Booking a Cruise for the First Time? Follow These Tips!

If you have never booked a cruise before, it can be a confusing process! This article will give you a few tips and tricks to make the booking process easier, and help you to save money when you book your first cruise.

The important thing to remember as you are booking your cruise is this: there are lots of options to choose from! Take a little bit of time to explore the different itineraries that are available, and also look at the features that different cruise ships have to offer. Narrow your choices down to 2 or 3 different cruises that you are interested in, and then start comparing prices for those trips.

You can find many different quotes online, and often a little bit of searching can save you a lot of money. Try doing a Google search to find websites that have the cruise itinerary that you are looking for, and compare the prices between the sites and the itineraries. You can often save several hundred dollars by shopping around and being flexible with your travel dates.

Another great tip to help you book your room is to look at the price difference between the various room types. For example, booking a room on the lower level of thee ship is often cheaper than the higher rooms. And inside rooms are always cheaper than the rooms with a window or a balcony. Decide which type of room is important to you, and decide how much money you are willing to spend on the room. Remember, that you will probably only be sleeping in the room, because there are always a lot of fun activities to attend during the day.

Remember that you don't need to rush into any decisions as you are booking your first cruise. There are always good deals to be found, so take some time to explore your options so that you can make the best decision.

Royal Caribbean International: Allure of the Seas

The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas is truly an amazing cruise ship that aims to captivate guests with first class services and establishments. This new cruise ship also features the first Starbucks at sea, the hit wonder Chicago Musical, and ever creative DreamWorks Experience in which your favorite animated characters are along board. If you are looking for a place to dine in, then it's best to visit Rita's Cantina and Samba Grill Brazilian Steakhouse. Also, if you want Quality time with your family, you can always visit the Boardwalk, Aqua Theater, and Central Park. Everything you need is right in this cruise ship.

Rest and Relaxation

There are plenty of stuffs to do while you are boarding the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas. In case you want to unwind and relax, one can visit the Spa and Fitness center.

· Visit the renowned Vitality Spa wherein one could choose unique treatment programs such as medi-spa treatments and acupuncture.

· If you are health conscious then the Fitness Center will accommodate your needs.

Central Park – features an open-air garden with BRITTO Gallery, Coach Store, and bistros.

New Library to educate feed your thoughts and a Card room to socialize.

Go on a splash! There are 4 pools including the Solarium and 10 whirlpools wherein 2 are distinct because it's overlooking the sea.

Clubs and Lounges for you to chill out.

Action and Adventure

This impressive cruise ship offers every family distinctive action and adventure activities. If you want to get thrilled then you must not miss these highlights:

2-well-known Flow Rider surf simulator and Rock-climbing walls.

Zip line – measures 9 decks in the air and 82 feet diagonally.

A full-sized basketball field and boxing ring

Ice-skating Arena

Compact Golf Course

Distinctive Handcrafted Carousel

Dining Information

The cruise ship is packed with exquisite cuisine in which families can truly enjoy. The ship offer multi-course dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also other dining options that families could choose from.

· Main Dining Room which serves daily meals for every families and guests.

· 13 other dining options including Windjammer Café, Park Café, Boardwalk Dog House and it features room service.

First ever Starbucks at sea

· New restaurants including The Cupcake Cupboard – classic connoisseur bakery and serve 30 unique cupcakes.

Casual dining at Johnny Rockets, Cupcake Cupboard, and many more.

· Specialty cafeterias like Chops Grille steakhouse, 150 Central Park, Giovanni's Table Italian Restaurant, and Samba Grill Brazilian Steakhouse offer menus at a low price fee.

Izumi Asian Cuisine for sushi bar selection and a la carte style. Vintages Wine Bar that serves exquisite wines.

· NEW Central Park Dining Package at $ 70 per guest.

· NEW Chef's Dining Package at $ 130 per guest.

· NEW Choice Dining Package at $ 80 per guest.

