Cruising is back more than ever since the shutdown in 2020. Guidelines are changing by the day as ports and cruise lines resume welcoming back travelers. Understanding how to choose and book a cruise is more important than ever. Don’t worry. We’ve got all the trip-choosing do’s you can use to find the perfect cruise!
How to Choose and Book a Cruise
Cruising is (mostly back)! So, it’s a good time to revisit some of our cruise series topics in 2020. Wave season is coming, so be ready for excellent promotions and great opportunities.
If you want to cruise, NOW is the right time to plan!
5 Questions to Help You Choose the Right Cruise
With so many options for cruises, selecting the best cruise for you can be overwhelming. You have to answer 5 easy questions.
- Where do I want to cruise?
- When do I want to cruise?
- How long of a cruise do I want to take?
- What is my budget?
- Which cruise line do I want to sail?
Some of these questions can be confusing, so you’ll always benefit from seeking the expertise of a travel advisor.
How to Book a Cruise
Booking a cruise can also be confusing and seem like a formidable task.
- The number one piece of advice: Use a travel advisor!
- When should I book my cruise?
- What cabin or stateroom should I choose?
- How much will it cost me to book my cruise?
- What cruising extras do I need to consider?
Question: What is your biggest question about cruising?
Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!
Other Cruising Episodes
- 10 Reasons Why Ocean Cruisers Will Love River Cruising.
- Why You Should Vacation With American Cruise Lines – 17
- 9 Common Cruise Myths (Debunked) – 25
- How to Choose the Right Cruise for You (January 2021 version) – 26
- Cruise Line Comparisons (for Alaska and the Caribbean) – 27
- Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Updates (with Amy Southgate) – 29
- Stories of Cruise Customer Service Experiences – 40
- 7 Vital Mistakes to Avoid When Cruising.
- Cruising on Virgin Voyages (With Jen Neal) – 83
Start Making Your Magical Memories!
Ryan and Shayne are both Travel Advisers with Creating Magic Vacations, an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Feel free to reach out to us for a free quote and to start making magical memories.
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- Wellington, New Zealand
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Episode 126 Transcripts
Episodes are transcribed with artificial intelligence, so there are likely some highly amusing translations!
Ryan: Hello, and welcome to All Things Travel. Cruising is back more than ever since the shutdown in 2020. Guidelines are changing by the day as ports and cruise lines, resume welcoming back travelers. What does this all mean? Understand how to choose and book is more important than ever. Don’t worry. We’ve got all the trip choosing DOs you can use to find the perfect cruise. You’re listening to All Things Travel, episode 126, original air date, September 14th, 2022.
all right. Shayne cruising is mostly back. So we thought it would be a good time to revisit some of our cruise series topics. Believe it or not. In 2020, we had a whole series of crew episodes that we love doing. And, but we didn’t realize that it was gonna take till right about now for cruising to get back to normal, but it kind of feels that way.
Shayne: it feels like it’s almost full-blown. A few ports, I guess that aren’t running at full speed yet, but it is kind of funny that we had all those shows ready in December and January of 2020, because I really thought cruising would pick back up in 2021 in but it did not.
Ryan: Yeah. And when we say back, I think instead of saying cruising is back cruising is. You know, cruising is open to everybody regardless of vaccinations, regardless of your status and your situation. So I think that’s what makes it feel. So quote unquote, back. I think it’s good that we’re talking about this today, because we’re gonna see in the next couple months, what’s called wave season where the cruise lines are gonna bring out promotions, specials, information about cruising.
But boy, I think we need to get on top of this. If you want to cruise now is the right time to plan because it’s not gonna take long for everybody to realize that cruising is back open and they’re gonna start booking trips. And so get a trip on the books, get something that’s refundable, even if you’re not sure.
So that way you can know your cruising, but also make a smart choice later on with sticking with that cruise.
Shayne: That’s absolutely right. I was looking just yesterday for some cruises out of Galveston throughout the rest of the year. And there was a lot of interior cabins and ocean views, but I was having a hard time finding balconies orand available on those ships.
Ryan: All right. So before we get into the cruise news that you can use, where in the world is All Things Travel?
