Cruising Mistakes…what you should know.

Cruising is one of the best vacations you can take. You have a floating hotel, people are waiting on you hand and foot, shows and activities, and you have all the food in the world you could desire. The best part is, ONE price! However, if you make a few mistakes, it could ruin your cruise vacation. So let’s talk about what not to do…

1.Picking the “right” cabin. – If you think that you want to save the most money and pick the cheapest cabin this could be your worst investment ever. It may not be your cup of tea being on the lowest deck near the engine. You wake up every morning to the sound of rotating motors and your cabin vibrating. This could definitely ruin your trip! Talk with your travel agent about what type of things you are looking for out of your cabin, and they can work with you in picking a great spot while still saving you money.

2. Don’t spend your money if you don’t need to! – There are many great shops on the cruise where you can purchase Duty-Free items. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard on purchasing everything onboard…no pun intended! Shopping onboard is like shopping at the outlets, ask yourself if you would get it at the outlets. If not, then pass. Also, the beverage package can be great for those who drink a lot of soda or alcohol. However, if you don’t plan on drinking that much then just pay as you go.

3. Not using the WiFi once on land. – The WiFi on ships is extremely slow. Many clients tell me that it took them 30 minutes just to get onto the page they needed, and then only had 30 minutes left to do work! Money right down the water slide…pun intended. We also recommend that once you get to your destination, find a coffee shop that has free WiFi. Here you can get a few things done and even make phone calls over the WiFi. In the Caribbean I have used Dunkin Donuts many times. 

4. Elevators, maybe pass on using them. – The glass elevators on the ships are beautiful. They allow you to see everything as you are going up or coming down. There is a huge bottleneck in getting where you need to be though, they stop on every floor where someone is waiting to get on. It may take you 10 minutes to get downstairs by using the elevator, but only a 5-minute walk. Head to the stairs to go down and save yourself some time, and you can avoid being smushed in an elevator. 

5. Forgetting the crew. – The crew is there to also make sure that your experience is amazing. Many times, they will have been on this same ship for months. They see new people every 7 to 12 days. A simple “Hello” or “Thank you” goes a long way with them. On one of the cruises that I took, I made sure to thank our stewardess every day we saw them. Every night we came back with a different towel animal on our bed with a note saying have a great night. I made them smile, and they made me smile.

Make sure keep these few things in mind when taking your next cruise and it will make for a better vacation for sure!

Did you know that Life is Better Traveling gets many EXTRAs for our clients when they book their cruise with us? That’s right! Our clients have seen $300 onboard credits, Free excursions, and even an amazing cocktail hour on the helipad of the cruise ship! Give us a call and let’s see what we can get for you!


Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation.  Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs.

When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!

Oh No, I can’t go! Now what…

Is it worth it?

You plan all year for this vacation, sometimes even two years of planning went into that big trip.  You have been saving for years and right before you are supposed to go on this amazing journey something happens.  You can’t go!  What are you going to do?  You read through all the cancellation policies and most of them say “100% non-refundable 6 days prior.”  Oh no, you are within that time frame.  No refund!  All those hard earned dollars down the drain. 


Most of us are lucky that this scenario does not happen to us.  However, life has a way of throwing curve balls so you want to make sure that when that curve ball comes your way you know exactly where to hit it, with insurance.


There are many insurance companies out there selling travel insurance.  The question now becomes, Which one works best for you?  Your travel agent is the best guide as to which company will provide the most coverage for your needs.  You don’t need to purchase the “Platinum Plan” to get good coverage.  Most times their basic plans, or gold plans will cover up to 100% of your non-refundable costs and give you very good health coverage too. 


Some things you want to make sure you do when buying travel insurance:


Tip #1:  Buy travel insurance within 15 to 21 days of your initial deposit to ensure coverage for pre-existing medical conditions. 


Tip #2:  Only buy “Cancel for Any Reason Coverage” if you really are on the fence about going on the trip.  Most medical issues, for both travelers and immediate family members, are covered under their reasons for cancellation.  The Cancel for Any Reason is an added cost that you may not need to pay.


Tip #3:  Check what your medical insurance covers for out of country visits.  Don’t buy additional medical coverage if you already have good medical coverage.


Tip #4:  Renting a car?  Check what your credit cards and car insurance coverage for any damage to vehicle overseas.  Consider buying additional coverage if you already have high premiums here in the states or you don’t have enough coverage. 


Tip #5:  Make sure to get a comprehensive copy of your purchased policy from your travel agent.  Each state has different policies so make sure you have received the correct one for the state you live in. 


Tip #6:  READ OVER YOUR POLICY!!!  The more you know before you go the better.  If you have any questions about the policy call the insurance company for a full explanation.