Kids and Families

A family getaway is not complete without overall enjoyment. Allure of the Seas presents the spectacular DreamWorks Experience that features cartoon characters, parades, story time and parties.

Here are other highlights:

· Award-winning Adventure Ocean Youth Program. This program is indeed very essential for your youngsters for educational and fun purposes.

· Royal Babies and Royal Tots especially prepared for your toddlers and it features Fisher Price activities.

Royal Babies & Tots Nursery

Family-friendly Activities – This includes instructional classes and lectures, challenges and competitions, and many more.

H20 Zone – kiddies water park

3D Movie Theater

Adventure Beach kiddy pool with water slide.

Lounge Areas and Disco – Exclusive for your Teens.

Entertainment and Shopping

If you are looking for entertain then the Broadway hit musical Chicago, Aqua Theater shows, ice shows and other live entertainments will definitely suit your preferences. Furthermore, here are other important highlights of the Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas:

· Broadway Hit Musical Chicago – If you like musical then this group will truly entertain you.

Aqua Theater shows and other live entertainment

Casino Royale – has an area of ​​18,000 sq. foot and it accommodates 456 slots and 27 tables.

Entertainment clubs and lounges -this includes karaoke and comedy bar, jazz club, as well as live performances.

· Surf's Up Party – A restaurant that offers guests beverages and serves popular dishes.

Central Park and Royal Promenade-the shopping center; store includes Duty Free, Coach, BRITTO Gallery, etc.

· NEW Rita's Fiesta – reservation-only themed party and it features exquisite dishes and non-alcoholic beverages.

· New Prohibition Party – reservation-only 1920's themed celebration. It features jazz age outfits.

Set sail and enjoy life to the fullest. The Royal Caribbean Allure of the Seas first-class service will surely satisfy your needs.

Review of the Alabama and Friends Music Festival at Sea on the Norwegian Pearl

This was my first music festival at sea. I got to hang out at the mid-ship pool with 2000 new friends and watch Alabama perform on three different occasions. I enjoyed the music of bands I had never heard of but will not forget. My girlfriend and I line danced in the atrium, played bingo with Randy Owen and wore our bell-bottoms on the 70's theme night.

The Pearl left Miami on 10/24/13 for a four-day cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, which is Norwegian's private island. The spa offered discounts on services while in port. So after a short walk to the straw market in Nassau, I was back on board for a facial and a relaxing afternoon in the thermal suite.

The coed area of ​​the thermal suite included a large mineral pool with lots of bubbles, a smaller hot tub and two shower stalls with color-changing lights. Heated, tile benches were available to relax and take a nap. Lounge chairs faced a large floor to ceiling window that overlooked the bow. The women's only side had a sauna, a steam room and a cold plunge pool. The spa charged $ 38 for a one day pass to the thermal suite or $ 68 for a four-day pass. Since I was in the thermal suite every day, the four-day pass was a real value.

I have been on the Norwegian Pearl before. So whenever I saw someone with a dazed look on their face, I would ask if I could help. It is a great way to make new friends. Our room steward, Eric, made the best monkey I have ever seen out of a blue and white stripped towel. He also kept our small balcony cabin clean and neat. We ate breakfast and lunch at the garden buffet on the pool deck, and had dinner in the Summer Palace at the rear of the ship. I could always find something good to eat. If you don't like a dish, the waiters are happy to replace it.

Sixthman organized the cruise and did a great job. Before the cruise, they sent me name tags and luggage tags. On the ship they had a representative at the front desk to answer questions. I told her I had left my name tags at home, and she immediately gave me new name tags. While on the ship, we also received Alabama and Friends beach towels, an autographed poster and special Alabama pins. On top of that, everyone got to have their picture taken with Alabama at assigned photo sessions. When I got home, I received an email with a web address where I could download my picture with Alabama. Other pictures from the cruise were also available for free download.

More than half of the people on the ship were over 50 and married. It was a friendly crowd which shared a love for country music and left me with wonderful memories.

