Friday, May 27, 2011

How To Book Your Cruise - First Time Cruisers

Remember to share this blog with your friends and always read the older posts for lots of cruise job information and current contacts.

yes, sometimes, its good service to provide our guests with information on how to ensure their best cruise vacation. The next little while, I shall address these dfferent issues for guests - especially important for our frst time cruisers!

Number one advice??? Be your own advocate!!! keep your head in the game - stay on top of your booking - even if you use the cruise line directly or a travel agency. If you choose to book on a discount website, make sure they offer a service whereby you can CALL SOMEONE and SPEAK to SOMEONE in person!!!! very important - "Vacations To Go" is great; deals aside, they offer great phone service!!!

Before you leave your house for your cruise, do a couple of things...they will make your initial time on the ship much easier.

1) print out the ships itinerary - know where you are going!
2) print out a copy of the ships deck plan - learn the layout; where's your room, where's your dining...most important...learn where the bathrooms are located on each deck - especially if you travel with family!
3) go online, flickr etc and get a copy of the ships daily programme - to get an idea of what is available on a daily basis
4) if you are using any cruise credits, cruise certificates, certificates for gifts or onboard credits, bring copies of these documents with you - should there be an issue, its easier to remedy if you have your paperwork available
5) do not pack anything you need right away into carry-on; with thousands of pieces of luggage to deliver to the rooms, don't expect to see your bags first day, until around 6-7 pm.
6)shipboard activities all begin ON TIME - -check the daily programme - be 10 minutes early to ensure you catch the entire activity - limited staff conduct ALL the daily activities - schedules are tight!
7) Alcohol policies - CALL EACH CRUISE LINE DIRECTLY to find out their alcohol / soda policies for each ship. The can be different. Don't rely on a website, travel agent, friend, "a guy said", etc....CALL THE CRUISE LINE DIRECTLY and ask. AND, do not try to outsmart ships security with stashed alcohol. All baggage goes through security screening machines which easily identify alcohol and the ship will take it form you and return it at the end of the cruise. Also inquiere about buying liquor in port - can you drink it on the ship?
Don't assume...ask!!!!!! When you make an ASS out of U and ME!

Or, as I prefer to say......KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

If you are cruising with children, inquire about the onboard programs and make sure you attend the very first program orientation - usually held the first day!!!!!!
If you are traveling with friends or family members who have special needs, make all the arrangements BEFORE you get onboard!

Confirm with your agent, cruise line website, all the details of your cruise before you depart - do it 90 / 60 / 30 / 10 days before you leave your house!!!!!
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! Say it over and over ad naseaum.........