Shayne: I almost faked myself out with this one because I was seeing two Wellingtons. So I had to dig a little more to see that it wasn’t Wellington, UK. There’s a few new listeners in Wellington, UK, but a bigger pack. If we will call them that of listeners from Wellington New Zealand and.
Ryan: All right. Welcome New Zealand. Welcome welcome to All Things Travel.
Shayne: I think in New Zealand I would just wander around and just Marvel at the fact that I’m in New Zealand, you know, in Narnia, in Riverdale, just all the gorgeous places that are filmed there because it’s such an idyllic country.
Ryan: Well, I love it. Welcome New Zealand. We are so glad to have you listening to All Things Travel. Do us a favor. I would love to pay the postage to send you a little, thank you gift. So reach out to Shayne or I. Either on the Facebook group or on the emails that we’re gonna share at the end of the show, because I really do have a thank you gift that I wanna send you for being featured on the show today, all the way from New Zealand.
Shayne: And be sure to follow All Things Travel. So that next week you find out where in the world is all Things Travel?
Ryan: So Shayne to go along with our discussion cruising today, it’s the middle of September.
You know, me, I get a little itchy. If I’m not planning a vacation,
Ryan: I’ve got some ideas. I’ve got some ideas that involve a vacation
Shayne: A vacation idea.
Ryan: they involve. You my podcast host and they involve some of our listener friends.
Shayne: I’m interested.
Ryan: And I think this episode is gonna get me excited about it. And you know what, that’s all I’m gonna say right now, but boy, I’m excited about this. So you want to stay tuned. You want to be listening to our episodes because the more we talk about cruising, the more I’m gonna talk about. Well, if that’s all I’m.
Shayne: Yeah, I definitely like where this is going.
Ryan: Well, today we’re gonna be discussing, choosing, and booking a cruise that fits you best. And I think from being a travel advisor, I think cruising might be one of the most. Confusing things for people to think about plan and figure out until they’ve cruised and then they love it and they want to do it over and over and they know just what they want to do.
But I, I think there’s definitely some things that we’re gonna share today to help you narrow down what the best way to choose a book. A cruise is for you and your.
Shayne: Let’s see what we can do to clear up these cruising waters.
Ryan: So, first of all, Shayne, what’s the first thing we need to think about when it comes to a cruise,
Shayne: Where do I want to take a cruise?
Ryan: there’s a lot of options. Aren’t.
Shayne: Oh man. Just all over the world between oceans and rivers all over the world.
Ryan: Well today, we’re gonna talk primarily about ocean cruising, but there’s really three kind of areas that people need to think about when it comes to an ocean cruise, right?
Shayne: Yeah. There’s the Caribbean, which would also include some destinations in Mexico. There are Alaskan cruises and then European cruises.
Ryan: Yep. And the advantage of a Caribbean cruise is you can do it all year long where Alaska and Europe pretty much have cruise seasons. So, you know, that’s another thing to consider. What’s the next thing to think about?
Shayne: which cruise port do I want to sell out of? .
Ryan: So do I want to drive to the port? Do I need to fly to the port? Am I combining this with another vacation? So maybe I wanna fly. I wanna fly into Orlando and sail out a port Canaveral and then spend some time at Disney universal after my cruise. Or am I close enough to a port where I can drive that day?
And just because I live in a colder climate doesn’t mean that I won’t necessarily have a cruise. You know, if I’m in New York, New Jersey, Maryland you know, there are places that I can cruise out of that are close to my home.
Shayne: In it’s interesting living in Texas, most people I talk to. Really convinced that they have to cruise out of Galveston for some reason, because it’s warm here. It’s the port in this state. But when you live in Indiana or Ohio, you don’t really think that way. You think about all the ports in the United States.
And if you live somewhere like in Texas or Louisiana or Florida, where you have a port or two or three. Think a little bit about other places, you know, California and New York that also have ports that you could cruise out.
Ryan: And then along with the the, where, you know, what are some of the desired destinations, you know, if you’re going to the Eastern Caribbean, You’re going island hopping. But if you’re going to the Western Caribbean, you’re hitting some very different places like Jamaica, like Mexico, maybe Honduras.
