Improve your Cruise

Improve your Cruise

Let’s face it. Going on a cruise takes practice. The more you do it the better at it you get. Here are some little known secret ways to improve your cruise, even if this is your first time.

1. Don’t Be Late

By that we really mean: get there early, very early. Get there the night before. This may sound like common sense, but many cruisers literally miss the boat. You can easily avoid this unnecessary stress by flying or driving to your port city the day or night before your cruise. You may even add an extra day to your vacation this way. Check cruise tourist information on your city’s tourist boards. Fort Lauderdale’s convention and visitors bureau has a page on their site listing deals on pre- and post-cruise stays.

2. Avoid the Ship’s Pool

The pool on a cruise ship is like huge sun-burning crowd on chairs that are claimed early and won’t give up. But there’s hope. Many new ships have adult-only areas with pools, and they are usually less crowded. Go to your cruise line’s website and check out your ship deck plans to find a spot to claim as your own. Some ships have multiple levels of alfresco seating available, many which aren’t even used because they’re too far from the pools.

3. Eat When You Want

Rather than dining at a prescribed time with a bunch of strangers every night, go off the ship to have a dinner if your ship is in port late. Order room-service breakfast and eat it on your balcony. Make reservations at an extra-fee specialty restaurant on board. They might cost a bit more, but it will still be less than if you paid for a similar meal on dry land.

4. Stay Onboard

Skip the 6 hours crammed on a tour bus and stay onboard. Most facilities on the ship will remain open, and you’ll have them all to yourself. It’ll be your ship for 6 hours.

5. Get a Spa Pass

You’ll have to ask at the spa’s front desk but, for a minimal fee, most cruise lines will let you use the spa facilities, which can include steam rooms, therapy pools, heated tiled loungers and, best of all, solitude. On port days, you may even have them all to yourself.