7 Tips on How To Take More Cruises

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With over 30 cruises under my belt since 2014 I really want to share 7 of my personal tips on how to take more cruises – so you can take more cruise vacations too if you follow these guidelines!

  1. Book in Advance! Many times the farther out you book the cheaper the fare! This is especially true for newly announced cruise ships, including cruise ships that haven’t even been built yet! Once a ship is announced and the booking officially opens, book! You’ll find the best deals on fare and even special free perks!
  2. Watch for Reduced Deposits! I just love it when cruise lines have sales don’t you? You may not think of a reduced deposit as a sale but to me it’s one of the best types of sales! If you are a family of four for example, you’d have to put down about $1000.00 just to book your cabin … that’s a big chunk of money that will be tied up for quite some time. If you take advantage of reduced cruise deposits then you’ll have  more money free to book more cruises (with reduced deposits!). NOTE: Make sure to note whether the deposit is refundable or not!
  3. Make Regular Payments! You have to make setting aside and paying on your cruise a priority. I like to take the amount owed and divide it by the months I have to pay then make monthly, or even weekly payments. Consider it a layaway … and when the layaway is paid off you will have a relaxing vacation waiting for you!
  4. Watch for Cruise Deals and Freebies! Many cruise lines will offer free amenities like all you can drink, free specialty dining, free wi-fi, on board credit, no gratuities, paid port fees and taxes, free or reduced cost third and fourth guests, etc. Watch for those deals and take advantage when you see them!!
  5. Cruise With Friends! Often you’ll find the more people you have in your cabin, the cheaper it gets! Many cruise lines offer free or reduced fares for the third and fourth guests in the cabin – no matter their age!
  6. Compare! There are many cruise ships and cruise lines sailing from ports around the world visiting similar places. Sometimes the ship next door can be hundreds of dollars cheaper. Also compare prices in different ports. The ship sailing closest to home may not be the best deal! Sometimes you can find fares in popular ports like Miami Florida for less than you’d find it in your home port, even with airfare added in!
  7. Cut Down on your Spending at Home! Make a list of what you spend when you spend it. Look how much you’re spending on coffee every day, or eating out, or going out … it adds up! If you cut down on how much money you spend at home you can save that money and maybe even pay for a cruise with it! Many people not only cut back on the amount they spend on extra things but they try and save money by couponing, or shopping during sales at the grocery store, then putting the money they’ve saved into their cruise trip fund!

Bonus Tip: Watch for last minute cruise deals and even consider setting up a savings just for last minute cruise deals!

stmartin

I’m a travel agent and I’d love to help you with your perfect cruise vacation! I’m great at finding deals and knowledgeable about all the major cruise lines and the best time to travel. Email me at seacruisersvlogs@yahoo.com and watch my tips on how to take more cruises.

~ Amy

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What to Bring on Cruise Port Days

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What to bring on cruise port days … that’s the big question! Well I’m going to give you my cruise tips on what you should pack on “dry” port days and “wet” port days.

You may have your day in port all planned out, or you may not. If you know you’ll be going to the beach, or to a cenote, or somewhere that involves water make sure to bring the items below!

• Tote bag or backpack (waterproof bags work well too!)

• Waterproof Sunblock that you know works well! Keep in mind if you’re doing an excursion on a boat you’ll need lotion not spray as they don’t usually allow the spray type sunblock on the boat.

• Dry clothing

• Towels (your own towels or towels from the ship, but if you use ship towels don’t lose them or they’ll charge you for them!)

• Hairbrush

• Sunglasses

• Hat (floppy and/or visor)

• Snorkeling equipment

• Cash

• Credit Card(s)

• Shipboard card

• ID or Driver’s License

• Waterproof housing for your phone and/or camera

• Battery pack or power bank for your phone

• Extra camera batteries/ SD card

• Medication you may need for the day (prescription, anti-diarrheal, tums, tylenol, advil)

• SPF Lipbalm

• Bug spray

• Snacks (prepackaged and sealed items like energy bars)

• Water (at least one bottle to do you until you get to your destination)

• Water shoes or sandals

• Extra contacts and eye drops for dry eyes

Of course you can bring more but remember, you have to carry this bag all day long and the walk to and from the cruise ship can be a long one.

Check out my video going over what to bring on port days and make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more cruising tips, cruise vlogs, and videos weekly!

 

How To Cruise More Often!

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cruise more oftenWant to know how to cruise more often? Do what we do, put your cruises on “lay-a-way”! I think one of the most important cruise tips we can give you is to put your cruise on “lay-a-way”. What do I mean by layaway? Well let me tell you!

Sit down and plan out the cruises you want to do over the course of whatever time … let’s say 2 years. Once you know which cruises you want to do and when you want to do them start booking! Since you will most likely be booking far in advance a great cruise tip is to wait for a deposit sale. This will enable you to spend less now on that future cruise … and use the money you saved to book another dream cruise for the future!

Did you know you can have as many cruises booked as you want? Just make sure to check the cruise line’s cancellation policies first. Some cruise lines offer penalty-free cancellations while others charge you if you cancel. I personally like the cruise lines that don’t charge you for cancelling, it makes life much easier and flexible.

Now that you have your first cruise or two booked you can figure out your payment plan. See, when you book a cruise you put down a deposit. After your initial deposit you aren’t required to make any payments until final payment day, which is usually 90 days before sailing. After final payment date you are in lockdown … if you cancel your cruise you lose everything you paid on it, unless you have travel protection (which I highly recommend).

The way to make this lay-a-way work though is to make payments. It can be hard because there isn’t a set due date for payments (actually that’s the hardest part). Paying when you don’t have to … but you need to or this method just won’t work right! Look at your balance due and the amount of time you have before final payment date. Once you figure it out divide the balance due by the months or weeks you have to pay in full and make those payments every single month (or week, it’s up to you). Of course in real life things happen and most likely you will miss some payments, but it’s okay, just catch up if you can and continue on. Next thing you know it will be final payment date and you will already be paid in full (feels great, trust me)!

It’s important to recognize your budget monthly and only book cruises you can afford to pay on. You don’t want to go putting lots of cruise deposits down and then not be able to make your monthly payments and be hit with big bills all of a sudden. That leads to cancellation, which means no cruise(s), and the goal here is to cruise a lot!

In a nutshell:

• Determine how many cruises you want to do in the future

• Watch for cruise sales, or cheap cruises and reduced deposits

• Start out by booking one cruise then add more as your budget allows

• Calculate your monthly payments for each cruise and pay them on time

• Continue the cycle as your budget allows … the sky is the limit!

Remember reduced deposits and cruises on sale equal more cruises in the future! Since you are booking in advance you have the upper hand here. Cruises are usually cheaper the farther out they are, unless you find a super last minute cruise deal (which are good too!).

We hope that our cruise tips will help you take more vacations and cruise more often. Have fun and happy cruising!!

~ The Donoho Sisters