Summer vacation time is here and many are booking last-minute summer cruises or finalizing trips. Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or a first-time cruiser there’s still travel plans to consider before heading out to sea. Before you say “Bon voyage,” our friends at the Better Business Bureau serving Central East Texas offer the following tips:
Research in advance
If you’re trying to booking independently with a cruise line or through a travel agency visit follow this link to read any complaints and customer reviews regarding businesses. Review any frequently-asked-questions on the cruise line’s website. After booking your cruise it’s important to research the ports in which the ship will stop.
After booking your cruise and knowing which ports the ship will dock it’s important to search for activities you can do if you choose to get off the ship. Look online for safe places to travel and book your excursions early. Listen to any alerts the ship staff gives before heading to land.
Get trip details in writing
Before making the final payment, get all the details of the trip in writing. This should include the total cost, restrictions, cancellation penalties
Consider travel insurance
Travel insurance covers events like trip cancellations and medical emergencies. There are different levels of coverage based on the type of plan you purchase. Get three bids before deciding and read the fine print to see what’s covered or not.
Alert your financial institution
If you are traveling abroad it’s important to notify your bank or credit card company prior to departure. If you don’t notify them of your plans, your cards could be denied at the point of sale for security reasons. Ask if there are any international transaction or dollar conversion fees that you might incur for using your credit or debit card overseas.
Important items to take include your passport and credit cards. You do not need to bring check books or your Social Security card. Bring a bag that can safely store any money and ID’s when out on excursions.
Show up “late"
Want to avoid long lines? Don’t arrive right when the boarding window opens. There’s a mad rush to board the ship when it opens. Arrive to the port about an hour before the boarding window closes and you’ll probably avoid a huge crowd.
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