What does "all-inclusive cruise" mean? When is the best time to book a cruise trip? Is it better to choose excursions before boarding? First-time cruise passengers usually have many questions before booking. There are several things every traveler should know when choosing a perfect holiday experience on the sea.
First of all, the all-inclusive cruise does not exist. There are always some costs awaiting the passengers on a cruise ship. Drinks taken at the bar and meals taken outside the rooms are usually paid separately. The purchases made on the ship may also be costly since when the passengers buy something a service charge (of up to 15% to 18%) is added to the bill.
Excursions on the land are naturally paid separately. Moreover, wi-fi access is very often for a fee on the ship, although many companies offer various multi-day pay plans for internet access.
Overall, it is wise to be prepared that the living expenses on the cruise ship are usually about ten euros per person per day.
Before booking a cruise trip travelers should also consider the type of cabin they expect. Very often there are several categories of cabins on the ship, including "interior" cabins that have no windows, "exterior sea view" cabins that have a porthole that cannot be opened, and more spacious cabins or "suites" that have a sea view and have a balcony.
When is the best time to book the trip? A passenger who manage to book early enough (several months in advance) usually get the best prices (because of the earlier the booking, the lower the price), and have a choice of cabins.
As to the land trips, it is important to distinguish between the words "stopover" and "excursion". Cruise ships dock from one port to another, and during the stopovers, the passengers can freely walk wherever they wish. Excursions, on the other hand, can be booked at the cruise company, which is usually more expensive, or at the tour operators on site, who will pick up the passengers at the port.
At the very beginning of the journey, before boarding the ship, passengers pass through a security portal. Whether at this time or at each stop, it is necessary to know which products and objects are formally prohibited and cannot be taken on the board. This is the case with hard liquor bottles, for example. Most cruisers don’t allow it to be stored in their staterooms. And if this one is allowed passengers usually cannot exceed the amount of a bottle of wine or Champagne per person.
It is also smart to have enough cash on you or withdraw money during the stopovers since there is no ATM on the cruise ships.