cruise-shipToday cruise travel is not just a travel experience for rich people. Cruisers come in all shapes, sizes, and walks of life. And now, with the abundance of Mega-liners there are many berths (cabins) to fill and deals to be had. Because the ships have become so large and plentiful, cruise lines are very affordable. Usually less than the price of a hotel room which does not include:

* Transportation
* Transfers
* Breakfast
* Lunch
* High tea
* Dinner
* 24 hour free room service
* Sports
* Entertainment
* Parties
* Discos
* Nightclub shows
* Airfare

So yes, absolutely cruising is a great vacation value. In some cases it is more inexpensive to take a cruise vacation than to take a land vacation. There are many two-for-one and early bird specials if you take the time to look (or have your Travel Agent do the leg work). And if you book a year in advance the savings can be huge. If your schedule is flexible or you live near a port, last minute deals are available. If the cruise isn’t sold out, the cruise line will drastically reduce the rate. You will be a revenue source on board that they would not have had if the cabin remained empty.

Here’s a cruise tip, you can also save by booking back-to-back cruises with up to 50% off the second week. Check to see if the second week itinerary is identical to the first week. Some ships will do the Eastern Caribbean one week and then the Western Caribbean the second week, making a much more interesting voyage for you.

The thing about cruise travel is that it is all inclusive. This includes all meals (and this can go on all day) entertainment, all kinds of lessons-take some dance lessons, they’re fun-, bingo, high tea, sports activities even health and fitness. If you go to a hotel you pay extra for each of these activities and you have to find them and schedule them yourself.

For instance, I just spent a couple of days at a Resort in Boca Raton on business. To use any of the spa facilities you had to pay forty dollars per day and that was just for the steam and sauna rooms. Cruises give you a list of activities each and everyday so you can plan your day in advance. Carry this with you so you know what activities are planned for that day, what time they are scheduled, and where they are located. Be practical; don’t try to do them all, you’ll be exhausted.

There is so much to do there is no time to be bored. And then of course, you always have the option of sitting by one of the many pools and just relaxing. Here is what is not included in your cruise vacation:

* Alcoholic Beverages
* Beverages except coffee and tea
* Beauty Salon and spa packages
* Casino
* Golf Simulator
* Shore Excursions
* Computer services
* Bingo
* Telephone Calls
* Medical services (if not insured)

There are also activities that require a nominal fee such as wine tasting and some crafts. Port Charges and Government fees and some air taxes are not included but should be quoted to you by your travel agent and will be charged to your credit card when paying for the cruise.

To keep track of your spending on the newer ships there is interactive TV and you can keep on top of your ship board expenditures with just a one or two pushes of a button. If the cruise line you chose doesn’t have that amenity, you can go to the purser’s office and ask to see a copy of the bill to date.

I hope this has given you a glimpse into a cruise vacation. So, call your travel agent and get ready to Set Sail.

Happy Cruising!