Lessons learned from our cruises

By Carl and Jamie Dombek

With this summer's cruise season coming up fast, we thought we would share a few of the lessons we learned. They are presented here, in descending order of seriousness.

Holland America's ms Zuiderdam

  • Choose your itinerary carefully. Some cities can be explored adequately in four or five hours – like Ketchikan, Alaska – but do you really want to try to see Venice in the same amount of time? ANSWER: No, you don’t.
  • Free tours can be just as good as expensive shore excursions arranged through your cruise ship. But do your homework. Some limit the size of the group, which is best, but others take all comers.
  • A few dollars or euros left for your cabin attendants will return many times that in goodwill and good service. The same is true for your bartenders.
  • Speaking of alcohol, beverage packages are great if you can get one as a perk for early booking or some other type of promotional package. But you need to consume a fair amount of alcohol daily to make them economical (and did you come on the cruise to travel and see things or ...?)
  • “Free Wi-Fi” isn’t free if they make you provide your email address so they can spam you.
  • Sweden is practically a cashless society. Don’t bother getting Krona; many places don’t even accept cash. Use your MasterCard or VISA. They’re accepted everywhere; even at pay toilets.
  • The inventor of the Selfie Stick deserves a special place in marketing hell – right next to the people who coined the terms, “New and improved,” and “Free gift.”
Happy travels!

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photo by Carl Dombek
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