A “Cruise Lingo” Glossary

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Cruising Essentials

The Best Time to SAVE on a Cruise

Find the best deals on cruises during Wave Season, which runs every January through March. These discounted fares often include perks such as upgrades and onboard credits.

There are Four Categories of Staterooms

  • Inside cabins are generally the smallest cabins onboard and have no views but are a good option if you are on a tight budget.

  • Oceanview cabins include windows or portholes and provide a view of ports visited.

  • Balcony cabins feature an ocean-facing balcony that offers a space to relax that is all your own.

  • Suites are the ultimate in luxury travel, offering ample space with windows and often a balcony. These rooms have the most amenities and usually include a personal concierge.

Cruise Travel Protection

While Cruise Travel Protection isn't mandatory, it is highly recommended you purchase a plan before your trip. If you or the people you are traveling with become too ill or injured to go on the cruise, you can avoid the stiff penalties from canceling and receive reimbursement for your original cost.

If you experience a medical emergency while on the ship, Cruise Travel Protection can help you find a hospital or doctor and will reimburse your eligible medical expenses. Make sure to read what is covered in your plan along with all the terms, conditions and sponsors, as it is nonrefundable. Cruise Travel Protection gives you peace of mind that if you need to cancel your trip for one of their covered reasons.

Don’t Forget To Pack...

  • Documents: Make sure your passport and travel documents are up-to-date and bring them with you on your trip.

  • Electronics: Most cabins have U.S. standard 110-volt electrical outlets, and some also have 220-volt European standard outlets. So, feel free to bring your hair dryers, phone chargers and other electronics!

  • Everyday Clothing: Check your cruise ship's website for their official dress code policies and make sure also to pack clothes for your destination's climate. If you're heading somewhere warm and sunny, bring some summertime necessities such as light clothing, sunglasses, hats and sunscreen. Voyages into colder parts of the world may require heavier layers, raincoats, hats and other wintertime essentials for your excursions.

  • Formal Clothing: Your ship may have formal dinners and events. Check with your cruise line's website and consider packing a crisp suit, tuxedo or cocktail dress. There may also be a rental service available on the ship if you don't own or don't want to bring formal wear.

  • Forbidden Items: Firearms, weapons of any kind, explosives, irons, candles or animals are not allowed onboard. Service animals are permitted with cruise line approval.

Check the Daily Onboard Schedule

Every night, you will receive a schedule in your cabin that will detail the next day's special events, entertainment showtimes, themed dinners and other tips.

Plan Ahead

Check your cruise line's website to get information about shore excursions, spa reservations, specialty dining and other activities. Book these activities in advance, as they tend to sell out quickly!

Avoiding the Queasy Stomach

If you get motion sick, select a cabin on a lower deck, mid-ship.

Onboard Connectivity

  • Internet: While the internet can be less reliable at sea, most ships do offer Wi-Fi and internet cafes, usually for a fee. To get a faster connection, go online during the night or in port after several guests depart on a shore excursion. Visit your cruise line's website for more information on internet access.

  • Telephone: Most cabins offer phones, but in the rare chance that it does not, and you have an emergency, the ship can use a radio to connect you with a mainland number. Phone calls can be expensive onboard, so if you can wait until you stop at the next port to place a call, it will be much less costly.

  • Mobile Devices: Depending on your cruise line and cell phone provider, you may or may not have reception at sea. If you can place calls and text, be aware that your phone company will likely charge expensive roaming fees. Keep your phone on airplane mode to avoid receiving incoming texts or calls.

Eating & Drinking Onboard

  • Wine & Champagne: If you would like to bring a special bottle of wine, many ships allow you to bring a certain number on board. You may get charged a corkage fee in the dining room, so it's best to check with your cruise line before traveling.

  • Unlimited main dining: In the main dining room, you can be flexible with your meal. Instead of a traditional appetizer, entree and dessert, you can order multiple entrees or several appetizers instead of a main course, or even three desserts! This is a great way to try new foods or stick with your classic favorites.

  • Eat at the specialty restaurants on the first day of your cruise, as they often have day one discounts. Plus, you can avoid the crowds in the main dining room to enjoy a more low-key dinner in a specialty venue.

  • Cheap or free room service: Generally, room service is free, but certain lines may add a service charge.

  • Open containers: You can bring your drinks or food anywhere on the ship, from the bar to your stateroom. There is no "open beverage" rule, so feel free to move about without leaving your cocktail behind.