So really a Caribbean cruise is not the same. A European cruise is definitely not the same. You could be all over the Mediterranean. Alaska is pretty much, you know, you’ve got a menu of ports that you’ll be hitting along the way, but where do you want to go on that cruise? Not just in general, but. The next thing we need to think about Shayne is the win and the length.
So cruises can be anything from a two plus night with the majority of cruises being between three and seven nights. Now, important to remember here, a three night cruise is not a three day cruise. It’s a three night cruise. So. Keep in mind when you’re planning this. If you have a three night cruise, you essentially get on the boat midday, spend that day, spend the night, you’ve got one day, two day, two days.
You’re off the boat. After breakfast on that third day. So, you know, it’s really a two day cruise, two and a half day cruise. So a, a shorter cruise, even though it may be cheaper, might not be the better cruise.
Shayne: And then you definitely want to have a day in your port city versus trying to arrive there and go directly to the port and get on the boat. It’s a lot better to spend the night there and be there,
close to where you’re gonna go.
Ryan: just as we’ve talked about, flight delays, flight cancellations, I’m sorry to tell you the boat. Doesn’t wait for you. If you miss that boat, you miss that boat. And so always, always, always, if you are traveling other than driving an hour or a couple hours, if you are driving a significant difference or you are flying to the port, make sure you have that day that you’re getting in ahead.
It saves you so much stress, to not have to worry about that. And then also thinking about the, when are you going during the off season or going during the peak season now, again, with Alaska and Europe, there are seasons to travel, but. You don’t necessarily have to go right in the middle of the summer.
When it’s peak season, you can go on, what’s called shoulder seasons. Maybe it’s in the spring. Maybe it’s in the fall. You’re gonna find different weather, but you’re also gonna find very different crowds when it comes to the people cruising and the Caribbean, even though it’s year round. Think of it the same as a theme park vacation, the times that kids are in school, there’s less families, less people cruising the C.
Shayne: Which means more options when it comes to booking your cabin. If you’re booking barn up in advance,
Ryan: So Shayne, most people are confused when I talk to them. And the first thing I ask is the, where and the when. And I don’t ask this third thing first, because that’s what most people think of. And I think they get tripped up here. What’s the third thing to think of when it comes to choosing a cruise.
Shayne: What is my budget for this cruise?
Ryan: So why wouldn’t I think of that very first.
Shayne: It doesn’t really help you narrow it down if you you wanna narrow it down first so that you have an idea, you have to have a starting place pretty much. And knowing where and knowing when is your starting point.
Ryan: yeah. And I think part of that is, people come in with the budget first. I think one of the things to remind them is everything that is traditionally included in a cruise. This is obviously your accommodations. This is your onboard activities, inter entertainment. There might be some activities that you have to pay extra for, but the majority of things are already included in that cruise fair food.
For the most part, again, there might be some specialty dining that you’re paying for, but you’re absolutely getting. Getting fed throughout your entire cruise as part of your cruise fair. And kids programs on family cruises is included. So first and foremost, you can think about that when it comes to budget.
You know, maybe if you’re used to parceling all those things out to create your budget, you’re not gonna have to do that on a cruise, but Shayne, there are some things that are usually not included in a cruise. What are those.
Shayne: Gratuities are usually not. sometimes you can purchase a gratuity package to pay some of them in advance. Although I prefer to give them the gratuity in person so that they remember that I’m the person that gave it to them. It usually results in some better, if not more prompt service. Shore excursions won’t be included, usually. Alcoholic and premium alcoholic drinks may not be included. Internet your wifi may not be free with the basic cruise fair and then laundry and deluxe dining. Like you said, all your meals will be included, but there’s gonna be some deluxe options that you probably wanna try out that you’ll have to pay extra for.
Ryan: Now I will say a as a way to set themselves apart and also entice customers. Some cruise lines are just folding some of the most popular things into their cruise fair. So for instance, my family’s going to Alaska next year, Shayne, and we’re going on celebrity cruises and in our general cruise fair.
Is obviously the accommodations, our onboard activities, our general dining, but then also our internet, our premium and alcoholic drinks, and our gratuities are included in our cruise fair. So those are three things that we don’t have to worry about they’re already paid for. And so that allows us to know upfront what we’re paying and have some space to maybe spend money on some extra specialty dining or excursions or things like.
