Cruise like a Prince (or Princess) at a pauper's price!

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You don't have to spend a lot to have a lot of fun...  

Raye & Marty Trencher

Cruise Traveler Magazine


CRUISE TIPS

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 to home.

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, shoreShore Excursions Group currently offer over 1,200 shore excursions in the major cruising destinations around the world including the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii, and Bermuda. Each excursion has been handpicked by their team of experts to ensure that your customers have an excellent experience. 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. Shop around.

Major travel service providers like Travelocity, ExpediaPriceline 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 Onboard.

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 gold" there.

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 Un-connected! 

Are you always tethered to the office? 

Must you check your email, smart phone and browse the Internet 24/7 while at sea?

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


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