Bagi yang mau liburan, ikut kapal pesiar sepertinya mengasikkan. Tetapi, kalau tidak dipersiapkan dengan baik, malah jadi BT dan tidak optimal liburannya. Nah, makanya, baca deh tips and tricknya.. Ok, happy holiday!
1. Traveling with a large family or a group of friends? Bring along walkie-talkies (such as Motorola’s Talkabouts) to keep everyone connected without cell phone roaming charges. Sherry Brooks, Westlake Village, Calif.
2. You’re almost always charged extra for soft drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails at meals. But if you stick to juice, you can drink for free (on most ships). Kathy Pagliei, Swarthmore, Pa. (of Accessible Journeys)
3. On every cruise we’ve taken, my wife tapes a balloon to our cabin door. That way, our stateroom stands out in the long hallway. Eli Rose, Tampa, Fla.
4. Many major cruise lines provide free passage to guests qualified to lecture on board. Call the line’s entertainment office to see if you have the necessary skills. Uvonne McCarty, Sparks, Nev.5. Nearly every cruise line will toss in one free cabin if you travel in a group of 15 or more. Carolyn Spencer Brown, Pennington, N.J. (of cruisecritic.com)
6. If you book while you’re aboard, some lines offer a discount of $175 and up on the deposit for future trips. More good news: You can usually get a refund on your deposit if you decide to cancel later. Jeff Pugel, New York, N.Y.
7. Before booking, check deck plans online to confirm your cabin isn’t beneath a well-traveled area. Many ships have a lido deck buffet, where diners eat poolside. When they drag around chairs, it can make quite the ruckus in rooms right below. N.W. Pope, Scottsdale, Ariz.
8. When cruising with our two toddlers, we book a single cabin with twin beds. Pushing them together allows us to sleep sideways, with one parent at the bottom as a guardrail. This only works if you aren’t tall! Jimmy Kung, Brooklyn, N.Y.
9. To avoid the check-out bottleneck, ask for a printout of your bill the day before disembarking. If there are any discrepancies, you can resolve them early and totally relax on your last day at sea. Jack Sigano, Nutley, N.J.
10. Spring for last-minute deals For those with a flexible schedule, it’s hard to beat short-lead, online sales. Check out consolidators (icruise.com and cruisestar.com) and discount sites (lastminutetravel.com, lastminute.com, and travelzoo.com), as well as the lines’ own e-mail offers. Susan Murphy, Loa, Utah
11. Make a bid online Websites that auction cruises have some of the best bargains out there. At skyauction.com, you can search by line, destination, and date. Jennifer Dickey, Toronto, Canada