Cruise TipsInsider Cruise Tips: What the Cruise Experts Say

Insider Cruise Tips: What the Cruise Experts Say

Cruise Fever asked a few of the leading cruise experts, writers, and bloggers around the world about their favorite cruise tips.  Here is what they had to say.

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Doug Parker ( Considering downloading and using Uber instead of a taxi to get to the airport after your next cruise. I recently did this in Seattle and it cost me $23 versus $50 flat rate from a taxi. Saving me well over 50%! Always, always, always purchase travel insurance. You can find a great policy for as little as three percent of your cruise fare. When shopping for travel insurance, look beyond the cruise line blanket policies and check websites like

Scott Sanders ( Often times cruisers, especially new ones will book a cruise based on advertisements where everything is staged and perfect. However, the reality is that cruise ships operate at sea and are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Additionally, marketing departments’ goal is to generate bookings so real life experiences do not live up to the marketing hype which enticed cruisers to book in the first place. The key is to manage expectations, and be prepared to go with the flow and make the best of any given situation.

For example, the Disney Wonder’s itinerary was altered due to the weather and is in Nassau today instead of Castaway Cay. For many cruisers this could have been a big reason they booked this itinerary. It is ok to be disappointed, but tuck that away and make the best of the day. In this case, do not allow the uncontrollable ruin the remainder of your cruise vacation. I’m not suggesting that you get over it, I am just saying do not let it ruin your day.

Chis Owen ( On cruise ships, when the elevator door opens you will hear one ‘ding’ or two. There is a reason for that. Two dings means the elevator is going down while one ding means the elevator is going up. It’s an accessibility feature for visually impaired passengers. No conclusive answer for what happens if an elevator door opens and no one is there to hear it.

Along those lines, don’t think a cabin right by the elevator is necessarily a bad location. Many seasoned cruise travelers prefer it and also prefer a location right under the lido deck, making morning coffee a quick floor away. Easy exercise tip: take that one flight of stairs, not the elevator. Walking every day for each of a few cups of coffee in the morning can add up to big numbers over the course of the cruise. I am pretty sure 4 trips for coffee each day balances out dessert at dinner. This is not a scientifically proven fact however.

Matt Hochberg ( If you’re flying to your cruise embarkation port, I always recommend to fly in at least one day early. Travel delays due to bad weather, issues with the airlines or an assortment of other typical problems can pop up and prevent you from getting to your port in time for you cruise. By flying in a day early (or earlier), you can absorb these delays without risking missing your cruise. There’s also the added benefit of beginning your vacation a little earlier!

I love to sample the wonderful foods that can be found on your cruise and when it comes to dining in the main dining room, try as much as you like. Unlike land restaurants, there is no additional cost to order multiple appetizers, entrees or desserts. You can order as much as you want and it’s a great way to try new dishes or indulge in some favorites. Don’t be shy when ordering, the wait staff is happy to bring you as much as you care to sample!

Sherry Laskin Kennedy ( For me, there never seems to be enough hangers in the closet. And those “theft-proof” hook-on hangers used by the mainstream cruise lines don’t make unpacking and re-hanging any easier.

To resolve this nuisance, I’ve bought a couple dozen white-coated laundry hangers; the thin kind for drip-drying clothes. When I’m at home and start to pack, I swap my good at-home hangers for these thin ones, and into the suitcase go my clothes, on the new hangers.

Once I’m in my stateroom, it takes all of 5 minutes to unpack and hang up my stuff. Simply shove the cruise lines “hangers” aside and in go your clothes. Makes re-packing at the end of the cruise so much easier, too.

Danielle Fear ( I have so many cruise tips that I don’t know how I could share just one of them, so I won’t, I will share several in a cruise tips power paragraph. First of all, pack an extension! I boarded a ship once that only had one power outlet – I’m not kidding – and it was a nightmare. Hand sanitizer, don’t leave home without it. Yes, they have sanitizer onboard, but what about when you are ashore? Don’t get caught out by germs! Always pack a sturdy shopper bag, that way if you overindulge in the shops ashore (which I usually do) and can’t fit your bounty in your suitcase, then you have an extra bag that can take the strain. And last but not least always, ALWAYS take out travel insurance before you leave home. There are so many people who still take the risk of not purchasing it, but let me ask you, can you afford to spend several thousand dollars if you should need medical care onboard for ONE night? I figured, now go get your insurance!

Mike Faust ( Do something you’d never do back home on land. Cruising is a whole different world, a world to let loose and do things you’d never do in the bubble of your life ashore. Whether it be zipling through the forests of Alaska, swimming with Stingrays, or eating alligator at dinner, ask yourself – why not? (Yes, that is a clever reference to a past Royal Caribbean slogan).

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
Cruise TipsInsider Cruise Tips: What the Cruise Experts Say


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