I imagine it
might be easy to get a bit stir-crazy being aboard a ship for days on end,
surrounded by the same people, doing the same things over and over each
day. In this environment, it might seem
like an obvious decision to jump onto the first shore excursion they offered,
just to see things from a fresh perspective.
Consider this though, there are probably several thousand other people
with the same idea! If you don’t mind
being chaperoned around the shore like a baby duck, you might consider taking
every single shore excursion you could find.
If the thought of staying aboard your ship and having more of the
amenities to yourself appeals to you, you’ll want to choose your excursions
shore excursions when they offer a chance to do something that’s a “once in a
lifetime” event. While living in Texas,
I never understood the appeal of going to the trouble to see a beach in
Mexico. Texas has beaches that are every
bit as pretty, sunny, and available, and besides; the water won’t kill you if
you drink it. Getting the chance to walk
amongst the dead spirits of an ancient Mayan civilization (complete with scalable
pyramids and archeologists on active dig sites) however; that is an excursion worth taking!
way to enjoy a shore excursion is to put your own small group together, rent a
car locally, and “do your own thing.”
It’s nice to get away from the other ducklings for awhile and see the
things as you want to see them. Just
don’t miss the boat when you’re finished!
night of your cruise should be the night you relax the most. Tipping for the services rendered to you
during your vacation can add stress to what should be a quiet and relaxing
moment in the hot-tub, under the stars, with a gin martini in one hand and the
remote control to some soft music in the other.
Tipping is generally expected on a cruise and if you’ve called upon the
staff to help you enjoy all of the amenities to their fullest (as you should),
then you should be prepared to tip them for the work they’ve done. How much?
There’s the rub… my best answer is, “it depends.” If you’ve taken care of most of the details
yourself, don’t feel the least bit awkward about leaving a modest
gratuity. If, however, you reclined like
King Henry and had the world brought before you on oyster shells and wine
soaked sponges, well, you’ll need to open your wallet! Chances are, you’ll be surrounded by fellow
passengers who have danced to this tune before.
Early in the trip you can ask a cruise veteran, “I’m sorry for the
trouble, but do you mind telling me what sort of gratuity is expected on a ship
like this, for the cabin steward, etc?”
People will be happy to oblige with an answer. If you budget for this, it will make your
last day a bit more worry-free.
to sign up for the cruise line’s “frequent cruisers club.” Points for cruises accumulate quickly and
are, indeed, a great deal!
you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc,
please call 1-877-49-EXPERT. Your
questions will be recorded and sent to him.
You can also follow Ken on Twitter @foodbreeze!