Ensure Your Cruise Vacation is Smooth Sailing
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Contrary to popular belief, cruises aren't only suitable for retirees. These days, cruises are proving to be extremely popular with both young and old because of the impressive array of amenities and convenience they offer. But don't commit to a cruise package too hastily as there are several points to take note of before you make that booking. Here are a few.

Diversity of Cruise Pacakges

Don't assume cruises are all the same. Your travel agency should be able to recommend a wide range of international and regional cruises (to destinations like Europe, the Mediterranean, Alaska, America and Asia) or thematic voyages (for instance, educational, Muslim, gourmet or even vow renewal cruises) for you to choose from.

It would be better yet if your travel agency has river cruises to offer. That's because these cruises usually feature sleek, modern and luxurious "floating hotels" with fewer cabins, different views in new cities every day and a suite of personalised services in exotic locations like the Three Gorges, Danube River and Nile River.

Smooth Coordination and Syncing

The whole point for a holidaymaker to embark on a cruise or fly cruise is to be able to traverse various parts of the world at a leisurely pace. So there is no reason why you should be getting into a tizzy over crises that might leave you stranded in a port of call without confirmed pre- or post-cruise accomodation!

Every logistical detail is critical, and vital arrangements, such as pre-packaged fly cruises comprising air tickets, pre- and post-cruise accomodation, land tours and transfers, should all be taken care of beforehand by your travel agency to ensure your programme is kept perfectly in sync.

Some travel agencies provide fully-escorted cruise tours for a hassle-free experience - as passengers can be assured of having an escort by their side at all times to facilitate transfers, as well as to take care of their pre- and post-cruise touring needs. Lastly, if you do not wish to get a nasty shock at the end of your trip, do consider opting for cruise programmes where port taxes, cruise, and land tour tipping costs are already included.

Flexible Booking Arrangements

It would be best if you could find a click-and-mortar travel agency that provides you with the options of online and on-site booking. This would allow you to either book your cruise online in the comfort of your home or office, or drop by in person anytime to consult a cruise specialist. The same cruise specialist can also be counted on to assist you, should you encounter a problem or require after-sales service.

Pertinent Product Fit

Your cruise specialist should make an effortto understand your requirements, budget and comfort level before recommending the appropriate cruise programme for you. His or her expertise and recommendations would also come in handy when you need to make decisions on your ideal pre- and post- cruise accomodation and shore excursions.

Published on The Straits Times Classified on Friday, May 3, 2013. These Travel Wise tips were brought to you by Chan Brothers Travel. Credits to Chan Brothers Travel. Written by Belinda Wan.


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