Agent, Travel Time Vacations
Cruises, tours, and cruise-tours
RANDOM TIPS TO REMEMBER IN PLANNING YOUR TRAVEL
When checking prices for any trip—cruise, air, tour—on the internet, go through the entire process. You
might be surprised at the taxes and fees that are added.
If booking on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity, check Choice Air for flights; on Princess, Princess Air.
CheapOAir offers competitive prices on flights, plus gives you many choices. Wait times between flights
are given so you can choose between lower price by sitting in the airport waiting for connecting flight or
paying more to get there quicker. Difficult, if not impossible, to cancel after booking is completed and
Be nice to every person you meet on a cruise; you are very likely to see that person many times on your
cruise—maybe at your lunch or breakfast table.
To keep your bills low, watch your alcoholic beverage consumption. Even your colas cost extra. Drink
coffee, tea, fruit juices, hot cocoa, lemonade, and water. If you smuggle something on (like wine or
other liquor) and you get caught, they will take it from you but give it back when you get off the ship.
Beware of putting glass bottles in your luggage. Luggage gets a lot of rough handing in transit. You may
get a free glass of wine or champagne when you board the ship but SAIL-AWAY DRINKS ARE NOT FREE.
Take a comfortable pair of casual shoes other than your sneakers. You do a LOT of walking on the boat.
Board the ship as early as possible on the set sail day; you’re paying for it. Food is available from the
earliest boarding time, but you may have to wait a short time to get into your cabin. There are plenty of
places to lounge around and wait.
Think before you pack. Plan to wear the same thing more than once; nobody notices. Laundry and dry
cleaning facilities are available on board if needed. One guideline: Take half the clothes and twice the
money you think you will need.
Read your cruise contract, especially the part about cancellations. Note the dates and percentage of
refunds available by date. Read your insurance contract and abide by it; don’t do anything that would
negate the contract. If you have preexisting conditions or if you think you might have to cancel for any
reason, it’s probably best to take the insurance when you book, but make sure you are covered without
exclusions for those conditions. Usually, there is a 60 day look back period for preexisting conditions.
Otherwise, as long as your deposit is fully refundable up to the final payment, you may choose to take
insurance when you make the final payment. That day is the day before the final payment is due. The
final date for payment is considered in the penalty phase and insurance from the cruise line will not be
accepted on that date. When discussing your insurance purchase with an agent, make sure you disclose
all your health information that might impact whether you take the trip or not. If your insurance does
not reimburse your cruise fare after cancellation, contact the cruise line customer service. Many will
give you the amount of the fare or a portion of the fare as a credit toward a future cruise.
Treat the cruise staff pleasantly and with respect. They can be most helpful or not; depending on how
you have related to them. They will be serving you throughout the cruise. You may want to tip your
room steward extra.
Gratituties (usually $12 to $15 a day) may seem like a large sum of money, but remember how much
service you get for that amount and for how many days. It’s often less than you would tip for several
dinners on the town. These tips are divided among several people; there may be others you wish to tip
and you may do so individually or in the total sum. Many offer;m some require, the opportunity to
prepay gratuities and some automatically charge it to your onboard account. If you do not wish to tip or
to reduce the tip, you may do so. If your reason is poor or rude service, tell someone in Guest Relations.
Most crews come from countries where they would make less money than on the ship and are
dependent on their income to support several people back home. Talk to them when you have the
opportunity about their family and home. (You’ll be more thankful for what you have.)
Read the cruise newsletter the night before so you can plan your day to include the activities in which
you wish to participate. Get in the spirit of fun. Try something new! (Take along a marker so you can
highlight what you want to attend.
Almost anything you need to know—port shopping, weather ahead, port of call information—is on your
TV. You can make room for other activities by taking advantage of information in this format. If you
have questions, go to the talk. Pay attention to shopping on shore tips, but still exercise your own
judgment about cost vs. value. It’s easy to get carried away and spend more than you intend to. And
remember you have to pack it back to home. Get information before you leave home on items that may
be good “buys” in your ports of call. If the price is too good to be true, it’s probably not what it’s
purported to be. Be careful about “fakes” and imperfect jewels.
If you are buying jewelry, consider buying stones and then have them set back home. There is no limit
on the value of “stones” you can bring home tax free.
Beware of high pressure sales people and techniques.
Room service is free, but a tip is expected.