Tips for Cruising
If you want less “set routines and agendas given to you” and more “do whatever the fuck I want, when I want”… Look for the term FREE-STYLE CRUISING.
If you plan to take electronic devices and have 2+ people in your party bring along a power strip for additional outlets. Our mini suite only had 2 outlets in the cabin and for what we had planned on using (iPads, running gear and one iTouch) this was a problem.
Also one outlet in the bathroom marked “Razor only”, so if you use curling irons you are screwed for wattage.
Most cruises allow for 1 case of water and/or soda per person. Hubby and I are chronic water drinkers 64-128 oz a day or sometimes more. We each brought 2 six packs of Ozarka sport bottles at 23 oz each. Barely enough for what we normally have.
Moral – take what you know you’ll need.
On that note also….do not overpack your carry on with other items because you have 2 huge packs of water in your checked luggage. You will carry it around for 3 hours before getting to your state room. Your shoulders will hurt.
Pack more shirts than you’ll think you need.
Same for underwear.
Photographers – if you are thinking about packing the monopod…just do it. You’ll regret you didn’t.
For the cruise you will link a credit card to your account. You can tip on this card for any meals or services rendered in the ship. Save your cash for ports as not everyone takes Visa (except Cozumel).
It’s very easy to get a little crazy with your in port shopping trips. I advise picking 1 item and getting it in each port. Hubby gets shot glasses for him and his mom. I selected mugs as I drink hot tea all the time. I will also add charms to a bracelet during or after a trip for each location.
Before you travel call your bank and credit card companies and have them flag your accounts for travel. This will reduce the likelihood of you getting your account frozen if a charge causes warning lights.
Also have one credit card that is your backup card for any lunches you might not have cash for. Again, not all places are equipped to handle cards so it’s best to avoid this if possible.
Depending on the type of person you are you can get away with a little as $100 per person for spending money. Know your habits and plan on how much money you need.
We planned for $300 in cash. $100 in tipping, then $100 each for spending. This does not include the amount we spent on the cruise card for meal/drink tips.
Each morning I portioned out the funds approx $40 each for spending and $10-15 for onshore tipping. Everything else was in the safe in the cabin.
This trick kept our spending in line. We also had one person (me) carry the money in the backpack I had as hubby had his camerabag to be watchful of.
We actually came out with $50 left over and promptly used that in the casino with good luck 🙂
Tipping as follows:
Poor guys who carry your checked baggage at the cruise port: $2-3 bucks per bag. Heavy bags I tip $3.
Your Cabin Stewart: $5 per day of cruise. Given in person collectively at the end of the cruise. More if they are a badass.
Excursions: $2-3 to each guide / $1-2 to the driver or additional person helping with the trip.