Navigating Cruise Ship Sales: What To Buy And What To Skip

If you’re planning to set sail on a cruise ship, it’s essential to know how to navigate the vast sea of cruise ship sales. With a plethora of options available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and make impulsive purchases. That’s where “Navigating Cruise Ship Sales: What to Buy and What to Skip” comes in. This article is your ultimate guide to finding the best deals and avoiding buyer’s remorse when it comes to purchasing items on a cruise ship. From luxurious spa packages to discounted excursions, this article sheds light on what is worth your hard-earned money and what you should steer clear of. So, prepare to set sail with confidence and make informed decisions with this comprehensive guide.

Cruise Ship Cabin Categories

Ocean View

An ocean view cabin is a popular choice for many cruisers. These cabins typically have a window that allows you to enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean right from your room. It’s like having your own personal porthole to the sea. If you love waking up to the sight of endless blue waters, then an ocean view cabin might be the perfect choice for you.


A balcony cabin takes ocean views to the next level. These cabins feature a private balcony where you can step outside and enjoy the fresh sea breeze. Imagine sipping your morning coffee while watching the sun rise over the horizon from the privacy of your own balcony. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and take in the stunning views of the ocean.


If you’re someone who spends most of their time exploring the ship and participating in onboard activities, an inside cabin might be a great choice for you. Inside cabins don’t have any windows or balconies, but they are often more affordable. They provide a cozy and comfortable place to rest and relax after a day of adventures on the ship.


For those seeking a more luxurious experience, a suite is the way to go. Suites offer spacious accommodations with separate living areas, walk-in closets, and sometimes even a private terrace or hot tub. These cabins often come with additional perks such as priority boarding, access to exclusive lounges, and personalized service. If you want to indulge in the ultimate cruise experience, a suite is the perfect choice.


Solo travelers often have their own specific needs, which is why many cruise lines offer dedicated solo cabins. These cabins are designed with the solo traveler in mind, offering all the necessary amenities in a compact and efficient space. They are a great option for those looking to enjoy the cruise experience without having to share accommodations with someone else.

Choosing the Right Itinerary


The destination is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a cruise itinerary. Do you dream of exploring the enchanting beaches of the Caribbean, or maybe you’re more drawn to the cultural wonders of Europe? Different cruise lines offer various destinations, so it’s important to choose one that aligns with your interests and desires.


Cruise itineraries can range from a few days to several weeks. The duration of your cruise will depend on your schedule and how much time you have available for travel. If you’re limited on time, a shorter cruise might be more suitable. On the other hand, if you have the luxury of time and want to fully immerse yourself in the cruise experience, a longer itinerary might be the perfect choice.

Ports of Call

The ports of call on a cruise itinerary are the various destinations you’ll visit during your cruise. These ports offer a range of activities and attractions, from historical landmarks to breathtaking natural wonders. Consider what you’re interested in seeing and doing at each port and choose an itinerary that includes destinations that excite you.

Seasonal Considerations

Different destinations have different peak seasons, and it’s important to take this into account when choosing your cruise itinerary. For example, if you want to explore Alaska, the best time to go is during the summer months when the weather is milder and wildlife is more active. Research the best time to visit your desired destination to ensure you have the best possible experience.

Navigating Cruise Ship Sales: What To Buy And What To Skip

Included vs. Optional Extras

Beverage Packages

Most cruise lines offer beverage packages that allow you to enjoy unlimited drinks throughout your cruise. These packages can be a great value if you plan on indulging in alcoholic beverages or specialty coffees. However, if you’re not a big drinker, it might not be worth the cost. Consider your drinking habits and preferences before deciding whether to purchase a beverage package.

Specialty Dining

Many cruise ships offer specialty restaurants where you can enjoy a more intimate and gourmet dining experience. These restaurants often require an additional fee, but the quality of the food and service can be well worth it. If you’re a foodie or celebrating a special occasion, treating yourself to a night at a specialty restaurant can be a memorable experience.

Shore Excursions

Shore excursions are organized activities and tours that you can participate in at each port of call. These excursions allow you to explore the destination and experience local culture and attractions. While some cruise lines include a certain number of shore excursions in their itineraries, most excursions come at an additional cost. Consider your interests and budget when deciding which shore excursions to book.

Spa and Salon Services

Cruise ships often have luxurious spas and salons where you can pamper yourself with relaxing treatments and beauty services. These services usually come with an extra cost, so it’s important to consider if they are worth it for you. If you enjoy indulging in spa treatments or getting a professional hairstyle for formal nights, then booking these services can enhance your cruise experience.

Onboard Entertainment and Activities

Broadway-style Shows

Many cruise ships offer Broadway-style shows that rival those seen in world-renowned theaters. From high-energy musicals to mesmerizing dance performances, these shows are sure to keep you entertained throughout your cruise. Check the ship’s entertainment schedule to see what shows will be offered during your cruise and plan your evenings accordingly.

