Tip #1 To learn the nitty gritty about your stateroom and can’t read the deck plans online head to my favorite site Cruise Critic, find your cruise line and post a question “Is 6029″ a good cabin?” You will surely get comments that will tell you if you have made a good or poor decision. Some deck plans do help. For instance in the Celebrity line of Solstice ships, they have two bumps outs on each side. Some of those are very prized staterooms since they have double or twice as large balconies because of the bump. Many travel agents are not aware of it. Do your homework.
Tip #2 Conde Nast compiled information for you on a range of cruise subjects Click here to go to their site.
Tip #3 What helps seasickness? Fresh ginger but of course if you think you might be prone, see your doctor before your cruise and get the prescription patches to wear behind your ear or get over the counter medications that can help you. You are less likely to get seasick in the Caribbean than you are in the Atlantic though you can get seasick on any body of water.
Tip #4 Repositioning cruises are generally a great value and you may see some ports that you generally would not see. The cruise lines in the fall and spring need to move their ships and will offer repositioning cruises at a discount. Of course that means you fly into one city and out of another but that is no problem – just book an Open Jaw ticket with your airline. I generally go to Repostioningcruises.com to see what is available and then book with whom I want.
Tip #5 look at the cruises that the airlines are offering. You can get airline miles by booking through the airlines. Don’t forget about checking out the cruise prices with Costco as well.
Tip #6 For excursions an option is Shoretrips Although I have not used them, passengers on my last cruise did and they were very happy.
Tip #7 Insurance – some prefer to “self insure” their own trips (in other words not purchase any insurance) while others wouldn’t leave home without it – it’s a very personal choice. If you need pre-existing coverage, you have to purchase your insurance with 14 days of booking your trip. You can purchase it through your travel agent (generally the ship’s insurance) or purchase it on your own. There are many good sites such as insuremytrip.com where you can compare different policies. Most of these policies are secondary and will pay after your primary insurer pays. Some will pay first so determine what you want.
Tip #8 Staying on the insurance topic, some prefer to just have medical evacuation coverage and the one that is recommended the most is MedJetExpress You need to find out if it meets your needs.
Tip #9 My must haves – I always bring a small alarm clock with me since there aren’t any in the staterooms – I like to know what time it is. In my luggage I bring a power strip to plug in my alarm clock, curling iron (ships provide hairdryers), plug in my phone, IPad, laptop, etc. I also bring duck tape to put across closet door/drawers so they don’t open in case of rough seas. I pack my toiletries in a small plastic basket from the Dollar Store and then just put the basket on the bathroom vanity – keeps everything together. My clothes get wrinkled being packed so again I go to the Dollar Store and get a spray bottle and sprtiz my clothes while on hangers and the wrinkles fall out.
Tip #10 Go with a good attitude, don’t sweat the small things, relax and enjoy your vacation.