How would you like to dine
on succulent lobster and steak, leisurely enjoy the hot tub,
swimming pool , turquoise-blue waters of the Caribbean and
sunbath on white-sand beaches, all the while being entertained
by Broadway-style shows and comedians. Perhaps go "out on the
town" dancing to tunes of your favorite hits, sung by
romantic singers and even take in a world-class ice show -- all
for less than $100 a day.
How? Take a 7 Day Cruise. Drive, Sail and Save. Cruise from
Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Galveston, Port Canaveral or Tampa.
It's rather easy to find an affordable way to experience a
luxury vacation. First time cruisers and seasoned travelers
alike can find fares between $75 and $100 a day, and save even
more by driving to the pier that is the closest departure port
When You Go... Determines What You Pay.
Cruise at off-peak times and you'll save a bundle. Cruise
during the holidays, spring break, school holidays or the summer
and it will cost you more.
How You Plan, Determines How Much You Save.
If you drive to your port of departure, all you have to spend
is the cost of gas and for parking at the pier. Far less than
the cost of airfare and parking at the airport. Be frugal and
avoid all the "extra's" on board like specialty dining, shore
excursions, the spa, and buying up all those pictures the ship's
photographer took of you both. You can plan your own shore
excursions with private companies, such as
ShoreTrips and the
Shore Excursions Group. You'll save as much as 20%-50% off what
the ship will charge you. Or just take a local taxi to the
beach ( sunbathing is of course free)
Where You Go, That's Up to You.
Most cruises will take you to the Eastern or Western
Caribbean. Eastern Caribbean cruises include ports visits to the
Bahamas( Nassau) , Virgin islands (St. Thomas), and St. Marten.
Western Caribbean cruises visit Mexico, ( Cozumel, and/or Costa
Maya ) Grand Cayman and Jamaica. Some ships will stop in Puerto
Rico or visit the Turks and Cacaos.
Passports Not Required
Cruises that begin and end in the United States do not
require passports. If you don't have one and plan on a cruise
that goes roundtrip from a U.S. city, you will save around $120
per person for the passport fees. You can use a certified copy
of your birth certificate and, if your name on your driver's
license ( bring it also ) does not match your birth
certificate , bring along your marriage license, or other
documentation that will prove without a doubt, who you
are. The rules change from time to time, so check with the US
passport office and the cruise line for the latest requirements.
Knowing what documentation you need is your responsibility.
Failure to have the proper identification and proof of
citizenship papers with you when you check in at the pier, will
result in denied boarding. You will not be allow to go on the
ship and you will not get a refund from the cruise line.
While you are not required to have a passport, we highly
recommend you do. If you have to fly back home from a
port-of-call due to an emergency, and you don't have a passport,
you may have difficulty leaving that port or getting back into
the United States. All air flight passengers are required to
have a passport when going to or from a foreign country.
More Ways To Save Money, Time and Effort, Leaving
More Time For Fun!
Research, research, research....Check with your local
neighborhood travel agent. Visit online cruise travel websites.
travel service providers like
and Cruise Direct Online offer incentives to buy from them. They
may have bonus shipboard credits ( $25 -100 per cabin ), free
cabin upgrades, reduced rate discounted shore excursions, spa
treatment coupons, senior, family or resident rate specials.
Stay Away From Impulse Buying
Your cabin key card is also you
onboard "charge" card. It's easy to get caught up in all the
excitement, take out the card and hand it over for such things
as spa treatments and specialty restaurant up charges. Avoid the
Casino at all costs. We've never seen anyone win a "pot full of
Instead, enjoy the ship's entertainment that might, depending
on the ship you sail on, include ice skating; a rock-climbing
wall, mini-golf, volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard, table
tennis, hot tubs, pools, comedy shows, live music, dancing, a
movie theater, stage shows and a disco.
Your On Vacation. Stay
Are you always tethered to the office?
Must you check
your email, smart phone and browse the Internet 24/7 while at
You're supposed to be getting away from it all. But, if you
must stay connected, online access, even cell phone service, is
available on most ships. Internet service is not as costly as it
used to be-- around 65 cents minute on Royal Caribbean's Allure
of the Seas -- however, don't expect the blazing speed you get
at home. Even with all the technology advances, they still
haven't managed to get it working much beyond the dial-up speeds
of years ago. If you have a smart phone, you may be able to get
a reduced per minute rate ( say $2.50 a minute as opposed to
$6-8 a minute using the ship's phone ). Check with your carrier
and see if they have a "cruise" service package. We have AT&T
and they do, so we saved a bundle on our recent Royal Caribbean
cruise on Allure of the Seas.
And remember, you can cruise like a Prince or Princess
without having to deplete the Royal Treasury.
end of article