Here we offer our helping hand to new cruisers and travelling veterans alike.
For now, here’s a sneak preview of the handy tips we have to offer. To be the first to know when further updates come out simply…
1) Everything You’ll Need for Embarkation Day
The day’s finally arrived! You’re setting off on your voyage and you want the smoothest first day possible. After all, the quicker you get yourself sorted the quicker you can put those feet up.
It all begins the day before leaving home, when you’ve inevitably left half your packing until there’s 24 hours left (we’ve all been there). The best things to bring are money saving extras; a small £1.20 bottle of travel wash can save you a few pounds, for example. Also, bringing something to wrap up and protect souvenirs. Save some bubble wrap from your next Amazon purchase. It will take up next to no space in your suitcase and if, in the end, you don’t need it just throw it out.
Have a quick check of the dress code before packing, double checking you’ll have everything you need and inspiring some outfit choices. Remember you’ll need different outfits each day for excursions, dinner, beaches and pools; anything that can pull double duty will make packing much easier.
In between picking out your dinner outfits try to put together a hand luggage of essentials for the trip. Just tick off one or two outfits and all the basics too; phones, wallet, passport etc are so essential that remembering them can become second nature, but that one time you do forget you’ll very much miss them. That way, if you’re that unlucky “one in a million” whose luggage is lost by the airline, you still have enough to get by whilst it makes its way to you.
Once aboard, you’ll no doubt want to see everything your ship has to offer and we wholeheartedly recommend getting the tour in early. Even with hours on deck your time will fly by and seeing a snapshot of what your vessel can offer can inspire how to fill that free time. Every ship is different so go see what yours has to offer!
Finally, once you’re ready to settle in your room or by the pool, don’t be surprised if your stomach starts to rumble. In the excitement of embarkment you might forget to eat. Best choice; start off in one of the ships dining areas rather than the buffet that will be packed before you know it.
Then settle down with everything you need on board, a full stomach and cocktail in hand and relax. You’ll be at your first port before you know it.
2) Making the Most of your Ports
You’ve disembarked and arrived in port. Whether you’re stepping off into a jam packed marketplace, quiet city streets or just to feel the sand between your toes you we’re here to help you get the most out of every precious moment.
For some, half the fun of visiting ports is the thrill of exploration but, even so, a little prep helps to set you off in the right direction. Knowing that the beach is 5 minute walk north or that an awe-inspiring view is “just past that tower” doesn’t spoil the fun of discovery.
Of course, those who enjoy a planned route can create their own guided tour before even setting off. With all the info available online you could end up planning your wander through port. There are even pre-made tours available for many of the mainstream destinations, easily downloaded to your phone and off you go!
Ports will be full of entertainments, both lavish and free. Markets can be a rip off, but browsing is fun and any live music nearby is free entertainment. Or, say you splurged a bit more than expected at the last stop, the beaches will often be close by and always be free!
Finally, remember that port stops will go ahead whatever the weather (except in the case of major storms) so best remember to pack one extra layer, just to be sure.
3) Value for Money: On Board
If you want to make sure your money goes far then simply ignore all the extra indulgences on board, save for where it will really enhance your experience. We definitely don’t want you to give up your poolside cocktails, so here are some tips to help savvy cruisers squeeze them into the budget.
The on board dining experience is somewhere you’ll likely want to treat yourself, however to get the most out of your money try keeping it just that: a treat. You’ll nearly always find dining options included with your original packages where you get more than your money’s worth. Don’t think of them as less because they’re included. Save the expensive options for special nights or when you want to be pampered. Either that, or save on the afternoon cocktails to make up the price.
Politely refuse a souvenir glasses unless you’re sure you want to keep it. In fact, any extra gifts or souvenirs can be saved until the last days, when you know you’ve got the leftover cash (and you won’t have to look after it for very long!).
The savvy, loyal cruiser will often be rewarded with discounted drinks among other things. If you’re sailing with a liner you’ve previously enjoyed then be sure to check what freebies you might be entitled to!
Finally, a few general tips. Always be on the lookout for vouchers or discounts throughout the journey; everybody can afford a quick 241 cocktails or free breakfast offer. Most importantly of all, just keep track of your tab. Simply write down your extra spending on a pad or your phone, so at any time you know how much extra you’re spending.
What are your money saving tips on luxury liners? Share a few in our comments or on social with the hashtag #CruiseShow
4) For more useful tips head over to our dedicated blog!