Since the largest cruise ship in the world – a vessel even bigger than the titanic – had its maiden voyage last month, it only makes sense that we should take some time to celebrate travel on the high seas. If you’re considering taking your very first cruise in the coming months, or you’ve been planning a new adventure on the water for some time now, it’s worth doing your research if you want to get the best experience, and value for your money.
While some cruise experiences can leave you with a been-there-done-that attitude, the truth is that, much like any vacation, cruising in summer can be as memorable and as exciting as you make it. Before travel agents are gone from the high-streets for good, you might find that you benefit significantly from speaking to a couple of these experts about their tips and tricks for making the most of your cruise experience. However, if you’re already having trouble finding somewhere you can talk through your vacation plans, we’ve got a few of the top travel agent tips to share with you right here – so sit back and enjoy.
1. Book at the Last Minute
There’s a reason why so many families rush to the travel agents during the summer – last-minute holiday packages are an absolute bargain – and a great way to explore the world on a budget.
It’s okay to wait for a last minute summer vacation if you’re trying to find ways to cut down on the amount of cash you spend this year. If you have the option to be flexible with your travel plans, then you’ll often be able to take advantage of some pretty amazing deals last-minute, particularly if you don’t mind exactly where you end up going. Make sure that, when you’re cruising in Summer, you take the time to ask your travel agent how close to the departure date you can cancel your reservation without a penalty. Although you might not want to spend time thinking about what goes wrong, the most worrisome part of a last-minute booking is the concern that you won’t get your money back should you suddenly have to cancel.
2. Listen to Your Travel Agent
While we can offer you a few travel agent tips here, we can’t give you the same expert advice that you could get from speaking to one of these professionals in person. A conversation with an experienced travel agent can ensure that you get the best prices for cruising in summer, as well as a reminder of things that you might need to pack for the journey, such as a universal charger plug, or a tip on where to spend your excursion times. According to the CLIA, about 70% of all cruise passengers book their vacation using a travel agent, as this is the ultimate way to make the most of promotions and deals that you simply can’t find anywhere else. What’s more, travel agents give you advice on where to eat, where to get insurance, and which cabin to book that first-time travelers might desperately need.
3. Remember to Plan Everything
According to experts, the standard street travel agent could be extinct within the next five years, which means that you’re going to have to do all your planning and research without any additional help. Since stocking up on plenty of information in advance can be a great way to improve your overall summer cruising experience, you might as well start making the most of the three R’s alongside your travel agent tips:
- Research: Research everything, from the universal travel plug you’re going to use, to the cabins on your ship, and even the destinations that you’ll be able to visit during the cruise itself. The more you research, the more you’ll be equipped to make good, informed decisions.
- Review: Read up on reviews for travel companies and experiences as much as you can. There are plenty of places for people to share their travel opinions today, so you might as well make the most of it and get an inside look into your investment before you pay too much cash.
- Recommendations: If you’re not sure where to go, or what to do, recommendations can be the first port of call for inspiration. Whether it’s asking your friends and family for help, or talking to a travel expert, stock up on as much free advice as you can.
4. Stay Connected
While catching up on your research before a trip can be a useful way to ensure you use your money and resources appropriately when cruising in summer, staying connected can also be extremely valuable – particularly when you’re left looking for something to do. Check to see whether your cruise ship offers a Wi-Fi connection, as this will give you an opportunity to browse the internet on your smartphone or tablet when looking for ways to get more out of your day. You can even use the internet to stay connected to your loved ones while you’re away, with instant chat, video conversations, and social media.
Pro tip: Make sure that you do bring your universal charger plug with you if you’re planning on using technology during your trip. You never know when you’re going to need to re-power your devices, and you can carry this nifty gadget easily in your backpack, wherever you go.
5. Get to Your Port the Night Before
Finally, this may seem like one of the most obvious travel agent tips you’ve ever heard – but getting to your port ahead of time is essential if you want to enjoy your experience cruising in summer. The truth is that literally hundreds of cruisers miss the boat every year because they don’t get to the ship in time thanks to bad weather, unforeseen problems, and even traffic delays.
Your cruise should be an opportunity to relax – not an additional source of stress, so plan to drive to your port city the night before your ship embarks so you can avoid as much frustration as possible.
Enjoy Your Cruise!
At Venture4th, we love travel in all of its different forms, and we want to make sure that you get the most out of your adventures – wherever they take you. The above travel agent tips should go some way towards helping you plan out a successful cruise experience.