Look for Deals: Cruise lines often offer sales or deep discounts which are time-limited. We recommend signing up for various cruise-lines e-newsletter and check out what promotions are offered to their subscribers.
Prevent Sea Sickness: It is best to stock up on precautions for motion sickness because nothing will ruin a cruise faster than feeling ill. A non-medicinal option are Sea Bands which are worn on the wrist which activate pressure points which help some people with motion sickness. There are also some medicinal options such as Gravol or Dramamine which may help but be sure to purchase a non-drowsy formula so that you don’t nap your vacation away. If you are prone to motion sickness, you may want to request a cabin that is in the middle of the ship, and which is on a higher level, both of which tend to be easier to tolerate for those who suffer from motion sickness.
Budget for some extra expenses: Most cruise lines include your room, meals in the casual dining spaces, musical shows, club entrances, karaoke and pool area for the price of your cruise. But there can be many extras. Additional expenses on cruises can vary dramatically so it is best to be prepared. Some examples of expenses that can add up: upgrades in your restaurant to speciality dining, spa treatments, onboard video games, laundry, dry-cleaning, internet use, drinks (alcohol and non-alcohol). One of the biggest bills can be the mandatory gratuity at the end of the trip. Most cruises add a gratuity charge of $10-$15 per person, per day, to your bill. But you are often also expected to tip the porters and waitstaff in speciality restaurants or for room service in addition to that per diem tip rate.
On-shore Excursions: Book your on-shore excursions before you leave. Many shore excursions are sold out before you even leave port so if there is something that you want to participate in, it is best to find out at time of booking and secure your spot.
Watch what you pack: Room on cruise ships are significantly smaller than the average hotel room. You don’t want it cluttered with too many clothing and shoes options. Before you leave, check whether the cruise has a dress-code and pack accordingly. Check whether there will be any theme nights, formal nights etc. Some cruises have the expectation of a very formal evening which would include a tux and formal gown, but these requirements are becoming increasingly rare. Find out what toiletries are provided in your cabin which may allow you to leave this off your packing list. Also, don’t forget swimwear or fitness wear if you want to take advantage of the pool or fitness options.
Bring your own bottle: Check the rules about packing beverages on your cruise. Some cruise lines allow you to bring in a limited amount of water, soda or wine. But make sure to check before arrival to avoid disappointment of corkage fees or confiscation.
Keep our electronics charged: Check what the electrical specifications are so that you can charge your devices without any down-time.
Organize your lists: Every day items can be expensive when bought at sea. For example, alarm clock, batteries, insect repellent, sunscreen, medication or pain relief, sunglasses etc.
Verify required travel documents: At least 3 months before your cruise date, ensure you have a valid Passport and visa if required for your destination. Make sure your airline and other documents are in order.
Fill your prescriptions and pack your medication: Make sure you have enough prescription and over-the-counter medications to last your entire trip including some extra in case there are any delays.
Plan for the Unforseen: Make sure you purchase travel insurance before you leave your home. Most insurance companies will not provide insurance once you have left Canada. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, make sure that your provider will cover you in the event of an emergency medical situation while you are on your cruise. Some insurance companies will deny coverage if you do not comply with their strict stability periods. ClearCompare.ca can provide travel insurance coverage for customers with pre-existing medical conditions even if they are not stable. They also provide clear documentation which lists all of your medical conditions so that you have peace of mind that you are in fact covered. We always recommend that you check your insurance documents carefully to ensure that there are no expensive surprises.
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