CruiseHabit | Cruise tips, live sail-away broadcasts, cruise news, and more!

Do I need to have a passport to cruise?

The most important part of any cruise is actually being able to sail on it.  Let's have a look at the requirements that the US has for citizens traveling onboard a cruise ship, as there is a lot of confusing information out there.  While the short answer is, no, you don't need a passport to take most cruises out out of a US port, there are exceptions as well as some really important reasons to have a passport even if you don't otherwise need it, and even some things to keep in mind if you already have a passport... Read more about Do I need to have a passport to cruise?

Nautical Terms for Cruisers

a cleat with rope
This is a cleat, and it isn't on our list of nautical terms for cruisers.

On your cruise (and our Periscopes) you'll hear all sorts of terms you wouldn't otherwise use on a daily basis, and no, we're not talking about the lyrics Bob Marley's song "Kaya".  Let's cover some of the more common (or, in some cases, just some of the more interesting) terms, especially as they relate to cruising.  The list certainly isn't all inclusive, but we think it's a good start.    Read more about Nautical Terms for Cruisers

"I'm worried I'll get seasick. Do you feel the ship move?" How to avoid motion sickness.

vomiting smileyAmong the most common reasons people give for not taking a cruise vacation is seasickness.  While it's true that you're on a moving ship, it's nothing like going on your friend's fishing boat: the movements are slow and much less pronounced.  On newer ships you often don't even feel like they're moving.  Let's look into why seasickness is rarely an issue and what you can do - from picking the right cabin, to wearing Sea-Bands - so you're prepared just in case you feel a bit too much motion in the ocean...

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What are harbor pilots?

If you've been on a cruise you may have heard the captain explaining what time you'll be, "picking up the pilot", or maybe you've seen a small boat that says, "Pilot" pulling away from the ship.  Maybe you've just heard me annoyingly mention them on my Periscopes.  What is a pilot boat?  Who are the pilots?  Isn't the captain piloting the ship?  We'll go over the answer to these questions and surprise you with a method of taking on a pilot that you've probably never seen.

animation of pilot disembarking the disney wonder
A pilot disembarks Disney Wonder
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How to sneak booze on a cruise ship, why you shouldn't, and what to do instead.

While cruising is different things for different people, it's no secret that especially when it comes to Caribbean cruises, people like to kick back, party a bit, and drink.  Even on Baltic or Alaska sailings it's a safe bet that the bars are among the most popular spots - and why not?  It's vacation!  For most of us though, there comes a time in our cruise planning that we start thinking about how to control our bar tabs.  Some purchase drink packages (a topic for later discussion), others 'pre-load' their on-board account with cash to contain the damage, but frequently people resort to smuggling booze on their cruise.

whiksy in a listerine bottle
This fancy green drink was bought with real green money.


What's the best way to sneak alcohol on a ship?  Well, I'll tell you... Read more about How to sneak booze on a cruise ship, why you shouldn't, and what to do instead.

Which cruise line is best for me? Let's dig in to the differences between cruise lines.

cruise line logos
There are many choices in cruise lines.

It's not too likely that many people talk to a travel agent about visiting Alaska and leave convinced that instead, they want to take a cruise...to the Caribbean.  For that reason, instead of talking about destinations right out of the gate, I want to cover the question of which cruise line to try out.  I so often see the question, "What is the best cruise line?"  Well today I will share with you the answer to that question... Read more about Which cruise line is best for me? Let's dig in to the differences between cruise lines.

Why are there so few cruise ships in the cruise capital during the summer months?

It's hot, humid, and nearly void of cruise ships. That is the Florida summer. It seems contrary to what you might imagine, but the summer time is not peak cruise season in South Florida. This comes up a lot when I'm out at the ports on the weekend and people ask how many ships are sailing out, so I thought I'd take a moment to explain. The short answer? Every cruise destination has a season.

Allure of the Seas was the only ship sailing out of Port Everglades this day in August of 2016
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