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Hidden or unexpected fees on cruises. What is not included in your cruise fare?

Almost anyone who has cruised before will tout the value of cruising when compared to land vacations.  Most cruises include your meals, entertainment, transportation (to various ports of call), and your accommodations.  Nevertheless cruises are a big expense, so it's important to know about any expenses that aren't immediately apparent. Read more about Hidden or unexpected fees on cruises. What is not included in your cruise fare?

NCL Rolls Out New "Freestyle Choice Plans" For Onboard Internet

ncl's internet plansNorwegian Cruise Lines is brining new internet pricing models to the Escape and Getaway, and likely to the rest of the fleet in the coming months.  The new "Freestyle Choice" plans allow for unlimited rather than metered use.  Last year NCL announced a deal with Global Eagle Entertainment which promised to quadruple internet speeds across the NCL, Oceania, and Regent fleets. Read more about NCL Rolls Out New "Freestyle Choice Plans" For Onboard Internet

CruiseHabit Ric's Quick Tip: How to leave a tip when you have a drink package or dining package

zero dollar receipt - drink packageOne of the arguments for getting the drink package on any cruise is the convenience of not having to settle the tab after a drink or two. Once you’ve ordered your drink and your card has been read, there’s nothing left to do. Except maybe one thing… You might have gotten great service from your bartender and you want to reward that. 

Handing someone cash would clearly be the most direct way to reward great service, but one of the benefits of cruising is that if you want your trip to be cashless, it can be cashless. 

Ask your bartender or server to print you a “zero bill” and you’ll get a regular bill with a zero balance. There will be a line for a tip and you can write in whatever gratuity you’d like there. Sign below the total and give recognition to the great service that so many people in the cruise industry provide.

This also works on any cruise line which swipes your card with each purchase even if you're on a dining or drink package.  You can also do this in specialty dining restaurants.

Have a tip or question?  Reach out on Twitter or Facebook - or comment below! Read more about CruiseHabit Ric's Quick Tip: How to leave a tip when you have a drink package or dining package

Power Strips - Why they're not allowed on ships and how to safely gain some extra outlets

Many of us cruise with quite a few battery-powered devices that we want to keep charged, but cruise ship cabins don’t have as many outlets as we’d like. Common power strips are prohibited from cruise ships for safety reasons, and there aren't "cruise ship power strips", but there are alternatives. Let’s look into your options, and briefly cover why power strips aren’t allowed. Read more about Power Strips - Why they're not allowed on ships and how to safely gain some extra outlets

Time standing still: Do you change your clocks as you travel on a cruise ship?

ship's clock - when do you adjust your clock on a cruise?We usually adjust our clocks during daylight saving's time, but what about when we cruise across time-zones?  Whether or not you find yourself moving your clocks forward or back during your cruise depends on several factors.  Let's take a look at when you change your clocks as well as some things to consider to make this journey through time as simple as possible. Read more about Time standing still: Do you change your clocks as you travel on a cruise ship?

How to request vegan, vegatarian, gluten-free, or kosher meals on your next cruise

Dining is always a big topic when it comes to cruising as there tends to be such a wide variety of options (and frankly quality) when it comes to food.  That variety is great because we all have different preferences (such as vegetarianism in my case), and some, because of medical conditions (such as celiac disease or food allergies). Read more about How to request vegan, vegatarian, gluten-free, or kosher meals on your next cruise