Manual Newbies Guide to Alaska Cruise Vacations

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Discounts on All Cruises

If your cruise price is reduced prior to the final payment date usually 75 days prior to sailing our Cruise Specialist will reduce your rate so you'll pay the best rate! Some people say that it doesn't matter what your stateroom is like, since you'll only sleep there. Not so! If this is your honeymoon, a special anniversary or birthday, you'll want every detail to be perfect. When you have a nicer stateroom you spent more time in it.

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Sleep in a little later, order room service for breakfast, watch a DVD or relax with a book on your balcony. Don't assume anything: a king or queen-size bed and bathtubs are not in every stateroom on a ship. While some suites do have oversized beds, most other staterooms have single beds that are pushed together for couples. Most cabins have small single-occupancy showers, not bathtubs, so if you like to soak ask for a room with a bathtub. Most important, a nice stateroom makes you more inclined to enjoy things like room service and sipping morning coffee in your plush bathrobe.

The ultimate luxury: a private veranda so you can leave your sliding-glass doors open and fall asleep to the sounds of the sea. A bit of preparation pays off in a carefree trip. Whether you've been busy with work, the kids or just finished planning your wedding, it's easy to forget that life will go on while you're away.

Such as the mail stop it. And bills pay them. I suggest taping a "To Do" list to your fridge and check things off as you go. Remember while packing to include film, extra batteries, sunscreen and travel-size toiletries. You'll find these items are more expensive to buy on the ship, and you may not find your favourite products. Be prepared for the off chance your luggage gets misplaced by the airline or takes a little longer to find your stateroom on the ship. Take a small carry-on bag and fill it with some essentials: medication, sunglasses, make-up and even something to wear for dinner.

As added protection, buy travel insurance that covers you for lost, stolen, damaged or delayed luggage.

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On most cruises, you'll want to schedule all kinds of activities on and off the ship. So will everyone else on board and usually at the same time. Shore excursions on many cruise lines can be pre-booked, but still allow you to change your mind. Spa packages on many lines can be pre- booked, however spa treatments are best to book the first day when you board as certain days are more popular and will book up quickly. For example, if you want to get anything done on the first day at sea, which is also the Captain's Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party and Dinner, you'll find appointments are booked up quickly.

It's also a good idea to make your specialty restaurant reservations on the first day of the cruise so you don't lose out. Some shore excursions are worth taking and others not so much. How do you know the difference? Just looking a the shore excursions guide you'll find activities that interest you.

10 Tips for Planning Your Alaska Cruise • a farmgirl's dabbles

Stick to tours that offer something different! Take a helicopter flight over a glacier, scuba dive at night, go white water rafting or take a spectacular scenic train trip. A car and driver can be a more personal and less costly way to sightsee than on a motor coach. To make it more fun and affordable , put a group together with some new friends you've met on board. Just make sure you're back to ship at least an hour before sailing. Ask our Cruise Specialist which ships offer their passengers more on board.

5 things to consider when planning an Alaskan cruise

Some ships and certain staterooms or suites include extras like terry cloth bathrobes, fruit baskets, complimentary champagne, etc. Our Cruise Specialist will make sure the ship is aware of your special occasion and we'll include a special Bon Voyage gift just for you! In addition, ask about honeymoon and anniversary packages that include special extras like a formal portrait in an engraved frame, a champagne breakfast in bed or side-by-side massages. The last night of the cruise is a bittersweet time.

To determine the price we need to identify one specific ship and departure date. But then, we need to know what type of cabin you prefer least expensive, ocean view, balcony, etc , the number of people in the cabin, and your state of residence, military status, senior and past guest status. Whew — you see how getting a price on a cruise can be kind of complicated! It will reveal a list of all cruises which fit your criteria and give you live pricing and cabin availability.

We can tell you generally that holiday weeks and summer months are the most expensive time to cruise. But, you can use our search tool to list all cruises in order of least expensive to most, so you can easily see what your best deals are.

Here is another great blog post from our agent, Tashas about her cruise experiences. The cruise line is likely to be offering reduced deposits, onboard spending credit, and other freebies if you reserve onboard. Sometimes, there is even onboard spending credit applied to the cruise you are already on AND your future cruise! Most cruise lines offer this convenience. Unfortunately, the Imagination, Inspiration, Sensation, Spirit, Valor, and Legend do not have Future Cruise Counselors onboard the ship but the remaining, unmentioned vessels do. The reservation can be combined with other promotions, except interline discounts, and you get two vouchers for the same onboard credit that you can give to friends or family who will be joining the sailing.

You are afforded a lot of freedom and few restrictions because you can cancel for no charge up to 90 days before the scheduled sailing. You also can change your cruise date or ship, and, if the price drops for your cruise, you can get the better deal. The Cruise Later program, in particular, allows you to take advantage of the bonuses without the bind of being locked into a specific cruise. If you reserve a cruise with Costa while on board, you get a 5 percent discount that becomes guaranteed once you finalize the booking through your travel agent.

The cruise line also runs promotions on top of the 5 percent discount, such as a euro voucher to use toward that future cruise. Rules and restrictions are provided on board and may be more binding than onboard booking programs. If there is a specific sailing you are interested in, be sure to ask the counselor onboard the ship if you can use it for that cruise prior to purchasing.

You can select a specific cruise at the time of purchase or you can save your bonuses and have them applied at a later date. Guests must sail within 18 months of the date they book on board. Ths program is also limited to two staterooms on one future cruise per household, any additional staterooms may be booked at normal rates. Name changes to the reservation may be made as long as one adult on the original booking remains on the reservation. Because of the blackout dates, you may not be able to apply the bonuses to a sail date that works for you. There are also restrictive name change rules and only an month time frame to use the future cruise credit.

An itinerary can be chosen while you sail or cruisers can make a future cruise deposit and take up to four years to pick a cruise before the deposit expires. Cruisers can book specific cruises while onboard or decide up to four years later before the deposit expires. Anyone wishing to cancel must do so within 30 days, which is a very short time frame. Also, guests who cancel would then be charged for the instant onboard credit portion of the purchase.


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Nonetheless, this is a great option if you are certain you are going to cruise again and will not cancel your cruise or return your future cruise credit. Reservations made under this program can be for a specific cruise or an open reservation to sail which must be used within four years. Deposits are refundable within the four year period as long as they have not been applied towards a future sailing.

Guests get two NextCruise certificates for themselves or their friends and family who can sail with them and also receive onboard credit.