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This is the Essential Cruise Tips Podcast with cruise expert and author Gary Bembridge. Full of tips, advice and ways to plan and get the most from your cruising vacation.

Aug 10, 2016


In this episode Gary Bembridge, cruise expert and author, shares another Essential Cruise Tip.

Four First-Time Cruise Tips

I was asked by "Cruise International Magazine" to provide a few tips for first-time cruisers for an article they were doing with suggestions from different cruise writers and bloggers.

These are the four that I provided:

(1) Chose your cruise line very carefully. Think about, and ideally write down, what is important to you on a vacation and use that as a checklist when deciding which line to travel with. Most key itineraries are covered by multiple cruise lines but they offer very different on-board experiences. If you want a party atmosphere you don’t want to find yourself on a line focused on traditional and quiet enrichment programs. If you want to avoid children you don’t want to be on a line that caters mostly for families.

(2) Use a cruise agent. Booking a cruise is complex. You need to select the right line, the most suitable cabin and understand what is included and excluded in your fare. There are many permutations and so work with a cruise travel agent. They will also know the latest and most appropriate promotions and offers for your needs.

(3) Check the deck plans when selecting a cabin. Review the layout of the ship you have selected using the brochure or online deck plans. Look what will be above and below you to make sure you have a quiet and calm vacation. Avoid those with public rooms, lido restaurants and decks above or below - and stay away from likely noisy areas like laundry rooms.

(4) When budgeting work on the total cost from leaving home to returning. There can be many extra and hidden costs on a cruise vacation. Understand in detail what the fare covers. The key additional costs are usually excursions (which can cost up to £50 to £100 per person), gratuities (which may be added automatically), Wi-Fi, drinks, and specialty dining. Make sure you have taken into account transfers to and from the ship and good travel insurance that includes cruise cover.

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