Get A Free Cruise

First of all, if you have ever been on a cruise, you will know that the cruise line is constantly advertising their different cruises. Right there they will be offering you more freebies and other benefits than booking through any other means. Did you know though that you can do this and still make sure the booking is made through your travel agent. Go and see the resident cruise sales consultant and together you can explore all the variations and benefits. It is often the case that even if you change your booking, you will still be able to keep all the perks and benefits. Always remember to ask for additional discounts. Senior discounts, for example start from the age of 55-50 depending on the cruise line.

One way to cruise for free is being an on board lecturer. Cruise lines usually look for a variety of different subjects so they can offer ‘enrichment lectures’. Call up the cruise lines and inquire if they are interested in you lecturing on your topic of expertise. The same applies to ‘instructors’. Cruise lines want to offer their passengers different ways they can have fun. So that might include art, computers, even knitting or origami. Dance classes are common. If, for example, you excel at playing bridge, you can do this on board ship, helping others learn.

If you are part of a group, the group leader may get the cruise for free. Think about it, many families decide to take a cruise together so they can reunite. The same applies to groups from a certain church or from your place of work.

You can even become a gentlemen host if you are single. These gentlemen are given the job of dancing and entertaining mature, single women taking the cruise. Now that’s an easy day job!

Things to Expect in River Luxury Cruising

5 Star Accommodation

The first-time river luxury cruiser might think is that their cabins would be diminutive because of the smaller size of the vessel. These days, ships for river cruising are now built with 5-star accommodations in mind. This includes spacious, well-appointed rooms with balconies and windows specially designed to give unrestricted views of the passing scenery.

From butler service, gourmet meals prepared on the ship or in ports of call, complimentary drinks, caviar-all you can, swimming pools, gyms, to spas, name it—most river luxury cruise ships have it!

Guided Tours

Unlike ocean cruising, guided tours are already included in a river luxury cruise. And because some of the port stops during river cruises literally deposit you at the heart of the city, river cruising offers specialised tours. For example, there’s the Food and Wine River Cruise in France, wherein guests get the chance to taste the food and drink from cities like Paris, Burgundy, and Provence.

Shore excursions are not only limited to guided tours. Guests are also allowed to roam the city via bikes that are provided free-of-charge by the ship.

Everything is More Relaxed

With its smaller sized cruise ships, onboard entertainment is more limited in river luxury cruising compared to ocean cruise ships. There’s no Las Vegas type entertainment like casinos or theatres. Guests that would like to opt for peace and quiet will enjoy the relaxing nights of the river cruise. Sit back and relax, and watch the twinkling lights of riverside houses passing by in the comfort of your stateroom.

Another thing to expect when you’re in a river luxury cruise is there is no sea sickness. This is good news for those who are suffering from motion-affliction. River cruising is the answer to that problem as the rivers traversed in most cruise tours are placid and calm.

Kids Love About Cruising

  • Play! Play! Play! – After spending the entire year studying and doing homework, now is the time that your kids can relax and enjoy themselves as a kid should. The cruise experience is designed to engage the kids in different activities every day. It’s a new adventure or a new sport every day. It’s better to enroll your child in a kid’s program that will consist of a schedule of activities throughout the trip. They might be swimming in a pool in the morning and playing basketball in the evening. There is no room for boredom.
  • New friends – The cruising experience not only gives your child an opportunity to learn new things and be a part of different activities but they get to make new friends as well. Meeting new people helps your kids develop social skills and how to bond with new people and get to know them.
  • Sight-Seeing -The entire cruising experience revolves around the idea of a ship and a new destination. Everyone gets bored of visiting the same mall or playing in the same football ground; even grownups need a different air to breathe from time to time. Kids associate cruise with an adventure which is exactly what they have grown up on while listening to fairytales. The new destination and the view from the deck help them connect with nature and explore new places.
  • Bond with Family – One of the best parts of the entire adventure is that kids get to spend some quality time with their parents. All round the year kids are always catching up on homework or preparing for the annual school play while parents are busy with their jobs and errands, neither gets to spend quality time with one another but on the cruise, the family comes together and has fun together.
  • No Restrictions – There are no timeouts and no restrictions on the cruise. All the activities planned are safe and trained, helpful and experienced staff and planners surround you all the time. Parents feel safe and do not feel the need to restrict their kids from any activity. Kids can let loose their playful side and enjoy themselves in a secure environment.

