‘I’m a former cruise ship employee & I’ve come up with these top-notch tips’

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Cruising is one of the most popular ways to enjoy a vacation, with millions of people going sailing all over the world every year. 

But Patti Honacki, a Former Cruise Director for Norwegian Cruise Line from 1999 until 2006, shared that there are certain hacks that even the most seasoned cruise vacationer can deploy to enjoy their trip more than ever before. 

For instance, she said, you can save money on souvenirs by waiting until the last day to purchase them. 

She said: “Don’t buy any gifts on the ship until the last day. See what you can find in port, and then use the ship as a last resort.

“That’s when everything goes on sale anyway.”

Honacki also said that pre-paying your gratuities will help you get personalized service from the ship’s crew. 

“Pre-pay your gratuities and slip your room steward a $20 or a $50 on the first day. You’ll be treated like the a KING and QUEEN that you really are,” she said. 

There’s also a way to save money on water — because contrary to popular belief, the tap water is indeed potable. 

“Bring a bottle or a refillable water container and fill it up at the gym or spa,” she said. “Most of the time they have citrus infused, or cucumber infused water. The water on the ship is so overpriced. Save the money and get the good stuff. Rinse out the container at night, and you’re all good.”

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She continued: “Oh – and you CAN drink the water from your faucet in the bathroom sink. Since most ships bunker or make their own water in a reverse osmosis plant, it’s all the same. I drank it for 14 years, and I’m perfectly healthy!”

Finally, Honacki also said that there are ways to get the best prices on cruises — and to get on cruises with no children. 

The absolute CHEAPEST time to cruise is between Thanksgiving and Christmas, non-inclusive of the actual holidays. GREAT DEALS to be had. January is also a good time,” she said.

She continued: “If you want to avoid kids, sail on a sailing LONGER than 7 days, DURING the school year. Voila. No kids. You want kids? Go on a 3–4 day cruise in JULY, BABY!”

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