Cruise control: A few helpful tips
Chicago Tribune (MCT) - These days, cruising might be the least stressful way to travel and see the world, but it pays to revisit ways to reduce your tension and make the most of your days at sea.
_Trip cancellation and travel insurance is a small price to pay if you must cancel a cruise because of a crisis, especially now when losing a job looms large for many. Also with medical evacuation costs often running into the tens of thousands of dollars, travel insurance could be a smart investment if, for nothing else, peace of mind.
_Never pack anything in your luggage you couldn't stand losing forever, and, to save space, don't pack anything you don't intend to wear at least twice or that isn't readily washable. Most ships (especially mega-vessels) provide self-service laundry facilities onboard, so don't be afraid to pack on the light side.
_Tape your name, address, phone and cell numbers inside your luggage. Outside labels are as abused as the suitcases themselves and might not survive the journey. Inside, they will.
_Always carry your cruise and airline documents on your person and not in your luggage or carry-on bag, which might easily be misplaced or lost in the confusion and hurry of travel.
_Stuff an extra collapsible duffel bag or two into your suitcase. At the end of your vacation, you'll be glad to have additional luggage to store your dirty laundry or those never-thought-you'd-buy mementos.
_Before your trip, take a snapshot of your luggage inside and out. This will make it easier for airline or cruise personnel to identify your belongings if they are lost. The photos also might prove useful for insurance purposes.
_In these tight times, penny-pinching makes sense. For instance, before heading off to the beach or excursion, consider packing a lunch. Either ask your ship's waiter or room service to prepare something for you, or head to the buffet and pile on your own favorites for the day's outing. Not only will this save you money and time in scouting for a place to eat, but, in a foreign country, also dealing with currency exchanges.
_Are you or the kids hooked on sodas? Instead of running up a large tab for pop, consider purchasing the cruise line's all-you-can-drink sales. Prices vary, but anticipate anything from around $35 and up for a week's worth of never-ending fizzy beverages.
_Hate noise and prefer a calm cabin? Avoid staterooms next to triple and quad cabins, especially during summer and holiday sailings, when you're more likely to find your neighbors are not singles or couples but families with kids.
Also keep away from rooms near elevators and utility rooms (such as the laundry) or those above or below the show lounge, casino or pool deck.
_Not all private balconies are private. Check out the printed deck plan in the line's brochure to see if your neighbor above has a bird's-eye view of you and your veranda.
_Wash those hands! Norwalk virus has ruined many a passenger's cruise, and the best way to avoid a few days confined to your cabin is to soap your hands meticulously. Just as important, when you dine at the buffet, either wear gloves or use a napkin to ladle your food into your plate. Don't be embarrassed. Your neighbor on line might smirk inside, but you'll have the last laugh if others wind up nursing the Norwalk.
_One shrewd shopper we know never buys any mementos from the ship's gift shop until the last day of the cruise, when many T-shirts and novelty items are mostly half off.
_You might find cheaper excursion bargains ashore than onboard. Lots of savvy cruisers simply step off the gangway and sign up for excursions with the myriad tour operators that typically line the pier.
_If you want to sightsee in the Caribbean, consider renting a car or hiring a taxi for a guided tour of the island. You'll probably save a bunch over the ship's shore excursions and have a lot more say on how long you want to stay at the beach or linger over lunch.
_If you are the go-it-alone type, you might find a cruise guidebook, a book on ports of call and, of course, the Internet invaluable in planning your own adventures. Cruise-specific Web sites abound and are chockfull of firsthand advice.
_Lastly, onboard art auctions have been taking a rap in the media recently. You might want to think twice before you shell out hard-earned money for the pitch about a Dali print or any other painting or lithograph. Of course, you're always welcome to attend these auctions just for the entertainment. No purchases are necessary.
© 2009, Chicago Tribune.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Travel News
- Abbey of St. Foy is longtime medieval pilgrimage route
- Austere Abbaye de Fonteny filled only with light
- British man visits all of the world's 201 nations - without flying in a plane
- The Basilique Ste-Madeleine second only to Notre Dame in size
- Mont-St-Michel island abbey connected with natural land bridge
- Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire Abbey greets visitors near Orleans in central France
- The Abbey of Fontfroide was onetime center of orthodoxy
- France's Saint Hilaire Abbey contains sarcophagus of Saint Sernin
- Bring binoculars to the St. Matthias Abbey Church to see architectural marvels
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Rome, Vatican & Italy
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church.
Saint Peter's Square
Saint Peter's Square is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave within Rome. The open space which ...
The Coliseum is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one ...
Sistine Chapel is the best-known chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope in Vatican City. It is famous for its ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 1/17/2013
The Abbey of St. Foy, nestled in the hills of southern France is a beautiful Romanesque church perfectly aligned with its surroundings. The ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 12/5/2012
Found in the Burgundy Valley, the Abbaye de Fontenay is a well-restored 12th-century Cistercian monastery founded by St. Bernard of Clairvaux. The ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 11/27/2012
Thirty-three-year-old Graham Hughes of Liverpool wanted to travel with his feet firmly planted on the soil. To this end, the eccentric Briton can now ...