Where do you buy your cruise?

So you have finally decided to take a scenic ocean cruise, but do you know where to buy your cruise? There are many places to buy cruises from; you can either buy your cruise directly from the cruise lines or use your local travel agent or even book it online without any human interaction. The question is which method better than the others? cruise ticketsWell, that depends. However, the best method is one that gives you the best results but if it doesn’t, it would not hurt to try other options and see what happens. If you are a first time cruiser, it is best do research first and then consult a cruise professional to help you buy your first cruise. However, if you have cruised before you can be able to decide on your own. Through out this article we shall be looking at some of the places/ways you can buy your cruises.

Travel agent
In order to decide whether to buy your cruise from a cruise line or travel agent, it is important for you to understand the relationship that exists between the two entities. The cruse line pay a commission to a travel agent which is why you do not pay anything extra if you use one or even pay the agent himself. However, there are a few individuals who work as travel agents who may try to charge you a surcharge or a premium above what the cruise line charges for fare. Other than that trained cruise agents are a good option to get your cruise tickets. This is because they have been trained and they can be able to get you the best price and the best quality service available.

Departure port
A departure port is one of the places where you can buy your cruise directly from the cruise line. Buying tickets for your cruise at a departure port may save you a significant amount of money especially if your buy them a few days prior to the time the ship sets sail. This is because the operators of the cruise line do not want to set sail with vacant cabins because it costs as much fuel to set sail as with 300 passengers on board as it would cost to sail with 400 passengers. For this reason, the cruise lines sell the tickets at a reduced price to attract customers. However, the ease of finding these deals is mainly determined by the cruise line that you are using.

Online cruise agencies
If you decide to use this method it is worth noting that the biggest travel agencies for hotels air tickets are not necessarily the best when it comes to cruises. This is because only a few of their daily transactions are cruises. Most of the online cruise agencies are handled electronically. Therefore; if a problem occurs during the cruise there is not much that they can do to help unless you had established a relationship with a one of the company representatives before sailing. Establishing a relationship with the people who work in these agencies is very important so that if you ever encounter a problem on your cruise you know who to call. Also when using this method it is advisable to first find an online cruise travel agent before you can go to their booking engine. Check through their different ships and cruises to pick the best date. The price of cruises is greatly determined by the sail date. That means that you can find identical cruises that charge very differently.

Before buying cruise tickets you have to do extensive research compare destination, prices, sail dates and cabin categories. When you find a cruise of your choice, call up the cruise agency. Making that call is very important because you get to talk to experts and you can even negotiate the prices. After making your booking online it is important to do some follow up on your booking. Make sure that you get a confirmation number and that the amounts charged on your credit card are accurate. A confirmation number is very important because it gives you access to your booking information.

Any of these options can be the answer to where do you buy your cruise? The trick to saving money when buying your cruise on your own is to know exactly what you want. You should also be very careful when dealing with travel agents to avoid being defrauded by the fake ones.


Cruising Basics- My Take

Cruise vacations rank highest in terms of vacation value and satisfaction. Cruising not only offers adventure but also relaxation on the sea that lives you with enough memories to last a lifetime. Cruise ships have accommodation, entertainment, adventure, dining and so much more without leaving the ship. Cruising for the fist time is exciting but it can also be scary for some people. Much of this anxiety can be alleviated if you understand some of the cruising basics.

Choosing the ship
Before you can begin booking, it is important to know that there is a prefect ship for every person. You can cruise on a small ship, a big ship or even a mega ship. Some are good for families with kids and others are for retirees who just want some peace and quiet. There are 4 categories in which the ships are classified. They are contemporary, cruising basicspremium, deluxe and luxury. The contemporary ships are the largest and they carry a lot of passengers. They are also the biggest brand names. They are also known as mainstream cruise lines.

The premium cruise ships are a bit smaller carrying about 2400 passengers and they sail to rare and exotic destinations. They offer a quiet and add a more personal touch to the cruise experience. The deluxe cruise lines are much smaller than premium and they carry a maximum of 700 passengers. These have topnotch restaurants and comfortable state rooms. These travel to a different port every day and even offer overnight stays in some ports. These ships have no children programs and there is not much entertainment on board. The luxury cruise lines are the fourth and last category. In these cruise lines, passengers are offered the best cuisines. The have spacious staterooms at sea and they are very comfortable. They also have a butler on board and also open seating restaurants to allow guests to dine whenever they want every night.