Shayne: and that difference in what celebrity includes that another cruise line may not include leads into our fourth thing to consider.
Ryan: Yeah. So the fourth thing to think about then is how do you choose the cruise line? And we’ve got several different cruise lines that we’re gonna give some general thoughts about today, but also you’ve been helping us on the Facebook group over the last couple weeks, narrow down. A cruise that you want to hear more about.
And in a couple weeks here, Shayne and I are each gonna take a stab at this cruise and show you how these cruise lines are different. So be on the lookout for that. And thank you for helping us out on the Facebook page with that.
so the first area Shayne has to do with luxury and we have two favorites when it comes to luxury cruise lines. Both of these are good friends of our travel agency. However, they’re also really good, regardless of that.
Shayne: Yeah, it’s funny. Whenever there’s a conversation about what would you do if you won the lottery? My answer is always, I would move onto an Azamara ship and I would just cruise the world. Wherever that ship was going, that’s where I would go, because it’s just, it’s a different kind of Cuis. It’s a luxury level, but it also goes into smaller port.
So you get to spend more time. They take you at, to the destinations instead of by the destinations or through the destinations. And it’s a more enriching more immersive experience than some of the bigger ships.
Ryan: Absolutely. And the second one, Silversea is kind, it’s the same thing. You know, you. High high luxury. When it comes to, Butler suites, you have, you know, very nice gourmet meals and drinks that are included. You have dancing ballroom dancing or dancing a after dinners. And, and again, just like Azamara, you are. In the places, not just going by the places, they really take their time to help you understand where you’re, where you are and immerse you in them. So for us, the luxury lines are silver C and Osoara absolutely. I, I think both of them are amazing. The second area is smaller ships and I still hold both of these in the luxury area.
Windstar. Is a mastered ship. So think of a sailing ship, Shayne, but it’s almost like a yacht experience for people who are on it, but it’s not as small as a yacht. It’s larger you still have a ship full of people, but it’s just, it’s so cool when you see these ships.
Shayne: Smaller ship, meaning you’re not gonna have as many options for entertainment and dining, but the options that you do have are going to be spectacular
Ryan: and smaller ship means less people. You know, one of the pushbacks I get against cruising is I don’t wanna be on a ship with thousands of people. Well, we’ve got some cruise lines here today that, that are. Against that as well. And this second one Atlas, I had a chance to be on last year and several of our other travel advisors were able to be on.
We sailed through Greece and Egypt, and I absolutely love this ship. These are luxury sailings that almost feel like river cruises. You ha you all have a total of 200 passengers on board. It doesn’t feel, it doesn’t feel like a small ship, even though it is because the spaces are designed in such a way where there’s plenty of space for you to find your own place, to relax, to read a book, to have a drink.
But again, you only have 200 people and on their Antarctic sailings, you only have 180 people. So it’s really, really great for a smaller ship experience.
Shayne: Sounds like a good number for a friend group to go split to split that type of adventure. And you can hang out whether you want to without being a part of just a large
Ryan: Oh, yeah. Oh yeah, there’s no wines when it comes to something like Windstar and Atlas. Absolutely. All right. So adult cruising, Shayne, we have some favorites of this category. What are they?
Shayne: Well, we had our friend Jennifer on a few months ago. Wow. Decem. It was December. It’s been a long time since we’ve
Shayne: cruising and she told us about her experience on Virgin voyages, which was just interesting. I mean, it, wasn’t what you hear on every type of cruise and it
Ryan: Yeah, it sounds like if it’s your thing, if you really wanna let loose, if you really wanna party, but yet not feel completely overwhelmed by the party scene, this Virgin voyage is for you. I think there’s a lot of cool stuff going on.
Shayne: And then we’ve got Royal, Caribbean and Celebrity, which are sister companies. And that’s what you were talking about earlier. You’re cruised coming up to Alaska’s on Celebrity and you had some extra things included. And that’s something when you’re thinking about your budget, a cruise line, like celebrity is going to include more.
So while you might have. Upfront cost. By the time you get off the ship and you’ve paid extra for excursions or drinks or deluxe dining, you will end up spending about the same, maybe less, but probably about the same with all those things that are already included in the package of a celebrity cruise line versus a Royal Caribbean cruise line.
