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quick hits

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

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?

A cruise by any other name...

various cruise line logos from other countriesThose of us in English speaking countries talk about cruise vacations, cruise ships, cruise lines, etc.  In many other parts of the world the verbiage is a bit different.  In Romance languages you'll notice the words for cruising all sound very similar to one another:
Cruceros, croisières, crociere, and cruzeiros.

Why?  It actually has more to do with the history of cruising than you might think. Read more about A cruise by any other name...

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

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
Read more about What are harbor pilots?