Cruise port
This is the starting point of every wonderful cruise vacation. The first problem that cruise travelers have to deal with is finding the port. The port can be located in a downtown area with a lot of congestion which is why it is important to find the port a day prior to sailing. At the port there is parking, timing and luggage issues that you have deal with while checking in to the cruise port. In order to give your cruise vacation an easy start, it is advisable to know the procedures that are in place beforehand. Once you enter the cruise terminal you need to check in to confirm your arrival. In order to speed up the process it is good to have all the required documentation within reach. Some of the documentation required at the terminal is a photo ID, a birth certificate and a cruise certificate. If you are a couple going for your honey moon you may carry a copy of your marriage certificate. Some cruise ports may require some custom forms as well therefore inquire beforehand.

Cruise pricing
The price of your ticket covers your cabin, food and on board entertainment. Except in luxury cruise lines you must pay for all your alcoholic beverages and soda on board. There are many gift shops on board in all ships and if you submit a credit card upon boarding your entire shipboard charges including tips will be posted to your stateroom account. The other charges that can be put on your credit card are shore tours provided by the cruise line, dinner reservations, massages, spa treatments, photographs taken by the ship photographer, purchases made on the ship and special dining rooms.

Other than basic luggage what else should you carry?
Cruise ships are different from hotels. All the passengers check in to the ship at once and thus thousands of luggage pieces are received at the same time. For this reason, you may not receive your bags in your state room immediately after boarding making carry-on important. If you are with your family pack all the things you need to get you through dinner time. Some of the things to pack include bathing suits, toiletries, a change of clothes, diapers and baby wipes if you have a small child, sunscreen, sunglasses and medications. It is also worth noting that each and every cruise line has a certain dress code for evenings which can vary daily. To help you pack the right attire, check your travel documents.These are the cruising basics in a nutshell.


Tips on Overcoming Seasickness

Your cruise will not be as pleasurable and relaxing if you are so seasick. Sea sickness makes you feel like you want to jump overboard. Seasickness is a kind of motion sickness. It occurs because when you are on sea, your brain can sense the movement of the ship and the water. But, your eyes perceive a very different kind of motion. It is this disparity that gives you that nauseating sensation in your stomach that may be accompanied by dizziness or light headedness.


Not everyone gets seasick on a cruise but if you get sick, you can overcome this problem by preventing it beforehand or by dealing with symptoms as they come. Here are some tips on overcoming seasickness that would be veryovercoming sea sickness useful:Prepare in advance by getting adequate sleep the night before you set sail. If you don not get a good night sleep, your body will be worn out making you highly susceptible to experiencing the effects that result in seasickness. Do not take alcoholic beverages excessively the night before your departure. You should also eat a small meal to make you full and not bloated or overly full once you get on board. Avoid greasy foods acidic fruits such as bananas or apples and juices too.


Try to avoid muffins, milk or cereal and coffee too. Such foods and drinks can cause you to have a stomach upset and aggravate seasickness.Have some on peppermint candy on you to suck on as soon as the ship begins to move. Sucking on the candy restores your balance and the peppermint can calm down an upset stomach.Take some seasickness medication like Bonine or Dramamine before you leave. This medication works only before the feeling of nausea sets in. If you are already feeling nauseated, eat some ginger in either its raw form, in crackers, ginger ale or cookies. Ginger is a natural remedy for nausea but if you feel like you really have to vomit, do not suppress it. You will feel much better immediately after.Drink plenty of water through out the cruise to remain well hydrated whether you are experiencing sea sickness or not.


Dehydration is one of the things that cause the symptoms of seasickness. By all means avoid alcoholic drinks because they can dehydrate you body and cause you to become disoriented thereby resulting in seasickness.Stay busy on deck with activities such as board games or swimming. By keeping your mind occupied on anything else other than the motion of the vessel, the distraction will reduce the effects of seasickness. Staring at an object for a long time or reading will only exacerbate the effects of seasickness.Find a spot on the ship that has lots of fresh air and remain there until the symptoms subside. Cool fresh air will relax your body and help you to overcome the effects of seasickness.Focusing on the horizon or a steady point at a distance is also among the tips on overcoming seasickness.


