Ask Trip Coach: Ocean Cruising
No matter if it's your first cruise or your 40th, these money-saving pointers and insider tips will have you acting like an old salt in no time.
Which cruise line offers the best value?
Again, it all comes back to optional costs. Cruisemates.com recently did the math comparing a luxury ship (Regent's Seven Seas Voyager) with a middle-market ship (Celebrity's Solstice) on nearly identical six-night Caribbean itineraries. At first glance, Regent cost far more: $3,365 vs. $1,895. But its all-inclusive bill covers airfare, alcohol, shore excursions, and tips. If you opted for those extras on Celebrity, your total expenses would be about the same, so it's arguable that Regent is a better value, given its top-notch restaurants and service. To compare more lines yourself, consult the comprehensive, 688-page Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships (berlitzbooks.com, $24).
OVER-THE-TOP AMENITY WATCH
Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas is the line's first ship built with a 3-D movie theater.
Skip karaoke. Norwegian Cruise Line's Epic rents Gibson electric guitars for $10 a day.
The new water slide on Disney Cruise Line's Disney Dream drops a dizzying 765 feet.