Cruises are amazing vacations, but with any trip there are always tips & tricks to make it run smoother. Below are some of the shortcuts and a few helpful ideas I have learned over my vacations and I am now passing on to you.
Drinks & Food
Many people ignore these amazing opportunities. If your cruise offers a drink package, whether it is non-alcoholic or alcoholic, if you are able to afford it, please consider this option. When you are on cruises you will always drink more than you plan, simply because of the atmosphere. If you drink more than 6 drinks a day you will most likely be saving money.
Most alcoholic drinks come out to $10 or more, as they will charge a tip on every drink purchased. I have seen one too many friends think they can get through their trip cheaper without purchasing this package and unfortunately they are proven very wrong.
Filtered Water Bottles
Water is available on board, but bottled water you will have to pay for it. If you are picky about water, I suggest purchasing a filtered water bottle (you can find them at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc.). Bringing this bottle will allow you to fill your water bottles in your stateroom for the cruise. Easy and quick fix.
There are no limits on the amount of entrees, appetizers or desserts that you order at dinner. Have all appetizers for dinner, or have 2 lobster entrees with some escargot for dessert. It is all up to you. This is your chance to try explore and be adventurous with some recipes you have never had before.
FREE!! That is right, room service is free of charge, except for some cruise lines which specify late-night hours which they will charge a small fee. You will find a room service menu when you first arrive on the ship and some even offer specialty items. Get comfortable and order up some late night treats while you recover from your long day of travel.
Majority of cruise lines offer pizza and self-serve ice cream 24/7. You heard me correctly, all day and all night you can have pizza and ice cream! Find your pizza station when you get on board so you can find your late night snack after you have been at the disco till 2 am.
Having a day bag for your embarkation of the cruise will help your trip start off quickly and easily. You will check in your larger bags when you arrive at the port before boarding. The day bag will allow you to have access to those priority items immediately. Your day bag should include all your essentials for your first few hours on the ship. Refer to my cruise packing list on my previous post for more details on what to include in your day bag.
If you are traveling with a group or even your significant other bring a set of walkie talkies. Cruise ships are larger than you can imagine and many times you will want to explore the ship. Having walkie talkies will allow you to find others in your group quickly and meet up for different activities on the boat.
Wrinkle Spray Remover
An amazing invention, wrinkle spray remover! On cruises you will not have access to an iron, but you want your clothes to look amazing for all of your pictures. You can find wrinkle remover spray at many of your major department stores such as Target or Walmart.
If you have an inside cabin it is very easy to lose track of time as you do not have any natural light. A quick fix is to tune your television to the bridge cam channel and place it on mute. Now you have your own nightlight and a way to see if the sun is up in the morning.
If you have to stay in contact with those back home, more cruises are now providing Wi-Fi for a minimum fee. You will have options on the type of access you would like, but a basic package will let you have the major apps available to you such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Excursions through the cruise may not be the cheapest, but they are the safest and most reliable. When traveling to foreign countries you must always be highly aware of your surroundings and those offering to take you to alternate locations. The agencies connected to the cruise lines have gone through extensive background checks and are rated on each trip by those who attend. Also, they guarantee your arrival back to your ship on time for departure. If you are going to purchase an excursion, I would highly suggest doing so before your trip as many of the popular excursions are sold out before the cruise even sets sail.
If you have a crowd in your stateroom, try heading to the spa area. Using the spa shower and sauna will allow you to have more time in a larger shower stall while others fight over the shower in your stateroom. Also, if you feel like you might be getting a cold the sauna is a great remedy.
I hope these little tips and secrets help you achieve the best cruise possible! Also, check out this awesome cruise packing list to make sure that you bring everything you need on your vacation. Please share any of your own recommendations that you have used on your cruises, I would love to hear them!