Cruise Tip Tuesday | Subscribe to Cruise Line Email Lists

port of costa maya

First, I want to say that I am sorry I disappeared for the past two weeks without a word.  Life has been busy, and I needed a blogging break.  I guess in all honesty I get so few comments and feedback here that I am not sure if I will continue with it.  It can take me hours to put the Friday deals posts together.  If you appreciate this blog or have a question or post idea, please comment! 

My cruise tip today is a very basic one.  Subscribe via email to all of the major cruise lines!  I sometimes get exclusive preview sale information just by being on cruise line email lists as well as regular sale notices.  It is really easy.  Visit each of their websites and look for a link to subscribe.  I have the websites listed on my Links page. You can also request brochures to be mailed to you. I love to look through them to study the deckplans and pictures of the ships for planning.

photo credit: notmargaret

Cruise Tip Tuesday | Arriving To Shows On Time

Radiance of the Seas_Theater

Each evening your cruise ship will offer a show in the main show lounge or theater.  The shows are usually top rate and can include singing (opera, jazz, pop, etc.), dancing, acrobatics, magic, musical theater, comedy, and juggling.

Most cruise lines that have set dining times will provide for enough time for you to arrive to the evening show on time.  During the first seating while dinner is being served, the late seating passengers will be watching the show in the main show lounge.  Then while the 2nd seating is eating, the first seating will be enjoying the show.

If you cruise on a cruise line that offers open dining times, you will want to plan ahead so that you do not miss the shows.  You should allow a minimum of an hour for dinner and should probably shoot for starting dinner about 1.5 hours before the show. 

It is important to get to the theater or show lounge early to get seating as some shows fill up.  This is especially important if you are a large family or desire for end seats if you have small children that might become disruptive.  Arriving 10-15 minutes ahead of time should be adequate. 

photo credit: Josh Friedman Luxury Travel

Frugal Family Friday | Cruise Deals From Galveston

galveston (34)
Galveston, Texas

Royal Caribbean and Carnival sail from Galveston, Texas.  Here are some of the best deals from Galveston for the rest of 2011.

December 1, 2011 – Carnival Triumph – 4 Day Western Caribbean
Visits Cozumel, Mexico
Family of 3:
Inside: $284 1st/2nd, $119 3rd
Oceanview: $359 1st/2nd, $139 3rd
Family of 4:
Inside: $284 1st/2nd, $119 3rd-4th
Oceanview: $359 1st/2nd, $139 3rd-4th
Family of 5:
Inside: $299 1st/2nd, $119 3rd-5th
Oceanview: $359 1st/2nd, $139 3rd-5th

November 7, 2011 – Carnival Triumph – 5 Day Western Caribbean
Visits: Cozumel and Progress, Mexico
Family of 3:
Inside: $289 1st/2nd, $129 3rd
Oceanview: $359 1st/2nd, $149 3rd
Family of 4:
Inside: $289 1st/2nd, $129 3rd-4th
Oceanview: $359 1st/2nd, $149 3rd-4th
Family of 5:
Inside: $299 1st/2nd, $129 3rd-5th
Oceanview: $359 1st/2nd, $149 3rd-5th

October 9, 2011 – Carnival Conquest – 7 Day Western Caribbean
Visits: Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Family of 3:
Inside: $479 1st/2nd, $179 3rd
Oceanview: $599 1st/2nd, $209 3rd
Family of 4:
Inside: $479 1st/2nd, $179 3rd-4th
Oceanview: $599 1st/2nd, $209 3rd-4th

December 11, 2011 – Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas – 7 Day Western Caribbean
Visits: Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Falmouth (Jamaica)
Family of 3 or 4:
Inside: $449 1st/2nd, $199 3rd-4th
Oceanview: $619 1st/2nd, $199 3rd-4th

photo credit: farmalldanzil

Cruise Tip Tuesday | Deposits are Refundable

DSC04016
Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas

In most cases the deposit you put down on a cruise will be 100% refundable if you cancel by a certain number of days before the cruise starts.  This is great for when a woman gets pregnant and can no longer cruise due to cruise line pregnancy policies.  It is also great if you can not find reasonable airfare to the departure port (European and other foreign cruises especially!) and decide it is not worth that cost to go on the cruise. 

Here are typical cruise cancellation policies stating at what point they are 100% refundable.  Some special cruise rates will not be refundable and concierge level or similar rooms might have stricter policies.  All numbers are for days prior to the cruise start date.

Carnival

100% Refundable:

  • 61+ Days for 2-5 Day Cruises
  • 76+ Days 6+ Day Cruises (including Alaska and Hawaii)
  • 91+ Days Europe, Panama Canal, Transpacific 7, 9, 12, 12, and 17 Day Cruises 

Celebrity

100% Refundable:

  • 60+ Days 1-5 Night Cruises (non-holiday)
  • 75+ Days 6+ Night Cruises (non-holiday)
  • 90+ Days 1-5 Night Holiday Cruises
  • 90+ Days 6+ Night Holiday Cruises

Disney

100% Refundable:

  • 75+ Days for 9 Day or Less Cruises Starting or Ending from a US port
  • 90+ Days for 10 Day or More Cruises and those not starting or ending from a US port

Holland America

100% Refundable:

  • 121+ Days for Grand Voyages (all “Grand” sailings), 15-60 Day Hawaii & Polynesia, Incan, Amazon
  • 91+ Days Holiday and South America/Antarctica Sailings
  • 76+ Days Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Bermuda, Canada & New England, Alaska, and 14-17 Day Hawaii

MSC

100% Refundable:

  • 76+ Days Before Cruise

Norwegian

100% Refundable:

  • 76+ Days 1-5 Night Holiday Cruises
  • 61+ Days 1-5 Night Cruises (non-holiday)
  • 91+ Days 6+ Night Holiday Cruises
  • 76+ Days 6+ Night Cruises (non-holiday)

Princess

100% Refundable:

  • 60+ Days 1-5 Day Cruises
  • 75+ Days 6-29 Day Cruises (non-holiday)
  • 90+ Days Holiday Cruises up to 29 Days
  • 120+ Days 30+ Day Cruises

Royal Caribbean

100% Refundable:

  • 60+ Days 1-5 Night Cruises (non-holiday)
  • 75+ Days 6+ Night Cruises (non-holiday)
  • 90+ Days 1-5 Night Holiday Cruises
  • 90+ Days 6+ Night Holiday Cruises

photo credit: Cruise News Weekly

Frugal Family Friday | Kids Sail Free on Disney’s Mexican Riviera Cruises

Disney Wonder

Disney Cruise Line currently has a sale for Mexican Riviera cruises from October 30 – December 18, 2011.  They are offering Kids 17 and under Sail FREE when traveling with 2 Full Fare paying adults in the same Veranda stateroom (categories 4a-6a).  Government tax and fees are additional for all passengers. 

Make sure you use offer code “KFO” to get pricing for this deal on their website.  For more information check out Disney’s Kids Sail Free page.

The Mexican Riviera cruises are 7 day cruises out of Los Angeles and visit Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas (2 days).

Here are the lowest prices with this offer based on family size:

Family of 3

November 6, November 27, December 4, and December 11 -  Category 6a – $1389pp 1st and 2nd passengers, 1 kid free

Family of 4

November 13, November 27, December 4, and December 11 – Category 5a – $1619pp 1st and 2nd passengers, 2 kids free

Family of 5

November 13, November 27, and December 4 – Category 4E – $2009pp 1st and 2nd passengers, 3 kids free

photo credit: Tom Mascardo 3

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