Ryan: You’re absolutely right. You know, our agency owner, Rob Stewart always makes the comment, don’t look at the price to get on the cruise, look at the price to get off the cruise and sometimes paying extra upfront to know that you don’t have the bill coming off, man. That makes a difference.
And Royal Caribbean. I think does so much well when it comes to cruising all over the world for all types of people. And I think celebrity, if you’re a foodie, if you want that upscale service, they take what Royal Caribbean does. Well, and as a sister company, kind of, really for that niche of, of. Does some really cool things. So I think Royal Caribbean, celebrity and Virgin are all great options when it comes to adults. But Royal Caribbean is not just for adults. They’re also for who? Shayne.
Shayne: They’re also for the entire.
Ryan: Absolutely. I am my, my family. It sounds like the year of cruising for us. we are going on a.
Post Christmas, Royal Caribbean cruise this year before we hit Disney for new year’s. I can’t wait to go on this cruise with my family because there is so much to do on a Royal Caribbean ship. It is built for families, but it also has adult spaces and adult kind of focus my teenage kids, especially you’re gonna love it.
Shayne: And then another family option that we really like is Disney cruise.
Ryan: Of course, absolutely. Disney Cruise Line. Nobody does it better with theming? Nobody does it better with di with immersion and Disney immersion, obviously. It’s just great for the entire it’s great for the entire family, whether it’s grandma and grandpa, the parents, or the kids or adults by themselves who are Disney fans, obviously both were a Caribbean and Disney cruise line are what we consider the best family cruise.
Shayne: And probably close to luxury because you do get an elevated experience and elevated service
Ryan: Yes. Wi with Disney, the price tag is higher, but the inclusions are higher. So, again, it’s that trade off of what do you want to pay front? What do you want to pay on the back? The last category, Shayne is adventure, and there’s a couple ones that, that jump out here. We’re seeing Azamara again.
And I, I kept that on the list because Azamara does a really good job of immersing you in a place. So for instance, if you take it an Ireland cruise, Your cruise is Ireland and you’re taking the time to hit those port cities to have those land adventures, to have those ocean adventures, to really understand where you are and getting experiences.
What about this second one? Shayne, this is one that I bet not a lot of people know about.
Shayne: Uncruise , they give it that name because it’s not that posh party atmosphere that you think about with some of those other cruise lines, it is adventure. There’s gonna be some kayaking, some hiking, climbing, engagement with some wildlife, all those things that you think about with adventure and a more physically involved adventure.
Ryan: All right. So we have chosen the cruise. We’ve gone through this list here. We’ve narrowed down what we think we want. What are some tips now for the booking? And it’s not gonna surprise anybody.
Who’s listening to this. we’ve taken the time to sift through this. What should our first stop be when it comes to booking?
Shayne: Use a travel advisor, cuz we can sift through a lot of these options for you. Hopefully we know you and we can think of things that maybe you haven’t thought of with cruising and we can help set you up with the right ship and the right cruise for you or for your family.
Ryan: we don’t just work with you to book the crews. We work with you all along the way, whether it’s your due dates, your deadlines, your online registrations, choosing the shore excursions. Helping you as a support team, getting ready for the cruise while you are on the cruise while you’re getting home, we’re not just there to push the button to book the crews.
So I would say this is still very important because cruising still has challenges with guidelines. There are different things that different cruise lines are doing that you need to be aware of. And part of our job, Shayne is to know that and. Clients make the right decisions for them. I have people that come to me and say, we wanna book a cruise.
We don’t know anything about it. And we work through. You know, the conversation that we just had. I’ve had people, honestly, Shayne that have contacted me and said, we wanna take a cruise. This is the cruise we want to go on. This is the dates we want to go on. This is the type of cabin and we wanna book it tomorrow.
Give us a call at this time. And literally within 12 hours, I’ve booked a cruise, cuz they’ve already picked it out, but they still want that support. They still want that person helping them all along the way. And that’s really our job.
Shayne: There are a lot of things that you can take care of for them along the way that they can just allocate to you instead of spending time on it themselves.
Ryan: And I think a lot of people came out of the pandemic needing a travel advisor and they’ve learned to really trust. What a travel advisor can do for them. And I think this point in cruising is a prime example of that. So Shayne, the second part here, when should I book my cruise?