First Time Cruising Tips: Getting From The Airport To The Ship Port

When you are going on your first cruise, it can be a little overwhelming trying to plan all of the small details of your trip. One of the details that often falls through the cracks is this: planning transportation from the airport to the cruise port, and then back again when the trip is over. This article is going to help you explore your options for transfers.

1. Cruise Ship Transportation

Many cruise lines offer buses and shuttles from the airport to the cruise port. These prices usually range from $20-$40 each way. The nice thing about booking through the cruise ship is the fact that you know you will get to the right cruise in time. You don’t want to miss the boat!

2. Private Shuttles

There are private companies that can be booked through the airport that offer shuttles to the cruise ports. These shuttles vary in price, and you will need to check their schedule ahead of time to be sure that you will get to the cruise ship in time.

3. Taxis

You can always find a taxi at the airport, and this is a great option to get you where you need to go. Before you get in the taxi, make sure to negotiate a price so that you don’t spend too much on the trip.

4. Private Car Services

There are many private car services that will drive you where you need to go. These services can sometimes be cheaper than taking a taxi, and the cars are much nicer. Ask around at the airport (or look online ahead of time) to find a good reliable car service that can drive you to the port

All of these transportation options are good choices, they will get you where you need to go. But, make sure that you schedule a little bit of extra time to be sure that you aren’t late… because the cruise ship won’t wait!

For the Love of Boats, How Do I Cruise?

All great escape comes with a master plan, so as every dream vacation. If you're planning on a relaxing but fun cruise vacation, finding the right cruise line should be your biggest priority. You can distinguish the right cruise ship through research and reading cruise ship reviews online.

Cruise ship reviews are based from first hand experiences of cruise line customers. They mostly rate the things that are deemed essentials by every guests and travelers alike. You can already assess yourself about a ship's amenities, services, food, and travel schedules just by reading those firsthand accounts of their previous customers. It's also a very convenient way to itemised your cruise line choices and cross out those that are not at par with your taste.

There are several websites that post cruise line reviews. You can try to check on the following websites:

Cruisecritic.com
Cruiseline.com
• avidcruiser.com
• cruisereviews.com
Cruise-ships.com
Cruisemates.com
• Tripadvisor.com

These websites have their list of cruise ships and it is categorized for your convenience from major lines to luxury lines to small ships. Port and destination reviews are also included. They also give their list of the best cruise lines according to reviews.

Here is a simple three-step guide to find the right cruise ship for your next vacation.

Decide on a Cruise Category: This is the first step to achieve your dream cruise vacation. You have to choose which of the cruise lines you like to board in. If the idea of ​​boarding in a massive ship sounds agreeable to you, you can try for the Mainstream / Big Cruises. Examples under the category are the Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruises.

Mainstream lines are popular amongst tourist as they offer varied amenities, and also offer the best lead-in rates. There's also a Family Cruise category suitable for a large group of guests with kids. A good example of this is the Disney Cruise Line.

If you prefer a less crowded and more intimate rendezvous and you're up for the cost then taking a Luxury Line is ideal. Luxury lines are typically smaller ships but with the best value for your money. There's also Premium and Upper Premium Cruise Lines if you still want to save and still cruise with style.

Other types of cruises are Niche Cruises, River Cruises and Sailing Ships. All of these are guaranteed with incredible life changing vacation experiences.

Decide where you want to go: So where do you wish to travel? It all depends on your location of choice. Will it be in the Caribbean, Asia, or Europe? And when you finally decided on your preferred location, you can now check on cruise ships that travel on that region.

Finding a Good Travel Agent: Yes, you can directly book from the cruise lines but if you're not particular with the nitty-gritty of booking a trip, a trusty travel agent won't hurt that much for a minimal added cost.

Traveling shouldn't be frustrating and complicated. Just follow these steps and you're on your way to your dream vacation. Have fun and enjoy every minute of it.