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    The Tyler Group: Top Tips From World's Best Cruisers

    4 years agoReply
    Top Tips From the World's Best Cruisers

    How do you choose the perfect cabin, make your own porthole, and never, ever get lost at sea? The winners of our World's Best Cruiser contest spill their time-tested cruising secrets.

    MEET OUR EXPERTS
    We recently asked readers to stake their claim to the title World's Best Cruiser. After 11,000 votes from BT readers, it was clear that Martha and Ken Wiseman of Romeoville, Ill., had made a watertight case: The retired educators have hit almost 350 ports on nearly 70 cruises in the past 38 years. "In 1973, we met a couple who had just gotten off a cruise," Martha says. "Our eyes lit up as they described it -- and we never looked back!"

    1. CHOOSE YOUR CABIN WISELY
    Choosing a cabin is all about location, location, location. Check the ship's layout online before booking, and opt for a room with passenger floors above and below you. You don't want to try to sleep right under the disco, the casino, or the running track.

    2. PACK SMARTLY
    Most cruise lines offer certain drinks for free -- juice, lemonade, iced tea, coffee, milk, tea -- but you'll have to pay for soda. If you're a caffeine addict, pack a bottle or two. Unlike on a plane, you won't have to worry about paying for the added weight.

    3. PLAN YOUR SCHEDULE
    For fire-safety reasons, cabins don't have their own irons. Don't wait until the last minute to tackle your evening wardrobe. You can find shared irons down the hall in the laundry room, but lines often form before mealtimes. Opt for off-hours (like mornings).

    4. WAKE UP EARLY
    It's easy to lose track of time in a windowless interior cabin. Before going to sleep, tune into the ship's bridge-camera channel for real-time videos of the front (or bow) of the boat. The screen will act like a virtual porthole, and you'll rise and shine with the sunrise.

    5. GET YOUR EMAIL WITHOUT PAYING ROAMING CHARGES
    Internet phone services like Vonage can be programmed to send transcribed voice mails to your email in-box. That way, you can check your home answering machine quickly at an Internet cafe without paying insane roaming fees on your cell. The transcriptions won't always be perfect, but you'll get the gist.

    6. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR TOWELS
    Don't assume you can save a spot at the pool with your towel. Cruise lines give you one pool towel at the start of the cruise. If you don't have it (or a cleaned trade-in) at the end, you'll get charged. If you let it out of your sight, you run the risk of losing it or having it stolen by a fellow cruiser.

    7. KNOW WHEN TO PREPARE FOR ROUGH SEAS
    If your tablecloth is wet at dinner, you should prepare for rough seas. Restaurant staffers have been known to slightly dampen the tablecloth to keep plates and glasses from sliding.

    8. FIND LOST BAGS
    If the porters haven't delivered your luggage to your door by the first night of the cruise, check what our experts call the "naughty room." Security will store any bags containing contraband (like candles, alcohol, or coffeemakers) in this centralized location until you come claim it. You'll be able to pick up your bag on the first night, but banned items will not be returned until the end of the trip.

    9. FIX UP YOUR ROOM
    Make your cabin homier by packing a small collapsible vase and a bouquet of flowers.

    Continue reading here...
    huffingtonpost.com/budget-travel/top-tip..

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