I’ve been thinking of planning a cruise here lately, and I want to make sure my family and I get the best deal.
I came across a great article inside Travel and Leisure and I would like to share some tips with you on How To Cruise Smarter.
This article is helpful for anyone who has never cruised or has cruised before, here’s how you can get your monies worth.
WHEN WAS YOUR LAST SAILING??
It’s imperative to hire an expert who knows the ins and outs of lines, ships, and destinations. Some agents are only here to make sales from brochures or ship inspections instead of having first-hand on experiences.
Asking your travel agent how often he/she ventures out on the seas can give you a better idea of his or her depth of knowledge about cruising.
Questions to ask: When was your last cruise? How often do you travel at sea? What’s your favorite cruise line, and why?
WHICH SHIP OR CRUISE LINE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
With a vast number of ships on the market, It’s essential that your agent knows the players. Your agent should be able to tell you the size, amenities, cabin categories, and what kind of passengers the cruise attracts.
“What might be right for some may not be suitable for others.”
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRAVEL?
Traveling the Antarctica seas in November is an excellent time to view pristine landscapes and the month of March is excellent for whale-watching.
Those prone to seasickness should avoid the Baltic sea in May and after September.
Looking to cruise the Mediterranean sea? During the summer the cruises tend to be overcrowded, Try traveling during the spring or fall.
WHAT CAN YOU BOOK BEYOND THE CRUISE?
Though your fare will include meals and, in some cases drinks and gratuities, this is only one facet of your trip. Your agent can complete the picture by organizing flights, pre-and post-cruise stays and tours, and even shore excursions that forgo the larger group experience for something more intimate.
CAN YOU OFFER ANY PERKS
Your agent may have a special relationship with specific cruise lines, which can give you advantages over booking directly. He or she can negotiate cabin upgrades, shipboard credits, and price matches, as well as arrange perks like early boarding, access to cocktail receptions and captain’s dinners, or a complimentary bottle of champagne.