera, iPod and got hair dryers, straighteners, things like that. It really
does make sense to a pack a small extension cable. I’ve been on cruise ships where
they’ve had USB outlets in the cabin, they’ve had English sockets, they’ve had
European sockets – it’s been marvellous as you can plug everything in and don’t need to
worry about it. However, I’ve also been on ships that
have got one lonely plug socket and if you’re traveling with a friend who also
has 10,000 different bits of equipment it can become very tricky. It really does
pay. Even if it’s just an extra two outlets, it’s real
gonna be worth it. I’m going to be cruising on Independence of the Seas and
if you’re going on a ship like that, there’s a few things you’re going to
need to remember to take. For the rock wall they require you to wear a pair
of trainers. If you or your family are looking to use the ice rink, then you
need to make sure you pack a pair of long trousers and a pair of socks. For
those of you looking to use the FlowRider, ladies please pack a swimsuit
because a bikini will not stay on with the force of the water. Also guys, have a
pair of swim shorts with the drawstring, do it up really tightly and you’ll be sure
not to lose them. If you like doing the behind-the-scenes tour then going into
the galley or visiting the bridge you are required to wear a pair of shoes
with closed toes. No matter what cabin you’ve booked if
you book an inside or balcony book a guaranteed version of that cabin, and it
will be cheaper than a cabin where you’ve picked the specific cabin because
you you sort of end up with the leftover cabins. But if you don’t mind being at
the back of the ship or lower down, which I don’t at all as price is the main thing
for me, I don’t care where I am. A guaranteed cabin can be assigned at any
point up to your cruise. It could be a week before, it could be a month before,
it could be a day before, you will at least get the category that you’ve paid
for – and you could get an upgrade, which would be fantastic! But worst case
scenario you get what you paid for. So that’s not too bad a risk.
Make sure you know what your cruise is really going to cost you, and budget
appropriately. Cruise Lines largely price fares to get people on the ship, and once
you’re on the ship they want you to spend as much money as possible. The
things to really watch out for are gratuities, secondly excursions. Wi-Fi is
also very expensive, and also very importantly is drinks. Most cruise
lines do not include drinks. They can mount up pretty significantly. The fifth
thing that you should really watch out for is specialty dining. More and more
cruise ships have alternative dining venues which they charge for above and
beyond the buffet or room service or main dining room. Don’t
assume that drinks packages are cheaper than buying drinks as you go. Before you
get a drinks package, work out how many drinks you’re likely to have a day – and
see how much that’s going to cost you compared to the drinks package. Because
sometimes it can be like you have to have eight drinks a day to save money with the drinks package. I just couldn’t do! If you’ve got a port
intensive cruise, it might not be as worthwhile having a drink package as you’re
probably not going to drink as many cocktails. So just have a look before you
cruise. Always have travel insurance. In recent years a lot of travel
insurance providers have been catering towards cruise passengers, and there are
cruise specific policies available. These can often include things like
emergency formal wear, missed ports, airline issues and cancelled shore excursions. If
you need to see the onboard doctor, for whatever reason, it can run incredibly
expensive. It can cost anywhere between £50 and £100 just for the
consultation, before you even have any tests and before you have any medications
prescribed. It really does pay to have a good policy, and it definitely
pays to have a cruise specific policy. Consider an inside cabin. Not just
because they’re cheapest, but you get the best night’s sleep in the entire world.
It’s so dark. You save quite a lot of money by booking an inside cabin. It can
sometimes be hundreds and I would prefer to spend that on a beverage package or
an excursion than a window or balcony So at least consider an inside
cabin. Use your phone. Not always in the way
that you normally would because the cost of calls and Wi-Fi can be expensive.
First, take a picture of your room number. It can be very easy to forget
where you are, and it’s not always on your card.
Secondly when you get off the ship to go on a shore excursion, take a picture of
the back on board time because the one thing you don’t want to do is miss the
boat! Don’t always trust the time on your phone because if you’re on a ship you
might go through a time zone and the ship doesn’t change its time but your phone does.
So always make sure you’re on ship time. Thirdly, remember as well with phones to
keep them away from your key card. This is because the magnetic strip at the back
can become de magnetised. There’s nothing worse than walking back to your room at
one end of a big ship trying the key card and it doesn’t work. Keep your card
in one place and your phone in another. So one of the things that I like to do,
also because I like to self explore more, is use the hop-on hop-off buses in ports
and cities where the cruise calls. Because someone has worked out, and curated, the
best places to go. They will have a route which covers those most efficiently.
They’ll have a map showing you where they are and also they will have
commentary, so you’ll get an overview of the city, their history, what
it’s about and you’ll get taken to all the must-see places. A stop will normally be
at or near where the ship calls at, and if there isn’t a regular stop there:
they will often add in a specific stop for when ships are in port. It’s a good
idea to book some things before the cruise like shore excursions, spa treatments and
restaurants. But don’t go too mad – remember a cruise is a holiday not a
marathon! Leave yourself some free time. It’s a good idea as well to make a
schedule before you go. That sounds a bit organised, but at least you’ll know where
you’re eating, what you’re doing, where you’re going, what time the shore
excursions are. Of course you’ll get reminders and the tickets on
the ship, but it’s always good to know “what amI doing today?”. Don’t forget to
leave an outfit out the night before
disembarkation. As you know you have to leave your cases outside of your cabin
the night before you leave the ship. And nobody wants to see a naked passenger
running down the gangway! Follow and subscribe to cruise bloggers. You’ll get
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