10 Insider Secrets That Cruise Lines Won’t Tell You


Seasoned cruisers know there are extra things you can ask for and perks to enjoy at no extra cost on every cruise. What you might not know is that every ship has insider secrets that the cruise line won’t tell you about, but will make your cruise even more enjoyable. We’ve rounded up some of the best-kept secrets of cruising so your amazing cruise holiday can be even more amazing.

You Aren’t Limited to One of Each Course When Dining

Most people will order one starter, one main course, and one dessert in the main dining room, but there’s no rule to say that you have to. There are no rules stopping you ordering several starters to taste a few different things or even three desserts. You can also order starter-sized portions of main course dishes if you want to share a few with other people on your table. It’s a great way to try things that you wouldn’t normally order and make the most of your delicious cruise food.

You Can Save a Bottle of Wine for Another Night

take your wine bottle in a cruise

It’s often cheaper to buy a bottle of wine than a couple of glasses, but you might be put off by thinking you can’t manage to finish it alone. What the waiter might not tell you is that the bottle can be marked with your cabin number and saved for you to finish at dinner another night. Don’t worry if you aren’t planning to go to the same restaurant, you can usually get your wine sent to whichever on-board venue you are dining at.

Internet Extras for Early Sign-Up

Gone are the days of spending your holidays in the middle of the ocean unable to communicate with your family. Nowadays, most cruise ships have on-board internet, meaning you can get connected wherever you are in the world. Internet speeds can vary massively from ship to ship, so if you’ve got your heart set on watching Netflix all day you might want to check your ship can support it. Most cruise lines will charge you for access, whether by the minute, the day, or the entire voyage. If you sign up on the first day of the cruise, however, many cruise lines will offer a discount or extra minutes.

Ship Spa Deals on Certain Days

Cruise holidays are wonderfully luxurious and few things feel as indulgent as a trip to the ship spa for a treatment or two. Unless you have a room that includes treatments, however, a trip to the spa can add significantly to your bill. If you’ve got your heart set on a spa treatment, see if the spa has any offers or discounts on certain days. First day and port day spa deals can be found on most ships, so it might be well worth your while to miss an excursion you aren’t very interested in, and get a discount pampering instead.

Some Lines Let You BYOB

Don’t take it as fact that your cruise line doesn’t let you bring any drinks on board. Some lines allow you to bring your own drinks up to a certain amount, with some lines even allowing you to bring a little alcohol. Most lines won’t allow you to bring spirits, but they may let you bring a couple of bottles of wine or champagne. Be aware that you will probably be charged corkage on these when you are on board. Some lines will also allow you to bring up to 12 cans of soft drink with you as well, although bottles aren’t usually allowed as it’s too easy to fill them with a clear spirit such as vodka or gin instead of water.

You Can Order Off Menu

ordering off the menu cruise

Most people don’t realise that if you don’t see anything you fancy on the menu, you can actually request that the chef whip you up something else. Obviously, it depends on what ingredients are available in the kitchen, so don’t expect anything too far from the usual fare to be available. This is a great tip for vegetarians, who can ask for the meat in a dish they fancy to be replaced with tofu or beans. It also means that you don’t have to miss out on that delicious dish you had at the beginning of the cruise just because it wasn’t on the menu again – simply ask if it’s possible to have it made specially another night.

Order a Full Pizza

Lots of ships have places where you can order pizza by the slice and they tend to be open quite late for a post-drinking snack. What happens if you’re absolutely starving or there a few of you craving a slice? You can actually order an entire pizza at no extra cost, so just tell them what toppings you want and sit back and relax while an entire pizza is cooked up just for you.

Upgrade Your Bedding

If your cabin mattress is giving you a crick in your neck, don’t think that you just have to grin and bear it. Many cruise lines have additional bedding available on request, including egg crate mattress padding, alternative or additional pillows, top sheets, and other bedding options. Simply ask the cruise line before your cruise or a crew member during, they’ll be more than happy to try and help you get a good night’s sleep.

Save on Drink of the Day

Many cruise lines will have a ‘Drink of the Day’, which tends to be more expensive than a regular beverage. One of the reasons for this is because it comes in a souvenir glass that you can keep. To save a bit of money, ask that your drink be served in a standard glass and you’ll find that the price of the souvenir glass can be knocked off. If you don’t want to give up the novelty of a special glass, simply buy one on the first night and then bring it back on following nights to have your drink made in.

Some Cruise Lines Offer Babysitters

You probably already know that your cruise ship has a kids’ club with qualified childcare staff that can watch your children while you go and relax. What you might not realise, however, is that some cruise lines offer babysitters on an evening. This means you can go out and let your hair down without having to stick to kids-only areas or worry about what the children are doing back in your cabin.

Now that you know all the insider tips on how to get the best out of your cruise, why not book one of Cruise1st UK’s amazing deals so you can get the best possible price too? Browse the full collection of exciting destinations online or call our friendly sales team on 0808 2746 777.


About Author

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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