Cruising 101

GLAM Tips 101: The 10 Hidden Costs of Cruising: And How to Fight Back

You have probably heard the term “all-inclusive” applied to cruises. Sure, a voyage at sea is one of the best values around because all major expenses (lodging, meals, snacks, activities and entertainment) are included. However, there are some items — mostly of a personal or optional nature — that are out-of-pocket expenses. And those extra purchases can quickly run up your bill on a supposedly “all-inclusive” cruise.

Cruise lines are tempting travelers to come onboard with their ships’ expansive spas, diverse specialty dining options and concept bars and lounges. But if you want a massage, a fruity cocktail or dinner outside the main dining room, you’ll need to hand over your cruise card and pay up at the end of the trip. You’ll be paying extra, too, for onshore adventures arranged through the ship, Internet usage and souvenirs bought in onboard boutiques. And when you’re on vacation and hoping to live it up a little, it’s hard to say no to that formal night photo or snorkeling excursion.

Plus, as cruise ships grow bigger and more Vegas-like — with a jaw-dropping array of attractions and high-tech amenities — many lines are slowly moving toward a more resort-like fare structure, in which passengers pay a low upfront price and then pick and choose which experiences to purchase a la carte onboard. These days, “all-inclusive” is a term that really only applies to a handful of high-priced luxury cruises.

If you want the full cruise experience, you’ll need to set aside some cash to cover these extra expenditures, or make a vacation budget and stick to it. To make sure the incidentals don’t break the bank for you, here are 10 things that will cost you extra onboard — and how to find discounts and savings.

Read the full article via Cruise Critics

GLAM Tips 101: 10 Etiquette Tips for Sharing a Cabin

​Not everyone travels only with a husband/wife/long-term partner, whose habits and foibles are so familiar we take them for granted. Many cruise regularly with friends or family members we don’t live with at home, so it’s important to develop some sensitivity to behavior that you wouldn’t normally think twice about. For example, you may think nothing of bouncing out of bed bright and early in the morning, but your cruise companion might appreciate a quiet lie-in and cringe at your pre-coffee enthusiasm. Similarly, while your long-term partner finds the sight of your undies hanging up to dry in the shower quite endearing, not everyone else will.

I happen to be writing this on a SeaDream II Mediterranean voyage, where my cruise companion is my much-loved sister-in-law — and we’ve already encountered a few little questions of cabin-sharing etiquette that had to be addressed. Perhaps we should have hashed out such things in advance. Having discussed cabin-sharing manners with quite a few cruisers, I’ve found the consensus is that it’s always best to talk about potential pitfalls before you even book the cruise.

If you’re not sure what to bring up — because, after all, you are perfect — here are a few etiquette tips to employ when you’re cruising with someone for the first time.​

​Read the full article here via Cruise Critic.