25 Tips and Tricks for Smooth Sailing on Your Next Cruise
When it comes to finding the right cruise, a travel agent can be invaluable and, in many cases, cost no more, Hirsch says. "In some cases you'll pay less, as agents may have access to special perks or even discounted rates on specific sailings. Even if the price is the same, the value of a good travel agent is that you have someone who is a pro, able to answer your questions and guide you to make the right decisions."
Embarkation day typically involves waiting for luggage to reach the cabin via the ship's valet, leaving you without essentials, says Grainne Kelly, a travel agent for 16 years. Prepare by packing a carry-on. "Include swimsuits, sunscreen, a change of clothes, and snacks," Kelly says. "It may be a couple of hours before you're reunited with your luggage, so be sure to keep any essentials on hand."