Beware First Time Cruisers Not All Inclusives Mean All Inclusive

People going out on their first Caribbean have a lot to look forward to and a lot to take in. A cruise vacation is a great, economical way to see many places in a single journey and only have to unpack once. The reason a cruise is so economical is because of all of the things that are included in the cost of the cruise. For one price you get your lodging, your meals, most beverage, things to do, places to go and shows to see.

Some Items Not Included

As a first time cruiser you might fall into the thinking that your cruise is “ALL INCLUSIVE.” Some lines even say they are just that. However it’s usually not exactly “ALL” inclusive. Things like cocktails, specialty deserts, specialty coffee, spa services, photos, steak houses & more will not be included in the cost of your ticket. Even some things that you might think would be included, like a visit to the infirmary, is not going to be included.

So just be prepared. Budget for it. Some of these things you will want to do. Having your picture taken or a trip to the spa is just something you have to do to complete your cruise experience. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy your cruise if you don’t take part in these activities, but unless you only want to drink water, tea, coffee, lemonade & apple juice, you’ll want to make sure you have your bar card ready.

Tips On Saving Money

There are some cruise lines out there that do actually do “ALL” inclusives if you look around, but there are some ways to save a buck or two on some of these extras. Some cruise lines do have a soda card which will provide you with unlimited soda throughout your cruise. The spa will usually offer big discounts on treatments that are delivered while the ship is in port since there are less people on board. The bars will have drink specials or a drink of the day at a reduced rate. So if you keep your eyes and ears open you’ll be able to find a deal. Read the ship’s newsletter each day and listen for announcements. Sometimes to drive in more business the spa will make special deals over the PA system only.

So be ready with your cruise card. Just keep an eye on your budget cause it is pretty easy to spend more money on the cruise then you did to take the cruise.

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First Time Cruisers Information About Dinner Choices

So you are a first time cruiser and you are planning your trip to the Caribbean for a cruise vacation. You are looking at whatever cruise line you are choosing and thinking to yourself which dining option is going to be the best for me?

Depending on the cruise line you will have many options but one that seems to be on the way out is the traditional cruise dining where you are placed at a table at an assigned time. Usually early seating, around 6pm or late seating which is around 8pm.

Many experienced cruises have their own opinions about which is better or why you shouldn’t do the traditional dining at all. Some will like the early seating because they prefer to eat early. It makes sense, but other reasons for choosing the earlier seating like you like to go to bed early, you want more time out on the promenade for nightlife, etc. Late seating will mean you don’t have to come back from the ports as early to get ready for dinner. You’ll find that everyone will have their pluses and minuses about each one.

The Drawback

On the negative side, many people will tell you not to choose the traditional because they don’t want to be forced to eat at a certain time every night with people they don’t know. If you are a first time cruiser, I would recommend to you not to allow yourself to be influenced by this and make your own opinion. I, like many, actually do enjoy the structure of eating at the same time each night and when you are introduced to your tablemates on the first day of the cruise, you never know who you will meet and the friendships you will make.

The Benefits

Many people who have met as tablemates on a cruise will keep in touch and stay friends for years to come. Some even find a way to cruise together again on future cruises. This is part of what the cruise experience. All though some cruise lines have done away with the traditional dining, other cruise lines still hold onto it while offering you other choices as well.

So if you are trying to decide which dining experience to choose, I would recommend that you at least try the traditional dining. If you find it’s not for you, well you can always go with one of the alternatives. One thing is for sure, you’ll never go hungry when you take a cruise.

Hi my name is Frederick, I love to cruise. The Caribbean is my favorite place to cruise as well as a destination trip. I have over 39 years of travel experience

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