Cheap Cruises From New Orleans

Mississippi River Cruises

Since this is Louisiana, not all cruises have to be to the Caribbean. There are also Mississippi river cruises on steamboats offered by the American Queen Steamboat Company. New Orleans is the departure port for the Lower Mississippi river adventures. America Cruise Lines also offers cruises along the Mississippi River, ranging from eight to fifteen days. Some are round trip and some end in cities like Saint Paul, MN. This is a great opportunity for the history buff who is interested in learning about Cajun history and the Civil War. There are many beautiful sites to see along the river, with stops in Davenport, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, Memphis, etc.

Unfortunately, Mississippi River cruises tend to be more costly than Caribbean cruises. Part of this reason is because they tend to be longer. However, it’s still worth going if you can find a good deal. Take your time and compare rates. This type of cruise is worth going on if you want to experience major cities and small American towns alike.

Caribbean, Bahamas, & Mexico Cruises

Most cheap cruises from New Orleans are found with Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines, both of which offer itineraries filled with warm, exotic places like Cozumel, Mexico, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, George Town, Ochos Rios, Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize City, and more. Some cruise itineraries are centered toward the Western Caribbean, some in the Eastern Caribbean, and some around Mexico.

It’s pretty obvious that “off-season” for cruising in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic is during hurricane season in the fall. If you’re brave and adventurous, you will often find very cheap deals during the months of Sept. – Nov.

Additional Tips

One way to save money, especially if you have a lot of cities on your itinerary, is to not participate in all of the cruise line’s excursions. You can either simply lounge on the beach or in an affordable restaurant near the shore of each port of call, or arrange for your own excursions with a third party.

Look out for special discount offers on online travel sites that include perks like on-board credit and free cabin upgrades. If you are going to fly to New Orleans, see if you can get a discount by booking your airfare and cruise at the same time. If you’re driving there or live there, look for cheap or free parking options near the port. Some hotels near the port even offer inexpensive or free parking if you stay for at least one night.

Whether you want to go on a short, two or three day cruise or a 21 day cruise, just use online price comparison tools to help you find cheap cruises from New Orleans.

Law on Cruise Ships

Cruise ship law covers everything from being robbed to be assaulted and having an accident to being attacked by pirates. While you may think it is significantly safer on a ship than flying to a foreign country and exploring, you will find the statistics are very much the same. The difference is than on a ship you get a once in a lifetime experience where you enjoy life on board, visiting new countries and making new friends along the way.

Cruise ships are expected to provide you with safe transport. Of course there are times when this doesn’t go exactly to plan, even though the cruise company has taken all the relevant steps to ensure your safety. In the event of an accident or incident on board, you have the right to file a claim. The claim should be handled by a professional and experienced injury lawyer as soon as you get home and have your feet on stable ground.

What many passengers who find themselves ill or injured while at sea don’t realize is that claims are subject to cruise ship law. This means that you need to follow a strict protocol. This protocol is known and understood by injury lawyers who specialize in maritime law and can provide you with the information and assistance you need to successfully file a claim within the agreed time frame.

Another thing you may not realize is that not all cruise ships are from your country, this means that they are regulated by the law in the country they are registered. This can be exceptionally confusing as the law in one country often varies from that of another.

The good news is that when sailing international waters, they are all regulated by the international laws, which should be fully understood by your cruise ship injury lawyer. The international regulations require that all crew are trained, the crew should be competent in what they do, there should be adequate fire safety procedures and equipment in place and there should be lifesaving on board. In addition to this the ship is required to have specific navigational equipment and safety management in place.

The ship company is responsible to ensure that each and every passenger is protected from physical harm. Of course there are those few occasions where passengers will find themselves injured, whether they slip on a wet deck, fall in their cabin bathroom or fall down some stairs.

In the event of a passenger going missing, whether they fall overboard or go offshore during an excursion and get lost, it is up to the cruise company to follow set search and rescue protocols, doing what they can to find the passenger in the shortest period of time.

All injury lawyers will ask to see your ticket. On the back of your ticket you will find the process that is to be followed when it comes to filing a claim in the event of an injury. This will include the time frame the cruise company allows, which can be anything from six months to one year in which you have the right to claim.