A steady point enables you to focus your eyes and adjust your brain to the surrounding. It is also better to stand and move around instead of lying down when you start felling nauseated and dizzy.If you have a record of motion seasickness, avoid booking the inside cabins. Instead book a cabin that is near the center of the vessel instead of at the front to reduce your overnight sway. While sleeping, sleep on your back to calm your body. During the day avoid staying in a stuffy cabin and instead move around taking deep breaths of fresh air or relax in the large public lounges that have windows and distractions to help you overcome the feelings of nausea.Drink a soda such as Coke or Pepsi.such drinks minimize the chances of getting sea sick because they contain phosphoric acid which controls vomiting. Plain crackers such as saltines are also effective in reducing the stomach acid that is churned up by nausea.


If the indigestion persists take some antacid.Wear a pressure band around your wrist to give stable and light impact on your pressure points. There are also some trans-dermal patches (Scopolamine patches) that are placed behind the ear which also minimize the side effects of seasickness. These are some of the common medical treatments that can help you to overcome seasickness. It is advisable to consider all the possible side effects of these medical options before commencing treatment.


For The First-time Cruisers….

For most people a cruise vacation is just the ultimate dream vacation; the sparkling sea, sunlight, entertainment, fine dining and all the luxurious surroundings. These vacations allow you to travel to different places that you might have never been to in just one trip. Cruise vacations are very relaxing and pleasurable but without proper planning they can be a stressful event especially for first-time cruisers. Here are some tips to help first time cruisers who might be anxious about what to expect and how to prepare for their first cruise experience.


Since it is your first cruise, you might not like the idea of being within the confines of a ship for the better part of your cruise tipsvacation. Therefore, it is better for you to take a short cruise first maybe a 3-5 day cruise to test the waters before going for a longer cruise.Schedule your shore excursions and pre-book on the cruise line website months ahead of your cruise. This will save you a lot of time standing in line once you get on board and peace of mind because you do not have to worry about the tours getting sold out later.


Some of the shore excursions that fill up fast are swimming with dolphins. You should also pre-book your spa treatment appointments on days at sea so that you can have ample free time while at ports of call.Prepare and pack all required cruise documentation. Fill out all the required boarding paperwork and attach the tags that are provided to your luggage. Pack some essentials in a carry-on bag. The carry on bag comes in handy because it takes a lot of time for your luggage to arrive in your cabin.


The contents of the carry-on bag should be all the items you think you will require that will get you through dinnertime. They could be bathing suits, cameras, first aid medication such as Tylenol and antacids, prescription medication, toiletries, sunblock, diapers if you have kids, a pair of flip flops and a change of clothes. Read the travel documents to know the cruises dress codes. The dress codes may change on a daily basis so check and pack accordingly.Obtain your passport as soon as you can to avoid complications and do not forget to carry it. Passports may take time to receive once ordered, so starting the application process in advance is better.Carry an extra credit card.


Once you get on board, the cruise line will ask for your credit card to cover the on board purchases. The cruise line runs a credit card authorization for certain daily amounts according to the accommodation chosen. Running a credit card authorization freezes the credit available on your card. This is done to ensure that the cruise line receives it money. Carrying an extra credit card on the cruise ensures that you have enough credit to buy additional things at ports of call.Cruises have a lot of food. Some cruise lines assign people to a specific table and dinner time in the main restaurant while others have an open restaurant.


You should be aware that in some cruises there is a surcharge for dining in specific premium restaurants. Cruise restaurants also have buffets, coffee shops and grills so if you are a picky eater you can be sure to find something you like. For most cruises alcoholic drinks are extras. A $10 tip is usually automatically added for bar service to your bill.Checking in for your cruise may take up to 30 minutes. It is advisable to have all your travel documents within reach to present at check in. You will also be issued with a key card which also acts as a charge card for any extra charges you incur in board the vessel. Do not lose the key card. When boarding the vessel the ship photographer will take your picture which will be included on your bill.


To enable you to locate your cabin, the spa and the other recreational facilities with ease ask for a map of the ship.Since it is your first time going on a cruise vacation, it is best to use a travel agent to book it for you. Also if you flight is delayed or cancelled, inform the airline personnel that you are a cruise passenger immediately so that they can try to fix you on another flight. Call your cruise line immediately and let them know about the hitch.
Proper planning and preparation is the key to a successful first time cruise so take your time when doing so.this article is aimed at arming first-time cruisers with some helpful information to make their first cruise unforgettable.