Even someone who hasn’t taken a cruise yet can imagine why it’s such a popular way to travel. It’s easy to picture endless blue seas under wide-open skies, interesting ports of call, delicious food and great onboard entertainment; we could go on.
In addition to all that, those who have been on a few
cruises know there are some special features and services onboard that can make
the experience even better. Here are a few of these “insider” tips:
Room service on a cruise ship is a bargain. On many ships, room
service is free, though some lines charge a small delivery fee or ask you to
tip your server. Either way, a breakfast or a late-night snack delivered to
your stateroom is a fun and inexpensive luxury on a cruise ship.
The dining room and restaurant menus may list dishes as
appetizers, entrees, or desserts, but it’s not as strict as that may imply. Go
ahead and ask for a smaller version of an entrée to try as an appetizer; enjoy some
appetizers as your main course; and if you can’t decide between two desserts, ask
for a small portion of each.
The best time to try a specialty restaurant on your ship may
be the very first night of your cruise. Some passengers won’t be aware of these
special (and often gourmet) restaurants yet, which can make it easier to get a
Your ship’s spa may offer special pricing for first-day
appointments. As with specialty restaurants, some passengers won’t think about making spa
reservations until after they board. If you’re interested in a massage, skin
treatments or other pampering, visit the spa desk on the first day. (There may
be more availability and special pricing for port-day spa appointments, too.)
If you think your stateroom would be better with the bed on
the other side, one less side table or different pillows, ask your room steward
for help. Some furniture can be rearranged (at least a bit) or taken away for
storage, and different bedding options (such as “egg crate” mattress toppers)
may be available.
Finally, if you need time to adjust to the slight motion of the
ship, don’t rush to buy a seasickness remedy. Ask your room steward for some green
apple slices and bland crackers; lots of crew members recommend this remedy. If
you still need medication, it’s often available from the purser’s desk at no
Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for more
insider tips as you decide where to take your first, or next, cruise.
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