Cruise Tips for Making Reservations

Every day, more and more people are discovering the all-inclusive pleasures of a cruise vacation. More singles, families, couples, honeymooners, second honeymooners and groups of friends are sailing away on the vacation of their lives. Last year alone approximately seven million people enjoyed a cruise vacation.  To ensure you have a smooth trip, consider these cruise tips, including what to pack on a cruise, what to bring on a cruise and more.  And as always, remember to consult with a travel agent for your next cruise to ensure you have the best experience possible.


Making Reservations

  • If you’re cruising alone, consider participating in a cruise line’s “guaranteed share rate,” which is a program that finds you a roommate of the same sex. This will help you avoid paying the “single’s supplement.”
  • One way to reduce the expenses of a longer cruise is to choose a repositioning voyage, which is when a cruise line moves a ship from one region to another between seasons.
  • You can also save money through early-bird discounts, which are discounts given for advanced booking.
  • Heavily discounted rates are often available during a destination’s off-season. Determine when that off-season is and look for cruises during those months.
  • If you are crunched for time, book a 3- or 4-day cruise. You’ll save some money and still enjoy the experience of a lifetime.
  • Compare different cruise lines that operate similar itineraries in the geographical region you’d like to cruise.
  • Compare ship sizes and facilities.
  • If you are worried about getting seasick, book a cabin in the middle portion of the ship, both vertically and horizontally.
  • Inside cabins, which do not provide an ocean view, are the least expensive.
  • Outside cabins have a porthole or a window. More lavish outside cabins may have private balconies.
  • If you smoke, consider a balcony stateroom where you can smoke outside.
  • Suites usually provide a separate bedroom, a living area, and a bathroom, and are the most expensive. They may or may not come with a private balcony.
  • If you’re traveling with your partner, make sure that any smaller beds in your cabin can be adjoined. Or request a double bed.
  • If you have a disability, make sure that the ship can accommodate your needs.
  • Because of noise problems, avoid booking a cabin near the ship’s laundry, generator, galley or clubs.
  • Many cruise lines describe suites as accommodations that are simply larger cabins with a curtain dividing the sitting and sleeping areas. Before booking a suite, make sure it is what you envision.
  • If you need to stay wired while onboard, find a cruise ship with an Internet cafe, or in-cabin data ports.
  • An increasing number of cruises offer accommodations for birthdays, anniversaries, business meetings and other special events. If you have reason to celebrate, find out what packaged amenities are available.
  • Most cruises offer pre- and post-cruise packages that involve accommodations, excursions and transfers. These packages are excellent ways to extend vacations.
  • Check the demographics of ships carefully, especially if you are traveling alone or with children.
  • Many cruise lines offer special children’s programs and activities. If you have kids, inquire about children’s facilities before booking.
  • If you are a non-smoker and prefer not to be around those who smoke, book a cruise on Carnival’s Paradise, the world’s first and only completely smoke-free ship.
  • Remember that 3- and 4-day cruises typically attract younger passengers, as do cruises on weekends and school breaks.
  • For a more intimate cruise with personalized service, choose a smaller ship that accommodates roughly 500 passengers.
  • For a good choice of company and more activity, select a medium-size ship with 500-1,000 passengers.
  • In you crave lots of organized entertainment, high-tech facilities and lots of potential friends, choose a large ship with 1,000-3,000 passengers. These ships are destinations in themselves.
  • If you seek relaxation, a “port a day” cruise may become exhausting. Choose an itinerary that balances sea days with port days.