Casinos and Gambling

If you enjoy a little excitement and the chance to win big, the onboard casino might be calling your name. Cruise ship casinos offer a variety of games, including slot machines, blackjack, poker, and roulette. Keep in mind that gambling comes with inherent risks, so it’s important to set a budget and gamble responsibly.

Pools and Water Parks

Cruise ship pools are a hub of activity and the perfect place to cool off and soak up some sun. Some ships even have water parks with thrilling slides and splash zones for the whole family to enjoy. Whether you prefer lounging by the pool with a drink in hand or splashing around in the water, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Fitness Facilities

For those looking to stay active while onboard, Cruise ships typically have state-of-the-art fitness facilities. These facilities offer a variety of equipment, from treadmills and weight machines to yoga studios and group exercise classes. Whether you prefer sweating it out on your own or participating in a group class, there are plenty of options to help you stay fit and active during your cruise.

Navigating Cruise Ship Sales: What To Buy And What To Skip

Dining Options and Quality

Main Dining Room

The main dining room is typically included in the cost of your cruise and offers a diverse menu with a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll have the opportunity to dine in an elegant setting and enjoy attentive service from the waitstaff. The quality of the food in the main dining room is generally very good, with a mix of classic and innovative dishes to choose from.


The buffet is a casual dining option available throughout the day, offering a wide array of dishes to satisfy every palate. From fresh salads and seafood to international cuisines and made-to-order stations, the buffet provides a great opportunity to try different flavors and cuisines. However, keep in mind that buffets can get crowded during peak meal times, so plan accordingly.

Specialty Restaurants

Specialty restaurants are a step above the main dining room, offering a more intimate and upscale dining experience. These restaurants often specialize in a specific cuisine, such as Italian, steakhouse, or seafood. While there is usually an additional fee to dine at these establishments, the quality of the food and service is often top-notch, making it a worthwhile splurge for food enthusiasts.

Room Service

If you prefer to dine in the comfort of your own cabin, room service is available on most cruise ships. You can order a variety of dishes directly to your cabin, from breakfast in bed to late-night snacks. Keep in mind that while room service is often included in the cost of your cruise, some cruise lines may charge a service fee for certain items or during certain hours.

Cabins and Public Spaces

Size and Layout

Cruise ship cabins come in various sizes and layouts to accommodate different preferences and group sizes. From cozy inside cabins to spacious suites, there’s something for everyone. Consider how much space you need and whether a specific layout suits your needs, such as a separate living area or a connecting cabin for larger families or groups.


Cruise ship cabins are equipped with a range of amenities to ensure your comfort throughout your cruise. These amenities may include a private bathroom, television, mini-refrigerator, and a safe for your valuables. Some higher-end cabins may include additional features such as a private balcony, whirlpool tub, or concierge service. Review the amenities offered in each cabin category to find the one that best suits your needs.


Cleanliness is of utmost importance when it comes to cruise ship cabins and public spaces. Cruise lines have strict cleaning protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of their passengers. Cabins are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between each guest, and public spaces are regularly cleaned throughout the day. If cleanliness is a concern for you, rest assured that cruise lines prioritize maintaining a clean and hygienic environment.


Cruise ships strive to accommodate passengers with different accessibility needs. Many cabins are designed with wider doorways and accessible bathrooms to ensure ease of movement for passengers with mobility challenges. Additionally, ships usually have accessible public spaces, including restaurants, theaters, and lounges. If you have specific accessibility needs, reach out to the cruise line in advance to ensure they can accommodate your requirements.

Navigating Cruise Ship Sales: What To Buy And What To Skip

Service and Staff

Crew-to-Passenger Ratio

One of the benefits of cruising is the exceptional service provided by the ship’s staff. The crew-to-passenger ratio varies from ship to ship, but generally, the higher the ratio, the more personalized and attentive the service. Luxury cruise lines often have a higher crew-to-passenger ratio, ensuring that your every need is taken care of throughout your cruise.

Friendliness and Professionalism

The friendliness and professionalism of the ship’s staff can greatly impact your overall cruise experience. From the moment you step onboard, you want to feel welcomed and well cared for. Cruise lines pride themselves on their trained and friendly staff, who are there to assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. The crew’s positive attitude and dedication can truly enhance your cruise experience.

Language Proficiency

Cruise ships attract a diverse range of passengers from all over the world, so it’s important to consider the language proficiency of the ship’s staff. Most cruise lines have multilingual crew members who can communicate effectively in different languages. This ensures that you can easily communicate your needs and preferences throughout your cruise, making for a smoother and more enjoyable experience.

