It’s 28 days until you board your dream ship and in awe that you are finally there! Yesterday you did all of your online documentation and hopefully have printed out your Boarding Passes. Today is the real fun! You probably saw on the cruise line website all of the shore excursions and cruise packages, extra events, and amenities you can add to your cruise. Each cruise line offers such a varied amount of extras for you to research. So let’s have some fun! You can usually find the extras and shore excursions after logging back into where you did your Onboard Check In yesterday.
Cruise Shore Excursions
Some cruise lines include them in your cruise cost and others do not. You will be given an opportunity to book or reserve many of them online way in advance. In fact, many cruise lines let you do this up to 90 days before your cruise. If you have already booked them then you are ahead of the game!
Research, research, research! You have planned your perfect cruise, don’t make the mistake of waiting to the last minute to book your Shore Excursions.
Many of the best ones sell out in advance. But, before you book your excursion you may want to do an internet search and read reviews of the ones you are thinking of. There are many online Travel Websites that give feedback on excursions all over the world. So, do a little extra searching! You will also see that many of the excursion companies sell directly to clients instead of having to go through purchasing them through the ship. Our suggestion is to speak with your Travel Agent about both of these options and what is best for your pocket and your safety. Travel Agents ROCK!
When you do book your excursion make sure that you check the departure times and length of the excursion. Most of them will also let you know if they are high impact activity or low impact. Make sure you book what works for you. Sometimes if you do it all perfectly you can get in two excursions in one day! So have fun and really read up on the description on the cruise line website to see which will fulfill all of your cruising dreams.
If you are traveling with kids you will find a slew of great shore excursions for families. Read the suggested age for each one. HINT- If you are traveling with a small child or infant some cruise lines will allow them to come on a shore excursion and not be charged. But don’t expect to be able to bring an infant on all excursions.
EXAMPLE– Take our word for it, any excursion with the word Dolphin in it will sell out before the cruise! Don’t miss out! Book your excursions!
SOLD OUT! Ah, those dreaded words just popped on your computer on the one shore excursion you really wanted. Don’t fret. Keep checking back. People cancel, or change their minds. Put your name on a waitlist if they allow it. You may get confirmed before the cruise. And if not, still don’t fret! INSIDERS HINT! Many cruise lines keep 20% of their tickets to sell onboard the ship. But you gotta try and buy them the first day you board. If the ship you are on sells them via a channel on your stateroom TV, grab them right away. If not, then get down to the Shore Excursions desk the minute they open.
Take a look below at our favorite must-haves for your shore days!
Booking Onboard Events
RESTAURANTS Most of the cruise lines from Ocean going to River cruises now have specialty restaurants that you can make reservations for.
Some cost extra and some don’t. But, most of the time you can make these reservations ahead of time on the Cruise Line website. Look through your cruise itinerary and see which day you think would be fun to dine in a specialty restaurant. We tend to do it on sea days as very often we are too exhausted on a port day to dress up and go. Formal nights are also fun to reserve a fancy dinner for. These will book up faster than any other days. HINT! Often the cruise lines will give a discount if you book a specialty restaurant for the first night of the sailing.
ENTERTAINMENT Now many of the cruise lines have the ability to reserve your entertainment seating for the shows ahead of time.
The very large ships have added this capability in order to satisfy each guest’s desire to see every show while aboard. See if your cruise line lets you book your show tickets in advance. Read more about tips to plan your scheduling of the vast entertainment on board your cruise here.
SPA If you can book spa appointments on your Cruise Line Website in advance do so! Again, the cruise pros know how to grab up all the best times.
EXAMPLE – Sea days will sell out of massage and spa appointments way in advance. Formal nights will sell out of hair appointments in advance! Hint- Once you are onboard if you want to get a discount, they usually do promos on Port Days when most of the guests are off the ship.
Onboard Cruise Packages
DRINK PACKAGES, CABIN DECORATIONS OR DELIVERIES Many of the ships have drink packages that you can purchase in advance. From wine or alcohol to soda packages and coffee, you can purchase these before you board. You can also order bottled water on many of the ships that don’t supply them free.
HINT! Often if you book online in advance you can get up to 20% off a package price. You can also add on other fun things like flower deliveries, special occasion cabin decorations and more!
WIFI Just like the drink packages, many of the ships will give you a discount on your WIFI packages if you purchase them in advance.
The most important part about day 28 is to have fun perusing your cruise line’s website to see all of the fun that you can add to your cruise!
Our Faves to carry on port! Whether you are heading to the beach or traversing the cobblestone streets of Europe you will need to carry some kind of tote, backpack or beach bag. These are our favorites! Stylin’ and practical. If you can double it as your carry-on so much the better!
XL Beach Bag with Oxford Material 22 x 14 Tote Bag with Waterproof Lining Inner Zipper Pocket and Top Zipper from Moskus GearOutlander Packable Handy Lightweight Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack, GreyWomen Ladies Canvas Weekender Bag Overnight Carry-on Tote Duffel in Trolley Handle (Black Stripe)
Just for the fun of it check out this selfie kids camera and these beach towel clips! Don’t ket the Caribbean winds whisk away your towel. Hint- we also use them back at the cabin to dry our bathing suits on our balcony.
Parrot BocaClips by O2COOL, Beach Towel Holders, Clips, Set of two, Beach, Patio or Pool Accessories, Portable Towel Clips, Chip Clips, Secure Clips, Assorted StylesVTech Kidizoom Duo 5.0 Deluxe Digital Selfie Camera MP3 Player Headphones – Blue – Online ExclusiveESFUN 16 Pack Beach Towel Clips Chair Clips Towel Holder for Pool Chairs on Cruise-Jumbo Size,Plastic Clothes Pegs Hanging Clip Clamps to Keep Your Towel from Blowing Away,Fashion Bright Color