Booking a cruise vacation

Booking a Cruise 101: Tips and Tricks to Get the Most from Your Vacation

In March 22, 2017

If you’ve poured over all the possibilities available to you for your perfect cruise vacation, you’re probably ready to start booking a cruise. While deciding on that dream trip out to sea can be a daunting task, making sure you’re able to fully enjoy the experience is next on the list! We’ve got some great tips and tricks to help when booking a cruise, as well as some need to know cruise information and some ideas to help you really get the most from trip.

Booking a Cruise – What You Need to Know

Q: How far in advance should I book a cruise?

A: The pros and cons are pretty substantial depending on how far out you’ll want to book. If you’re looking for cheap cruises, booking a cruise closer to the date of travel will generally get you the best prices. Booking farther out, however, will guarantee you better cabin selections and other perks.


Q: Do I have to pay for the cruise upfront?

A: Travelers will almost always have the opportunity to make payments on a cruise vacation. By putting a deposit down (the amount varies for each cruise line), you’ll be able to reserve your spot on the boat. Be sure to check your cruise line’s policies on when your final payment is due, and on cancellation or refund policies.


Q: Am I locked into paying for my cruise, no matter what?

A: We can’t always control what happens in life, so when we plan a cruise vacation in advance, things may come up. Most cruise lines allow for name changes, rescheduling or, in worst case scenarios, a complete cancellation. Of course there are usually associated fees, but you may not be out the entire cost of your cruise vacation.


Q: What kind of ID will I need to go on a cruise?

A: While each cruise vacation is different, check here for a more in depth explanation of what kind of ID you’ll need to go on a cruise trip.

Tips, Tricks, and Other Cruise Information

  • Food – One of the better amenities of a cruise vacation is the unlimited food available to travelers. Buffets are available almost around the clock, but you don’t have to eat there. Speciality dining locations are located around the boat, with room service available as well. Just check with your boat’s staff to get clear instructions on fees and other potential costs when enjoying dining options that aren’t fully included in your cruise package.
  • Drink – Outside liquor is generally not allowed, but buying drink packages can give you the added value of unlimited beverages onboard, including coffee, tea and sodas. Open beverages are allowed wherever you go, so if you’re carrying an adult drink, no need to finish before you head to the pool.
  • Cabin accommodations – Remember, the boat you’re on is made of metal! You can bring along magnets to hang things on the walls themselves. Cabins are also typically small, unless you’re able to splurge on a larger cabin, you’re going to find yourself in a tiny space without any natural light. When booking your cabin, decide what amenities are most important to you, if waking up to sunlight is one of them, get one with a window.
  • Port time – Regardless of the length, theme or destination of your cruise vacation, considerations when booking a cruise should include what there is to do when your ship docks in port. Local culture, activities (like swimming with dolphins or nature hikes), dining, shopping and relaxing on the beach are all great ways to spend your time in port. Of course the options are endless so be sure to check with your travel agent or cruise line for more information.
  • Entertainment – This goes for on the boat and in port. Night shows, kids entertainment and daytime activities are available almost constantly. Check your boats newsletter or itinerary for more cruise information.
  • Packing – We know, you want to look your best always but don’t overdo the packing list! Pack the essentials and always consider where you’re going and for how long. The wardrobe you’d pack for a trip to the Caribbean is going to be different than for a cruise in Alaska.


If you’re booking a cruise vacation, we want to make sure you have the very best time possible. So arrive prepared, research  your options, and enjoy your time at sea. Let us know how your cruise vacation went, and happy sailing!

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