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Tips for smooth sailing on a cruise vacation

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Is there any greater luxury than a vacation on a cruise ship? Taking a luxury cruise to an exotic location, soaking up the sun and breathing in the salty breeze can refresh and recharge anyone, no matter how tired they are from work. However, cruise vacations require planning to make them the best possible vacation. Check out these tips to have a memorable cruise experience.

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So, where do you start when planning a cruise vacation? First, what is your budget like? Do you need to keep your expenses down? Well here are some tips on saving on your cruise vacation.

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When scheduling your cruise vacation, you should know that there is a low season and a high season, and you want to schedule your trip in the low season to get the best deal. However, what you may not know is that cruise lines actually change their prices several times during the year. Ask and find out when their absolute lowest seasonal rates are. Also, keep your plans somewhat flexible so that you can make last minute ship changes. Sometimes a ship isn’t full, so cruise lines will sell the last few tickets at really cheap prices. It’s always to their advantage to have a full ship because people spend money on souvenirs, drinks, etc. during their vacation. Take advantage of this knowledge to get really good deals.

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Where you cruise to during your vacation can also have a big impact on your costs. If you choose a popular place, you can travel cheaper than if you choose a less popular place. Another consideration is whether you really care about the ports of call. If you just want to stay on an ocean liner and enjoy the luxury, then book a cruise that doesn’t stop anywhere. These “non-stopping cruises” are just as luxurious as other cruises, but they cost less.

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To ensure a safe cruise vacation, don’t bring a lot of expensive equipment or jewelry. Make sure your passport, health insurance and other documents are up to date. Be sure to ask about laws you may inadvertently break when you leave the shores you are used to. Laws in ports and even in the water can be different, and you certainly don’t want to get into big trouble with foreign law enforcement agencies.

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To tread lightly, be aware of the equipment that will be provided on board. For example, if the cruise line provides an electric iron or hair dryer, you don’t need to bring yours. Also, bring your own sample-size shampoo, toothpaste and other toiletries, as these items will cost more in the gift store. You should have access to laundry facilities during your cruise vacation, so you don’t need to bring a lot of clothes. Pick a wrinkle-resistant, lightweight outfit every two or three days and pick color-coordinated separates so you can get a different look. If you’re going to be on a cruise vacation for this type of event, be sure to have formal or semi-formal attire ready.