Cruise Ship Speaker

Once you have all of these parts put together, it is time to start fleshing out a couple of topics and practicing your talk. All of this is long before you will even apply for a speaking engagement with an agent.

BTW on most cruise ships, you will be required to have 4 to 10 talks ready to go. Each cruise has a different requirement for the number of talks they want. The cruise lines will not use all of these talks in the schedule but if there is a day where there is a need for another talk, you will be expected to be ready with your extra presentation.

Get comfortable with speaking in front of a crowd. I have found that audience size really varies with the time of day you are asked to speak and also the subject matter. Generally, you want to have a nice big audience as you are rated for every performance. My suggestion is to practice many times over long before you get up in front of your cruise ship audience. The golden rule here is “the talk you give should not be the first time you have presented when you are on the cruise ship”. All this means is that you need to rehearse, just like any other performance.

So what happens if there is a location where you want to travel and the cruise line is looking for something you have not yet presented?

My advice is to find out exactly what they are looking for and doing some research to see if you can fulfill the need. If you are totally comfortable with the subject matter and feel you can rehearse and present the topic without an issue, then, by all means, make a proposal through your agent. I often present destination talks in locations where I am familiar but have yet to visit. The research and reading books, etc., makes for a very thorough and interesting talk. This will only be of value to the client if you spend the time rehearsing and making sure the details are correct. Nothing is worse than presenting something and your facts are erroneous.

There are many more details about your preparation work, especially if you are given the opportunity to be a speaker. Preparation, before you make an application to an agent, is the key to your success. If you apply and they ask you for some details which you do not have ready at hand, the delay of your response will not be taken lightly. Your motto is to be prepared.

When you are ready, then it is time to find an agent. Cruise ships, in the past, allowed speakers to apply directly but now it is much easier to handle through the use of an agent. Agents vary in the fees per night they charge you ($50 to over $100 per night), so be aware of the costs ahead of submitting a proposal for a gig.

I will not list any agents here as often there are changes in contact information and more agents pop up while others go away. You need to find an agent or two you like to work with and go from there. Presently I work with 4 agents who handle different cruise lines.

Disney Cruise Line Port

Guests receive special benefits when they reserve a these wonderful adventures with the cruise line rather than booking an independent tour at the port. If they reserve online, their tickets will be waiting in their staterooms when they arrive on the ship. Guests save themselves the hassle of having to negotiate fares and handle currency exchanges. In addition, all excursions are fully refundable if the travel itinerary changes and ports of call are missed.

Tour times coincide with the ship schedule and other excursions so guests can participate in multiple tours. There are no worries if the Disney cruise ship arrives into port late because the activities schedule will be adjusted. Guests will not need to worry about missing port departure time due to their excursion running late. The Disney cruise ship will remain in port or free transportation will be arranged to the next port of call.

There are plenty of activities for all age groups, offering something for every guest. Each ship has experienced staff members onboard to provide information and advice to passengers. Port Adventures represent great values because they offer extras and packages that cannot be purchased elsewhere. Tours in the Signature Adventure Collection allow guests to add special experiences or use private vehicles during their time onshore.

Reserved Port Adventures can be cancelled up to three days prior to cruise departure date. These excursions are operated by independent contractors that are not affiliated with Disney Cruise Lines. However, they are subject to a cruise contract provided by the company, ensuring the highest levels of quality and service.

Disney Cruise Line Port Adventures include private sailing charters, VIP tours of Walt Disney World Resort, and golf outings. There is even a dolphin training program for cruises that include the port of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. The cost of a Port Adventures excursion is a bargain based on the amazing experiences this onshore trip includes.

About Amazon Cruises

The Amazon in South America is the second longest river in the whole world and has by far the largest amount of waterflow. Impressively the discharge of the Amazon is greater than the combination of the next seven largest rivers. It also has the largest drainage basin in the world (7,050,000 square meters) and is responsible for a total of 1/5th of the Earth’s river flow.

As you can imagine then, with statistics like that there is an awful lot of Amazon to explore and Amazon cruises will take you through much of South America. You can expect to come across Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil depending on the Amazon cruises you choose to go on and this means that you can get a highly varied and exciting trip. If you’re the sort of person who enjoys going to different countries so you can say you have and ‘tick them off your list’ then this will be an ideal way for you to get a big chunk of South America under your belt. Furthermore, if you are interested in seeing a range of different cultures and landscapes rather than just visiting one country then a cruise is also very appropriate for you.

