Last updated: 02:06 PM ET, Wed May 04 2016

CLIA's 5 Top Cruising Tips from Travel Agents

Travel Agent | Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) | Donald Wood | May 04, 2016

CLIA's 5 Top Cruising Tips from Travel Agents

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In order to help first-time cruisers, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has asked travel agents for insider tips to assist both first-time and seasoned cruise travelers in having the best possible vacation.

Know the Three Rs

The top tip from travel agents specializing in cruises is remembering “The Three Rs of Planning:” research, reviews and recommendations. Travelers should be researching each potential cruise line by reading reviews from other passengers and listening to recommendations from cruise travel professionals.

Listen To Your Agent

CLIA reported that 70 percent of cruise passengers use a travel agent to book their voyage, and travelers should be using an agent to help them get the best deals and promotions. Travel agents will be able to offer advice on insurance, flights, dining options, cabin locations and many other options first-time travelers may have trouble deciphering.

READ MORE: ASTA Study Finds Travel Agents Save Customers Money, Time

Know Your Ship

Another helpful tip for both first-time cruisers and seasoned travelers is to figure out the layout of the ship and all of the amenities offered during a voyage. With knowledge of the vessel’s layout, passengers will be able to maximize their time by knowing exactly where everything can be found.

Pack Smart

Travelers who have been on many cruises can tell you first hand that there are certain items they wish they had brought onboard. Travel agents have compiled a list of items that would be nice to have with you for a trip, including electrical power strips, dry erase boards, alcohol (if applicable), wrinkle release spray and more.

READ MORE: Epic Saves: True Tales of Travel Agents in Action

Get (and Stay) Connected

Once on board, travel agents recommend passengers settle in to their cabins and make themselves at home, read up on the ship’s literature—like daily newsletters and activity programs—and stay connected with your party by setting alerts for key events and activities.

During stops at ports of call, guests are advised to make time for land tours and excursions, plan activities ahead of time to ensure passengers don’t try to do too much at each destination and eating before leaving the ship to ensure the most cost-efficient journey.

“With seemingly limitless destination options and exciting new features on an array of ships, there has never been a better time to take a cruise, whether it is your first cruise, you haven't cruised in a decade or you cruise frequently,” CLIA president and CEO Cindy D'Aoust said in a statement. “The beauty of cruise travel is that each trip is customized to personal preferences, and CLIA, along with our community of expert cruise travel professionals are able to assist travelers with everything from planning to packing to matching travelers with the perfect cruise.”

For more advice from the CLIA and travel agents, check out the association’s official website.


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