Disclaimer: Royal Caribbean and Southwest Airlines were sponsors of the Click Retreat and cruise, and Del Sol provided my ticket for this adventure. All opinions are my own
This past January I had the opportunity to attend CLICK Retreat, A bloggers retreat focusing on photography and building your skills. Now this wasn’t any old retreat or blogging conference. It was held on the the World’s Largest Cruise Ship, The Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas. The ship was amazing! The Conference was amazing!
I did learn a new trick or two when it comes to cruising that I wanted to pass along to you. So here are my top Cruise Tips and Tricks to help you either save money or make your money go farther.
Research your Ship
The Oasis of the Seas was an amazing and very large ship. I’ve cruised before and never had problem with my sense of direction. On this ship,however, I could never get my bearings. They had amazing resources to help you find where you were, like large touch screen-tv’s near every elevator so you can find a place to eat or to show you your location. And also large models of the ship to help you too. Of course, I had my trusty roommates, Amy from Super Healthy Kids, and Stacy from Kid Stuff World, who made sure I was going the right direction. They had a better sense of where things where. 😉
Research Port Excursions in Advance
Make sure you plan your excursions in advance. There is nothing worse then walking off the ship and not knowing what to do. You don’t have to plan the excursions on the ship or do any excursions at all if you want. But just make a plan before hand. On my last cruise to Alaska, we missed out on a few things because we were too slow in planning. You don’t want to miss out believe me.
We were lucky to have Royal Caribbean offer the CLICK Retreat attendees some amazing excursions. You could attend these excursions if you wanted, or find something else you’d like to do. I opted to stay with the group and see the amazing places Royal Caribbean had set up for us.
Take Advantage of On-Board Activities
Cruise ships have a little of something for everyone. Research before you go and see what there is. You will also get the daily schedule showing what is happening on the ship that day. From Karaoke to games, there’s bound to be something to for everyone. Have fun and join in.
We were lucky enough to have Sabra sponsor some yoga classes for us. I’ll let you guess how hard yoga can be on a swaying cruise ship. But it was tons of fun.
There are also a lot of quiet places where you can relax if you aren’t into all the socializing. If you make yourself acquainted with your ship earlier on, you’ll be able to find these great spots to return to often.
Eating on the Ship
So cruise ship food is suppose to be top notch. Eat as much as you can in the main dinning room is my best advice. Breakfast and lunch are served here, not just dinner. If something doesn’t taste like you wished, order something else. They are always happy to give you what you want. If you have food restrictions make sure you let your server know from the start. Stacy was waited on hand and foot by the awesome staff because of her gluten allergy. They brought her all sorts of specialties because she let them know and was so sweet to them.
Don’t be afraid of spending a little money on the specialty dinning as well. For a cover charge you can get a most exclusive environment to eat in. We were treated to a couple specialty restaurants and the food was amazing. I would rather skip the beverage package and eat at one of these dinning areas instead.
Don’t fall in the Souvenir Trap
Yes, this is a real thing. You want to take something back to your family and friends and so you buy them some magnet or spoon because it shows where you’ve been. If that’s your thing, great, but I was so tired of looking at the same thing in every store and it all seemed like junk that would be tossed out in no time.
That is until we walked into the Del Sol store. This place was a goldmine. I knew right off my girls would LOVE it. Everything changes color in the sun. There are Disney and Marvel superhero shirts, nail polish, frisbees and the list goes on. I got a shirt for each girl and some finger nail polish. I really love the polish myself.
Since Del Sol was one of my favorite stops on the cruise I’ve partnered with them to give you, our readers, and exclusive coupon code to save 25% off a purchase. Just use code CRAFTINGCHICKS to receive the discount. (Expiration Date: 9/30/15, 1 use per customer.)
I hope that I’ve given you some great Cruise Tips and Tricks. Do you love cruising as much as I do? Tell me your thoughts.