Shayne: usually about six to nine months before the cruise. You can definitely book out farther than that. There’s some, a lot of 2024 cruises that are available before booking now, but it’s a lot better to get in early, get some early bird pricing than it is to wait for a deal.
Sometimes you can get some last minute deals, but I think as we’ve seen with Disney too, people will wanna wait for a promotion. But a lot of times if you book early, by the time that promotion gets there, the promotion isn’t as good as what you would’ve got. If you would’ve booked.
Ryan: I mean, think about the Penta of demand of cruisers over the last two years. And so there’s gonna be a lot of people booking as soon as they can. And so thinking that there’s gonna be promotions down the road, I think you’re really gonna lose out sometimes. So I would say book early, so you get the best price possible because with cruising the earlier.
The best, the better the price. And then if there’s a promotion that comes down the road to save you money, I get to send that awesome email that says, Hey, I saved you some money and you didn’t even have to do anything. Just think of that as a bonus.
Shayne: Now what type of cabin or state room should I choose?
Ryan: Well, there’s lots of categories. The cabin state room type is the main differentiator. When it comes to a fair on a cruise, you’re not paying extra cuz you’re gonna have four, four breakfasts or you’re gonna use the pool two hours versus somebody else one hour, it’s gonna be where you’re staying.
So there’s lots of categories and I would highly recommend that you, if you’re booking this on your own, look at a. Where do you wanna be in regards to the elevator? Where do you wanna be in regards to the theater and the shows and the meals and the pool. Now as a travel advisor, I’m gonna talk to you about that.
Before I book the cruise for you, but if you’re not, and even if you are talking with a travel advisor, take the time to look at the map so that you have an idea of where you want to be. Think of your family needs when it comes to accommodations. There are cabins that are smaller than others , but believe it or not, and a family of four.
Can be in one cruise lines cabin, and it feels very nice and the family of four can be in another cruise lines cabin, and it’s very, very tight. And so thinking about what’s best for your family is it better to spend a little extra, to have some more square footage? How much are you gonna be using that space?
So for instance, I always talk to folks about the veranda. The veranda extends your state room, meaning you have more. Where people can be, if you don’t think you’ll use that. If you honestly don’t think you’ll be in your state room, that’s also a good place to save money. You don’t need that veranda. Maybe you just want to have a nice window to look at the ocean.
And then also thinking about sleeping arrangements a pull out couch is different than a pull down double bed is different than a trundle bed. And so understanding who’s gonna sleep where, when it comes to accommodation,
Shayne: I’m a little claustrophobic. So I know that I definitely want a balcony or veranda, but I also have a friend and they like a nice dark room to get really good sleep in. So they want an interior cabin so they can have complete darkness to
Ryan: Yeah. And think about this folks. If you have older kids and you have a family of four or even more, there are cruises lines where you can get a Forand room. And right across the hall, get an inside state room four cheaper than other cruise lines. One veranda state room.
Ryan: Now think about how we might break that up, mom and dad, just think for a second, how that might play out and you might appreciate working with me to play in your next cruise.
Shayne: just gonna leave it right there at that.
Ryan: all right. So we wanna book the crews. When is this gonna cost me? And how do I have to think about paying for the cruise Shayne?
Shayne: you’re gonna need about 20% down. Usually the balance will be paid 60 to 90 days before.
Ryan: Now one thing I will say, think about loyalty. So if you have cruised a cruise line before, or if you’ve cruised a cruise line several times, you may have some different payment dates because of your loyalty status.
And also this is a big one. Shayne, this is something I’ve had to work with. Not only my clients, but my family. Think of the date that you have to pay for your final payment versus when you have to book excursions for some cruise lines, the excursion booking date is before the final payment date, but you can’t book excursions unless you’ve paid in full.
So, if you wait until the final date to pay, yes, you have more time to save up, but you might have missed your window to book those special excursions or those special onboard activities that you wanted to do. So keep that in mind too, just because it says, Hey, you need to pay 90 days out. It may be 120 days out that you actually can make your activities. So. Check out that fine print when it comes to dates and timings.