Make sure to cover your hard earned dollars by purchasing travel insurance.  It really will give you Peace of Mind!


Remember our agency has the ONE Phone Call Guarantee!  If something were to go wrong and you need to cancel your vacation, you make one phone call to our agency.  We take care of the rest!  On average, if you book your vacation on your own, you will call 5 different suppliers to cancel your vacation plans!  We save you the time and the hassle with one call!


Fill out the form below to get started planning your next European Vacation.  Looking for a motor coach tour, self-drive, or private tour, we can easily put together the perfect European vacation for you and your family’s needs. 

When you book your vacation with a member of the Life is Better Traveling Team, you are supporting local families and business.  Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the past 4 years, we have become an AMAZING travel agency due to your support!

Cruise Planning Mistakes 101


I love to cruise.  Getting out on the high seas is so peaceful and beautiful.  The gentle sway of the ship back and forth really relaxes me.  But there are some things that can really ruin your cruise if you are not prepared in advance.  Now I can’t take all the credit for writing this week’s E-Newsletter.  I read most of these tips on Conde Nast Traveler but I have to share them as they are very good points.   So next time you start planning a cruise make sure to avoid these mistakes:


Mistake #1:  Bringing the extra-large suitcase!  Yes, staterooms are getting bigger and bigger and most of the time you can stow your larger suitcases under the bed.  However, this doesn’t hold true for all cruise ships especially those older ships.  If you bring an extra-large suitcase it may have to stay out next to the sofa the whole cruise.  Bring the smaller suitcase and roll your clothes to save space.

Mistake #2:  Not booking your shore excursions in advance.  Nowadays every cruise line uses the internet to make it easier for their cruise clients to make their excursion reservations.  They have them broken down by port, pricing, and activity level.  Some cruise lines are better than others with how descriptive they are but overall you get the idea of what to expect on the excursion.  If you are taking the time to read them online and find one you like then simply add it to your cart.  You can also make a list and send it to your travel agent, but make sure to book early or it may not be available by the time you board the ship.

Mistake #3:  Not bringing your own conditioner.  Most cruise lines provide you shampoo in the dispenser adhered to the shower wall and soap.  Ladies, make sure to bring your own conditioner because you want those formal night photos to look fantastic.

Mistake #4:  It’s HOT – not talking about the weather, but the amazing deals!  A deeply discounted cruise is a great deal, right?  Well, I have always been told that if it is too good to be true it is.  You really want to see Alaska and that deal for May is amazing but are you prepared for snow?  Or how about a really discounted Caribbean cruise in September but be prepared for hurricanes with tidal waves.  Always consider the climate or season for the areas you will be traveling.


Mistake #5:  Flying in the same day as your European cruise.  I have always told my clients that they should arrive a few days earlier when taking any type of European cruise.  Sometimes the cruise line does not stay in port overnight the day you board so you will miss out on an amazing city.  Take the time and explore the city where your cruise begins.  Arriving early also allows you peace of mind knowing you will make it to the ship on time.


Mistake #6:  This one ties in with Mistake #4.  Not expecting rainy weather on your Alaskan cruise.  Rain and sometimes snow are very common when taking an Alaskan cruise.  June seems to be a good month to try to stay dry but there are no guarantees.  A raincoat and umbrella are a must for an Alaskan Cruise.


Mistake #7:  Booking a cruise during a school holiday.  Unless you have children where you have to get your vacations in when they are out of school, booking a cruise during any type of holiday or school break is not a good time for those looking to have a more adult friendly cruise.  This does not hold true to all cruises, but I would try to avoid any Caribbean or Hawaiian cruises during holidays.

Mistake #8:  Assuming everything is included onboard.  This can be a bit confusing for some first time cruisers.  The pricing you receive is for mostly basic amenities unless you are cruising with an All-Inclusive cruise line, which are more expensive.  Specialty dining, fitness classes, spa treatments, excursions, gratuities, and even soda packages are a few of the extras once onboard.  Now a days a lot of cruise lines have been giving away onboard credits for you to try out some of these extra amenities, but don’t be fooled, some are quite pricy and your onboard credit will not cover the full cost.


This was a great article written by Heidi Sarna, Bon Voyage Magazine with some additional tidbits from me.  I wanted to share this article with everyone because I believe that at least one of them has happened to us on one of our cruise adventures.  As always, make sure to ask your travel consultant questions about your next cruise.  We are here to make sure that you have the best experience possible and avoid mistakes like those above.


The anxiety of how much will the trip cost, how am I going to entertain them for a week, which parks should we do, where to eat, dining plan or no dining plan, etc.  Yikes!