In some ways as well Amazon cruises are more impressive than cruises on the sea. This is because you can invariably see something of interest during the cruise and not only when the boat has stopped. At it’s wider points the Amazon is around 10 kilometers wide, but at its narrowest it is around 1.6 kilometers. This means that much of the time you will be able to see the world passing by whether that’s thick jungle or mountains. If views of tropical rainforest going past your window sound good to you, then a cruise on the Amazon is probably going to go down a treat.

Likewise you can also expect to see a lot of interesting wildlife when on Amazon cruises so this will further help to keep your journey exciting and interesting. This might range from crocodiles to rare birds or to a range of safari animals at the river’s edge. Here’s something interesting – more than one third of all the species of animals in the world live in the Amazon rainforest; so you really don’t know what you might see.

Not only is this a fantastic experience in terms of culture and adventure, but also a great way to relax and unwind. The climate is warm and pleasant, and being on a cruise means that you’ll have everything you need on tap. In this respect Amazon cruises have all the benefits of going to all inclusive hotels and you can expect to take part in games, enjoy lavish meals and probably appreciate a games room or a swimming pool depending on your boat. These really are holidays that have it all.

Cruise The Stress Away

Going on a cruise is not really a far-fetched idea today. Planning your dream vacation is already easy because everything is accessible via the internet. You just need to decide on a particular place or area you wished to visit then find an available cruise line within that area. Websites like Cruisedeals.com, Cruise.com and Expedia.com are just some examples of those trusted sites that you can use to find great deals and also to book a trip online.

Now that you have your bags, tickets, passport and swoon worthy sunglasses in tow, finally its boarding time! So what’s there to expect during the boarding process?

According to Cruisecritic.com, boarding on a cruise ship is not that different with the check-in procedures when boarding on a plane. Therefore, it’s not going to be overwhelming because everything is fairly organised. Your cruise line will send you the information regarding your schedule like when you’re expected to check-in. Like in the airport, you are also given a several hour window to check-in at the port and if you’re late you don’t get to board on the ship.

Upon reaching the cruise terminal, be ready with your boarding documents and keep them handy for check-in. Precautionary measures are still being implemented so be prepared. Carry-ons are still subject for x-ray inspections before entering the queue lines of the check-in station. If you have large suitcases with you hiring a porter can be helpful. You can expect your luggage to be delivered to your cabin by dinnertime.

When you reach the check-in counter you’re expected to hand over your boarding documents to the representative. You will also be asked to fill in a document regarding your medical condition. This is a prerogative of the cruise lines to prevent a possible spread of illnesses in confined places.

Once cleared, they will give you your cruise card with your picture on it for security purposes. This cruise card will serve as your all-in-one boarding card, room card and onboard credit card, be sure to take good care of it at all times. They will also provide you the schedule of events and a handy map of the ship.

Once you are done with the check-in and you have acquired your cruise card, you can already board on the ship. Don’t shy away from photographers on your way to the ship. They will usher you to pose on the ship’s backdrop or the ship’s life ring. These pictures will be available for purchase on board and they are great souvenir items, too! But if it makes you uncomfortable to have your pictures taken, you can always politely decline the offer.

Select an Ideal Cruise Cabin

The ocean view cabin is the next level higher to the inside cabin. Ocean view cabins are often bigger in size and they consist of a window or porthole in which you can view whatever it is on the outside. People who like sunlight or sightseeing without leaving the comfort of the cabin will find the ocean view appropriate to their needs.

The next step higher to the ocean view is the balcony cabin also known as veranda cabin. This type of cabin is slightly bigger than the standard ocean view and features a private balcony, which is accessible through a door from the cabin. There will be beautiful landscapes and scenery en route to your destination and if you are fond of sightseeing while on the ship, a balcony cabin will be the perfect room for you. Again, check the ship’s layout and the itinerary so your cabin will be facing the landscapes. Another benefit of a balconied cabin is that you can sleep while the sea breeze goes around your room when the balcony door is open.

The suite is the most expensive type of cabin in a cruise ship. They have the largest room space with various accompanying amenities and they are usually located at the upper deck of the ship. If you like cruising a lot then you ought to try a suite one time, as the benefits that come with it will make you feel like one of the royalties.