Shayne: And then. Our cabins. There’s a lot of differences in the flexibility. You can pay a little bit more for more flexibility on your cancellation or change
Ryan: A absolutely. And that’s a big one. We’ve seen that a lot with resorts, you can pay extra to have cancellation flexibility, and now we’re seeing that even now with cruising. So again, that sticker shot or that, again, that promotion that pops up on Facebook. Once we start drilling down, you might not be buying what you think you’re gonna buy.
And so again, that’s why we’re here. That’s why you really have to make sure you’re going through these steps to book the right thing. All right, Shayne, there’s a couple more things. Just a couple more things we need to think about. Not necessarily when we book the crews, but as we’re getting to ready to make the payment trip insurance, is that important on a cruise?
Shayne: It’s important for every vacation, but particularly on a cruise. Now, a great time to take a Caribbean cruise is. the hurricane season because a lot of kids are gonna be in school during that time. And a lot of people don’t wanna take a cruise or go on a Caribbean vacation during hurricane season. So it’s a good time to book it.
You might have some more availability and better pricing, but it’s hurricane season. So you wanna have trip insurance just in case something happens before or during your vacation, during your cruise.
Ryan: And all cruise lines will offer travel protection for your cruises as part of your booking. It will not always include your air unless you’re getting air through the cruise line. Also as a travel advisor, I offer you other options that will include your air and are often cheaper. It’s not cuz I’m cutting the rules.
It’s because I know partners that I work with that will offer different types of travel protection. So again, don’t just book what the cruise line books do your shopping, do your homework work with a travel advisor, but yes, yes, yes. Now more than ever travel insurance is important for a cruise second.
Shore excursions thinking about what you wanna do when you’re on a cruise. Sometimes the cruise in and of itself is the destination just being in the Caribbean, soaking it all up. But sometimes the destination is the destination going to Alaska. You’re not gonna stay on the boat Shayne. You’re gonna get out and get into Alaska.
So you’re gonna be spending some more money when it comes to shore excursions and thinking about, what your family wants to spend or can spend in that.
Shayne: There are short excursions associated with the cruise line companies. And then there are some companies that specialize in short excursions in various places. Just make sure that you pick a reputable. Company, that’s gonna have some guarantees of like, there was one company that we used to work with. I don’t think they’re in business anymore, but some will offer a guarantee that if they miss getting you back on the ship, they’ll at least get you to the next destination so that you can get back on your ship.
Because like Ryan said, at the beginning, that ship will not wait for any reason. There are maritime laws that enforce that the ships have to leave on.
Ryan: Yep. And then the third thing is obviously think about upgrade packages that you want to have. Maybe I, if your cruise fair doesn’t include internet, do you want that upgraded dining, maybe having a drink package? Again, those are not things you have to think about. Right when booking, but those are gonna be conversations that you’re having with your travel advisor conversations with your, having with your family before your final payment.
And also sometimes all the way up to the cruise. You’ll be my guess is you’ll be getting emails about that. From the cruise lines, I know once you book a cruise, they do try to offer different upgrades and things, but just keep in mind, that might be something you wanna save extra money for. travel insurance, shore excursions, and upgraded packages are things that are gonna be coming along in the conversation. Not necessarily with the booking, but certainly before the cruises.
Shayne: Did we clear it up? Any
Ryan: Well, I hope we at least offered some steps. We don’t try to confuse folks so that they say, well, I’m just gonna work with Ryan or Shayne to figure it out, but Hey, if you haven’t cruised before, it can be kind of a Pandora’s box. Once you start thinking about it and start planning it.
So we wanted to lay it out and have you think about the different steps that are involved and seriously working with somebody like us allows you to. Have less stress and get to focus more on your vacation.
Shayne: yeah, these steps will certainly help you in picking the right crews for you. But. We Ryan and I both would love to help you plan and book your next cruise vacation. We are both travel advisors with Creating magic Vacations. You can reach out to us at R Y A N at CreatingMagicVacations.com or S H A Y N E at CreatingMagicVacations.com.
Ryan: Most families are confused and overwhelmed with planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip perfect for your interests that save you time, money, and stress.
That was a minefield of a teaser.
Shayne: Don’t worry, none of that will end up at the end.
Ryan: before we get into the cruise news that you can use,