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    7 tips to consider before you book a cruise

    7 tips to consider before you book a cruise

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    Over the last decade, cruising has become one of the most popular ways to travel. And with good reason. Taking a cruise means you get to see a variety of destinations, enjoy all you can eat, and you only have to unpack once. But there are some important things to know before you book. Your personal travel manager can help you along the way.

    1. Do your research

    Your personal travel manager can help you to find a cruise that’s suitable for your budget and tastes. An experienced cruise expert can get you the right trip in the right cabin at the right price. Some cruises are intimate and formal, some are more family-friendly, and others are just big party boats. This is all important so you know exactly what you’re paying for and what to expect when you book your cruise holiday.

    2. Book your cruise ASAP

    While many cruise destinations are available year-round, the best rooms aren’t. Booking early has other perks too. If the price drops on the room you’ve booked before you make the final payment, you’ll have the cabin at the lower price. When you have this mad rush of people looking to book that last-minute space, you end up with the better cabin and you save the money. There are usually always early bird specials as well, allowing you a great price if you book well in advance.

    3. Budget for extras

    “All-inclusive” is often a little misleading. The basics for what you need on-board are covered, but if you want better dining, specialty services like massages and beauty therapies, some forms of entertainment – including gambling, merchandise, and alcohol – you better bring some extra cash. Although you can have a great holiday experience by just using the facilities that are included in the price of your cruise, sometimes it is nice to branch out a little and treat yourself to some little luxuries. You are on holidays after all.

    4. To tip or not to tip?

    Don’t feel guilty about not tipping everybody who serves you. A per-day gratuity fee is usually built into the ticket price to cover tips. On the other hand, a lot of the service staff are not paid well, so a small tip might mean a big boost in the service you get.  It important to remember that you’re going to be seeing these people for several days throughout your cruise, not just for one meal or one night at a hotel, so don’t tip too big too soon, or you may find yourself with no money left to spend having fun.

    5. DIY excursions in port

    Guided exploration and tours in foreign countries can be a lot of fun, and often make the trip that little bit better. Optional excursions available on board cruises can be costly and book out quickly though. You don’t have to book your adventures through the cruise liner. At a lot of ports you can do it yourself, or book through a different company if you do your research. However, bear in mind that if you’re late returning the ship isn’t going to wait for you!

    6. Purchase travel insurance

    Like everything else, you can get your insurance through the cruise. But, also like everything else, it’s often cheaper to buy it elsewhere. Your personal travel manager will do your research for you and decide what’s best for your holiday situation, because the last thing you want is to have your holiday ruined by unfortunate circumstances, like a theft or injury, that is not covered under travel insurance.

    7. Check with the government

    It is important to check government websites for the latest travel advisories about dangerous destinations and rules about visa and immunization requirements whilst on holidays. Many government websites also have plenty of info about country-specific crime, laws, medical facilities, and other stuff travellers need to know before visiting certain places in order to keep you safe. The website for Australia is smartraveller.gov.au

    Talk to your local, personal travel manager to make holiday planning easier.

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