In about 2 months we are going on a cruise. The first thing we did was to research what the best cruise would be for us. Here are our first set of cruise travel tips.
How we searched for the best cruise?
We are a big fan of review sites. If you want people’s real raw opinion beyond any flashy marketing jargon, then you have to listen to people who have been there. For cruises, the best place to look at cruise reviews is http://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/?src=nav
You can look up critiques on specific cruise lines and even ships in a cruiseline. Most people have nothing to gain and nothing to lose by giving their honest, unfiltered opinion of their experience. These are REAL TIME reviews. Not review from a year ago, but from days or hours ago. Read the bad and good reviews objectively. Some of the reviewers are “cry babies” that complain about petty nonsense but some are legit complaints that happen to more than one passenger on the same line. Things like food poisoning or super high prices should not be ignored when scores of passengers on the same line and same ship are complaining about consistently.
When should you get your tickets?
Choose early because the good deals go fast. Also prices tend to go up as it get closer and closer to big vacation days. For example, the closer you get to summer the faster the slots fill up. The space on the ship is limited so don’t wait.
What are the Travel requirements?
We noticed that the requirement actually vary based on where the cruiseline goes and what your citizenship status is. For example, a “closed loop” travel is when the ship will return to the same port it originally traveled from. A closed loop can be traveled by a nonimmigrant of the United States who has proper documentation (a passport and applicable documents). But if the cruise will end in another port, their maybe issues for nonimmigrants in the US. The situation really depends on where the travel will end and the status of the citizen, immigrant or nonimmigrant. The only way to be sure is to contact the cruiseline.
It seems like a good idea to have a passport just in case you miss the ship and get stuck in another country.
While booking tickets travel insurance is your best bet to be safe. Just in case emergencies happens where you have to cancel your trip or you change your mind and decided to travel somewhere else instead of a cruise, the only way for you to get your money back is to be insured. In the cruise policies (Carnival cruise), I noticed that there is “No refund”. Once you have book your trip you cannot get your money back if your trip is within 2 months. You will have to pay a $200.00 cancellation fee.