Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cruise Tips

1. Take full advantage of the provided entertainment- There is never a lack of things to do on a cruise ship.  We went to a few comedy shows, a magic show, a tea party, heard live music and that was only a few of the options.  Make sure you go to at least one!   

2. Bring a bottle of wine- Check your cruise lines policies but most will allow you to bring one bottle of wine per person (over 21 of course) on your cruise at no charge.  If you want to bring it to dinner make sure you pour a glass before you go or they will charge a bottling fee.  We enjoyed a glass in our room after dinner with a cheese and fruit plate to go from the dining room.   

3. Go ahead and order two entrees, appetizers...or dessert- It's your vacation so enjoy yourself.  My favorite part was dinner in the main dining room every night.  They had different options every night and it was fun to get dressed up and enjoy a nice dinner.  Almost every night I ordered two or either an appetizer, entree or dessert (sometimes all three).  It was fun to try new things!

4. Check the ships schedule online for free- If you turn on your wifi on your phone and bring up the ship's wifi option it will open up a browser window.  Scroll down to the bottom and it will have a few options for free use.  One of these is the daily schedule for the ship.  This is an easy way to see what's going on throughout the day without having to bring your big paper schedule.  

5. Always use the stairs!- Trust me you are eating delicious food pretty much all day, you want to do something to counteract all that indulgence.  The stairs are a great way to burn some extra calories, you get there quicker and you're not waiting on the elevator with all the other people.     

6. Order room service- Room service is one of my favorite things.  I love being able to pick out breakfast and have it delivered to my room.  On a cruise room service is a provided service that they offer free of charge, we still like to tip for their effort.  (You can order more upscale items for an additional fee but the basics are free).  We had room service delivered on the last day for breakfast to avoid the long lines at the buffet (which is another tip).  It was really nice to be able to relax and have breakfast while we finished packing up to leave.  It was a little celebration of our last day.  You also don't have to do room service for a meal they will deliver desserts to you anytime of day or night (not even kidding, cookies and milk, cheesecake, and more).     

7. Be prepared for tipping- Cruises are an all-inclusive endeavor (food, room, entertainment).  You do pay extra for drinks, certain restaurants and excursions but still.  Even with all the inclusiveness there are a few "hidden" fees.  Tipping is something you should be prepared for.  You can prepay for this when you book or you can pay after your cruise.  The estimated cost per person is about $12 a day.  If you have any questions or discrepancies make sure to visit the guest services desk.  

8. Look for smaller hidden restaurants- Most cruise ships will have one or two main dining rooms for dinner and then a very large buffet style area for breakfast and lunch.  Ships may also have small lesser known restaurants around the ship.  Ours had a small Italian spot that was free for lunch.  It was a make your own pasta dish that was absolutely delicious.  I loved the atmosphere with it being more quiet and hidden away from all the crowds. 

9. Make sure you use your onboard credit!- When you check in you will be notified that you have onboard credit in your account.  This is money that you can use on the ship for anything you would like.  (Souvenirs, drinks, tips, etc).  We didn't use ours by the end of the trip and instead of blowing it on a bunch of things we didn't need we made a trip to guest services and they cashed it out for us.  

10. Change your phone to NOT change time with location time zones- We traveled with a group and made plans to meet for dinner.  The rooms don't have clocks so plan accordingly.  We were using our phones to check time.  I had an alarm set on mine but little did I know it was switching between time zones as we were traveling.  We ended up late for dinner and very confused about the time.  So make sure your phone is set to stay in one time zone, you can configure that in your settings.  

11. Put your phone on airplane mode!- To avoid any unwanted fees for roaming and data charges make sure your phone is on airplane mode before you set sail!  Trust me you don't want that bill! 

I would love to know your tips for cruising, leave a comment down below! 

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