Getting Your Money’s Worth Out of a Cruise

I was never interested in going on a cruise. Not in the slightest. I can’t swim very well so the thought of spending a week on the ocean made me a little more than anxious. Then my wife booked us on a Disney cruise, seven days aboard the Disney Magic. I went, begrudgingly, and mostly for my kids, but I had to admit I had a great time.

Despite its reputation as a kids brand name, Disney offered one of the most attractive cruise packages I had ever seen, with truly world class restaurants, staterooms, amenities, and attractions. Shows were offered both in family versions and adult versions (later in the evening). We not only got access to first run movies (in this case, CARS), but also the chance to sit down and talk with one of the special effects artists involved in the production of the movie (which meant a lot to this nerd).

I came away with a new appreciation for cruises, and I’m looking forward to going on another one. That said, if you have ever considered it, here are some ways to make it work for you to the best advantage.

For starters, I’m not a huge fan of the ports of call featured on many cruises. I got off for one, and quickly discovered that unless you were a fan of gaudy jewelry or alcohol, there wasn’t much for you. Unless you count the overpriced trinkets that can be bought for half the price back home at the local convenience store.

I found it much more enjoyable to simply stay on the ship, as you can quite literally wander the decks of a cruise ship for the whole week and not explore everything there is to be found. By the same token, being out at sea, away from land, made it much easier to relax. There was no going home, or running down to the office in the event of an emergency. You had to simply kick back and take it easy.

Don’t buy prepackaged tours. This is an additional cost and you can see just as much of the local attractions if you do a little research and plan your own tour.

Some of the best ways to save money include confining your meals to the ship. There is really no need to dine at the upscale restaurant at whatever resort you have docked at. Meals are already figured into the price of your cruise and there is no need to spend extra.

When it comes to food, be adventurous. Try something new. In all likelihood, you’ll have opportunity to sample things you’ve never had before. If the experiment crashes and burns, you can still order a late night burger from room service.

In addition, enjoy the nightlife. Most cruise ships have a nightclub scene that would rival any downtown opportunities. I did my first stint at karaoke on a cruise ship, thank you very much.

Take a lot of pictures and video. Chances are you won’t be able to enjoy these particular surroundings all that often, so make the most of them while you can.

Remember to have fun. Cruise ships are designed around the ultimate relaxation for the passenger, and the captain and crew of these ships are there to make it happen for you and your family. Let them do their jobs and you will come away with a vacation to remember.

Darrell is the Director Of Content for Leadsbyfone, a marketing and lead generation company servicing the flood cleaning and water damage restoration industry.