Housekeeping Services

Housekeeping services play a crucial role in maintaining cleanliness and comfort onboard the ship. Cabins are tidied and refreshed daily, and your cabin steward is there to assist with any concerns or requests you may have. From providing fresh towels to ensuring your cabin is spotless, the housekeeping staff works diligently behind the scenes to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

Children and Family-Friendly Features

Kids’ Clubs and Activities

Cruise ships are a haven for families, and most ships offer dedicated kids’ clubs and activities for children of all ages. These clubs provide a safe and supervised environment for kids to make new friends and participate in age-appropriate activities. From arts and crafts to scavenger hunts and themed parties, there’s never a dull moment for the little ones onboard.

Babysitting Services

To give parents a chance to enjoy some adult time, many cruise lines offer babysitting services for a nominal fee. Trained staff members look after the children and provide engaging activities to keep them entertained. Whether you want to enjoy a romantic dinner or relax by the pool, these babysitting services offer peace of mind and allow parents to have some well-deserved alone time.

Family Entertainment

Cruise lines understand the importance of keeping the whole family entertained, which is why they offer a variety of family-friendly entertainment options. From movies under the stars to live performances and game shows, there’s always something for everyone to enjoy together. Spend quality time with your loved ones and create lasting memories during these fun-filled family activities.

Teen Programs

Teens often have specific interests and social needs, which is why cruise lines offer specialized teen programs. These programs provide a safe and engaging space for teens to hang out, make friends, and participate in age-appropriate activities. From dance parties to video game tournaments and themed events, teens can enjoy their own dedicated space onboard the ship.

Navigating Cruise Ship Sales: What To Buy And What To Skip

Health and Safety Measures

Medical Facilities

Cruise ships have onboard medical facilities equipped to handle minor illnesses and injuries. Medical staff are available 24/7 to provide medical assistance if needed. However, it’s important to note that these facilities are not full-service hospitals, and serious medical emergencies may require evacuation to a local medical facility. It’s always advisable to have travel insurance that covers any potential medical expenses.

Emergency Procedures

Cruise lines have comprehensive emergency procedures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of their passengers and crew. These procedures include safety drills at the beginning of each cruise and 24/7 monitoring of the ship’s systems. In the event of an emergency, the ship’s staff is trained to handle various situations and will provide passengers with clear instructions and guidance.

Sanitation Practices

Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is a top priority for cruise lines, especially in light of recent global health concerns. Ships have implemented enhanced sanitation practices, including increased cleaning and disinfection of public areas and cabins, as well as the availability of hand sanitizers throughout the ship. These measures help prevent the spread of germs and ensure the health and safety of passengers and crew.

Security Measures

Cruise lines have strict security measures in place to ensure the safety and security of everyone onboard. These measures include screening procedures during embarkation and disembarkation, surveillance systems throughout the ship, and trained security personnel who monitor the ship at all times. Passengers can feel confident knowing that their safety is a top priority onboard the ship.

Price and Value for Money

Promotional Deals and Discounts

Cruise lines often offer promotional deals and discounts to attract passengers and fill their ships. These promotions can include discounted fares, onboard credits, or added perks such as free beverage packages or specialty dining. Keep an eye out for these deals and discounts to maximize the value of your cruise and potentially save on various expenses.

Reputation and Customer Reviews

The reputation of a cruise line can be a good indicator of the overall quality and value of their cruises. Research customer reviews and ratings to get a sense of what past passengers have experienced. Pay attention to the feedback regarding the ship’s amenities, service, and overall cruise experience to make an informed decision.

Hidden Costs

It’s important to keep in mind that there may be hidden costs associated with your cruise. While some expenses, like gratuities and taxes, are typically disclosed upfront, there may be additional costs for certain onboard activities, services, or specialty items. Take the time to review the cruise line’s pricing policies and, if in doubt, reach out to their customer service for clarification.

Cancellation and Refund Policies

Life is unpredictable, and sometimes plans change. Before booking your cruise, it’s crucial to understand the cruise line’s cancellation and refund policies. These policies outline the terms and conditions for canceling your cruise, as well as any associated fees or refund amounts. Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment in case unforeseen circumstances force you to cancel or modify your plans.

Navigating the world of cruise ship sales can be overwhelming, but with the right information and considerations, you can make an informed decision. Consider the different cabin categories, choose an itinerary that suits your interests and schedule, and carefully evaluate the included and optional extras. Pay attention to the quality and variety of onboard entertainment, dining options, and the overall cleanliness and accessibility of the ship. Take into account the level of service provided by the staff, the family-friendly features available, and the health and safety measures in place. Finally, consider the price and overall value for money, taking into consideration promotional deals, the cruise line’s reputation, and any potential hidden costs. By evaluating these factors, you can make a cruise purchase that aligns with your preferences and ensures a memorable and enjoyable voyage.

Navigating Cruise Ship Sales: What To Buy And What To Skip

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