There’s nothing like getting some exclusive inside knowledge on cruising, whether it’s on what cruise line to book with, what cabin to pick or how best to spend three hours in every port of call.
Well, www.CRUISE.co.uk‘s specialist cruise consultants have spent years cruising the world and between them there isn’t a ship or cruise line they wont have experienced along with pretty much every destination you can ever think of cruising to.
It’s about time they shared every tip, trick and piece of behind-the-scenes knowledge they have built up in the past with you so you can be sure in the knowledge that booking with one of our consultants guarantees that you’ll find out everything you need to know before choosing your perfect cruise…
1. It’s All-Inclusive But Not As You Know It
Lesley Millward: “Whilst sailing with Royal Caribbean I discovered that they allow their guests to order as many different dishes as they want whilst they dine in the main room- with no extra costs!
Meaning you get to try as much food as you want to (often including things you’d only sample in the best land-based restaurants) and it’s all included in your all inclusive package.” Read more of Lesley’s tips here!
2. Make Friends With The Photographers
Ben Allsopp: “When taking a Disney cruise you’ll definitely want to get loads of great photos to share and remember your trip by. Photographers on-board Disney cruises are sure to come around and take a few professional snaps of you, which is great because they’ll arrange everyone together nicely and you’re guaranteed a magical and scenic backdrop.
My tip is to also ask them to take some snaps on your own camera or smartphone at the same time- they’ll be happy to do this and you’ll have some photos to look at (and to use for bragging on social media!) straight away.” Read more of Ben’s wise words here.
3. Don’t Forget To BYOB (Or Two)
Jo Cunningham: “Since 2012 Royal Caribbean has allowed its passengers to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom on board. This doesn’t just mean having a few extra glasses in your cabin, Royal Caribbean also removed the $25 corkage fee for drinking in public areas in 2014.
You can even bring your own wine down to the main dining room where your waiter will be happy to open and serve to you. I think it’s great to be able to enjoy your favourite wine anywhere you like on the ship!” Click here for more tips from Jo!
4. Cruise Lines Are Not One And The Same
Steve Fuller: “Once you’ve tried a few different cruise lines it’s easy to notice how different the experience on-board can be. It might seem obvious but it’s important to research which cruise line you’ll be sailing with, as well as the places you’ll be visiting and the price.
If you love getting dressed up for formal nights then you might be left disappointed cruising with NCL (try Cunard instead!) but if you’re looking for something that keeps the whole family entertained then NCL is a great choice. Booking with a Cruise Consultant means you’ll be able to make the most of our years of experience and we’ll always be completely honest with our suggestions.” Click here to hear more from Steve!
5. Discover Secret Spots By Studying The Ship’s Deck Plans
Finding a quiet place to relax away from the crowds can really make your cruise, particularly on days at sea. Our consultants are always hunting out the best spots whilst on board. Here are a few of their tips on finding the secret spots onboard:
Rosie Taylor: “When I cruised with MSC on the Sinfonia I booked an outside cabin (at the back of deck eight) due to the fact all the balcony cabins had sold out. When I stepped out of my back door I found a massive balcony that no-one knew about until over a week into the cruise, it was like having our own private balcony!
Not only that, it provided a shortcut to the buffet restaurant. I’d definitely recommend looking at the deck plans before you travel, you could really miss out otherwise.” Read more of Rosie’s blog here!
Holly Crabtree: “Something that I totally missed out when I first cruised with MSC was the Top 18 sun deck. The main pool area was busy and jam packed with families, this deck was like a calm oasis.
With a Jacuzzi, small bar and an all inclusive band on your wrist, you’re sure to get served in a flash, not a splash! Our cruise consultants have lots of similar tips for different ships, so be sure to let us help you with your research.” Read more from Holly here!
6. Keep An Ear On The Kids
Julia Rhodes: ‘For families travelling with children it is often hard to decide between all the different things to do when on-board, separating is hard because phone calls are so expensive, and we all know what it’s like to come home to a huge phone bill.
My advice is to bring along two-way radios! Then the children can roam freely but still keep in touch, meaning you don’t need to worry about them or your phone bill.’ You can read more of Julia’s blog here!
7. Use Port Days To Find On-Board Deals And Discounts
Barbara Hopley: ‘On port days, spas and hair salons on-board will often have deals on. Shops will also reduce the price of alcohol and cigarettes due to the fact the prices on shore are often cheaper. So if you’ve decided to miss an excursion, make the most of the on-board offers!’ Click here to read more from Barbara’s blog!
8. Some Cabins Really Do Come With More Than Meets The Eye
Collette Apak: “When I cruised on Independence of the Seas I was bumped up to the ‘sweet’ above the Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream restaurant. I was a bit unsure when I realised my view for the whole cruise would be two cows’ backsides… But was it worth it?
Yes! It was, the stateroom was decorated with a black and white cow print theme with little extras such as pillows, cushions, ornaments and even an alarm clock, all with the cow theme.
The main clincher for me was the free daily ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s of course) for both passengers and the use of the exclusive Concierge Club on deck ten, something I’d probably never have been able to experience otherwise.” Read more of what Collette has to say on her blog here!
9. It Pays To Be A Clued-Up Cruiser
Lee Johnson: “You may not know that booking your next cruise whilst on-board is even possible, let alone sometimes the best time to book! If you have planned your next cruise you can confirm all of the details on board and you’ll be entitled to any on board booking offers, which can include free on board credit and upgrades!
If you haven’t decided where you want to go next you can also pay a Future Cruise Deposit and decide which cruise to take at a later date. I recently looked after a booking for a couple going on another P&O cruise and they got £250 on board credit from paying just £75 each on their last cruise!
The icing on the cake is that you can even nominate a Cruise.co.uk agent when you make your booking on board, so we can take care of your booking and add on any of our own little extras.” Read more of Lee’s advice here!
Have you got any good insider tips or useful advice? Do you have anymore cruise secrets to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below or read more of our exclusive tips below…
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