Cruises can be a really exciting way to travel, but they can also be expensive. That’s why we’ve got several tips the industry folks won’t tell you.
Always Read the Contract
One of the main things you should do when preparing for a cruise is to read the cruise contract. Yes, we mean read the whole darn thing. This way you’ll fully understand their policies, terms and conditions before buying tickets.
You’ll know what the cancellation procedures are, what refund percentages can be expected, and other key bits of information. It should also include the loss and damage liability limits for which they’re liable, too. This can help you decide exactly what to pack and what insurance policy to get.
Buy Travel Insurance Elsewhere
Travel insurance is a must to protect you in the event of a delay, cancellation, loss of baggage, and more. You may also want a travel medical insurance policy as well. This will ensure you aren’t faced with major medical bills should you become ill or injured while on vacation. (This is especially true if you are on Medicare, since it will not cover you once you’re outside the U.S.)
While your cruise line may offer travel insurance, it’s often wiser to purchase a policy elsewhere. Also, be sure to check what pre-existing coverage is included, as not all policies will offer it.
Plan Your Own Adventures
While shore excursions can be a lot of fun, they often aren’t cheap. If you don’t want to stay on the ship, however, you can always explore on your own. Of course, if you do stay behind, you’ll likely have more amenities to yourself.
Look for Local Shops
Depending on where you stop, you may find some of the shops in ports are run by the cruise line. Try to avoid these and instead look for locally owned businesses. They’ll likely offer much better deals. The shops onboard are also notoriously overpriced.
Skip Paying for Internet
The internet access available on most cruise ships is often abysmally slow, not to mention expensive. Unless you really need it, we suggest looking for WiFi hotspots or internet cafes whenever you’re in port instead. Make sure you keep mobile devices in airplane mode, that way you won’t end up with astronomical roaming charges, too.