Top 10 Things Smart and Savvy Cruisers Always Do for Their Cruise

Aug 01, 2023
cruise ship deck

Welcome Back! Byte Size Cruises here and if it is your first time on our blog, we are glad you’re joining us. We go over all things CRUISING so you can plan and go on your best cruise adventure. We are a small travel agency outside of Philadelphia, PA looking to share the best tips, tricks and trade secrets. Let’s get into today's topic: 10 things smart and savvy cruisers always do. 


1: Set a budget for your cruise UP FRONT. This will save you a lot of time, energy, and emotional headaches later on. The last thing you want to do is overspend while away OR miss out on an awesome adventure that you skipped because you weren’t sure if it was in your budget. Set an overall budget per person, for example, $3,000 for everything. So, that’s the cruise and all the fun stuff, but also travel, taxes, etc. Look at all of your options and know ahead of time how much spending cash you have in your budget for fun extras along the way.


2: Book your next cruise from your current cruise! This is something that smart and savvy cruisers do all the time. Now, if you booked through a travel agent, don’t worry. The cruise line will be able to see that and the agent will get credit for the next cruise you book. Also, most of the time you will get several extra perks if you book while on a cruise, such as free upgrades, extra onboard credit, etc. 


3: Choose your cabin wisely and DON’T take a guaranteed cabin. Look at the floor plans and where your cabin would potentially be on the ship and make an informed decision based on the type of cruising experience you want. Something to keep in mind with this is to look at what would be around your cabin and really make sure you’re okay with that noise being heard throughout your trip. 


4: Arrive at your port AT LEAST one day before your departure time! We cannot stress this enough. Think through the logistics of your departure. Are you flying or driving to your port? Where will you stay overnight? Where will you park your car? The more logistics there are the more potential there is for something to go wrong, so always give yourself a lot of extra time. If you’re flying to your port, try to book an early flight the day before your departure to avoid delays or cancellations. 


5: Don’t buy cruise line transfers. While it may seem easier upfront, more often than not you wind up waiting around for a bunch of people and crammed into a small bus or van. Often it costs the exact same amount to take a rideshare vehicle to your destination. With a rideshare such as Uber or Lyft, you can travel on your own schedule and be far more comfortable doing so. 


6: Get cruise insurance! When you are traveling outside of the USA for any reason you should have some type of travel insurance. It’s easy to forget that in other countries, healthcare is very different and they are under no obligation to treat you should something happen. Also, if something serious happens and you need medical treatment, with cruise insurance you will be airlifted to an American facility for treatment by an American doctor which, most likely, will be covered by your health insurance. If you don’t get cruise insurance and are forced to receive treatment abroad, assuming they accept you, you will pay out of pocket for the treatment and most likely will be in a tourist city, not a city that has the most advanced medical devices. All that being said, get cruise insurance!


7: Use a port day as your own private sea day. Pick a port you may have been to before or one you’re not so interested in and instead of getting off the ship, use that time to do ALL the fun things on the ship that are normally packed with people. Think - no line at the waterslide! 


8: Join a roll call. These are groups on social media that you can join that will give you lots of information and insight into your cruise. We recommend you join them ahead of time and then leave the groups as soon as the cruise starts. More often than not, once the cruise gets going people use these platforms to complain and that is not the kind of negativity you want to invite to your vacation! However, ahead of time, you can learn about events happening, cool shows, opportunities to meet people while aboard, etc. 


9: Do a TON of research ahead of time and BOOK all your excursions and adventures before you leave. The last thing you want to do is create a stressful situation because the adventure your family was counting on sells out. Choose each piece of your cruise wisely to craft exactly the vacation you are looking for. Remember, your internet access on the ship may be spotty so your best opportunity for research is at home before your leave. 


10: Use a CRUISE SPECIFIC travel agent if you’re going to use one. A good cruise travel agent will have awesome information for you and will know all the ins and outs of cruising and what to recommend to you. Also, remember, your travel agent will never charge you more than a cruise will. 


Bonus Tip: Sign up for the best arrival time! The cruise line can notify you a few weeks in advance to let you know when the best time is to get to the port for a seamless transition. 


Those are our top 10 things smart and savvy cruisers always do! Would you add anything? Comment below! We would love to hear from you. 


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