If you’re one of those people who books cruise holidays for the all-inclusive benefits and want to squeeze every last drip out of the experience, these tips and hacks are for you. Experienced cruisers have spotted patterns and loops in the Matrix of cruise holidays and helped develop this list, so the savvy traveller can really make the most of a luxury cruise.
- Go for a Dinner-Time Dip
If you are aboard a ship that has two dinner sittings in its main restaurant, the first sitting provides the perfect time to go for a swim. On-board swimming pools are often very busy of cruise ships during days at sea, so finding quiet times for a peaceful swim can be difficult – but about an hour before the first sitting, the pool should begin to empty.
Even better, parents with children on board will be doubly inclined to dine during the first sitting to keep the kids happy, so no kids in the pool making a splash. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to have a good swim, towel off and make the second dinner sitting.
- Check the Gratuities
Many cruise liners add a per-person, per-day gratuity to the total cost of your holiday. Enquire with the Guest Services desk as to the level of gratuities that you are paying per day. This will allow you to budget more effectively. Alternatively, these gratuities can be adjusted whilst on board, but it is worth considering that cruise ship crew members work incredibly hard to make sure that you trip is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
Bear in mind, the tipping policy changes from one ship to another.
- Consult the Bible
Whether you are religious or not, it is always worth checking the Gideons Bible found in your cabin. Many passengers will put unused complimentary drinks tokens inside the pages of the Holy Book which may still be usable during your trip.
- Keep Camera Batteries in the Fridge
If you are planning on taking a host of snaps whilst enjoying the excursions and seascapes, you may end up going through a lot of camera batteries. Get the most out of your batteries by keeping them stored in the mini-bar when not being used. Nickel-metal hydride batteries retain more of their full charge when they are kept in the cold. This means that you won’t miss that gorgeous picture opportunity on the last day with a dead camera.
- Pack a Shoe Organiser
A fabric shoe organiser is the perfect tool for organising all of the bathroom essentials that you and the family have brought with you. Rather than fumbling for the conditioner in a large bath bag, an over-the-door shoe organiser makes finding the bathroom product you need incredibly easy in an unobtrusive manner.
- Utilise Under-the-Bed Storage
Make the most of the space in your bedroom by utilising the underside of the bed as storage space. After unpacking your clothes, you won’t need your suitcases again until the last day of the holiday so pop them under the bed and out of the way. If you have more items you need to store, placing them inside the suitcases further clears up space.
- Don’t Forget Magnets
The vast majority of a cruise ship’s structure is made up of metal and that extends to your cabin. The door and wall will more than likely be made almost exclusively of metal. This means that any loose leafs of paper, vouchers, invitations or documents can be simply stuck to the wall with a magnet, making them nigh-on impossible to lose.
- Photograph your Documents
This tip is particularly important if you are travelling on a cruise ship that takes in a number of excursions in different countries as you may be required to present your travel documents on a number of occasions. Even the most careful of travellers are not immune to losing important documents so it is important to have copies of all the important documents stored safely.
- Regularly Check Deals
Like anything, cruise prices are often dictated by supply and demand, making it prudent to regularly check the latest deals. Due to the time-specific nature of cruises, last-minute deals can lead to incredible savings for savvy shoppers.
Sites such as Cruise1st are given exclusive deals by cruise liners to help them sell last-minute trip to holidaymakers who love a bargain.
- Sign up for a Travel Credit Card
Even if you are travelling on an all-inclusive cruise, the ship will undoubtedly play host selling fantastic goods. These are often in a different currency to the port from which you sailed, depending on where the ship is registered. So signing up for a travel credit card that benefits transactions involving a changing of currency can lead to great savings or bonuses.